I don’t remember the first time I got my hair cut (I mean chopped off), but I remember my mother telling me that if I didn’t start taking care of my hair, she’d get it cut. I was five, I liked strawberry jam, I didn’t like brushing my hair. Thus I lost the privilege of having long hair.
This may seem harsh. At the age of five, I certainly thought so, but ultimately my mother taught me a lesson that not enough people learn: hair is just hair. Hair is not identity. In fact, hair is a responsibility.
I’ve had every length of hair since then, from pixie to waist length, but I inevitably go back to short. There’s always a point in the hair growth process where it just get’s too long and gets annoying. It’s the length when it gets stuck in zippers and velcro, the length when it gets stuck in armpits, the length when it’s too much.
Most recently, I cut my hair because it was too heavy. Because my hair’s so thick and I’m prone to headaches as it is, I can’t wear it in ponytails for very long without getting tension headaches. I was starting to get headaches because this September’s been too warm to wear my hair down and I’m too lazy to regularly do my hair in more elaborate hairdos that distribute its weight more evenly over my scalp. So I scheduled a hair appointment.
I hadn’t been to an actual hair salon for six years. When I left for college, I started growing my hair out from the bob I’d had at the end of high school. Over the course of those six years, I think I had four haircuts, all given by my wonderfully talented mother. My hair went from bob length to waist length, to shoulder length, to waist, to bob, to shoulder, but I didn’t maintain any style. This week, I went to the hair salon because I couldn’t bear the weight of my hair any longer. I got a professional cut that I’m rather pleased with, and even though I don’t associate hair with identity, I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a short-haired girl because the headaches aren’t worth it.