Sunday, 14 August 2016

I am not my hair*

*but it is a huge part of who I am. 

I have never felt more low in self esteem than I had the past month or so. I’ve felt so crap. And I know it’s got to do with change. Change isn't easy. Especially for a person like me. I get the same coffee order, get the same time train to work, get into bed and sleep on a specific pillow. I'm not obsessive and do embrace some spontaneity, I just, you know, like consistency. And I think this is something that spawns from laziness in all honesty because routine is easy, it's tried and tested and proven to work. So why stray? Why create disruption when it's not necessary? This is me all over. So when I stopped relaxing my hair a year ago it was a departure from my easy hair routine - wake up, brush hair and if it doesn't look presentable stick a hat on - and I was knowingly disrupting my order. But working in beauty journalism I had so much knowledge on the subject of hair products that I knew in the long run I wouldn't want to keep relaxing my hair - so by continuing to I was just putting off the inevitable, right? So I just stopped, I didn't make much over it and I wasn't planning a hair journey and big chop, I wasn't waxing lyrical about giving up the "creamy crack" I just carried on with my normal hair routine without the relaxing part. Or at least I tried to. I'd continue to straighten it after washing and treat my new texture as the "regrowth" that I used to see as the sign it was time to return to the Hairdressers. Even though I embraced the change the change didn’t embrace me. My hair was in disgusting condition, it was breaking off in excess, shedding - when I’d brush it, it was like grooming a malting cat. I was so ashamed about it I refused to go to the hairdressers as I was embarrassed by it’s condition, I was stuck in a loop. 

Cutting my hair has never been something that I’ve been into - when I was relaxing my hair I got a trim every time I got a touch up (oh look, more routine) but without the need to visit the salon I just stopped. But it was holding me back - big time. It was stunting my style, I was paralysed by the idea of styling my TWA/straggly ends so I’d just pop it in two space buns. and the next day, and the next day. And before I knew it a cute, quirky style became my new routine. It was the only thing I got down that mimicked the ease of relaxed hair. You know in Mean Girls when Regina George is like ‘sweatpants is all that fits me right now’? That was me, but replace sweatpants with space buns. And because I hated the way that my hair looked and didn’t want to go backwards (relaxing) or forwards (big chop) I was in self-inflicted limbo. It pushed every other part of my image into perspective too. I hated my hair and I couldn’t use it as a distraction from my face so I hated my face, my skin was awful, I treated myself to sweets because I wanted a pick me up… then my jeans got tighter. A new routine. 

For a person that’s so open and up front about a lot of sh*t I kind of just recoiled into myself. I was me outwardly (bubbly, seemingly happy) but I didn’t feel like I looked like myself and inside I was a whirl of anxious discontent. My Outside had affected my Inside that subsequently affected my Outside and it was a circle that needed to stop.

I made it stop. 

It was so simple - I got my hair done. I sat for 5 hours to get a style that took the morning worry out of the equation and my spirits were instantly lifted. No, but literally. My hair was considerably heavier but my spirits were like a helium balloon on a ribbon. Anyone that tells me that appearance doesn’t matter can kiss my backside, because it does. It really does. There’s a reason why they call your hair your crowning glory, because even if you don’t buy into the idea of long hair being a woman’s beauty (I don’t), hair does act as a crown. A queen is a queen always but it’s when she has that crown of jewels on her head she sits up straighter, more confidently, more gracefully, more regal. When you feel good about what’s atop of your head, you feel good about yourself. 


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