Life

A Tribute To Hair

I’ve been sitting here researching haircuts, and I came across an article that has you measure your face and it will calculate your face shape for you. Since I’ve always guessed oval, but never really known for sure, I did the little test. Came up round. Which… isn’t bad. Anyway, so that brought me to Googling “Haircuts for Round Face Shapes” to see what came up. One celebrity whose short hairstyle I really like, and whose face shape is round, is Ginnifer Goodwin.short-hair-trends-masl05_short_ginnifer_goodwin

 

This hairstyle is shorter than I had originally planned,  but I’ve been thinking “It grows back, and I’m cutting off a good amount anyway. Why not?” I’ve been planning to cut off my hair and donate it to Locks of Love for about three days now- more honestly, I’ve been planning in a general way for about six months. But a few days ago, I finally decided to go for it and just get it cut tomorrow.

So I scrolled through the results, change my search to “short hairstyles for round faces” and up came this picture.

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The pixie cut. It’s the haircut I’ve been saying I’m going to get for… ach, about six months now, and have been putting it off. I’ve been saying “Someday, I”ll chop my  hair like that. Someday, after I get married. Someday, when I have kids. Someday, when…”

I stared at it, and had a brave thought. Why not? Why not go for the pixie cut I’ve been talking about for months? Why not, when I’m cutting off all my hair anyway? Why not, when I kind of want to get back to my natural color- which is slightly lighter than the hair on my head now, due to various home-dye jobs to get my hair darker-? Why not, when it’s a new year, and I am aiming to be a new person both with my faith (my aim is to be stronger in faith and closer to God), my body (my goal is to lose fifteen pounds), and my skin (clear skin, perhaps this year I shall catch you!)? Why not, when the hair that is cut off will be donated to Wigs for Kids, Locks of Love, or Panteine and help someone who needs a wig after cancer, or extensions when their hair is not long enough?

And why not, when, although my hair is very pretty when I actually take care of it, I usually wear it up in a bun, never brush it, and generally hate maintaining it? I am not a good match for long hair. I don’t like things that take me forever to make pretty. I need hair that I can just wash, mousse/hairspray/leave as is, and go. With my hair and its just barely wavy length, that’s not an option.

So here I sit, thinking “why not?”

And for all my good “why not” reasons, I still get a heart that races, a mind that screams “Holy canoodling, that’s short!”, and an emotional rush, much like you would get right after you’ve experienced an adrenaline rush and a mild scare.

When a woman has short hair already, cutting it shorter isn’t scary. I had short hair for five years, and every time I went to get it cut, it got shorter. The shortest I have gone to date is chin-length. Not a good cut for me, as it was blunt and unlayered. Still, I loved my short hair. It was easy to maintain, and I didn’t usually have to worry whether it looked good or not. It was very obedient when it was short.

But now that I’ve been growing it out for three years, even cutting off eight inches- which isn’t much when you consider that from my scalp to the end, my hair is a little more than eighteen inches long- seems like I’m losing an eye or a leg. I panic a little. The “what ifs” begin to plague me.

What if I hate it? What if it gets messed up?

Now, these what ifs aren’t as scary when I consider just cutting of the mandatory eight-ten or so inches to donate to Locks of Love or whichever other hair-donating thing I do. (Edit: just found out that I can only donate to Locks of Love, since the way they process the hair for the other two options will react funny as I’ve dyed my hair with permanent dye.)

I mean, with those cuts, I’d still have shoulder-length hair.

But a pixie cut? With the pixie cut, I’d be cutting off around 15 inches of my hair, leaving only three inches. If that.

Scary.

And it’s more than that. There’s this weird emotional attachment I have to my hair. I like the way it looks when it’s softly wavy. I like the feel of long hair, the weight of it. It’s fun to swing around and hit people in the face with the ends. Okay, so maybe not fun for them. But for me, yes. And… my hair and I, we’ve been friends for three years now. I’ve styled it in crazy different ways- including, at one point, a rooster-tail(which is sort of like a mohawk, but not really), an incredibly high bouffant, and a crazy-eighties head of frizz, curls, and tangles.

