In my world, it takes a process to make a big change (to your hair):
- A big enough reason or a purpose to change
- A clear vision of what you want, combined with the ability to embrace the change and all the parts of the picture that turn out a bit different
- Trust in the artist/s who has the skills to help you with it
- And then just letting go of the outcome (I think the shorter version of this is faith).
Perhaps it shouldn’t be such a process, and when it comes to hair (or life), but for me it has been.
I admire people who do crazy stuff (i.e. have more than a trim and the usual colour) with their hair. I’ve had hair envy of my yoga teacher for years, she always has these amazing, short, funky haircuts, in her natural colour, and when I’m cool enough to embrace short hair I’m getting her to cut mine! But for me the safest place has been growing it long, and then having a lioness mane with no idea what to do with it next. I know not everyone can have a lioness mane, and I am definitely not dissing my really thick, mostly curly, mixed blonde mane. But I’m not 20 anymore (I know, I know it’s OK to think I am!) and the scruffy surfer girl hair doesn’t work on stage when I’m presenting (at the most recent seminar I know I told a lot of stories about Black Sambucca. Why? Uncontrollable wild youth had to get her bit in. Which was fine, and entertaining for everyone I hope, but I’m going for something new). I’m a speaker. On stage. In front of lots of people. I’m having hair that’s about me. SO the outside matches the inside, so there’s less adjusting and fussing and trying to make it right for other people. So when I look in the mirror I see me, and I know who that is.
As well as working (and talking about Black Sambucca), I spent a lot of time over the last weekend stalking a lady in the seminar who had the BEST HAIRCUT I’ve seen, that would be possible for my thick, curly hair. It took two days for me to approach her but before then I’d scoped it out from every angle, asked everyone else in the facilitation team if they thought I could have a haircut like hers (pretty cool that 3 of them are hairdresser’s – not sure if there is a link with the kind of work I do and hairdressing, but 4 of our team are trained in the air of hot hair-dos, and 3 of them were there on the weekend, and the fourth is the person who actually cut my hair), and really thought hard about it, before I asked her if I could photograph her haircut from every angle so I could copy it. She was most gracious about it in fact, and I brought the pictures home and had all my hair (and there was LOTS of it) cut off the next day.
I love it! It’s the first time ever in my 39 years that I have wholeheartedly embraced getting a major haircut without fear and trepidation, and then been totally justified in not having in fear and trepidation (which says something about how much fear and trepidation hold us back). It seems that perhaps before now I’ve been getting braver bit by bit (something to do with having a great hairdresser as a friend, who owns Hot Locs and who knows how to make my hair do what she wants), instead of jumping, wholeheartedly into it. Bit by bit bravery just takes a lot longer than whole hearted courageousness. See for the first time, I’d got the process in order starting with the purpose. And the purpose was more than I want to look good on stage, to people, to anyone who looks at me. The purpose became I want to look like me. And that lioness mane was getting in the way!
It was liberating. Not quite like skydiving, but still pretty cool to have a foot-lengths of hair falling onto the ground, and not have ANY anxiety about that at all. And somehow my smile is bigger, my head feels lighter, my face is clearer and I feel more like me.
So it appears I wasn’t ready for this before. Whatever it is that this represents. But it’s more than a haircut.