Last week I had a scary realization that I am only days away from my BIG hair cut. For those that don’t know me I have about 41, maybe 42 inches of wavy blonde hair starting from my hairline down the back of my head, I guess that’s the official way to measure. I have debated for years about cutting my hair. The time has finally come together. About a month ago I scheduled the appointment and on March 23, THIS SUNDAY. I will be cutting 24 inches of hair. I can’t believe I’m doing this.
Here is my rebuttal for all the arguments to not cut my hair that I can think of. If you have a reason why I shouldn’t cut my hair please post it in the comments. If you don’t care about a debate about hair please skip to the bottom, I have a question I would like everyone to help me with. Rebuttals:
But it’s so beautiful!
Eh. Ok, it’s only pretty when it’s down for the first couple hours and that’s only if I don’t have to go in the car. When I wear it up it’s flat against my head and I just look harsh. The people that are the most sad to see my hair go are the ones I feel the worst for. If I had known someone with hair as long as mine who had chopped it off I would have been devastated and would most likely think that they look better with long hair. As my hair grows back this time I will try to love every part of the process. I was never satisfied with my hair at any length, my old roommate reminds me of this all the time. I am going to do all I can to love my hair at every stage.
What if I regret it/look terrible with short hair?
Bummer. Yes I am worried that the moment it’s chopped I will wish I had never done it but at least I will finally know for sure that I don’t look good in short hair and it will grow back. Also, there are SO many short hairstyles you would think I could find one I like on me. It’s not the end of the world. I like hats and scarves. Looking at pictures of long hair might help me forget. Maybe I can wear a scarf that has a long tail down the back so it feels like a braid.
What if it never grows back as nice?
If it doesn’t come back the same that’s really sad but I’m confident there is a hairdresser out there that can work with what I have and make me look fabulous. If I get desperate I’ll hire a nutritionist and really zone in on foods that support hair growth. I’ll get healthy for long hair! If that still doesn’t work then I’ll be grateful that the best of my hair went to good use instead of just turning into old hair or whatever I’m guessing might happen.
Why not just cut off a few inches? Maybe to your elbows?
Go big or go home! – Nah, I don’t always say that. Right now I have virgin hair that’s sellable or usable in a wig, the more I cut the more it’s worth. I want the cut to have the most value. I want the hair to be repurposed. The curiosity of seeing myself with short hair has also gotten the best of me. What would my curls do? Also, I would love to go blonder and I feel guilty chemically treating my longer hair. Short hair will give me more to play with.
What about all those women that would love to have your hair?
Well, what I do to my hair won’t change anything. Also, there’s always more beautiful hair somewhere else. Today I saw half a dozen women with hair that I thought was prettier than mine.
What if your husband doesn’t love you as much with short hair and he leaves you for someone else?
How do you like that? I thought of that all by myself. Jason has been encouraging me to cut my hair I think because I talk about it all the time. Also, because we need to clean out the drain once again and you should see the hairballs that get created in the dryer. He’s a practical person, look at his buzz cut. I guess the only way I’ll know for sure is if I cut my hair and he does leave me but I told him about this possibility and he teased me until I saw the absurdity and shallowness in it. Seriously though, sometimes I think that my long hair is the only thing I’ve got going for me – and I don’t even like it. That’s a terrible self image to have. Maybe this is me putting too much hope into cutting my hair but sometimes I wonder if my hair holds me back from working out more. I don’t want to wash it every day, it takes forever to dry, there’s no real way to keep it out of the way when I’m being active, etc. In my happy little world having a lighter head of hair will make me feel lighter, which will make me feel more energetic which will make me be more active which will make me lose weight. Viola, if I cut my hair I’ll get skinny! Kidding. Still, what if? It’s kind of like that saying “I would do anything to be thin, except eat less and exercise regularly – so I’ll try cutting my hair instead.”
What if you lose your Chi/powers?
You know, like Sampson. Yes, I do know people that believe Chi is stored in your hair, it’s your history and knowledge or something. One of these people told me a story that during Vietnam they recruited some Native Americans to track in the jungles because they were still passing tracking skills down through generations but they Army soon realized that when they gave these Native American soldiers the standard military cut they were no longer able to track. The ones they did allow to keep their hair tracked just fine in the new environment. We won’t even get into the validity of the story. It’s like a modern day Sampson.
Well, since I’m not aware of the power in my hair maybe I won’t be aware when it’s gone? Will I quit being able to do art? I consider that my greatest power. It would be terrible if creativity could be cut out of me. I hope it’s not possible. Sometimes when I don’t do art for awhile I’m afraid that I’ve lost the skill. I was curious/concerned enough to ask my acupuncturist about Chi stored in the hair and I don’t really remember the exact explanation she gave me but it was something about it being an individual thing. Maybe those Native Americans were traumatized when they lost their hair, maybe it’s significantly spiritual to have long hair so that they were too flustered to track…ok, we’re not going back to that story. Basically, my acupuncturist could see that I have put a lot of emotion into my hair and for me it would be a release to cut it, clearing out the clutter. You know, I’ve been thinking about cutting my hair for about 9 years? What will I think about for the next 9 years before I actually follow through?
Are you going to donate it?
