Recently, my hair started dropping off. I say ‘dropping off’ as opposed to ‘falling out’ because it literally decided that it would drop off half way down my head, rendering me with an unintentional bowl-cut atop a clump of hair that had pitifully clung on for dear life. Essentially I had a bob on top of a may-aswell-not-have-been-there mullet. I’m not entirely sure why I’m speaking about this follicular fiasco in the past tense because it’s still very much happening. Still very real. Still bob-ish. Very mullet. Much upsetting; disproportionately so, some may say.
Hair is hair is hair is hair. We mercilessly allow waxers to wrench its fibres from our being. We furiously pluck the bastards (or not so much, a la the untamed eyebrow) in a bid for preened symmetry. We poorly manoeuvre razors around our ankles and feel indifferently as we watch the literal bloodbath that ensues; you couldn’t mistake that liquid crimson for a lush bath-bomb, that’s for sure. Our hair is our own. What we decide to do with our body fuzz is purely personal choice. I’ve written before about how I’ve repeatedly chosen to endure hellish heights in order to have a hair-free fairy (I’ve found a really great waxer now, thanks for asking); EACH TO THEIR OWN. For whatever reason, I feel fresher and somehow cleaner when I’m hairless. Don’t ask me why. I’m not in pursuit of a bizarrely childlike fanny, as many will argue is the perverse decision-making behind a punani wax. No. I just like my hair more when it’s on a wax strip and not sprouting up all over my bodeh. Simples. And whilst I realise that my bodily mane is only present for a purpose (keeping me warm since 1991, thnx guys), my wardrobe *is* a smorgasbord of mongolian fur; I’m covered on the warmth front. But the hair on my head. Well, that’s a little different. And when it started dropping out, my confidence dropped with it.
For years, my mane was my mask. It shielded me. It skilfully hid my ‘bad side’ (we’ve all got one). It distracted people. Its length detracted from the undeniable spherical severity of my moon face (or spheverity, as I shall now call it). It got compliments. The compliments made me feel confident. I started considering that maybe my hair was the nicest thing about me. I let it grow and grow and grow until it could grow no mo’. It was a beautiful blonde beacon. My sweet, soft safety net. I loved my hair. Too much. ‘Cause somewhere along the line, my confidence got tangled in the compliments until my hair was my most prized possession: “You’ve got amazing hair”, “Thanks, I’ve been working on it since 1991”. Or 2001, if we take into account the time my mother cruelly persuaded me a bob would look precious. I committed the cardinal, very un-British sin that day and cried in front of the hairdresser. I actually uttered the words “I hate it” – Who does that? Everyone knows you shut up and look overjoyed by your new ‘do, even if the hairdresser goes wayward and shaves an emoji into your head. I’m not sure which one of us was more traumatised. She refuses to cut more than an inch off my hair nowadays. I digress… My hair was basically my be all and end all, and this misdirected source of self-esteem was only further worsened with the influx of coo’ing and lusting from third parties. It was a glorious mash-up of sunshine shades. I then went for a full-on Candice Swanepoel-inspired bleach blonde ‘do. I dyed it pink. I dyed it purple (my fave). I dyed it grey. I dyed it blue (a bastard to remove, btw). And then it died on me.
I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was; I wasn’t the most attentive bleach blonde bard. It was bound to happen. My mother had warned me. Sacré bleu, zut alors and FML aplenty. I could prepare myself for the ‘I told you so’s but I couldn’t prepare myself for the slump in esteem that followed. My previously prized possession had become the source of my new-found misery. Gone were the days where I obsessed over my stretch-marks. Oh how I longed for those days once more! What was nice about me now? How the fuck was I going to cover my bad side without a blonde blanket to aid me? HOW THE FUCK WAS I GOING TO MASK THE SPHEVERITY NOW? As with most of my problems, this could be filed under #firstworld. And, as with most of my problems, the real issue is that I invested so much energy and esteem into adoring a part of myself that was transient. My hair still looks whack. It’s a shell of the majestic mane it once was. Truth be told, it puts in the ‘iff’ in coiffure. But I am not my hair, and after months of woe-is-me mirror crying (in which I pull said bob in front of my face and despair at the disastrous reality staring, red-eyed and puffy-faced, back at me), I realise that. Hair is great – and beautiful hair is a beautiful thing – but we’ve got to take a step back and smell the roses when evanescent extras become the part of ourself we love the most. Our pride and esteem shouldn’t be *so* tangled up in tangible things. So plz, grab your tangle teezer and straighten out your sensibilities.