Ever since I was little I have resented going to the hair salon. I may be slightly melodramatic, but I would go to my mom's car and cry after every haircut. As can probably be inferred at this point, I have had the same hairstyle since I was twelve. My separation anxiety with my hair never did me any good. The ends of my hair were always a little dead because I would wait too long to go get them trimmed. Before I knew it, I was twenty, living in the same shell I had moved into eight years prior.
But obviously I am nowhere near the same person I was in sixth grade, so why am I trying to look like I am?
A little over a month ago, I was on my way to my hairdresser when I had a moment of unadulterated spontaneity and I decided I was going to cut my hair short. On a whim I showed my hairdresser some photo inspiration that I googled in the minutes between walking into the salon and sitting down in the chair. He thought I was joking at first.
Once my hair was washed, cut, dried, and curled, I climbed into my truck and surveyed myself in the pull-down mirror. Only four words came to mind: what have I done?
My first week of having short hair were full of anxiety, regret, and confusion as to how to style my hair. I don't style my hair. Ever. But I quickly grew into my new hairdo and had a revelation that may come across as basic: new hair... new me!!
While something as simple as a haircut will not change who you are as a person (your beliefs, your likes, your dislikes, the way you treat people), it can be a great reminder that you are in control of your image. People do perceive you differently based on your appearance. Whether it is short or long, colored or natural, blown out or up in a bun, hair is a really easy way to define yourself to the world, if that is something you choose to focus on.
Switching up my hairstyle reminded me that I can be anyone I want to be. I don't need to be afraid of change (of the hair variety). I can be outgoing, bubbly, and happy. Cutting my hair reminded me that I am constantly in control of my image, and how that can have an effect on how I feel on the inside. If I feel confident with how I look, it can often be easier for me to feel confident about things that I can't change.
So although I don't define myself based on my appearance, I have learned that taking care of myself physically makes me feel infinitely better about myself intellectually.