I Am (not) My Hair

Friday, 13 October 2017

I am a red head. If you have eyes it will probably be the first thing you notice about my appearance. All my life people have been drawn to my hair, I'm used to it being a topic of conversation. What I'm not used to, is it defining me in every way possible.

Don't get me wrong I adore my hair, although it can be crazy and uncouth most days, I do love the colour and even the thickness. But I'm in need of a huge change, this year has been full of them and my hair has been with me for every single one, but it's time to part ways. I've grown frustrated with it, constantly being there, being in my eyes, getting stuck in car doors, taking up a whole bottle of shampoo to get it clean. These things can be gruelling, not to mention it takes me around 2 hours to wash and maintain it each week! So, tomorrow afternoon I am cutting off 17 inches of hair and I can't. friggin'. wait. 

I haven't told a lot of people this news yet because I know what the reaction will be. Even my family members and close friends have expressed their disdain on this imminent snip. In the nicest way possible; I'm so sick of my hair being my identity. I have a degree, I can sing, I've grown so much as a person but still I am only recognised by superficiality through the dead follicles on my head. It was getting me down and I was slowly growing to resent it, so it has to go, for a bit anyway. 

Especially after visiting Sicily. I think I was the only red-head on that whole Island, which caused a lot of attention. People would comment on my hair constantly and on three separate occasions I was even stopped by tourists and locals for a photo, that's insane behaviour to me and any other red headed British person I can imagine. 

Being 'ginger' or a red head gives you a typecast. People always see red-heads as both sexually driven and angry. I've also had; scornful, bossy, stubborn, untrustworthy, crazy and more. I've also heard all of the red-head chat up lines and if one more person compares me to Merida from Brave, I swear I will become all of those things above. Red headed women in history are powerful, we're also a minority, a dying breed and I love my pale skin and freckles and everything that comes with being red-headed, that will never change. I'm just hoping the lack of length will give it less attention. 

I have never dyed my hair, only slightly bleached the tips in the 'ombre' phase. People are constantly telling me to NEVER dye it, which would you believe it; makes me want to dye it more. When it's cut I am thinking of experimenting a little bit with apricot shades and maybe even a ballyage I don't know. I just know that when it is cut off I will feel so liberated. 

Don't get me wrong I'm pretty scared about cutting it off and quite emotional. I always vowed I would never cut it again after a disastrously short-bob incident in year 9, but things change, people change. This hair length now has grown a long with me for the last 5 years, it has been vomited on during freshers week (ew), it has been pulled into many a plait and then a hair net when I was a waitress, it has been straightened, curled, flattened, scrunched into a bun for multiple yoga classes, it had a fringe at one point, it got stuck in a bus window once and it has felt like a form of protection for me for many years, something to hide behind, something to focus on. I can even take lengths of my hair and describe where I was in life when it was 'this' long and that's kind of comforting. But I don't need it anymore. As I keep saying, I've grown and I need change, I big change, I want to see a visual reflection of the huge change that happened this year. And as always the queen of metaphors has decided to reflect on this time with a haircut. 

I'm excited for this change, I'm probably going to cry, but I know it's what I want. It'll be so weird not having to maintain and run a straightener through it everyday, but I think I'll actually be able to do more with it. It'll give me a new lease of life, probably something I needed a few months ago but I felt I wasn't ready. I'm a bit worried about people's reactions but I'm also working on not giving a shit as well. It'll be nice not being defined by this mass of craziness on my head, maybe my personality will become a talking point on dates, you never know.

Don't worry, I'm not wasting this Mufasa mane. I'm donating it to The Little Princess Trust, to make wigs for children going through cancer treatment and other illnesses that cause hair-loss. I feel really passionate about it, especially when I heard that there is a shortage of red headed wigs, I've got to support my ginger fam' don't I! If you want to donate to my JustGiving page I will link it here.

And here's to mufasa manes and not being defined by them anymore and also to the Emma Stone-style-La La Land bob I will be sporting as of tomorrow. 

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