Unconventional Elegance :: A Woman’s Journey From The Beautician To The Barber Chair
From as far back as I can remember, people have consistently offered two compliments: they’ve admired my beautiful smile and my lovely long hair. Growing up in the ’80s, I was instilled with the belief that long hair was the epitome of beauty for women. Whether it was watching TV or flipping through magazines, the image of women with long, flowing, straight hair was the beauty standard ingrained in my mind. My hair was naturally curly, so when I realized that the straight and sleek look was considered the beauty standard, I’d sit on my grandma’s kitchen floor, enduring the heat of the stove hot comb, and that’s where my hair journey began.
As I grew up, I transitioned from my grandma’s kitchen floor to a beautician who would straighten my hair.
She was amazing, but any woman with long hair knows that maintaining it is a process. I’d plan to be at the salon for at least an hour and a half. When I didn’t go to the salon, I’d straighten it on my own. Add that to wash day, and I’d be doing my hair for at least an hour or two. When I didn’t want to straighten it, I would wear it in its curly state, which was equally beautiful but still demanded a significant amount of time and effort. Let’s just say I spent a lot of time on my hair!
Everything changed when I became a parent.
Kids have a unique way of reshaping your priorities! Suddenly, I no longer had the luxury of dedicating two hours to hair maintenance, and if I had 2 hours of free time, I sure as heck didn’t want to spend it styling hair. So, one day, I decided to cut ALL my hair off. My husband didn’t care; he told me it was my hair and to do what I wanted. Those words made me fall in love with him all over again. As we know, hair, especially long hair, is often viewed as a significant part of what makes a woman beautiful. Him telling me that helped to make the decision that much easier for me.
Soon after that conversation, I went to that same beautician and told her to cut it off! She didn’t question me and did what I asked, which I was so grateful for because I didn’t want anyone having me second guess my decision. When I tell y’all that was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I went from taking over an hour to style my hair to it taking minutes to do my hair. The dread of wash day turned into joy as I can quickly wash my hair and be on my way.
The world’s beauty standards for women are, quite frankly, TRASH! Media, be it TV or magazines, often perpetuates a narrow view of what’s considered beautiful and doesn’t serve us all. We should never feel compelled to conform to a single ideal. While the concept of beautiful hair has evolved over time, there’s still room for improvement when it comes to empowering women to be confident in their hairstyle choices.
If you’ve been contemplating cutting your hair, I encourage you to DO IT! You won’t regret it; if you do, remember, it’s just hair – it will grow back.
I’m not here to say that I don’t like long hair because I do. There are moments when I see a woman with long or curly hair, and I can’t help but admire how beautiful it looks on her. However, I quickly return to my own reality, knowing it isn’t the best fit for me. The message here is clear: do what works for you, and don’t allow the media’s portrayal of beauty to weigh heavily on your choices.