I've asked myself if I was making this decision because of the guys who have drunkenly pet me at football games or the time I belted my hair into my pants.
Either way, I confidently told the salon receptionist on a November morning I was there to cut off all of my hair.
"All of your hair?" he asked with disbelief.
I told him yes. All of it, well, at least 19 inches of it.
He poured me a glass of pinot grigio.
This wasn't the first time in my life my blonde hair went far below my belt loops. Actually, for most of my life, I was known as "the girl with the hair." My hair was long enough to entice strangers to touch it and, once, a small child to tie it around a fence post in Disney World.
Because of my hair, I have been called every nickname between Barbie, Blondie, and Rapunzel, but I never took those labels to heart. I did not identify myself by my hair or physical appearance.
Though I don't flood my social media channels with "Feelin' Myself" selfies, I do have a stable self-image. My ego and I decided it was just time for a change, and haircuts are always cheaper than face tattoos.
Right before the haircutJ. Cameron Davidson
I had scrolled through all types of blunt, banged, and lob haircuts on Pinterest for six months before my appointment, and I thought I could rock any one of them. I also arranged to donate my hair to the Wigs for Kids nonprofit, an outstanding organization helping children overcome self-esteem blows from a variety of hair loss conditions for nearly 40 years.
I was confident with my plan until I sat down in the salon chair. A black cloth thrown over my chest blocked me from turning back.
My hairdresser tied the hair into five long ponytails and then secured each one with more elastic bands. My mother sat nearby and slung back her glass of wine to sedate herself before the cut.
With shaky hands, I cut through the first ponytail with dull scissors. My hairdresser finished off the shearing and packaged the hair to be mailed to Wigs for Kids.
My hair now hangs to my collar bone and prevents most people from recognizing me without a second glance.
I thought the hardest part would be my barista at Pascal's forgetting me and my regular order, but I quickly realized I didn't recognize myself either.
Could I still be beautiful if I wasn't the girl with the hair anymore? For the first week, I'd stare into the mirror and let my ego scream, "Bad haircut!"
No one goes out of his or her way to compliment my hair or my looks anymore. I know that the longing for those shallow appraisals come from my ego.
I threw her a pity party until my ego quieted down. In the silence, I heard another part of me speak up.
"It's kind of fun to style," I'd say to myself. "It's actually cute!"
For several days, I sipped concentrated self-love out of a wine glass in my bathtub and wrote kind notes to myself in a journal. I realized I was the same beautiful girl under the new haircut and layers of a face mask as before.
I stand firm with my belief that I am beautiful with a bald head or locks to the floor.
If you're wanting to take a new risk with your appearance, please remember to be soft to yourself if the gamble doesn't play out as you expected.
No haircut can take away your beauty, after all, that's what face tattoos are for.
Right after!J. Cameron Davidson