Kayla Bacon-Carefree Fall 2

Why I'm Finally Letting Go of my Long Hair

            As my blonde hair falls in waves over my shoulders and down my back, my best friend threatens me that I better never cut my hair. Another told me that people get extensions to have hair that looks like mine and that I should consider myself lucky. I even had a guy that I was considering dating tell me that he would break up with me if I cut my hair. Needless to say, that relationship ended quickly, but the one I have with my hair continues to be complicated.

            Truthfully, I do cherish my hair greatly. It is one of my absolute favorite things about myself. I feel beautiful, young, and most importantly, feminine. As a six-foot-tall curvy woman, feeling feminine is a rare occurrence, but with my hair so long, blonde, and wavy, a good hair day made me feel like I was a model on a runway no matter what I was wearing. I dreaded even getting my hair trimmed in fear that I would lose that feeling, and so I’ve kept my hair to about chest length my whole life. Sure, when I was younger and feeling reckless, I thought about a cut that may be approached my collarbones, but it never made it up even half that length. As I got older, I found tremendous comfort in the consistency and reliability of being able to place my confidence in my hair. It was only when I realized how afraid I was of cutting it that I realized that I had been putting too much of my value into something so superficial.

2 women making the word love with their hands

            It had become my security blanket. Draped over my shoulders it wrapped me in comfort, made me feel invincible, but if it wasn’t on display, I felt insecure and my self-esteem would drop. When I realized just how much of my self-worth I had begun to attribute to my hair, I instantly wanted to cut it. I want to be able to see value in myself as a person and all that I am, and not just something so superficial as my hair. However, this is easier said than done. With celebrities having all the time, money, and recourses in the world to be able to change their hair length, color, and style at the drop of a hat, cutting hair can see like a noncommittal decision, but as a college student on a budget, what I choose is what I’m stuck with. So what if I cut my hair and I hate it? What if as all those years of hair fall to the floor my self-esteem drops with it?

            While the very idea of abandoning my “security blanket” is terrifying, I’ve recently been looking for a fresh start in my life, and I want this to be the time that I follow through. I have had too many conversations with my sister and my friends about how I’m getting my hair cut that weekend, and I have gone so far as to make the appointment but then cancel at the last minute. But as I’m attempting to make positive changes in my life, I want to commit to seeing more value in myself as a person. Although I might regret it on days when I remember the braids I would create or the long curls that fell down my back, this attempt at freeing my confidence from its hair tangled prison will force me to reevaluate how I see myself, and how I love myself, which I feel is a worthy next step on my journey to confidence and self-love.

smiling woman in pink sweater