I cut off my hair.

by Kyeli on July 19, 2011


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.

I stepped out of the old story, and into the new one.

And I cut off all my hair.

new 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.

At last.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Charon July 19, 2011 at 10:43 am

YOU LOOK AWESOME in short hair. Truly.


Leah Shapiro July 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

I love your new cute hair cut Kyeli!

Woo-Hoo for stepping out of that old story and into the new. It is wonderful on so many different levels…now you get to move forward ! Yay!
Keep healing that heart and loving your wonderful self!
Big Love,


Lynn July 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

You are cuteness personified. *proud*


Liz Zirk July 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

I adore short hair and have had short hair for years. Until I met my boyfriend and started growing it out. For no reason other than, I want to see what it looks like. Curiosity. It’ll get you every time. Now that I’ve seen my hair as long and wavy? I’m just as curious to chop it all off…

You look amazing in your short hair! Your hair is just hair AND it’s not just your hair. By that I mean, it will always have a profound effect on your psyche until you decide that it doesn’t. And then again, it will in the future. Funny how that works. ;-)


Hiro Boga July 19, 2011 at 11:22 am

Yay for loving yourself — and your hair — enough to live your true story. What IS, is always healing. May the shine return to your heart, your health, and your hair!


Tatiana July 19, 2011 at 11:22 am

I love short hair. I think it’s awesome that more women are choosing to cut their hair or completely shave it off. I’ve never really believed that longer hair was beautiful. Hair is kinda just hair to me. I looked into cutting my hair but was reading about how it’s more maintenance. :x

But you definitely look great with your shorter cut!


Dani July 19, 2011 at 11:28 am

Isn’t the weight relief amazing? I’ve gone back and forth between super-long and super-short for most of my life, and no matter how much emotional release it brings (I tend to cut it all off when I’m feeling the need for a big change), the actual physical loss of that much weight hanging off the back of my head is jaw-droppingly, wonderfully freeing for me.

Congrats on embracing the new!

(PS – yes, it looks faboo on you, but that’s your happiness shining through, not the haircut.)


sui July 19, 2011 at 7:13 pm

I think your short hair looks absolutely beautiful. In fact, it’s synchronistic that you posted this today– I was just thinking of inviting you to submit a guest post for the HAIRevolution!

Either way, you look fantastic. Seriously. :)


Julia July 19, 2011 at 10:03 pm

I’m glad you’re taking better care of your body. :)

(I have no real reaction about the hair itself — but the “taking better care of yourself” part is A Good Thing To Hear.)


kati July 20, 2011 at 1:43 am

Your haircut look great! it suit you very much :) I love to do changes like this in my life!


Marthe July 20, 2011 at 5:21 am

You look great!

I haven’t been taking properly care of my body either. And it shows in my hair – it’s falling off. I’ve lost so much hair the last three months that my hair looks thin and lifeless. And you can see my scalp.

I have always been the one with the awesome, thick hair.

And I belive it’s falling off so I can learn to love myself as me, not as an image of who others see.

And I do think it’s pretty damn awesome that my hair goes into resting mode to preserve energy when I’m not eating properly.Thank you, hair!


Charlene July 20, 2011 at 6:57 am

Hair today, gone tomorrow. Is it really about hair? Like you, I’ve had this “thing” about hair all my life. Well not all my life, since I was 17 when you’re supposed to be young and gorgeous and dating. I got sick and the long, thick hair I knew went away. My thinning scalp took its place. Great for geezers over 50, not for 17 year old girls wanting to date. I kept my hair super short and dyed for 25 years so no one would know. Ha! Who was I kidding? Me. Finally, with the liberation age brings, I shaved it all off and who knew? I was completely gray. And because it came back gray, the hair shaft was coarser, thicker and I am going to grow it down to my ass!


Julia July 20, 2011 at 8:13 am

Charlene – Yay for long gray hair!


Tess The Bold Life July 20, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Love your new do and love story C! xo


Gwyn Michael July 21, 2011 at 7:37 am

A healthy heart and attitude do a lot for your looks and inspiring self care. This is far more important than long hair. I had very long gorgeous hair till I was in my early twenties and I was pretty attached to it. I had to have it cut after a head injury and have since learned to think of it as an accessory. Cut it, it grows back. Put color, bows, clips in it. Straighten it, curl it, put gel in it. You will look great if you feel great! BTW YOU LOOOK GREAT!!!


Pam July 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

: )


Jacquie July 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm

When I first cut my hair short, I discovered a liberating thing. It grows back. Even if student hairdressers practise on it. It is easier to be experimental – you are (in my case) 4-6 weeks or 1 haircut away from it looking as though you did nothing silly at all. Writing this makes me wonder what other “irrevocable” changes I’m afraid of will prove to be flexible and freedom-inducing once I’ve made them.

Your hair is a series of historical health snapshots (from your body’s perpective). If circumstances have changed and you like the new photos better, why carry the old ones around all day? You are letting go of the old story and stepping into the new. And that is always a beautiful thing to see, and a brave thing to share.

Also: it looks like you’re having a good hair day, and that’s always a boost :)


Ellie Di July 27, 2011 at 5:44 am

Isn’t it just absolutely dumbfounding how our hair is tied to our health (physical and emotional)? I’ve gone through every possible stage and colour with mine and found that there are definite levels where I’m comfortable. When I heard you’d chopped off your hair and nearly instantly felt 100% better, I squeed. It makes me so happy to know that you made a positive move for yourself that only required you to get cuter. <3


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