I have thick, gorgeous, wavy hair. I’ve been growing my hair out for years, which is never a fun process. There’s that months-long awkward phase, wherein nothing I do looks cute in any way, and I wind up sliding into antisocial cave-dweller mode until I come out the other end.
I have something of a ridiculous attachment to my hair. Known issue.
But when I had my hysterectomy, my hair changed. Hormones do that to you. Yet another side effect the medical world failed to mention. Where once my hair erred on the side of shiny, now it was dull. It was super dry, and no amount of conditioner – ranges including none and gobs of “extreme moisturizing” – helped even a little. It grows faster (I was told it’d grow slower, but not on me), but it wasn’t growing out healthy. It was growing out horrible.
I spent months and months denying the changes.
I spent months and months crying, switching conditioners, going through a zillion kinds of shampoos, trying all kinds of products and no products, leaving it alone, washing every day, washing every other day, etc. On and on and on.
Finally, I broke down and asked my wise big-sister-friend what she would do. Gently, compassionately, she told me to do what I already knew in my heart was coming: cut it all off.
It’s not just my hair that’s the problem, you see.
I haven’t been taking very good care of me. I’m malnourished. I’m eating poorly. I haven’t been able to exercise since I hurt my knee – rather, I’ve let my knee be an excuse for not exercising.
Deep down, I was still feeling betrayed by my body, and still uninterested in caring for her properly.
But when my sweet friend pointed out that I was most likely low on a bunch of essential vitamins, I burst into tears. I cried myself to sleep. And the next morning, I got out of bed, did a bunch of muscle testing, and looked myself in the eye.
And I cut off all my hair.
Contrary to what the beauty world wants you to think, hair doesn’t get healthier. Once dry and damaged, all you can do is mask the damage with gobs of expensive products – no wonder they want you to think otherwise! But it doesn’t work. And I know, because I spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of days trying to make my unhealthy, damaged hair better.
And my hair was tying me to the old story. In that story, I had long healthy hair and no ill effects from losing my uterus. Tra-la-la, I was skipping along (immersed in denial) merrily ignoring the signs of my desperate body begging for nourishment.
But as soon as I cut it short? As soon as I started getting healthier on the inside – eating better, taking vitamins?
My hair is already showing the effects.
But more than that.
My heart is healing, too.