It's been over a year since the last time I cut my hair.
Most people would see this as a miniscule accomplishment for the average person. However, it is one of my greater accomplishments on a journey of self-love.
Growing up, my long hair was something I grew to despise. Although I choose not to disclose the reasoning, you must understand the negative connection I had with it. It often reflected my own emotions.
My hair was often tangled and knotted to the point where chunks cut out due to inability to detangle it. During this time, slowly I gave into the dark path of low-self esteem.
In seventh grade, I got my first dramatic haircut.
I cut my hair to my shoulders and felt a small weight lifted. It felt right. After that haircut, I craved more of that uplifting feeling. The following year, I would get a pixie cut and dye it a strawberry blonde.
It was that hair change that I began my journey of learning to love myself. I was no longer a reflection that hid behind long strands of hair, but someone who was beginning to find an identity.
Like the moon, I would go through phases over the years of different colors and different ways of styling short hair. It wouldn't be until December of 2020, where the haircuts and hair-dye would stop.
The last haircut shook me to my core as I cried on the car ride home.
The hairdresser had completely ruined my hair. All I asked for was the ends of my hair to be trimmed due the dryness after years of chemical treatment. As I placed my glasses back on to my face at the end, I sobbed.
She had given me thick, full frontal bangs and cut my hair in bowl-like shape. I looked like I belonged in the Beatles. It was the worst haircut I had gotten and my self-esteem diminished. Once again, a part of my identity had been cut off.
So, that was a year and half ago. I have refused to let anyone touch my hair since. For the first time in five years, I have grown out my hair. It's the longest it's been in a while.
When I look into my reflection, I see my hair.
I see its length, the rich natural color, and the way it seems to gently frame my face. For the first time in years, my hair does not feel like a weight. There are no knots or tangles. There is no dye. There is simply me.
Many people may not understand what an accomplishment it is for me to grow out my hair. They will never understand the days where I still just want to so badly cut it and for it to be gone.
But, I let it grow because my hair is finally my hair.
I still can't wear it down too often as the weight of it comes and goes, but I have come far on a self-love journey. I may not be all the way on the high self-esteem train, but I can say I'm walking along track just fine.