I Never Do My Hair For First Dates & When I Finally Did, Everything Changed

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Earlier this year, my older sister asked if she could set me up with a successful guy-about-town who "would be perfect" for me. I'm not one to be set up, as I’m out often and meet many a date-worthy dude IRL, but after seeing his picture, hearing a bit about him and learning he doesn’t have an uptight 9-5 job, I figured I’d try him on for size.

My sister has wanted me to settle down ever since I was blindsided by a breakup (that I thought was going to be an engagement!). She's been with her husband for 19 years and they have four kids; she wants me to have my happily-ever-after with a stable partner, too.

On the day of the date, knowing I’d likely show up in either a topknot or my tried-tested-and-true San Francisco Giants ball cap, my sister sent me to get a blowout on her tab.

I figured if this setup didn’t work out, at least I’d have a great blowout to strut around town with for the rest of the week. So I agreed and had the stylist do up my hair with loose curls and a heck of a lot of volume. "Who knew I had so much hair?" I flirtatiously exclaimed to the stylist. "Who knew I could look this good?!" I flirtatiously exclaimed to myself. I hadn’t even left the salon before I snapped a mirror selfie and sent it off to all of my fave contacts (my besties and a guy I was casually hooking up with on the side).

Something as simple as getting a blowout made me feel lighter, more put together, and more confident. More than the actual physical appearance of the blow out, it was the high-kick of my inner psyche that made me stand up just a little straighter, that made me smile a little more playfully, that made me feel a little more in control.

These days, there are blowout bars on practically every corner. The price tag is totally worth it, because it buys you so much more than a great look. It buys you a piece of mind and confidence. It affords you a chance to put energy into your date as opposed to getting caught in the negative self-talk that happens when you jam a baseball cap over your greasy hair. Instead, you can focus on creating a bond with your date.

Jen Kirsch

Getting a blowout made me recognize how laissez-faire I had gotten when it comes to putting myself together for dates. When I go out with friends, I always have a fresh mani, hair and makeup done, and a hot new dress that I feel good in. So why should I treat my dating life any differently?

And I'll be honest — I can't help but judge when I see people on dates who look like they just rolled out of bed. Hypocrisy is never a chic look, and my sister's enforcement of a blowout helped me see that. Praise the Lord!

After I got my blowout, I noticed, weirdly enough, that my writing got sharper, I became more productive, and people were even asking me out more often. It's almost like when you start working out after avoiding the gym for awhile — you feel better, so you start eating cleaner. When you feel good about how you look, you start pulling other areas of your life together, too.

I ended up buying my own blowout tab so I could keep up this getting-ready ritual. I love how I can play with my hair when it’s down, how I can show off my highlights, and how I can more readily make eye contact with people as opposed to hiding under an ex’s baseball cap for a baseball team in a city he doesn’t even live in anymore!

As for the date, it was really nice to date a man and not a boy. He was charming, generous, and there were good vibes all around. We had great conversation and saw each other a couple more times, but the timing didn’t work out.

Looking back, now that it’s been nine months since the initial date - I realize I wasn’t really looking to settle down (even though I thought I was) and needed to do more soul searching to get a better idea of who I am and what I want in the future. Since then I’ve had time to bear witness to my habits (both bad and good, I’m a Gemini, after all!) to work on the things about myself I didn’t really want to keep playing out in relationships, and have done work to be in a healthier mind space and be open to whatever it is that’s meant to unfold.

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