I’ve had a strange attachment to my long hair for maybe the last decade. It sounds dramatic, but my hair has been a comfort blanket for me. It began in the mid-2000s when there was a trend for wearing hair in a bob style. I committed to the fashion when I was 15 and loved it. As a teenager, I loved it because I thought it made me look older.
I was a brunette with an angular nose and glasses. Because of this, I was told I looked like Meg from Family Guy. Meg was a character who was designed by male writes to be “undesirable” to a mass audience. And so began a complex about never letting my hair be short ever again. I associated having short hair with being ugly. From the ages of 17-21 I wore extensions every single day. I would curl my hair so they blended in, because I didn’t want anyone to know I had shorter hair in case they wanted to see it naturally. As a rule I would never wear my hair up. I thought it was unflattering – which is one of my least favourite words in the English language.
The upkeep was damaging
My hair was damaged as a result of the constant work to keep my hair perfect. I couldn’t wear an up-do because I felt like it exposed my round face and double chin. Of course, this was a big no-no in the world of beautiful faces and tightly worn pony-tails.
After university I worked as a cleaner. Eventually, I softened to wearing my hair up. Work meant that it was impossible to wear it down. I experimented with buns and plaits. Soon, I realised no one cared about my face shape, and eventually neither did I. In the same way that I became comfortable with leaving the house with no make up on, I became comfortable with showing my features.
How did I overcome these thoughts? I’ve had a lot of life changes recently. I’m not sure why, but my hair symbolised something archaic in my life. It represented a decade of negativity. I recently have gone through a messy break up and while a hairstyle change can be a cliche, it can be totally necessary.
So, I decided to jump in at the deep end.
Next thing I knew, I was sat in the chair at a local salon, watching the inches be cut off. It was a complete impulse booking. I managed to get an appointment the same day I thought about it. I honestly didn’t feel nervous or excited – it was just a change. But a change that would represent a new beginning. Years ago, if my hair didn’t look exactly as I had hoped after visiting the salon, I would have stayed off college until it was fixed. I would cry and become a mess.
Now, even though I have mixed feelings towards my new style, I know it’s not permanent. I’m totally at peace with my new beginning and the changes in my life that it represents.
Here’s to new beginnings, coming out of my comfort zone and being happy.
How is your relationship with your hair? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments!