beauty, lifestyle, Thoughts

HIDING BEHIND MY HAIR? HOW MY HAIR AFFECTS MY CONFIDENCE

My hair and I have a very up and down relationship. I’ve shaved it, snipped it, grew it and bleached it. My teenage years were highlighted in constant experiments and switching it up to look different. I hid behind my naval length hair for a year, shaved half of it off for another year and into college, cut it all off to start fresh. Everything that I did to it, eventually, I regretted it. 

My teenage years and my relationship with my hair was fuelled by wanting to stand out, look different to the rest, be interesting and approachable, make the boys fancy me *hurl* and make the girls wanna be friends with me *hurl x2* – I was hiding behind a need to be ~unique~ and ~different~ and I didn’t want to be like “everyone else”.

In all honesty there were girls doing that job much better than I was, and the real me was hiding behind fourteen inches of my basic brunette hair. Now though, my hair is something that I’ve taken a lot of pride in. My current haircut is one that I go back to always – it’s my favourite haircut, the one that suits me best. Will I get rid of it to make room for something new within the next twelve months? Most likely, but that’s not because I’m trying hard anymore, but because I love my hair enough to want to play with it.

My hair has always served as a security blanket though. When I have days where I feel a bit meh, my hair is there to cover me up and give me a nice warm head-hug. Whenever I feel like being more girly, I stick it into a neat bun or try something a little more out-there for me. I love my hair, and my hair completely affects my mood and my confidence. Is this a good thing to be admitting? Probably not. I understand that I shouldn’t be relying on one feature to feel good about myself or to feel like I’ve done something ~different~ and I definitely shouldn’t be using it as a bloody security blanket of all things, but when I look back to the days of my naval-length hair, all I can think is, god, how pretty. 

The year I decided to chop it all off was definitely because I was sick to death of it. I’d cut it into a bob and the hair dresser completely cocked it up. It just didn’t look good. I’d gone to a new hair dresser and I had showed her a photograph of how I wanted my new emo-bob to look. My usual girl was on maternity leave and it felt like a good idea to go elsewhere whilst she was away. It wasn’t. It was also the most money I’d ever spent on a haircut. They wet my hair for some reason even though I hadn’t asked for it, and charged me extra for their mistake. It wasn’t the kind of wetting it under a basin with shampoo either, it was the wetting it how you spray a misbehaving cat. She cut it into a dodgy asymmetrical shape and sent me on my way, broke and sad.

A few weeks later I caught wind that my new, regular hair dresser had made a comeback to the usual shop and I decided that if my hair was looking this bad, and I was feeling this insecure, I may as well try something new and just cut it all off. I’d been toying with the idea for a while and I did genuinely love a pixie cut, it wasn’t just my escape, it was me wanting to try something new with my hair that I’d never done before, something I thought that I’d never do. For about three weeks I loved it, I loved how low-maintenance it was and that my natural wavy hair still looked good on top of my massive head. Then I realised that it’d be years before I could tie it up, years before I’d feel girly and feminine – because long hair was all I’d ever known to tick those boxes.

Growing it out was a mare and I definitely had a phase where I’d let it grow into a mullet. I also used to make jokes that I looked like a John Lennon wannabe with my dodgy haircut and circular glasses. Once it had grown into a bob, I was reminded of why I hated having a bob in the first place. My hair type is hard to style when in a bob, it flicks and curls and I look like a walking Miss Hooly cosplay from the kids show Balamory. Now, three and a half years later, here I am with it finally being mid-length. I get it trimmed every five weeks and I keep on top of my basic hair cut.

Finally, I’m content with the style (for now), and I’m back at home with it. I feel my most confident in a long time like this, because it’s the me that I’ve always returned to. The me that I like the most. Yes, it’s a super basic haircut that nearly everybody has, but it’s right. It feels right. If I get lazy and decide to grow my fringe out, at least my broken brunette locks are still exactly how I like them. Am I hiding behind my hair? I’d say that I’m not hiding behind it, but using it to my advantage and allowing it to make me confident, allowing it to make me feel like myself, and I’ve had my days of experimentation and dramatic changes, I’m ready to finally leave it alone.

I’ve also learned in recent times that long silky hair doesnt equate to beautiful and feminine, I’ve come to accept that all of these clones called celebrities are just trend following, and that just because I’ve drilled into my own head that look best with long hair, doesn’t mean the woman next door does or that Ruby Rose should grow out hers to conform to being a ~pretty~ woman.

I definitely think that over the years, social media stars and movie actresses were playing a leading role in defining what I thought was the most beautiful and the most feminine way to look, simply because everyone was following one person who had set a trend. Like when Zoella decided that her caramel ombre was going to define 2013, or when Zooey Deschanel made it so that every quirky nerdy girl out there wanted long wavy brunette tresses. I see less and less of the samey-ness that I’ve seen over the years in 2018 – the same haircut isn’t everywhere I look and women actually look different.

Instead of trying hard to look different, we’re just getting on with life and doing our own thing. We all experimented with the silver/grey trend for a little while and we all wanted to have Ariel red hair in 2009, but times are changing and I’ve got to say, I don’t see so many clones walking around in the streets anymore, because let’s face it, trends come and go, but my security blanket, my straight brunette hair with full bangs, is good enough for me.