“Nothing feels right,” I think to myself, assessing my features with the utmost ridicule. “Nothing looks right either.”
I need an immediate change. Something to help me step outside myself, or further into myself. To be honest, I don’t really know. I just need something different. I need it right now. I need to not feel like my present self.
I grab at my hair, twist it around. I pull sections of it back, dropping them with dramatic dissatisfaction. Part of me wants to grab the scissors and snip. I used to have bangs. I think I liked the way they looked. But I also remember the feeling of hair-cut remorse. “You hate having short hair,” I remind myself. “It always seems like a good idea until you do it.”
But then I remember that I still have a few boxes of hair dye tucked away beneath the sink. I pull out the bottles of lavender and chocolate brown. I locate the developer and discover a small bottle of toner hiding just behind. I have everything I need. Giddy with excitement, I start sectioning my hair.
I’m channeling my inner artist as I paint over my dull boring strands of hair, wincing as I glaze over the speckled silvery roots that have been daunting me with my own mortality for the last couple of years.
Instantly, I feel relieved. When I rinse out my hair, I feel different. I look in the mirror. I look different. I’m not longer the same person that I was 30 minutes ago. I have changed.
My hair is, therefor I am.
I know my ladies feel me on this. The bulk of us have experienced this impulse- typically induced by an emotional rollercoaster of some affect. Our hair is a physical embodiment of our emotional wellbeing and strife; our accomplishments and transitions.
Women are outwardly stigmatized by the state of their hairstyle not only by men or other women, but particularly themselves. Most females (and men- I didn’t forget about ya’ll with your beautiful locks, but this one’s for the girls.) with colorful, choppy, ever-changing hair will joke (are they joking?) that they’ve been through a lot of shit.
Yes, she ultimately went for it because she loves the hairstyle. But what gave her the final push into that salon chair or bathroom mirror reflection? After all, this change will alter that person looking back at her.
Look good, feel better.
It doesn’t have to be anything monumental. Just a light trim, perhaps a touch up of the roots. A light, fresh look. But that small improvement already has you feeling better about yourself.
On a different side of that same coin, you might want something dramatic. And sometimes that urge may strike in the middle of the night. In a frantic act of desperation/rage/devastation, you take matters into your own hands. You choose your weapon. Scissors, a razor; perhaps a combination of the two if you’re feeling creative. The point isn’t to make it look good, not in that moment. It’s the need to feel/see an immediate difference.
You can’t change how you feel on the inside. And maybe that isn’t the point. Maybe you’ve already changed, but the person you see in your reflection is unrecognizable. They look the same. You need to change that. You can shed this part of yourself. Shed what is no longer relevant.
Our hair is the only part of ourselves where we can see immediate and dramatic change physically (without harming ourselves). It’s a change that we can control. A haircut can alter your look entirely. As can a color correction, or the addition of highlights.
It can signify an end of an era, or the beginning of one. It’s a silent scream that tells the world, “I HAVE BEEN CHANGED!” Without ever having to say anything at all. It’s a secret that you can have with yourself, mischievously placed on display. No one has to know.
Here (hair) is proof you are growing and changing.
And if you feel that you’ve made a mistake, you know that it will always grow back. Because that’s what hair does. It grows. (Unless you are balding- I assume I’ve lost the lot of you at this point; but if you’re still here, this metaphor clearly isn’t for you.)
Your hair is proof of your growth. It is proof that you are always changing. It is physical growth that you can see and control and manipulate.
You know what I mean. When you feel good, you might put in a little more effort. Even style your hair. Or even the opposite, if you’re feeling down, dressing up might lift your spirits. No? Not feeling it? Just wrap it up in a bun and go on with your day.
I know that I can only speak for myself. Some women (and men, duh.) could give a shit about their hair. That level of effort facilitates another mentality altogether. You have other things to worry about. That unruly, unkempt- or incredibly short and manageable hairdo decision still reflects your current state of mind.
So as much as you want to judge the selfie-crazed, “New Hair, New Me!” types you have to consider the validity behind the obnoxious tag line. Their hair is the embodiment of their growth.