My first grade haircut: the pixie. It was overwhelming, and sort of magical.
At least I think it was supposed to be.
My mom made a big deal about it. Won’t this be fun!
Afterwards a celebration with a Creamsicle shake bigger than me at the local diner where she worked.
She was so happy and seemed proud of me…of my haircut.
Exactly why this haircut was such a wondrous thing was not clear to me. But who was I to pass up a special moment with just me and my mom. It was ALL about ME!
Yet even at 6 my inner dialogue asked, why are you the one who needs the haircut?
No one talked about my older sister chopping her long straight blonde hair.
We both once had the same short haircut when we were younger. I told myself it’s probably because she’s older (even though it was only by a year and a half).
Or the fact my mom was always telling me to brush my hair because it looked ‘strubbily.’
So I cut my hair and she was happy, and seemed happier with me.
Some four decades later, the pixie became a symbolic part of my transformative journey. In recent years I was pleased to reclaim my own long blonde hair.
Even the tedious monthly coloring to hide the grey felt like taking control of being the best me.
But at some point I started looking forward to my snowy white roots. I just stopped covering them up.
They couldn’t grow fast enough, I wanted more of my natural hair color. It had been so long since I even knew what that might be.
Why did I think hiding my natural hair color made me more presentable?
Many discussions about going grey, ranging from ‘do it, just cut it all off’ from women with radiant grey hair to ‘sure eventually, but not now’ from younger friends just fed my uncertainty. But exactly what was stopping me? Why was I afraid to be my natural (read: real) self?
Today I decided to cut my hair. A quick Google search on why Buddhist monks shave their heads was the final inspiration. It represents cutting off the three poisonous attitudes. Confusion, which creates ignorance. Hostility, which causes suffering.
Attachment, the empty pursuit of happiness through things and appearances (delusion).
I kept my eyes closed the entire time. I happily chatted away with my stylist. I admitted to her that I may hate it at first but I am fine with that, and she shouldn’t be concerned. A quick consult with the colorist and all agreed absolutely no coloring was needed to blend anything. My glorious grey was peeking through everywhere and looking perfectly fine. Any remaining color would be gone soon enough with the next haircut or two.
That little 6 year old girl was finally empowered.
I feel like I just shed a lot of unnecessary weight I’ve been carrying around for too long.