February 12, 2015

Hair today, gone tomorrow… I’ve had a love-hate relationship with my hair my whole life.  It’s strange, my hair.  I was born with black hair that turned red.  The red turned blonde. The blonde turned brown.  The brown turned red again.  The red turned dark auburn.  The auburn stayed until I had kids and then the black came back. That’s all without coloring it! I was most comfortable as a red-head, so that’s what I went back to.  The color isn’t the annoying part of it, though.  I haven’t been able to form my true “hair identity” yet.  It’s difficult to deal with.  It’s very thin, but it also doesn’t lay well, due to several cow licks that keep it a bit wacky.  I loved it way back in the 80s when it was long and permed, but since then I’ve liked it and hated it and liked it and hated it more times than I can count. I’ve grown it out, I’ve cut it off. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I’ve actually been enjoying my long hair lately.  I can hide behind my long hair.  I can change it around.  I can twirl it between my fingers or pull on it if I am nervous.  I think I look younger with long hair.  In the past two years, I have become very satisfied with my long hair and have been comfortable keeping it that way for a while. Then a close friend of mine shared that her cancer had come back. She had been battling it for 3 years, it had gone away, and now it was back with a vengeance.  One of the first things that she said about it was, “Now I’m going to lose my hair again…” This was tough for her, as it had just grown back and she was so glad to have it again. I started thinking about my hair and how I take it for granted.  Sure, I don’t always like it, but at least I have the free will to do with it as I please.  My friend and thousands of other women don’t have that choice. I decided to donate it to locksoflove.org  I was originally going to shave it all off in support of my friend; though that would have been a nice gesture of support, it wouldn’t have helped anyone.  So I took this route instead and went to a stylist who was familiar with the organization and how to cut my hair to save as much of it as possible to send off. Rastafarians believe that bodily, mental, and spiritual energy is held in the hair through dreadlocks.  Sometimes negative energy can be trapped in your hair and thus the need to cut your hair off at certain points in your life.  I’m trying to let go of a lot of negative energy right now, so I am seeing the loss of my locks as a symbol of letting go and beginning again. So here’s to healing and new beginnings.