Photos by: Annie LeMonnier
A month ago, my hair was the longest it had been in nearly three years. After having wanted long hair since cutting it in the eighth grade, I’ve gotten bored growing it and kept cutting it shorter over and over again. This summer however, I’d left it alone and fallen in love with my seemingly endless locks. As someone who has hated their hair since the third grade, I had finally reached my nirvana.
This all changed two days before my junior year. After making the impulsive decision to let a friend cut my hair, a choice I haven’t made since freshmen year (when I was given a mullet by one of my best friends and vowed to never let it happen again,) I went ahead with it. Though I knew in the back of my mind that this was a bad idea, especially since I finally had the length I wanted, I felt on top of the world and as if nothing could bring me down, no matter what my hair looked like. A trashcan full of purple hair later, I was in front of the mirror crying over the final product. My locks were the shortest they’ve ever been — seven months of patience completely down the drain. With the first day of school and NYFW all happening within the next couple days, it felt like the end of the world. I cried. A lot. Facing all my classmates within two days, along with having to go to multiple high fashion events looking like a cross between Joey Ramone and Coconut Head from Ned’s Declassified was not even close to ideal. I went to bed with the hope I’d wake up and have all my hair back.
With every haircut, there is a period of shock. After losing something I was so proud of, I didn’t feel anything like myself and became incredibly unhappy with my appearance which bizarrely affected my idea of self worth. Having what seemed like such hard work and a huge part of my beauty chopped off, within a matter of minutes, created an idea that this made me less attractive and likable, something completely ridiculous. Though the shock period was quite a horrible forty eight hours, there was a moment of acceptance in which I had to come to terms that my hair was gone and this is what I had to work with.
Though I will surely never ever ever (ever) repeat this mistake, in some ways I’m happy this happened. First of all, my tresses were ridiculously damaged and after losing all those over processed pieces, my hair is the healthiest it’s ever been. This haircut also made me realize how trivial hair is. What seemed like my most prized possession was sitting in a trashcan minutes later and in a couple months, it’ll all be back. Hair is so temporary. Along with this was the horrible regrowth of that terrible side-shave I’d gotten earlier in the year; my hair has finally evened out! All this aside, I would’ve never cut my hair this short under normal circumstances due to my need to hide behind my hair, and think of it as more than some dead skin cells attached to my scalp. Losing what I thought of as the biggest part of me has made me appreciate so many other attributes I have, and look at not just my face, but my overall self, in a completely different way. Something so temporary and easily changeable should never control your life.