We’ll see. I don’t trust Locks of Love. I’ve heard too many bad reviews about them. I haven’t thoroughly researched that so if I do decide to donate I will look at a place I trust. I would be honored if my hair was made into a wig for someone that needed it. It’s kind of a bummer to think of it going for extensions for pageant contestants or dolls. So far I have checked with a wig place and it sounds like IF they bought my hair they would offer $200 or $300 which isn’t that much but it is a lot to offer to charity. Maybe I can sell my hair and donate $50 to charity or something. Can we come to a deal? Can I get money for myself and still be considered generous? I’ve posted my hair for sale on a website with no luck but I’ve seen hair on there going for $800 to $4000 depending on length, thickness, and color. No serious offers yet.
Here are my 3 reasons for cutting my hair that have several sub-reasons built in:
- One thing that I have pondered and revisited often is a guided meditation that I got to go on with Sophia Ojha. I ended up imaging myself as a wildly successful artist. I was happy, I had huge paintings in galleries and I could feel and see creativity flow through me like a sunbeam. I was also weightless and floating, added bonus. I still love that vision. I even remember what I was wearing, I had on a dark navy knit shirt, dark bootleg jeans and fleece lined moccasins. I even went and made the outfit in polyvore. Oneday I’ll own so many pairs of those moccasins. The funny things is that I don’t even a pair of moccasins yet. The other thing that I could see distinctly was that my hair was big and curly and barely past my shoulders. I don’t know if you call it superstition or a sign but I contemplated what that short hair meant to me versus what my long hair is doing for me now. While I watch movies and love all the long hair in Lord of the Rings and Tangled the long hair I want is from a fantasy. All the classic paintings with the thick ropes of hair to their knees, all the children’s book illustrations I’ve seen of coils of hair blowing in the wind; I glorify long hair like they did in the olden days but this isn’t a John William Waterhouse painting. In this life I would look terrible in those low belted dresses, I do not tend to my hair like I should, and I rarely like how it looks (yes, I guess my standards are too high). My hair no longer reflects my style and personality. It has slowly become this long weight that comes out of my head. I do as little as I can to maintain it. It’s too long to style and I have no patience. When I had shorter curly hair I could not wait for the time I could have a braid going all the way to my waist. Now, I see my curly hair as me and it has to be shorter to have curls, yes, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” I did not realize how delicate my curls were, the extra weight and always keeping my hair in a bun has made my hair straight but I am a curly girl! I am an artist through and through, I see, I paint, I think, like an artist. I want to match that image I have of an artist. It just so happens that when I see myself as being taken for a serious artist I have short hair. Don’t know why, that’s just how it is.
- I have a new story. This year will mark 10 years since I went on my year long trip around the world. It will also be the 10 year anniversary of when I started hiking the Appalachian Trail. Somehow I got it in my head that the ends of my hair is still hair that was in Antarctica. I can’t verify that “fact” anymore I feel like all the stories of my travels are wrapped in my hair and I’m not that single girl any more. I’m married, I’m working to be a profitable artist, my hubby is graduating soon and we will be on a brand new uncertain adventure together. When I traveled I believed my long hair helped me relate to the countries that had the more “traditional” view of women. I wasn’t some Westerner with trendy hair. I feel that this new adventure I am about to go on is going to be much more fast paced and now my hair is more like the cape that could get sucked up in the jet engine (The Incredibles, anyone?) I don’t understand why I have to make a symbolic chop to cut away from my past but I do. I guess it’s a common thing for women to do, especially after breakups. Check out Maya talking about shaving her head. I found her while I was going through all the things that I would miss to see if they would out weigh this deep urge to cut my hair. Now I’m a big fan of hers. There is a change coming and I want to welcome it. Now is the time for preparation. I will miss my long braid, I will miss twirling my hair when my fingers are in my lap but we can’t hold on to everything, can we? One day I will have long hair again but for now I will pass this braid on and experience unpredictable curls.
- I think about my hair TOO much! Do you not see by now all the symbolism I’ve piled onto my hair? It’s ridiculous. No inanimate object that isn’t even a permanent loss when I get rid of it should have such a hold on me! Women are way too obsessed about their hair, think about it too much, put too much of their identity in it, and I’ve had enough. Look how long of a blog I’ve dedicated just to the thought of cutting my hair! Aren’t you ready to get the scissors for me by now? I will save myself so much more thinking time. It’s not that big of a deal! Seriously. I have watched so many women shave their heads on youtube. Many of them had longer and hair that I was jealous of and they went BALD. This is nothing. Yes, I have considered shaving my head for this reason but I don’t think that’s necessary….but we’ll see how I feel when it’s short.
Ok, so now, these are my last days with long hair. What are the last things I need to do before I chop it all off? Please let me know. Here is my own list:
- take pictures Done done done. Thank you to a wonderful supportive friend, Karen Obas who takes such beautiful portraits. Please check out her stuff and schedule your next photo shoot with her. I think I’m going to ask her not to show me the pictures until I’m ready to see them. I don’t want to talk myself out of this.
- THIS. Thanks to my friend Dreya for sharing this with me months ago. I cannot cut my hair until I make a beard braid. I’ll post pictures.
- I will also wear my hair down or in a braid every day this week. I’ll probably even keep it combed.
- There’s a style that is in the photo collage at the top that I would like to do one last time. I was never able to get it the same but I’d like to give it one more try.