So, I finally shaved off all my hair and it’s been such a relief! For so long who I am and what I believe about myself have been wrapped up in my hair. Scary thought I tell ya. I don’t know how this feels for other women but growing up I always had long hair. This hair has always been commented on. Don’t ask me why people think it is their place to impose their comments on me. In reality it gave me anxiety and led to feelings of fear. After hearing about 20 years ago I was going to lose all my hair, I became overwhelmed with feelings of dread. After all, wasn’t who I am inexplicably wrapped up in my hair? I stopped highlighting, coloring, cutting and mistreating my hair. The hair that I had taken for granted all my life, but others seemed enamored with. I became a hair expert in my head. I learned about all sorts of new ways to care for my hair and was able to grow my hair repeatedly to waist length.
As the years passed and I realized that through proper care and nutrition, I was able to keep my hair, I stopped caring as much and became secretly resentful when others would comment on the beauty of my hair. What does that mean I would ask myself. Does that mean I become someone else with a bald head? Would my loved ones suddenly stop loving me were all my hair to fall out?
Still people would continue to ask insensitive questions, however unaware. Is my hair real? Why does that even matter I would think, though my polite upbringing and Christian tendencies would stop me from really giving them an earful. As I grew and evolved, that fear and irritation slowly turned to self-acceptance. I took a look at my children one day after spending 5 hours at a hair salon and realized I had had enough. I woke my eldest daughter from her sleep, got out the scissors and told her to start cutting it off. She, being the dutiful daughter God blessed me with, obliged. I have decided to go natural. I no longer use chemicals in my hair. I do however reserve the right to do whatever it is that I want with MY own hair whenever I please. SO, DON’T JUDGE ME. I am not my hair. You are not your hair. You are who you want to be. Long, short, permed, natural, colored, weaved. This is your body, your life and your decision. You have the final say. It belongs to you. You won’t mess up your hair though you may find the perceptions of others have changed. Use this as an opportunity to look into them and see them for who they really are.
I’ve had so many friends and acquaintances tell me about their own experiences with hair, the faces in the media and how the comments of others have negatively impacted their views of their own hair. Its ok if others don’t get the journey of self-acceptance or self-exploration that you are on. It’s even ok if they act like idiots. DO YOU and keep on smiling anyway.
P.S. I no longer worry about sweating out my hair 🙂