I find it weird how much our hair has to do with how we see ourselves. It is one of the first descriptors that we provide about someone. It is one of the first features that we notice.
Our hair is such a vital part of how we see ourselves that society even acknowledges the presence of “Bad Hair Days” as a valid reason to have an off day.
I am beginning to realize that my feelings about my hair at any season of my life are a fairly decent indication of my mental state at the time, of my internal confidence, or lack of.
As a person with naturally auburn and curly hair, I disliked the attention it brought to me when I was young. I shied away from it, longing to be able to hide.
I even remember having my mom give me a pixie cut to see if it would reduce the attention.
As a teenager, I was envious of the blonde and brunette beauties all around me. My hair was typically worn in a ponytail or braid.
My hair has gone through so many stages over the year.
The years that I tried to force it to “behave” and to be what was expected.
The times I permed it, straightened it, dyed it, and tried to hard to make it follow the status quo and be what it appeared everyone else had.
The times I hated it, and allowed other’s opinions to determine what it should be.
Then something strange happened around 7 years ago, I gave in.
I started to allow my hair to be what it wanted to be. I stopped forcing it to be something it is not.
Some days, it is wild and uncontrolled. Some days it is more subdued.
Over the past few years, I have stopped dying it, and even embraced the change of colors that come with age. It has been growing out for a few years and is now the longest it has been in years.
There are days where the curls are neat and smooth, there are days when they are wild and fizzy. I recently commented that I was loving the curl pattern on a particular day, and the response I received was, “Really?” as the pattern was particularly wild that day. I stopped to think and realized that yes, I did in fact like the crazy look. I have learned to embrace both.
I am not sure if others experience the same connection between their hair and how they view themselves. For me, there is a definite connection.
At forty, I finally feel at peace with my hair, and more directly, with myself.