The year just kicked off, and you’ve probably got your resolution all planned out. Maybe it involves slimming down, working out or just getting some well-deserved “you” time. Maybe you’ve got goals that include increasing your strength, mobility or stamina. Take it from a friend who has spent a long time now with limited mobility: the new year is also time for a new look.
Just make one dramatic, striking change to the way you look to enhance the way you feel. Then get back to your resolution and grab the Year of the Dog by its cute, fuzzy ears.
Change starts from the top down for many of us, and a new hairstyle is one way to get off on the right paw. Even if you don’t have hair, there are options, too. One of the things living with disabilities teaches us is that we don’t have to do things the way others do, and we should showcase our own personal styles to build confidence and go all-out for the year ahead.
Time for a New Hairstyle
Few of us have the skills of a seasoned hairdresser, but it’s rarely hard to find one in today’s modern cities. Transform your look with a new hairstyle taken from your favorite magazines or TV shows or just inspired by your favorite photos and celebrities.
If you’ve got limited mobility due to cancer treatments, you can likely find a Look Good, Feel Better salon (a local salon with services available through the American Cancer Society) in your area. Not only will they help with your hair, they can also provide makeup solutions and even wigs featuring the latest styles. These same salons may not offer the same discounts to others who have differing medical concerns, but they do typically have the same services and products available for purchase. Plenty of extra discounts on salons are available for all.
Find a Nice Hat
If you’ve got all the natural coiffeur that I do (which is to say little to none at all), the right hat can make a striking difference in your look. It may seem strange to don a hat, especially if you don’t already subscribe to the look, but it can really transform how you look and feel. Women of the British royal family wear hats whenever performing their official duties; it’s required. We could all do as well as to look like the Queen and her family.
The right hat should complement the colors of your outfit and fit snugly, so that it won’t move if you quickly turn your head or lift your chin, but not so tight as to leave any mark on the skin. Some of the top hat brands include comfort bands that eliminate these lines while still remaining in place even on windy days.
For Men: Shave your head. Get a haircut. That’s basic. For most of us, it won’t change much. The striking change you need comes in the form of your face fur. If your beard looks like this, then you’re more likely to scare away small children than have them ask if you are Santa. Not to mention the ladies, who aren’t impressed by an unkempt mane. Never considered a beard? Are you sure you’re shaving right? The only thing worse than a bad beard is a spotty, partial one born of dull razors.
Get a Good Shave
If you’ve got the hands for it, a manual razor (and not a safety razor) is the way to go. I’m not nearly that steady, so I prefer an electric shaver for both a close shave and safety’s sake. The art of shaving isn’t for everyone, but most of us can maintain a close shave with a good electric trimmer. Call the local men’s salons in your area and ask them if they offer a straight razor shave. One good shave and it’s all maintenance from there.
Barber’s shops are the best stop for men who don’t like the baby-faced look. Especially if you’re only in your 20s or 30s and don’t want to look half your age, a beard gives you that extra manly appearance that makes oldsters joke about the youth all being lumberjacks. Find a good barber, one who offers a beard shaping or beard trim right on the board, and get his advice on how to make your face fur stand out. Take it, and learn to use a beard trimmer to maintain the look until you toss it up again next year, and the year after that. Looking forward to that annual change can be a big deal for some of us.
And a Good Facial Moisturizer
Shave it. Trim it. Treat your face fuzz right … but don’t neglect your face. Beards draw moisture from the skin and wick it away. Daily shaving can also deplete much of the skin’s natural oils. Get a high-quality face moisturizer and learn when and how to use it. Any good barber can teach you their tips and tricks, but just following the directions on the moisturizer is the best start.
No one wants dry skin under their beards. It makes for an itchy and uncomfortable time. And then there’s beard dandruff. Beard balms and oils can only do so much to keep hair healthy and straight. If there’s no beard, then flaky skin on display is no bueno. Slap on that moisturizer and enjoy the compliments of how great you look starting this year. You can tame the Year of the Dog, all it takes is the right tools and a bit of big-dog attitude.