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How Eight Inches Changed My Life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cincinnati chapter.

My entire life I was the girl with the long hair. I loved how it was the longest of all my friends, how it always garnered compliments from guys and girls alike and how feminine it made me feel. My hair was a part of me and my identity for the first 20 years of my life….and then one day in May 2015 I decided I was going to chop all of it off, and it was the best possible decision I could have ever made. When I had long hair, I stressed about every single haircut I ever got. I would try to go six months in between cuts, if not more. I never did anything different. “Just take the split ends off, long layers, long side bangs”. It was a constant cycle of never trying anything new and staying in my comfort zone, taking this long beautiful hair for granted.

When the day finally came that I was going to get it cut I was extremely stressed, anxious, and uncertain. Was I really about to get rid of something that I had been working on for close to my entire life? Was I really about to chop off all that made me feel beautiful and feminine? It wasn’t until I was in the salon chair and the cosmetologist reached around from behind me and handed me a cut off ponytail of my eight inches of beautiful wavy hair that had been attached to my head and heart a few seconds earlier, that I realized it would be okay. I would still be the same feminine, beautiful woman as before. I would still be funny and smart and independent.  But most importantly, I would still have some of my own hair on my head, which is something that some women cannot say.

When I cut my hair I donated all eight inches of it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program that works with the American Cancer Society to donate wigs to women with cancer who have lost their hair. When I realized I had so much extra hair that I actually claimed to have some effect on my personality and how I was perceived in the world, I understood how completely ludicrous that was! I had so much hair to give away to those that were battling for their lives, and I was blessed enough to be in the position to help them. Cutting off eight inches of my hair was, most importantly, a way for me to give to those that were in need of so much. However, it also greatly opened my eyes to the fact that hair is just hair. Since that chop I have tried so many new haircuts, some good, some bad. Prior to my shorter hair I never did anything different, but now, I don’t really give a sh*t about my hair and trying new cuts. You know why? It’s just hair. It grows back. It has absolutely no bearing on you or your personality or how beautiful and strong you are.  So go, give it a try, I dare you. You may be surprised.