I had no idea my long hair was my comfort blanket until I chopped it off. Prepare yourself for a first world problem storytime.
I’d been toying with the idea of short hair for such a long time. I’d push it all back, tuck it into my top and save endless short hair images on Pinterest. Then finally I decided to go for the chop of over 8 inches. If I didn’t do it, I know that I’d endlessly dream about having short hair. It was an obsession I couldn’t move on from.
The big chop happened in December 2018 and at first, I loved it very, very much. I felt cool. I did go a tad shorter than I had originally planned because… well, I won’t lie, I had a few cocktails at my salon and I was feeling boozy and brave. The regret didn’t start until I had to style it myself for the first time as I couldn’t style it the way the hairdresser did (why is that always the way?). Once I kind of got the hang of it, I fell back in love with my new do. However, in the pit of my stomach, I knew that I wasn’t fully happy. My hair didn’t look like all the short-haired styles I’d been aiming for and I was disappointed. Why is Pinterest so unrealistic sometimes? (lol).
I tried my hair in my classic middle parting, a side parting (more like a combover), curly and straight – I just couldn’t find a way to be truly happy with it. It was frustrating and causing the regret to grow (if only growing regret caused hair to grow too!). When you start all your sentences with “I don’t regret it but…” you know you’ve got a problem.
Comparing my long hair to my short hair was a daily hobby and it got to the point where I quite literally had to sit myself down and have a third person chat about ridiculous I was being.
It wasn’t the end of the word and I knew I was being trivial. It did actually look really nice, people said it suited me and at the end of the day, hair grows.
Did I get over it? Not exactly…
After years of skin issues and on and off unhappiness with my body, I realised that my hair was my comfort blanket and the thing I liked most about myself.
Whenever I felt funny about my weight, I’d compensate that funny feeling by doing something nice to my long hair. Whenever I felt funny about having to cover up my skin because of my skin condition, I’d compensate by doing something nice to my long hair. It was one of those things that you don’t realise you do until you can’t do it.
I have this annoying habit of obsessing over trivial things but I did my best to make myself feel better about it. I put more thought into my outfits for the feel-good factor, I curled my hair more to feel fancy and I started snapping a few photos for my blog. I told myself to chill and get over it. I was lucky to have hair, after all.
Once my hair began to grow, I started to feel a bit more at ease.
After 2 inches grew I felt comfortable as my ‘comfort blanket’ was starting to grow back. Those 2 inches made one heck of a difference to the regret I was harbouring and I knew that in another 2 inches the regret would vanish. And it did! My hair wouldn’t be as long as it was before but 4 inches of growth was plenty for me to feel myself again. I had no idea a hair cut would have thrown me so much. I’d spent so many years doing the same thing with my hair that when that hair was gone – I didn’t know what to do. I know how silly that sounds but it’s true.
During those short hair days, the middle parting and low bun look had never looked sleeker and that got me through. Short hair is the best hair for that look, who’d have thought? A big issue I had with my hair is how thick it is and how the short ends (left untamed) would flick in all kinds of directions and give me the look of a 50’s housewife. On the days I didn’t fancy curling or straightening my hair, the low bun look was the one. It quickly became my to go hairstyle for a sleek look but also to disguise the untamed hair flicks.
There will be some people reading with the words “you’re ridiculous” screaming in their minds. First world problem? Yes, absolutely. But I can stress, worry and feel sad about whatever I want when it comes to myself.
If you’ve experienced a knock of self-confidence of any level, you will know what I mean. It doesn’t matter what the self-confidence knock is or how it happened, you just feel it. I would constantly ask for validation on my decision (sorry to my poor boyfriend) and looked in the mirror about a hundred times a day. Not because I was vain but because I was so unsure. That shit plays on my mind, you know?
On the positive side, short hair was something I knew I wanted to try and I can safely say I have tried and tested. Would I cut it that short again? Absolutely not. I had an unrealistic view on what short hair would look like as my hair is so thick. I’m glad I tried it but it wasn’t for me. Would I cut it mid-length from long again? Absolutely. My comfort blanket length starts from mid-length and now I know better.
A good chop once in a while is healthy but maybe next time, I won’t have a cocktail.
You can read about how I managed to get a bit of length back in my hair, here.