Yesterday, for the first time since I was 16, I drastically cut my hair…and I couldn’t be happier with the results.
There is something incredibly liberating about change. Granted, hair grows, and it is not what defines me, but for years I was bound by the idea that long hair was beautiful hair, and any length shorter than past one’s breasts was unheard of. I was graced with good hair genes and my hair has always been soft and manageable, so you can imagine the reactions I received from other girls upon taking my hair out of a braid and shaking it out. Even my roommate would hardly go a week without telling me I had beautiful hair—and I believed her!
But unfortunately, it seemed that a lot of my confidence about my physical appearance stemmed from my hair. I felt as though—having a body that is often defined as “boyish” in fashion magazines—my hair was the most feminine aspect of me. So upon making the decision to cut it yesterday, I was worried about the reactions I would get. As superficial as it may be, it was true: I was worried that I wouldn’t be pretty anymore.
But then I realized that I did more than just cut my hair. I made a very liberating decision, and I made it entirely on my own. I chose to cut almost twelve inches from my physical appearance not because I thought others would like the way it looked, but because I was tired of managing long hair! I was tired of using three times the amount of conditioner than the recommended nickel-sized amount on the back of the bottle. I was tired of taking thirty minutes each evening to meticulously comb it after a shower. And I wanted a change. I didn’t want to look different; I wanted to feel different.
I cried for an hour after cutting my hair yesterday. I cried on the phone to my parents and I cried while texting my best friend, Sabrina. But after realizing that others didn’t care about my hair nearly as much as I did, I decided not to care what they thought of it. My boyfriend, Chris, is entirely supportive, and my old roommate, Eliana, has texted me numerous times to tell me how much she loves it. These affirmations are not necessary, but definitely appreciated.
My hair is mine and mine alone, and I am excited to discover all that this liberation will bring. I could feel like an entirely new me in a few weeks, or I could feel just the same; regardless, it is a fresh start.