Diary of a chop: Mia Freedman

Image: Mia Freedman, before the chop.

It’s easy to miss the point where you should have cut your hair.

It’s like an invisible hair line you cross. One day your hair looks fine. The next day, it really doesn’t. It’s too thin. Stringy. The ends are split. It’s sad. Except when you’re fixated on the idea of growing your hair, with lofty visions of Sofia Vergara, Jennifer Lopez and all the Kardashians beckoning you like sirens, you eagerly cross that hair line and just keep on going.

Until one day, you see a photo of yourself and your hair makes you want to vomit. If not vomit, then at least take to it immediately with the closest sharp object. A bread knife will do. It just has to go, NOW.

This has happened to me a few times. I’ve been so swept up in the allure of long, flowing hair, I’ve become blind to the fact that not all hair looks good long. And the Vergaras, Kardashians and Lopezes of the world are usually wearing a ton of extensions. Pretty much every female Australian TV presenter uses extensions of some kind, usually for volume rather than length. Same with every shoot you see in a magazine.

When you grow regular hair long without extensions, it almost always becomes thin and stringy after a certain point. So you end up with wispy, ratty bits that are long in name only and frankly, look pretty shitty.


Mia Freedman haircut
Left image via Anna Kucera (The Guardian Australia)


There can also be something about long hair that pulls your face down - which is about as attractive as I just made it sound. But still, when a woman is determined to grow her hair, she will not notice these things. It’s like hair blindness.

It took seeing these pictures of myself to snap me into sending my hair guru, Jaye Edwards an impassioned email:

“I know I’m booked in for the end of the month but that’s four weeks away and I cannot wait that long. I hate my hair and I am desperate. Desperate, I tell you.”

I sent him the images above as evidence.

Generally, I find that after hating my hair, the days leading up to a haircut (especially one that I’ve begged for) are my best hair days ever. It’s like those ratty ends suddenly realise it’s over and make a last ditch effort to look good, hoping for a stay of execution.

But I am no longer fooled by such trickery. “No, hair” I tell it. “I shall not fall for your bullshit attempts at flattery. YOU WILL BE CUT.”


I have friends who agonise about haircuts. They take months to gear up. They make mood boards and have endless discussions with me and each other via text and over wine about “should I or shouldn’t I?”.

I’m an impulsive haircutter. When I get that tingle, I know it’s time and it needs to happen fast.

So I got my appointment with Jaye and I sat down and told him it was time and showed him a link to a Pinterest search I’d done for “bobs and lobs” (a lob is a long-bob). We also agreed it was time for the blonde to go. I was going back to brown.

Because I don’t speak hair, it’s always good to do this. A few minutes of pointing and scrolling and nodding later, Jaye got busy and I pulled out my laptop to do some work like I always do.

I drank some tea out of a pot (a luxury I never bother to do for myself), ate the delicious teeny tiny biscuits that come with the tea (ditto) and chatted to Jaye about the launch of this website and business. Jaye loves to talk business. He’s just opened a second salon in Melbourne. He’s very smart and ridiculously young.

Click through this gallery to witness the evolution of Mia's chop:

A couple of hours later, here is the result.

Ahhhhhh. That’s better.

Jaye also shared a genius styling tip with me: To instantly remove all traces of mumsy from hair this length, use a GHD on the bottom few centimetres of your hair only. That makes it look ‘finished’ and it’s a little edgier than when it natuarly curls under like mine does.