July 20, 2012

What An Accidental Hair Cut Taught Me About Self Esteem – A Natural Hair Story


Growing up I was never a standout beauty. With odd facial features and short stature, I was teased a lot as a little girl. Many kids experienced teasing and strikes at their still growing self- esteem during their grade school years, true enough, however, some handled it better than others. I lacked that healthy dose of confidence needed to circumvent the harsh criticisms from my peers. What I did have was a head full of long hair. I didn’t know it initially but it became my one desirable attribute. It was not so common for little brown girls to have long hair so it was the source of envy for many. Because of my low opinion of myself, I didn’t flaunt it; in fact, I didn’t want the extra attention it brought my way. Even that was used against me as I was taunted by such remarks as “she thinks she’s cute” or “that’s not her real hair”. I was plagued by the “too” syndrome. Too short, too dark, too something, whatever the “too” was it represented” not good enough”. As I entered middle school, I began to use my hair as armor or a way of hiding my face and compensated through academics. Fast forward to adulthood and while I have overcome certain insecurities, my hair still served the same purpose; hiding my face. This all changed in the blink of a salon visit. What started out as a simple trim ended up a lopsided catastrophe. The butcher/scissor happy stylist continued to cut in her failed attempt to “even” it out. At the end of it all, I ended up minus 4-5 inches of hair than when I walked through the door. Yes I cried #dontjudgeme. I know for some it’s “just hair” but for others, hair represents something much more; a crutch, a sense of identity. For me, it was my source of happiness growing up and for the first time in my adult life, I realized it was still a huge part of contentment for me. It forced me to truly look at myself and do some self- reflection. Not having long hair forced me to find other things I liked about myself. I now had no choice but to appreciate my eyes, learn to adore my funny looking nose and most of all, draw on who I was on the inside. Who knew what a day in the salon would bring?! I am a work in progress.

Did an unlikely source help you discover something about yourself?

1 comment:

Cassandra said...

What a beautiful and touching story. I appreciate you for sharing it with me. Hair does play a huge role in our lives because it frames our face. I've struggled with alopecia all my life. So, I understand that it is extremely heart breaking when you lose your hair. But, I stay as positive as I can when I deal with my hair loss. Be encouraged.