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It’s been straight, curly, and in-between. It’s been hard to manage, tangled, frustrating, beautiful, smooth, and perfectly tousled when I wake up in the morning. Through it all, I’ve felt frumpy, I’ve felt blah, I’ve felt childish, I’ve felt beautiful. Because of my hair, people see me as younger than I am. Because of my hair, some guys think I am more beautiful than I am. Because of my hair, I’ve been complimented, admired, and envied.

My hair is part of my memories. I’ve grown my hair out for three years in hopes that I might get married and have long, luscious locks on one of the most monumental and anticipated days of my life. I’ve grown my hair out because I’ve been told, I’ve read, I’ve heard that guys prefer long hair over short hair. I’ve grown my hair out to please my dad, who sees his too-quickly-growing-up-baby in these long strands, to please my friends who love my long hair, to please myself, and make myself feel beautiful.

While my hair was growing, there were a few family deaths, I had a heartbreak or two, the births of all of my nieces and my nephew took place, and my brother got married. I learned to be happy with my single state, I was asked out, I’ve been pursued more than I ever thought I would be, and I’ve become more confident with who I am. I’ve worked three vastly different jobs, become jobless, and learned how to be a homemaker. As my hair has grown, I’ve finished two novels and started four more. I’ve lived in three different states. I’ve met more people than I can count, I’ve made friends with a woman who is now one of my closest friends, and revived an old friendship with another woman who has become one of the three I confide in the most. I’ve begun to learn a new language.

I’ve become stronger in God, seen Him use my writing to influence people worlds away, and become confident that I was born to be an author.

And now that the moment is here, I’m… conflicted. Scared, but excited. Calm, but panicked. Undecided, but determined. Insecure, but confident. I look at pictures of my long hair, and wonder if I really want to cut it all off. If I really want to hack away those memories and send them to someone else to wear. Do I really want to chop off part of who I have been for the past three years?

The answer, above the squeezing nerves of my heart, the fond memories of the past, and the incredulity of my brain… is yes.

It’s my chance to start the year new. New hair, new goals, new me. In the past, my thinking has been that as soon as I lose that last extra bit of weight, I will cut my hair. But in a way, my hair keeping me from really going for it and reaching my goal. My hesitance to cut my hair causes me, in a small way, to procrastinate in losing weight, to push that day off a little farther. In some ways, my long hair is allowing me to stay who I am, and not improve myself in all ways possible. I’m comfortable with me. I want to change, but I’m not motivated enough to do it without some sort of huge change.

Now is the time. Tomorrow, I will be going into the salon, giving them the picture of that pixie cut, and closing my eyes while they snip off my hair. I will be terrified, exhilarated, melancholy, and joyful. I won’t sleep tonight, because I am too excited to see how it will look tomorrow. I’ll debate dying it red. I’ll play with it, marvel over how light my head feels, and wonder if everyone will like it.

And through it all, I will realize that my memories do not chop away with my hair. Though I feel as though cutting off my hair is a way to start this year fresh, to forget the heartbreaks and disappointments of last year and focus on making this year a good one, I am still nervous. I still feel as though I am cutting away a part of me. I still feel vulnerable, scared, hesitant.

But this hair, it’ll grow back. And while it grows back, I’ll be making new memories, memories that do not change with the length or color of my hair. I’ll be watching my nieces and nephew grow up. I’ll be writing more novels, making more friends, going to new places, seeing new things. There will be new births, weddings, deaths. Through it all, my hair and I will grow and change together, and funny as it may seem, I’ll be just as emotionally attached to my short hair as I am to my long hair.

So off I go, braving something I’ve never done before, cutting off hair that holds many dear memories, and starting out my year with a new version of me. It’s a scary journey, but the end result will be well worth it.

 

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