More people than ever are experiencing alopecia. Hair loss from drugs, chemo, cancer, chronic illness, hormonal imbalance.
I am priveleged that my mane is thick and healthy, an adaptable color and medium wave. I am very blessed, and I know that. I want to know some of how the other half lives.
Historically, and still in some parts of the world, to shave the head of a woman is one step removed from rape. It is a sign of humiliation and shame, a taking by force of something she values, stripping dignity. A man can do it in a fit of moral passion and still sleep at night.
It was meant to brand the “wayward woman”, the rebel. The social outcast. The less-than. The UnWoman.
Come on, baby, light my fire…
I have talked to women who are in relationships where the other person will literally not allow them to cut their hair, or has such strong opinions about its beauty value and what the loss of it would be that the woman is too afraid to lose their appeal or worth in that person’s eyes.
I have been that woman.
I have hidden behind my hair, distracted myself with updating it when I couldnt or wouldnt change other things in my life that needed attention.
I have tried more products, styles, changes, and accessories than I care to count. A lot of them worked for me! I am priveleged with great hair, I can carry off a variety of styles and looks. Almost everything looks good on me.
I don’t know if it’s because of the amount of blessing or not, but for me my hair has been both a canvas of experimentation and a visible barometer of my internal journey. So if I feel my hair is not reflecting my state-of-soul, I get dissatisfied.
Until recently when I figured this out, I just thought I was a flighty and shallow, insecure bitch!! And so have a lot of hair stylists and probably my husband, LOL!
Also…I’m kinda just done. Not even pixie-cut done, SHAVE done.
I have really thick hair. REALLY THICK. I get flaky scalp, oily sebum stuff that gets under my nails, and after the first day post shower it just ends up pulled back, out of the way. And then I get headaches and tender scalp because it’s so heavy.
My hair is in my way.
I am a mother of a toddler. Or should I say, tugger.
I want some freedom.
Also, I’d like to switch it up and spend more time with makeup when I go out because I KNOW what my hair is doing!
This hair has been with me through some of the most stressful times of my life, to date. It and my cells are carrying the memory of that.
I can’t slough off all my old cells, though they will all be replaced within a year. Except for my hair… that I can chose to part with, now.
So many cultures have traditions of hair cutting. For grief, repentance, marriage, shame, new beginnings.
I ran across a quote on Pinterest, “A woman who changes her hair is about to change her life.”
And I am.
I want to finally get back to my art post-baby.
I want, for the first time in my LIFE, to join a gym.
I am finally in a new state for the first time, away from parents and friends and anyone who knows me or expects anything of it.
Yes, my husband (a cis hetero man) is complaining. I really do have awesome hair, and I know that. But, he also understands. He has shaved his head multiple times, and is encouraging me out the other side of his mouth to go for it and experience it.
I have amazing eyes, flawless ears, good skin, a dramatic mouth, and (hopefully) enough chutzpah to carry this off. 🙂
Plus, he might do it with me!!
So, in a sacred (and slightly scared) act of female empowerment and hair activism, I will be learning to love myself for what is there without anything to hide behind or blame.
It will free me to shower more and care for my skin alone, decorate my face, explore core confidence, change my style and habits, embrace new routines and develop my body’s potential for beauty.
As it grows, I hope to have an entirely natural hair care routine, along with brushing and oiling and many fun cuts along the way!
I am excited to learn and love my hair from the roots upward. 🙂
Have you ever engaged in a drastic hairstyle change? How did it make you feel? What, if anything, did it change for you?