30 Before 30 – #7 Make Peace with The Hair

If you have known me for any somewhat significant period of time you have probably heard me refer to my hair as The Hair or The Mass. The post is as much for my own benefit to come back and read and will probably be lengthy – fair warning.

I have a complicated relationship with my hair. My emotional reaction about it swings from I try to ignore it’s existence to I hate it and I want to pull it out by the roots and burn it. It is very thick, and very heavy and if I let it grow too long and wear it up- migraine. If I let it grow too long and wear it in a low ponytail- migraine. If I wear it down and I get stressed out or it’s warm out, I overheat. When I was in Germany I would decide do I wear a scarf today or wear my hair down and it provided the same quality of warmth.

Until I hit my midtwenties I wore my hair in a low ponytail 98% of the time and tried to ignore it’s existence. When it got to the point that I was getting a headache even with it in a low ponytail I would get a few inches chopped off. I had in the 9th grade done what I thought was the logical thing and had it chopped to my shoulders because less hair must be better, right? …..Growing out a triangle head hair cut scared me off trying short hair again for years.

The thing is, I hated wearing it in a ponytail. It felt like a defeat every. morning. But when most experiments ended in pain? I had as much interest in poking myself with a stick as continuing to experiment with the mass. What changed was when I started working in an office and wanted to give the appearance of being a professional adult. And even if I have the most laid back office, I didn’t feel like a professional wearing my hair gathered into a low ponytail.

Going back in time a bit, a couple things changed. First, my hair became curly around when I turned 18. Then a few years after that I learned that you don’t brush curly hair and that changed my life. Around the same time as starting at the office, I also had (have) the great fortune of meeting a stylist who knew how to cut curly hair. With encouragement from a friend, I went in and had it all chopped off again for the first time the 9th grade. To just above my shoulders. ….And it was awesome.

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(Me and Grammy- 2012)

For the last couple years I’ve tinkered with letting it grow a bit longer, like in the above picture, and having it hover above my shoulders. I also started experimenting with headbands, which I found a nice bunch that don’t give me headaches! Enough time had passed that I could stand the idea of putting my hair back in a ponytail without it feeling like a defeat. And I found I missed that face. And this is where the ‘making peace’ part of this 30 before 30 comes. I don’t expect to ever love my hair or desire to get up early to try something new. But I’ve decided I won’t waste any more energy fighting it. And for me this means I will maintain a length that I can have it down or (with pins) up and not have to worry about overheating or headaches. Long hair is beautiful, but I know it will give me headaches and life is too short to put up with that . I will not look longingly at hair styles with thinner hair, and then be discontent with the curly mass. If some days the curls insist on curling into my face and ears, I will just stop fussing and put it up.

And now to move onto other goals.

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3 comments

  1. Ahhh, we all want the hair we don’t have.

    Mine is super fine, super flyaway, rather thin, a mousy-color changing to premature gray and waves in odd directions. When I put it in a pony tail, the pony tail itself is about the width of a nickel. Bummer, mate.

    Your hair looks lovely in the pic. I imagine you’re using Curly Girl? 🙂

  2. Thank you! Actually no, I was for a few years but got lazy. I’d have to wash the top part of my hair and then flip it over to wash underneath…finally got tired of how long it took and switched over to herbal essences.

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