Updated: Aug 28
Anyone who’s known me for several years knows that my long hair was a big part of who I was.
I started growing my hair when I was 10, and before I knew it I was 15 and my hair was right down my back. I hadn’t done anything with it for two years because life just got in the way. It was burdensome. It took over an hour to dry, and even longer to straighten or curl. In fact, I found it difficult to even style it properly because there was so much of it. Long hairs would fall out everywhere or get caught in the door handles in my house.
I’d often just shove it up in a ponytail or a bun or a pigtail to keep it off my neck, and I wouldn’t use a hairdryer unless I absolutely had to. I’d just let my hair dry naturally, so I’d often go out to lectures or to see friends with wet hair shoved up. I’d always end up lying on it and pulling on it, or my boyfriend would accidentally lie on it when we were going to sleep together.
Long hair is like a pet- everyone loves it, but you’re the one that must take care of it. I was really neglecting it. I had about two or three inches of just split ends. I talked to my boyfriend about it that night, and he said that I would look beautiful with shorter hair.
I think that was what finally nudged me into doing it. I’d been told I was beautiful with long hair, and people used to compliment me for it. I feared having short hair would make me look fatter, or make my face look fat as it would make people see my chubby face. My self-esteem has been low, so getting rid of something that made me attractive was unthinkable. I’d put up with all the hassle that came with long hair to feel prettier. Besides, it was such a huge part of my identity. Who would I have been without it?
That night, I began researching. I investigated the best places to donate hair to, a good hairdresser to cut it off and made a Pinterest for possible new hair looks. I knew that if I was going to cut off my hair then I would want to donate it somewhere. It seemed wasteful to see what was once my crowning glory just swept up and put in the bin. My stepsister donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a non-profit that makes human hair wigs for girls who lose their hair while going through chemotherapy, Knowing that my hair would bring someone else so much joy, how could I not? After a week of ruminating the idea, I booked the appointment. My boyfriend took some final silly photos with my long hair, and some ‘before’ shots before I headed off. (see above)
My hairdresser was called Sarah, who works at Pele in Glasgow. She did a fantastic job and I still go to her to this day. My hair sat nicely above my collarbone. It shined a lot more than it did when it was longer. I was rejuvenated. I uploaded some photos on my social media to show off my new look. It wasn’t necessarily out of vanity, but more a sense of pride or self-confidence.
I posted my chopped locks to the Little Princess Trust a few days later. I don’t know what little girl is wearing it now, but I’m sure she will be happy with it. Besides, I looked great and it made no difference to how fat I thought I looked. That haircut freed me in a way that other people will find stupid, but I don’t care. I am still as beautiful as I was before.
I already knew I was a bit chubby. No hairstyle was going to change or mask that. It was silly that I allowed my few extra pounds to dictate how I change my appearance. Change is good and necessary, even if it doesn’t always work out. You don’t know just how much something as small as a haircut can free you.
If you are also burdened with long hair and hope to make a little girl out there happy, here's more information about donating your hair with them.