01 November, 2013

New Hair, New Me?

Has hair become a form of identity particularly in women?

TV can make us believe many things. Like, when a woman is broken up with what does she do as well as eat lots of chocolate? She changes her hair. She cuts it, dyes it, perms it or straightens it.

Just about anything to change her appearance. She suddenly gets so much attitude and has a gang of girl friends behind her as she tells the rest of the world that, "hey, I'm my own woman now!"

Hair is a form of security. Something we hide under, something we treasure, and use to makes us feel more beautiful. It also is that one more thing we worry about when leaving the house in the morning. 

It can be used to symbolise a positive or negative change, a cry for help or to simply show individuality. 

Now of course these are very general statements. And perhaps they do not resonate with you at all. But have a look at the following examples and hopefully you'll see what I mean. 

1. Now Brittany Spears is a classic example. When she hit rock bottom all those years ago, how did we know? What made the media think she was going off the rails? She shaved her hair off. 

2. In any Top Model show, when the girls have their 'make overs' what happens? There is always that one girl who has to get her hair buzzed or have her eyebrows dyed platinum blonde. And how do they react? They cry and through tantrums. 

3. In The Princess Diaries what makes Mia look like royalty? She undergoes a transformation. They cut and straighten her hair, pluck her eyebrows and give her contacts. Then Bam!

4. In The Incredibles, Violet is seen hiding behind her hair, literally being invisible to those around her. After her family fights evil and saves the world she gains confidence. She is changed. She no longer covers her face and people begin to see her for who she really is.

5. Please don't groan that I am mentioning her, but now we have Miley Cyrus. Her hair just kept on getting shorter and shorter. She has successfully created a new image for herself. This has more to do with her new music then her hair, but it is all apart of it. 

For the past couple months now I have been thinking about cutting my hair. I was too chicken to actually go through with it in the past. I loved my long hair. It was something that I envied and worked for.

I used to be horrified after coming back from a hair appointment whining, "they always cut it too short!" But it's not too hard to believe that I have never been 100% happy with a hair cut, is it?

It's probably because they spend that last half hour styling your hair, that you love. But who are you kidding? You'll never be able to recreate that while you are rushing to get to work.

So you are left on your own. Confused and abandoned by your hairdresser with nothing to do with your hair. You end up putting it up in a pony tail and thinking, you hate this haircut.

But during October I finally got the courage to do it. To get over my long hair. To make an appointment and cut it off.

I decided that long hair was overrated.

Why did I put such a significance on my hair? Why was I always comparing the length of my hair to the girls around me? I realised that it's just one of the things I didn't have to compete in anymore.

Even after telling my hair dresser what I wanted, she asked me, "are you sure you want to do this?" After washing my hair she asked me again. And just before she cut off the first stand she asked the third time.

It's been a couple weeks now since I cut my hair just below my shoulders. And it got me thinking. Did I feel any different? Did I feel free or wake up singing songs while looking in the mirror at the 'new me'?

Not really.

It was a change but I didn't feel much different.

Sometimes I like it, other times I don't.

I like that I can wake up, put some sea salt in it and let it fall however it wants to. But I also miss being able to whip it into a high pony if I don't like it that morning.

I know that my new hair doesn't make me a new person. But I suppose it has inspired me. And by this I mean it has encouraged me to continue doing things a little differently.

Not to worry about unimportant things such as hair. To just embrace change and choose to do things I wouldn't usually do. Because what is the worst thing that could happen?

If I don't like it, it will grow back.

My new hair! (And the biggest salad I have ever been served)

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