When I was young, I changed my hairstyle and colour almost as often as I changed my underwear. I never really gave it a second thought. I wanted a change, out came the scissors or dye bottle. Even if I didn’t like it, I liked it. Because it was different.
It has been a good twenty years now since I have changed my hair, in any way, shape or form. It’s not like I haven’t wanted to, but the process seemed to take on a life of its own. Look at thousands of pictures, ask everyone’s opinion, make appointments, then chicken out. Please, I thought, don’t turn out to be one of those women that still wears their hair and makeup like they did in their twenties. For me, that would have been the eighties. I’ve seen the pictures. What the heck were we all thinking?
Why, when I talk and write a lot of articles about midlife reinvention, was this so difficult for me to do. Especially when the decision was not a permanent one. Hair grows back. I’m not stuck with it forever. And geez, how superficial am I that I peg so much of my identity, of my femininity, the way others perceive me on something so frivolous as my hair and outward appearance.
And so, this past week, after all my obsessing, researching and contemplating, I did it. I chopped my hair all off. As well, I am letting the grey flourish. I did not dye my hair, even though at the ends, it is fifty shades of shit. The stylist assures me that with the next trim, that should be gone. I imagine that time will tell if I pick up the bottle again but so far I am steadfast in embracing nature and the course it has set.
Honestly, it’s only been a few days, but how liberating this experience has been. I am so proud that I did it. I almost see this low maintenance experience as a form of minimalism for myself. No more fuss. I can now focus of the next challenge.
The funny thing is the reaction from others. Suggestions were made that I take this process in steps, buy wigs to try out styles, try lighter shades of colour. And when I posted a pic of my transformation, I was touted as brave. Brave!
When all is said and done, is this about cutting my hair? Letting my hair go grey? No. It IS much bigger than that. It’s about changing the things I can, and accepting the things I can’t.
Everyone wants to change things in their life. Sometimes we feel stuck, mired in over-thinking. Sometimes you just need to do it. And as silly as it seems, cutting my hair feels like a first step.
So here I am, facing midlife with a new enthusiasm. If I want change, I am the one the needs to make it happen. And I’m going to do it, one hair at a time.
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