The Reconciliation

With all the good reasons I had, for breaking up with my hair, when I shaved it off in November; I honestly thought I was mature enough to handle the down side of being apart from it. 

I knew there would be days that I would miss it, but at the time, I felt those thoughts would come and go, and I would be above the vanity of not having gorgeous locks.

But, I am having a harder time with this than I thought. And maybe it’s not about vanity. All I know is, it’s more important than I thought. Maybe it’s about loving a part of myself that I was blessed with. 

I said to myself, “Its just hair, it will grow back.” In the Youtube video I made (pre-shave) I asked why we put such importance on our hair and why it seemed to make or break our identity.

I thought I would confidently rock the shave, which I did; but then I expected to have a cute short haircut a few months later. After the novelty of the shave wore off, I was stuck with a burr and then a very short boyish haircut. 

It’s been three months and it has only grown an inch. If you put a ruler in the top of your head and measure an inch, you would see that is still pretty short for hair.

I guess I thought it would grow faster. I expected a pretty pixi-cut by three months, but the top is so short, I still don’t have bangs. 

Having had short hair once, I thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, but having this extremely short hair is a bigger deal than I anticipated.  

Do I regret the shave? No.

Because I wanted this experience.  I wanted to recognize the agony or frustration other women go through who have lost their hair. Because, it IS a big deal. And now I know it is a much bigger deal than I made it out to be. 

I thought we had to be pretty superficial to think how a woman wears her hair was important.  That it was shallow to worry about hair, to spend what we do on hair, or the time we take styling our hair. I wanted to prove that all this was meaningless.

I have been schooled. 

I am the one finding out that our hair IS important.  It may not be our soul, but it is a big part of our essence. 

So when a woman goes through chemo treatments, in which she loses her hair, I think after a while, it really is a big deal and they, like me, are impatiently waiting for regrowth. 

While saving their life; losing their hair is a small price to pay. But as they regain their health, I know they want to see their hair grow, and it does take a long time.

Those with auto immune disorders, who may or may not be able to grow their hair back would have to decide one of two things; to embrace their baldness and find confidence to be who they are or find the best wigs to make themselves comfortable and keep hoping and searching for treatment. 

As for me, I am a long-hair-person. I am “me” when my hair is long. I was born under the sign of Leo, so I compared myself without my long hair, with a lion losing their mane.

I looked online and found an article about lions losing their mane. If they are neutered, they eventually begin losing their mane. A male lion’s mane is a big part of the attraction when mating. It’s a big deal.

So, as I am three month’s in, post shave, I feel like I have a boys haircut, but I also am noticing my natural hair color and texture and so far, I like the medium brown with gray “highlights.”

But because I see how important my hair is to me, after breaking up with it, I reserve the right to go back to blonde if I don’t feel good with the brown/gray. I hope I don’t.  I hope to save the money I’d spend at a salon (and the time) but who knows how I will feel? My hair should be what I’d like to express to the world, and to myself. 

I truly expected not to have such strong emotions about my hair when I decided to shave it. I wanted this break up. I wanted time to not worry about blow drying, curling, or highlighting. I wanted to break free of chemical damage, split ends, and breakage. 

And I admit, I love that part. I love the feel of my soft, virgin, strong hair. I am still excited to see what it will look like all grown out in my natural color. But the way it is going, I’m afraid this will be a longer journey than just a year’s time. 

I didn’t expect to have my full length in a year, but I’d hoped to at least have a bob or shoulder length by a year. At this rate, I will be lucky just to have a full set of bangs that reach my eyebrows. 

If anyone who has followed this project, has contemplated shaving their own hair off, I offer this advice; if you are used to long hair and it is pretty much a part of your identity – don’t do it. 

If you like short hair, and you don’t mind keeping it short, it might be good for you if you have damaged your hair. It doesn’t take long to grow to a short cut. But if you plan to grow it back out, be ready for how long it actually takes. 

There will be months of “boyish” style that you can’t do anything with, and when you put on a certain outfit you’ll take it right back off because it doesn’t “go” with the extremely short hair.

Like I said, I don’t regret doing this, but I do have a new appreciation for my hair. I appreciate the time we take for our hair, the  styles that make us feel good, and the money we spend to get it how we want it.

I want to reconcile with my hair. 

If it will have me back, I want to love it again, spoil it, give it attention, and never fret over the cost or time I invest in my hair. My hair is worth it. It’s a part of me. And I am blessed to have my hair.  

So, I’m in a relationship with my hair again, but we still have a lot of growing to do.

jenjeffreybillington@gmail.com

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