Whenever I contemplate getting a new haircut, I hem and haw over different styles, picking out pictures so I can best portray what I’m hoping to achieve. Before I’ve even made a decision, I’ll have bad dreams about chopping all my hair off, consumed with an overbearing sense of misery and regret. I end up pining for those long locks once again, and have instant haircutters’ remorse. I wake up, relieved to find I still have my hair.
Besides the pressure that comes with picking out a new haircut, knowing it will change how you come across to others and possibly how you perceive yourself, there’s also this feeling of potential. This style would be so versatile, I could do this, I wouldn’t have to worry about that. The world is my oyster! [pause] Okay, maybe not that much potential… but change, whether big or small, always carries with it a certain potential and the excitement of the unknown.
Throughout the years I’ve had my hair all sorts of different ways. Growing up, it grew past my butt; I would sit on it in class and the strands would get caught in the seat. Ouch! I loved to braid it and do all sorts of silly things to it.
As I got older, I would make self-deprecating comments about my looks, and people would remark, “But you have such pretty hair!” I don’t know if it was in direct rebellion to those comments, or a sort of passive-aggressive retaliation to my Dad’s [chauvinistic] opinion that women had to wear makeup and have long hair to be beautiful, but I just wanted to break out of that rut.
My dad was mad when I cut my hair; he didn’t speak to me for a while.
Since then, I’ve experimented with different lengths. When I got married, my hair was short (just like it was when Phil met me – *swoon*).
Once you bite the bullet and cut all your hair off, pretty much anything goes.
But I’ve grown it out a number of times, wanting to have long hair again.
Every time I contemplate a change, though, I get that familiar knot in the pit of my stomach - What if I hate it? What if people don’t like how I look? What if my husband doesn’t think I’m beautiful? I’ll be this way FOREVER!
Despite always being fed up with my hair the longer it gets (it’s dry, frizzy, and I can’t wear it up because I get bad headaches), there’s always part of me that holds on to the idea of long hair.
I wonder… what is it that makes some of us so attached to this accumulation of dead cells on our head? What’s the big deal, anyway? And does it really define who we are?
Sometimes just dressing a certain way can make you feel different - in a suit, you might feel more polished, refined, professional; in a comfy pair of favorite jeans you may feel relaxed; in a lil’ black dress you may feel playful and sexy. How does a certain haircut or hairstyle make you feel? What does someone else’s style say to you? There are many things that can make an impression, and I think someone’s hair can be one of them. And it can definitely leave it’s impact on your self-perception.
For instance – I often see short hair on a women as something that denotes self-confidence, strength… is it because she’s going against the social norm? I don’t know. Maybe this is why, the longer my hair gets, the more I think about cutting it short. I blame my upbringing.
Though I’ve slowly been growing my hair out again, I began feeling that familiar itch recently.
Out came the magazines, the narrowing down of ideas, and yesterday I once again bit the bullet. I’m never fully satisfied with the outcome, but always manage to fix it when I get home. Honestly, on the way home I was freaking out, wondering why the hell did I just do that?! I’m having to get used to myself with short hair all over again.
I always mourn the loss of my hair, and this time was no different. I’ve been trying to figure out why that is – now that I have short hair, am I less of a woman? That’s silly, and yet… I feel the need to wear more makeup, bigger earrings, to compensate. I’m loving the ease of short hair, and it definitely feels fun. And my head’s so light! Though I may at times look in the mirror and criticize my hair, I try to remember, It’ll Grow Out.