When I was a little girl, I longed for luscious flowing long hair that danced in the wind and cascaded down my back because I wasn’t allowed to have long hair. I lived in India at this time and lice were a huge problem. Thus, my mom cut my hair personally to a very short pixie, but not the cute Michelle Williams kind of pixie, no, more like the one my brother sported. Yes, my brother and I had matching haircuts which did tons for our popularity. Come to think of it, this didn’t bother my brother’s popularity, just mine.
The first words I said to mom, when we arrived in the US, were: “can I grow my hair out?” It was a journey my first few years of attempting to grow my hair long. I loved my hair though, especially as a teenager. The thing is, however, as soon as I get it long I am researching the next best short hairstyle mostly because the weight of my hair gets to me. It weighs me down in more ways than one. In the Eighth grade, I started a pattern that I continue till this day: I took 2 years to grow my hair as long as I could until I got sick of it and then, I chopped it off. I did this again in my senior year of high school, right before college. Then, my second year as a teacher. Most recently, I did it December of 2009. I haven’t had short hair since then.
When I look back upon the times I chopped off my hair, it is usually connected to a turning point in my life. Leaving a private middle school to go to a public high school, leaving high school to go to college, leaving a chaotic school to teach at a more together high school, or the last time it happened I had just moved to Boston and was going through a tough transition. Lately, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a pixie haircut or a shoulder length one. Looking back on my patterns though, it makes me question why I feel the need at this time. Is it my way of shedding skin like snakes do? Is it my way of explicitly communicating that I am now a newer, more improved version of myself–Dream2write 33.0?
Because I believe my hair holds many pieces of my spirit, I place much value on it. It is one of the traits that I love about myself. It makes me feel sexy and like a true woman. Yet, cutting my hair is another way of claiming my femininity: It is a way to declare to the world that I am an Indian woman and can sport super short hair. Before I make the executive decision, I usually have the same thought: what if I look like shit and like Samson lose my strength and courage?
What does it take to get a pixie haircut as an adult?
- Apparently, celebrities do it best. Thus, perhaps celebrity status or at least makeup and hair people who are true artists.
- The ability to completely let go of the safety net and allow it all to hangout!
The last bullet is what I really want to work towards. How do I get to a place where I don’t care and can accept myself as I am completely? Perhaps it has to do with letting go of others’ opinions of me. Perhaps it has to do with “owning it” as an old friend used to say. There are very few people who are examples of this in my life. One, especially, who can get under my skin and make me laugh in the same day. A co-worker of mine, C., lets it all hangout. He says it like it is and lives life with no apologies; at least it seems like nothing gets to him. We could all take a little lesson in living life as it is without worry or concern from C. What’s his secret? Allowing everything, literally, to roll off his back.
So, it seems simple: let go, change your patterns, replace negative thoughts with positive, affirmative thoughts. The truth is while my hair defines a part of who I am, I get to define all of me via words, clothes, actions, experiences, and accomplishments. I move forward with a lighter step, with the right haircut. So maybe my hair is a tool that allows me the confidence and courage that is already a part me.