About a month ago, I made a drastic decision, one that would change my life for at least one year. It meant letting go of something that I thought identified who I was. It meant letting go of the past. It meant facing a future I wasn’t sure I was ready for. It meant rethinking who I was. It meant rethinking who I was becoming. It meant rethinking decades old beliefs. It meant pushing myself into becoming someone I wasn’t sure I was ready to be.
I cut my hair.
For 15 years, I had hair that went down to my waist. And now? It’s just above my shoulders. And I’m so glad I did it.
The thought of short hair never occurred to me, until recently, the years of coloring my hair and the tangled messes from the color damage started to show. Right after I got my hair colored – heaven! All was hair nirvana. Three weeks later, the ugly tangled messes and grey roots returned and I was back at the hairdresser begging him to make the ugly tresses go away.
In order to get short hair, I had to “undo” many “sacred” personal beliefs.
Years ago, my mother (and my first hypnotist) instilled in me that I must have a hairdresser with long hair, because only hairdressers with long hair understand how much time it takes to grow long hair. Even though her hair was never really long, she made sure I had hairdressers with long hair. My current hairdresser is a man with short hair, who respectfully kept my hair long for the last 2.5 years. Belief shattered.
I had developed a belief that women with short, spiky hair were high strung to the point of poodle-like annoyance. Women with long hair were always so cool and laid back. I had a fear that if I cut my hair, I would be “poodle high strung” too. When I finally realized I was more high strung with long hair than most short haired women…it was time to let that belief go as well! After shattering that belief, I embraced some calming lifestyle changes.
The final belief, was that men overwhelmingly prefer women with long hair over short hair, and I wanted very much to be that “someone” that men preferred. When I realized the three years I was single with long hair netted me a higher turnover of men than Elizabeth Taylor had marriages, I realized maybe, just maybe, the hair had nothing to do with it! This one was so bad, that when I came home with short hair I had a little trepidation that my boyfriend, Doug, would disapprove. A day or so went by, and then he said “I really like your hair.” Belief shattered.
It was cathartic watching the first 8” of hair hit the floor. Next month, I had another 4” cut off the back. Me, and my hair, were happy! We both sprang back to life, no longer weighed down by the past. New sporty layers and welcomed my natural wave like time never passed.
The following weekend, Doug and I went to an art gallery event featuring LEBO (one of our favorite artists). We decided the artists we love decided to be their authentic selves and take chances, so we stepped out of our comfort zone and went to the event with me wearing a corset showing off my back and sleeve tattoos (along with 2 other assets), long velvet skirt and boots, and Doug in a kilt and leather fetish boots. I’m not sure The Ritz Carlton of Sarasota was ready for us to break these barriers, but we no sooner got out of the elevator and people wanted our picture. Others kept staring at us, not sure what to say, and we really didn’t care. The next day, one of the gallery employees took us aside and said “You two were the most bad-ass couple we’ve ever had at one of these events!”
As I think about getting my hair cut now and seeing the remnants of my old beliefs laying on the floor, I felt a piece of me breathe a sigh of release. I was able to let that piece of “old” me go, so I could make space for “new” me. I realized that hair is just “hair.” It is not my identity. I silently thanked the hairs on the floor for their service. And now…I look forward to my next journey on becoming the next best version of my happier self.