Feature: "It's Only Hair," Part One

In January of this year I had an itch to do something drastic to break the mold of my daily routine. I felt like I was in a rut. Every morning I woke up, ironed my husband's work clothes, showered, dressed, and dried my hair. By mid-day my hair would be in a pony tail and out of my face. I hated how much time and effort I had to put into something that wasn't important to me - it was just something that stood between me and what I wanted to accomplish that day. And I was tired of things standing in my way.

So I lopped it off:

August 2014 vs. May 2015


These photos were taken nine months apart. My hair used to be past my shoulder blades and, as you can see, VERY blond! The first thing I did the day I got it cut was style a mohawk... because why wouldn't you?! I have to say, it's my favorite daily accessory and it only takes me about 5 minutes to throw together in the morning... tops.

A side effect to having short hair that I had no idea existed is that my confidence and energy level have spiked. I feel more feminine, more adventurous, and more authentically me than I have ever felt. 

I am fearless.

I feel liberated from convention; more out of the box of society's categories. I feel like I have taken back ownership of who I am and who I am going to be. I made this decision out of restlessness, but this pixie and mohawk have been a gift to my self-esteem and self-worth. This fearlessness comes from an outward expression of defiance to the person I once was. And I can tell you I have become a stronger person since "the big cut." With this short hair I've asserted (to myself) that I don't need the attentions of men, the approval of others, the permission of my husband to be happy with myself. I know it seems silly that such a small act could produce this affect, but it has. It has changed me in so many more ways than I can express.

To clue you in, this is what it feels like inside my head everyday:



Believe me, there have been critics. In my small town, tradition is master and so it has taken a while for the old cowboys and their wives to smile at me again. Even my husband has mentioned he missed the long hair and prior to "the big cut" I probably would have taken that to heart and changed for him. But not now. And I know he loves me for that - for that unwavering confidence that says:
I did this for me.



Lately I've started thinking about the other gals I know who have gone the route of the "pixie" before me and what affect, if any, it has had on their lives. 

Here's what I found out:


Sinatra
Sinatra
Occupation: 
Self-employed artist, designer, and adventurer
Why short hair?  
Long hair is so boring. My hair is thick so it was such a pain to deal with. I have the face for short hair. I can do more with it, style it, and dry it faster.
How long was it before?
About 2 inches past my shoulders.
How does it make you feel?
Fierce
Are you treated differently in public? How?  
Yes, people are always commenting on my hair or taking pictures of it to show their stylist!
How do you view yourself with short hair?  
I love it! It fits my personality and it's edgy. 

In Sinatra's words:

Women who want short hair should never fear the cut. I always see it as just hair; it will grow back. I used to be a hair model for Bumble & Bumble when I lived in NYC. I was picked for short hair cuts; nothing extreme, mostly asymmetrical pixies or a-line bobs. There's something empowering about having short hair. It's like freedom from the weight of a low self-esteem that is cut away one strand at a time. You feel like there is nothing in the world that you cannot conquer!
Check out Sinatra's Etsy account for some great holiday fun! 


Jansen
Jansen

Occupation: 
I'm a stay at home mama to three crazy kiddos. I blog in my spare time (Ha! Spare time!) I mean, I blog really late at night.
Why did you cut your hair? 
I have had my hair every length, style, and color under the sun in my adult life, but in February, I shaved my head. A very special little boy in my life was diagnosed with Leukemia (AML). When he began his chemotherapy and began to lose his hair, his dad had the idea to host an event where we (family and friends) all shaved our heads in support of Chase's fight. The evening was inspiration for many tears both happy and sad. I'm thrilled to be able to say that after six long months, Chase is home recovering and cancer free. (Read about it on her blog!)
How long was it before? 
My hair was in a jaw-length cut-in bob when I shaved my head. Only a year before it was well beyond my shoulders.
How does your short hair make you feel? 
Honestly, it makes me feel like a grown up. For some reason, I've always equated short hair with maturity. As I've become a woman in my thirties, I've noticed fewer and fewer women pull off long hair as well as they tend to pull off shorter hair. Maybe it is some hormonal connection? I'm not sure. Either way, short hair makes me feel like I'm comfortable with where I am in life - wife, mother, adventurer! 
Are you treated differently by the public? How?
When my head was shaved I was certainly treated differently. I think most people were just curious as to why. Was I in cancer treatment? Was I some kind of rebel? Or making a statement? I'm a stout six-feet tall, so I should mention that I think my height plays into how people react to me. With that said, I think short hair elicits an air of confidence. Long hair is considered traditional. Any time a woman bucks tradition there tend to be responses both good and bad. My short hair seems to be complemented by most women and few men, and questioned most by older gentlemen and young girls.
How do you view yourself with short hair? 
There are times when I think longer hair helps me feel more feminine. This feeling of lack of femininity is also a by-product of my aforementioned height. Most of the time, I view my short hair as fashionable, feminist, and something I like to think I can "pull-off!"

In Jansen's own words:
I love the fact that both of my daughters also shaved their heads this past winter in support of their friend. So often young people, especially girls, tie their identity too tightly to what they look like (adults do that too - I'm guilt of having done so before). Figuring out who you are isn't always easy, and sometimes experimenting with things like hair can help to cultivate and express who we are. I'm glad I've never been afraid to experiment. "It's only hair," my mother would say when I was growing up. It is... and it isn't.
Jansen is a talented writer whom I know you would enjoy following! Check out her blog: The Tall Mom!

Lisa
Lisa

Occupation:
Family Mentor
Why did you cut your hair?
I cut my hair many years ago because it's thin and won't grow.
How long was it before?
It made it to my shoulders.
How does your short hair make you feel?
It makes me feel like I have to try harder to make it look feminine.
Are you treated differently by the public? How?
I don't feel treated differently by the public, but I do get many comments.
How do you view yourself with short hair? 
I have had short and long hair. I don't view myself any differently.

In Lisa's own words:
I try to change the colors to keep from being bored. Last year it had an orange patch.
Lisa has been an inspiration for me over the years I have known her in more ways than one. Her fight, compassion, and service to others are a constant reminder in my own life about Faith. And I absolutely love how brave she while in the salon!



Check in Tuesday for Part Two!