I've always had quite - errrr, how can I put it - particular hair. Not only am I blessed with thick, curly, frizzy, plentiful hair (aka the devil's hair) but I'm also a sucker for colorful and wacky hairdos. All in all, if hair had feelings - which mine's behavior leads me to believe it does - then my hair hates the living hell out of me for everything I've done to it in the past decade or so. A few months ago, I had a good portion of my head bleached and dyed coral. It was vibrant and looked absolutely fantastic - for the first week. My hair felt like straw, was splitting in every possible direction and was completely fried. After spending a few hundred bucks to get my hair that way and then "maintain" it with fancy-shmancy products, I wasn't about to get stuck in the same loop of killing my locks all over again. And so... I chopped it off.
Let me tell you, after lugging around belly-length hair for a few years (and the heavy, thick and plentiful variety to boot) you literally feel like you've dropped a few pounds. I felt extremely exposed all of a sudden and then came the sudden wave of "holy crap - that was a lot of hair" when I caught a glimpse of the fuzzy mountain on the floor.
Now don't get me wrong - this isn't the end of the world for me. I have had much shorter hair several times in my life, but for whatever reason, this time felt different. As I was getting my hair cut, every person that walked by commented on how gutsy and courageous I was. Really? Because I got a bob? Interesting. I've never bought into this importance that many women hold onto having long hair, however I do understand it. Whether we agree or not, long hair for women in many cultures has long been associated to feminity, beauty and reproductive potential. Is it silly? Of course - yet many of us still subconciously buy into it.
I've always been drawn to short and structured haircuts: something about the women who wore them made me think they were so badass and ballsy. I always envied that aura about them. So one day - aged 13 - I waltzed over to the hairdresser with a picture of the singer from Aqua (yes - that Aqua) and had it all hacked off. Pleased with the convenience and freedom I felt after this cut, I took it to the extreme and returned to the hairdresser within the month, this time asking for a haircut like Pink's, which was essentially a super-short pixie at the time. This haircut got me teased because I "looked like a boy" and as much as I hate to admit, the taunting made me feel like less of a woman. I'm still disappointed in 13 year-old me for caring. For a few years, I had lost my short-hair-guts and thus ensued several years of standard shoulder-length hair.
When I got to college, I dyed it blond - then red - then black - then blond again - and essentially set out on a hair-destruction war path. I can assure you, I didn't mean any harm - I was simply on a mission to have a totally rockin' do (aren't we all?) For those who aren't aware, going blond is - in blunt terms - hair suicide. When you go blond, you're stripping your hair of everything - colour, texture, soul... This cycle of madness brings me full circle to my super damaged, frizzier-than-ever, hay-like locks. A few days before Christmas, I was feeling weighed down. The holidays are rough. Buying your first home is rough. Starting your own business is rough. And having a head-full of tinsel-like hair is the cherry on top.
When I cut my hair, I felt hella empowered. I don't know if it was because it's been (literally) weighing me down so long or because I knew I just bought myself an extra hour in a day, but it felt so unbelievably liberating. Does hacking off a buttload of hair solve all problems? No - but it sure makes you realise that we're all holding on to an extra hassle for absolutely nothing.