Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Five Ways Changing Your Hair Changes Who You Are

I was terrified. I sat in the chair, feeling as if it was made of daggers. My heart pounded and every inch of me screamed to get up, to run, to flee for my life. My captor held the sharpened tools to my head, the edges glinting in the glaring light, and said: “So, sweetie, what are we doing with your hair today?”

“B-bangs,” I choked out. “J-just bangs.”

As the hair stylist wrapped that black, choking frock of death around my neck, I closed my eyes, and thought, This is the end.

Why is changing our hair such a big decision? I don’t know about you, but even the slightest change, such as getting bangs, was a huge source of conflict for me. I’d always had long, brown hair. Sometimes I got highlights, or dyed it darker, but it had always been long and brown.

I think a big reason for this was because that’s how I was forced to keep it while I modeled; as a model, any physical aspect of yourself is not yours to explore, to style, to dictate. And as soon as I quit modeling, I began a new relationship, and lingering confidence issues from fashion modeling made me think I would be undesirable if I changed my hair in any way.

But after about six months of freedom from modeling and getting settled into my relationship, I realized something crazy: my hair didn’t define me. This realization didn’t come easily. Even as I sat down at the hairdresser, I had regrets. What would I even look like?

But getting bangs didn’t just give me a new look. It unleashed a floodgate of desire to experiment with my hair—and so, my identity—and a new-found sense of self-worth. I went on to cut my hair just below my ears, to bleaching it and dying it blonde (which you can find out more about on our Youtube channel), to growing my bangs out, to dying it bright pink, and finally, to having it red.

Throughout this hair journey, I’ve learned a lot, not just about my locks, but about myself. Here’s five ways changing your hair changes who you are.

1.) It’s liberating. I could not believe how I felt when I got all my hair cut off; I finally felt like I wasn’t ruled by my hair, like my beauty didn’t depend on if my hair was styled or not. I’ll fully admit I looked like a boy if I didn’t wear make-up, but it was freeing! When I change my hair, I can be anyone I want: a spunky red-head, a classic blonde, the girl-next-door.

2.) It gives you confidence. There is no better feeling than showing off a new ‘do. Take p
ride in the change and let the compliments roll in! Finding out you can pull of a new hairstyle can increase your self-assurance—and even if it didn’t turn out well (my super saiyan hair, anyone?), then getting over the initial shock and rocking a strange hair style definitely forces you to be confident!

3.) It’s fun. Honestly, it’s just plain awesome to see the reveal, whether it’s a hair stylist turning your chair to the mirror or stepping out of the shower to see your new colour. Watching your own metamorphosis is entertaining!

4.) Change is healthy. I was in hair purgatory, constantly afraid of altering my look. But like anything, change helps us grow, and a hair cut is a great way to trigger an emotional change. As Coco Chanel said, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”

5.) It’s just hair! As terrifying as it may be to alter your look, it is just hair! You can always dye it back to its original colour, go to a professional, grow it back. Sure, sometimes I crave my long, brown hair, but I know I can always have that look again. As for my next style? Well, I’ll just have to see how I feel next week.

Anyone have any hairy stories? I’d love to see them in the comments!

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