Cutting my hair shot was something I kind of wanted to do for years, but always chickened out of.
I’ve had long hair as far back as I can remember. When I say long, I mean pretty close to reaching my waist most of the time.
I’ve always thought I suit long hair better, and that cutting my hair short wouldn’t fit my face. On top of that, my hair grows really fast, and I’m not great at making regular trips to the hair salon; so I usually end up with long locks without trying.
The last time I had my hair cut to shorter than my shoulders was when I was about seven or eight years old. For some unknown reason, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Armed with the kitchen scissors and a tissue box to put my fallen hair into, I found a mirror, and started snipping.
Being seven, with no formal hairdressing experience (or life experience), I ended up giving up about halfway through, because I couldn’t reach or see the back. It didn’t take long for my parents to notice, and instead of taking me to the salon to fix it, my dad was given the role of hair stylist.
I think the experience was so traumatic, and I hated the finished result so much, that it put me off having short hair for life; at least, I thought it had.
I’ve always been incredibly shy, too. To a lesser extent now, but this was something that plagued me throughout school; until I forced myself out of shell at university. And I think long hair became one of my security blankets. It was something to hide behind, and it made me feel less exposed in a way.
And I always thought my hair was one of best, most feminine features. Without it, would I be attractive anymore? Would I still feel sexy?
We tend to stereotype women with short hair as masculine and aggressive, and assume she must be a lesbian or bisexual. My hair was a part of my identity, and helped me portray myself to the outside world in a way that said feminine, soft, and pretty. Attributes that our patriarchal society celebrate in women, and often demand of us.
The thought of cutting my hair short terrified me.
What if it made me feel like a man?
What if it just didn’t suit me, and it took ages to grow back?
And what if I did end up feeling naked without my long hair?
At the same time, I was ready for a change.
I’ve done a lot of inner work and growth over the past few years, and pretty much transformed my entire life; and sometimes my long hair reminds me of a woman I no longer am.
I also believe that we store energy in our hair; from past events, experiences, and memories. I’m incredibly sensitive to energy, and I felt this rising urge to be rid of this weight on my head.
So, at the beginning of this year, I got the chop; and my hair was shorter than it has been in over 20 years.
Even as the hairdresser was cutting it, and I saw my thick, dark locks falling to the floor, I felt a release. And it felt really good.
My hair now sat just above my shoulders; and I did feel naked, but I also felt empowered. It sounds cliché to say, but I felt like a new woman. And this fit the dramatic changes I had made (and continue to make) in my life.
Plus, it was refreshing spending so little time washing and drying it. I’d run my fingers through it, or catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, and forget for a split-second that my endless locks were gone.
And I wasn’t sad, I was relieved.
It was as if, with my hair, I released so much subconscious baggage I’d been carting around. Memories, thoughts, and ideas of who I thought I was or should be. They all fell away.
And I realised that if I don’t feel sexy with short hair, then whatever it was I felt when I had long hair was an illusion. It wasn’t coming from inside of me, it was a superficial kind of sexy, that I only felt with the help of a prop.
My hair ended up growing out long again over the past nine months; until I finally made it to the salon last week, and chopped it all off again.
I’m kind of addicted to the feeling now. Cutting my hair short makes me feel free. Clearing out any stagnant energy, feeling a beautiful release, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. It’s liberating, it’s empowering, and truth be told, I’ve never felt more feminine.
I’ve awoken to the realisation that my beauty and my sexual essence are nothing to do with my physical appearance. Yes, I want to look nice and feel nice, for me; but that is no longer dictated by what I think other people think or want.
Who I am is ever-changing. Just because I’ve always been the girl with long hair, it doesn’t mean I have to wear that identity forever. That isn’t me, it’s just a physical appearance I have chosen for most of my life.
Every day, I get to wake up and choose again. You do, too.