Over the years my hair has served as an identity. Being person I am, who until recently didn’t understand the lengths society goes to in order to put pressure on appearance and the hidden messages we are spoon fed from birth, I never saw anything wrong with the things I do/did in order for it to “look good”. Over the last year I have easily spent $90 on boxes of hair dye alone, but this does not include “other products” I have used such as: peroxide, apple cider vinegar, lemons, limes, oranges, eggs, cinnamon, brown sugar, coconut oil (bc I stripped all the oil out of my hair on three separate occasions), honey, baking soda, salt, vinegar, dawn (thankfully I did not use laundry detergent because it was suggested but I read pages of reviews and started to find ones saying it makes your hair fall out (don’t judge me, as least I do my research)).
The scary part about all of this in my opinion: I have done things like this my whole life.
(2007) Long hair was is style, I finally was allowed to get rid of the stupid kid bangs most moms force their daughters to have for the first ten years or so of their life, so I was excited.
(2008) Getting a bit more independent, I’m a southern girl, so short hair is generally accepted due to the heat. Low maintenance, and I got to chop my hair off with out mom suggesting it.
(2009) I did the bob, it was in style and flashy enough to get attention. I was entering high school, trying to figure out who I was so it made sense (no).
(2010) Enter the bangs, I grew out the bob, and traded it for bangs which fit my personality better which at this point I was starting to figure out what that meant and how to deal with it. Also, my forehead is huge and after being told that for X number of years it gets to you. I had a small stage between the bob and bang period where I dyed my hair one shade darker and it was cute but not very noticeable.
(2011) Welcome to the braid years. In this picture you can very clearly see on your right my braid a.k.a. rat-tail, or Padawan. I sharpied it blue (as depicted here). The braid symbolized an understanding of the the importance of staying grounded, which I have often let become my identity of the years be it good or bad. Also, rare forehead picture.
2012 had some really “ugly” dye jobs (mostly because I still liked my hair when I dyed it and regretted doing it) so I don’t have any pictures from that (sorry not so sorry, but sort of in the “I’m not supposed to be ashamed but red is not my color” kind of way.)
(2013) Senior year – rule the world – go off the college – get a great job – party with my friends – stereotype – stereotype – blah blah blah. My bangs are too short, because I cut them at home in the sink right before this picture was taken, and I didn’t even go to the school we were celebrating me getting into. Major dye job going on.
More of 2013 as I continued to do dying and forehead covering, the picture at the bottom the color is faded, and no one would care or notice, but I trained myself to point out those types of things probably due to all the chemicals that seeped directly into my brain.
So the purple hair was king of all dye jobs, totally rebellious and meant to emphasize my ridiculous “I don’t care what you think” personality. What it taught me is that I like being outlandish, and drawing attention to myself.
The color is faded and I redid it about two weeks after this picture.
Dyed right over the purple and this was about a month after the picture above.
(2014) See the difference in color? I dyed it again between the picture above and this picture.
After dying over the purple a million times and it just getting worse to the point my head looked like a giant gradient sheet, I did a “color oops” kit, which jump started my hairs evolution back into its natural color.
Remember the braid from 2011? yeah, it survived all those transitions.
So why does any of this matter? Because tomorrow I am getting my hair professionally fixed. I am saying goodbye to the braid, I am saying goodbye to dying, and I am saying goodbye to letting the opinions of any and everyone with a mouth define and control me as an individual. I have allowed Social Norms and trends to dictate my decisions, and I am done. Tomorrow I start fresh, not just with this haircut, but spiritually. My relationship with God has suffered because I have allowed myself to listen to the world instead of God.
My Prayer moving forward:
Hey God, please give me strength as I let go of the mistakes I have made in the past. Please help me to move forward in this journey, and not let the past trip me up. Renew me in you, as I surrender everything, as look to the future. Amen.