Emily Ramshaw is a freelance fashion and lifestyle writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. We go way back -- to 2010, to be exact, when we were both fashion interns at Flare magazine. Earlier this year, while Emily was working as a Senior Features editor at Coveteur, we met up for coffee and talked all about her "lazy girl" hair attitude and her not-so-great sixth grade shag haircut. Read her story below. -- JB
ON LIKING HER HAIR
I hate maintenance and I don't have to do anything to my hair, so for lazy girl reasons, I like my hair. I literally wash it, let it air dry or sleep on it wet and in the morning sometimes I spray volumizing stuff in it, and that's it. I don't brush it, I don't use conditioner, I don't do anything.
ON FINDING HER HAIRSTYLE
With the hairstyle I have now, I feel very different than when I've had my hair short at other periods in my life. I feel like this hairstyle is much more "me" now. When I had my hair long a few months ago, it just felt like something I ignored. I often put it back and just didn't do anything. Other times in the past, when I had my hair long, it was because I wanted to be more feminine.
I had this idea where I thought I was prettier with long hair, even though I knew the short hair was cooler. Now I don't feel like that. I feel like I look better with short hair.
ON HAIR AND FITTING IN
I initially grew out my hair when I was in high school. I always had short hair as a kid, then cut it into what I thought was a cool shag when I was in grade six, for some reason, and it ended up being a really awkward style and I was already awkward and shy and didn't want to stand out. The haircut didn't help.
When I went to an all-girls school in grade seven, I realized how different my hair was than everyone else's, which was long and straight essentially. I grew my hair out -- which was a painful process because I also had bangs -- until it was long, straight, nothing hair, but the initial draw to long hair was to fit in. At that school, we wore uniforms and looked exactly the same.
My two best friends had strawberry blonde and blonde hair that was beautiful and everyone else had long hair. I could show you my grade seven school pictures and it's fucking terrifying. I looked like an '80s boy from a sitcom or something. My uniform was a tie and a blazer and I had the short hair with bangs and my eyebrows. [Editor's note: Emily did, in fact, show me her picture and her description is very accurate.]
ON HAIR AND HER RELATIONSHIP
My boyfriend likes my hair longer. He always says it looks great in the moment, but when I had it long he was like, "Never cut your hair again!" But, whatever. When I cut it this time, I didn't even tell him until the day of. We don't live together so it was just like, "Oh yeah, I'm getting my hair cut for a story," because I ended up writing about it. He was like, "Oh." I think he likes it now. After I cut it, I thought it was so great and wondered if I should go shorter, then I said that to him and he was just like, "No." [laughs]
ON GOING GREY
I love the Sarah Harrises of the world, with beautiful natural grey hair. That's a reason I would want my hair long, when it's grey -- hers is so incredible. But it's hard to say now because I have maybe one white hair, and I don't know what that feeling would be.
I know I don't like the idea of dying it to cover it up. I don't think I would want to do that, but if I started getting grey hair next year, when I'm 29, I would probably think about dying it. I generally hate the idea of women trying to halt the aging process. I don't believe in Botox or anything like that, for myself -- if you want to do it, whatever. It hasn't happened to me, so it's hard to say, but I don't think I would want to stop grey hair.
That said, both my parents have a few grey hairs, so it doesn't feel like an imminent thing. I told my mom I had one grey hair, and she was like, "Oh, you're fucked." [laughs] She didn't get a grey hair until she was around 50.
I feel like it's another double standard. My boyfriend has grey hair and it doesn't matter. I think it bugs him, but it's not like he's going to do anything about it.
ON HER MOM'S INFLUENCE
I'm high maintenance compared to my mom. The extent of her beauty cabinet when I was a kid was literally a pair of tweezers and mascara. She didn't really do anything and she still doesn't. So I never learned beauty stuff from her. It was a friends thing. And I don't have any sisters. The only thing that was remarkable about my mom and hair is that she always had it short. She liked going to nice places to get it done and had a stylish short cut. Now she lives on a boat and I'm pretty sure my dad cuts her hair sometimes. I think when I first cut my hair short in grade six, it was her influence. Now, she's always liked it when it's shorter, and when I cut it this time, everyone tells me I look exactly like her.
ON HAIR AND IDENTITY
As people see me, my hair is probably a big part of my identity. Unavoidably, what I look like is important, because of the industry I work in. How I portray myself is an important part of my identity and how some people remember me. I feel like there are other aspects of how I look, like my eyebrows, that people will recognize me for. I feel like hair is such an identifier and it's not something I think of that much, when it comes to myself, but now that I don't have the standard long hair, I think of it more. Still, I look at my peers and most of them have long hair. Almost everyone I work with and almost all my girlfriends.
I want to keep the length I have now -- I don't want to grow it out for the first time. I've already cut it once, I'll cut it again. I'm sure it will evolve and not always be the same cut, but I do think I want to keep it short. That makes it more of a personal thing. It's a decision I'm making, I'm not just letting it grow.
ON WHAT SHE WOULD TELL HER TEEN SELF
"Don't worry about it." I would say that about a lot of things, but that's the main thing. And probably, "You're lucky because your hair is so easy." And "Shower. More."
-- As told to Untangled in New York City. Photos by Julia Brucculieri.