Tomorrow at 11:30 in the morning I have an appointment to cut my hair. Specifically, I plan on cutting off 13 inches. This morning, I casually mentioned to my morning class that I was sick of dealing with long hair and that I was thinking of chopping it. I was not prepared for their response – almost the entire room of 18 to 20-somethings gasped in terror and outrage. Talking over one another, they said things like:
“But you CAN”T cut your hair!”
“But it’s so beautiful!”
“You’re not cutting it boy-short, are you?”
“What will your husband think?”
My answer to them all was this: It’s just hair. I mean, I wasn’t proposing to shave my head, but simply to substantially shorten the length. It’s crazy to me how much meaning people attach to their hair. For some people, it completely defines who they are and they would feel less feminine, attractive, desirable,etc… without it. For me, that’s just plain crazy talk and frankly, I’d like to think that my life isn’t driven (entirely) by vanity, but by practicality. And practically speaking, my hair is currently a pain in my ass. Between blow-drying and straightening it (which I need to do in order for it to look somewhat professional), I’m spending way too much time on it. Plus, Lexi is getting into the habit of grabbing everything in sight, which most of the time happens to be fistfuls of my hair.
If I had any doubts about cutting it before today, my students’ responses solidified the decision for me. I want to show them that the essence of who you are remains the same regardless of your hair length, choice of clothing or any other physical characteristic. I can and will cut off the vast majority of my hair. It will not make me any less of a woman and frankly, if my husband doesn’t like it, he at least has the wisdom to keep his mouth shut about it. Amen. Incidentally, I’m going to get this haircut on the left (probably and inch or so shorter).
I’m then going to donate the 13 inches or so that I cut to Locks of Love. Then, once my bangs grow out a bit more, I’m eventually going to transition to this haircut on the right, which is even easier to manage on a daily basis. I figure that I’ll probably save 20-30 minutes or so every day by not having to deal with hair that is halfway down my back. I plan on using that time to make funny faces at Lexi and to make Elmo pancakes for Parker on the weekdays. I think that it will be time very well spent. Plus, some kids with cancer will get to take advantage of the hair that I no longer need. Sounds like a win-win to me.