Writer and Photographer - Life is there for experiencing, which I live each and every day to do!
Before my extreme hair cut - My hair weighed me down...
Time to cut off your flowing locks?
Most of my life my hair was extremely long... like really, really long! The kind of long where my hair settled below the waistline of my pants that I was constantly sitting on and yanking my neck backwards... can we say: ouch!!. I am not sure if it was out of laziness that I allowed it to grow to such lengths or perhaps if it was my security blanket in which I could hide behind, either way it was there and in a big way.
Having my hair that long, people didn't really seem to see me as a person, it was as if I was a walking hair mannequin -- for years no one seemed to see or comment on anything about me other than 'that hair'. For me, conversations over my appearance were always safe and easy... I never got: did you lose weight or nice sweater... I didn't have to chat about the weather or about how my day had been. No, there really was no conversation other than 'Oh your hair!' -- no matter who I was speaking with, be it friends, family, acquaintances or strangers in the grocery store.
"Really long hair kind of steals your individuality and your identity... it becomes a barrier between you and the world, which seems to make you void of anything identifiable feature other than your hair." - Lou
Thinking back, I believe that I was self conscious over my image, not that I had to be. I was of average weight, height and blessed with very normal physical features. Still, insecurities over my self image burdened me everyday. Thankfully that is part of my past that I got rid around the same time that I decided to chop off my long flowing locks!
Preparing Little Ones
My youngest daughter...
My youngest daughter had never known mommy with out long hair. When I would rock her to sleep she would play with my locks, when she would wake up, she would nestle herself into my hair while she worked on rubbing the sleep from her eyes. My hair had become a security blanket for my sweet, youngest child, so the day before the big cut I let her spend some time 'Doing mommies hair'. And when the day came, she was at the salon with me looking at the hair dressers magazines.
Though not fully developed in speech, she knew mommies hair was going 'bye-bye' and she helped me pick out my new style. We would flip through the pages and I would as her: Is this mommies new hair? She would shake her head no and we would keep flipping... it was actually this sweet child who picked out my style in the end! She found a photo of a lady (who looked like me) and shook her head yes! I reconfirmed: Is this mommies new hair? And again she (Sofia) nodded her head in approval, so we went with it!
My husband had known me from the time that I was 18 -- I had long hair then, and now into my 30's, nothing much had changed. My two older children both were a bit upset with me for the decision to chop the locks, but after a lot of discussion I had their go ahead as well. So with everyone on board I proceeded. All four of my family members stayed for the first few snips, checking that it was really going to happen, and though I wish it wasn't so, it was really hard on my older children. The hairdresser was fantastic and gave them reassurance. I have her to thank for helping them see the magic in the transformation that I was under going.
The cut and color took a lot of time, instead of waiting from start to finish, my husband took our kids out and about and returned to watch the final touches... SUCCESS! My babies loved it!
My decicion to chop my locks - And what drove me to that choice...
It was a long time in the coming... my hair was quite long and had become very time consuming. It took so much time to maintain and had to get brushed multiple times a day. It had to get washed at least every second day and required at least two large handfuls of shampoo to wash and about a fifth of a bottle of conditioner to keep it manageable!
The breaking point for me came when I was in the shower... I dropped the soap.
There are a lot of jokes out there about dropping the soap in a shower... I used to get a good laugh at some of those stories until the day I made my very own 'Dropped the soap in the shower' story....
So, I dropped the soap, went to pick it up, retrieved it very easily, went to stand back up and nearly ripped the scalp off of my head! My hair had went straight down the drain and got tangled! So there I was. The shower is running and I was stuck there, bent over at an odd angle and my hair was lodged down the drain as if I had just used an entire crate of crazy glue to keep it there!
Enough was enough. That was the defining moment. As I worked at untangling it, the thought of grabbing a pair of scissors seemed oh so appealing, I knew, right then, right there that it was time!
The hair: Cut, color and style
Time required: 1.5 hours
For me, I found the hardest part of my choice to chop off my hair, was actually to stop being so darn cheap! Once I got frustrated enough with the tangled mess and stress that my hair was causing in my life, getting my tush into the seat of the stylists chair actually became a happy thought! One that I was more than ready for.
The next thing that I had to focus on and address was the preparing of my family for the change. We had young children, the baby was two and used my long locks as a security blanket. By the time I was done getting everyone ready for the transformation I was more than ready to have it done and over with!
If you are having any second thoughts, remember: there is a reason, or few that brought you to 'the chair'. Breathe, and know that the sound of the first few snips those scissors going threw your hair will be lifting a weight off of your shoulders, literally! Once the scissors make contact there is no going back and your will soon be free from the weight of your hair.
With the next few snips, if you were stressed, you will likely begin to relax. It will be the time to watch your new transformation unfold. Try and have some fun with it!
When the deed is done and the locks are gone try and give yourself a little pampering. A little color can make you feel really fresh and take years off of your look, it did for me!
The end result? Feelings will likely vary with each and ever person. My hair cut story had a happy ending. I loved my new look and so did my family! I had originally wanted something completely off the wall, but between my children, husband and hair stylist we found the right cut for my face shape and life.
Real hair from your head to someone elses
Donating your hair, or selling it to have real hair wigs made for others can help someone going through a hard time in their life.
It can be traumatizing to have lost your hair due to cancer, Alopecia (like my oldest daughter), or any other condition that has an effect on your hair, young or old. Having the opportunity to have your very own hair, from someone else's hair can be life altering in many ways...
- A great place to donate your hair
Making the choice to cut off your locks is one thing... Deciding what to due with those locks is another...
Thinking about donating your hair - To a good cause?
Pantene Pro-V, a company well known for their hair products sponsors 'Beautiful Lengths'... Where you can donate your hair to for a good cause... Or talk to your hairdresser, they often have a source in which they would happily refer your hair donation to!
Donating your hair
My hair transformation was a success - For both me and my family...
© 2014 Lou Cannon
Please share your thoughts or experiences
Marie Ryan from Andalusia, Spain on April 05, 2016:
I'm considering going in for the "chop" myself, as I feel my long hair is sort of dragging my features down a bit as I'm getting older.
It's certainly not as long as yours was, so I don't think donating is possible, but such a lovely idea.
moonlake from America on January 19, 2016:
Your hair looks very nice. I still have longer hair than most in my age group. I just hate cutting it. Short hair to me is a pain to take care of.
Giovanna from UK on January 05, 2015:
You look fab - I have long hair and I cut it a bit yesterday because it was getting on my nerves. I think I'll cut it again tomorrow - you've inspired me. The real reason why I have long hair is because I can't afford to go to the hair dressers :( and short hair needs frequent cutting to look good. My dream hair cut would be like M Monroe - I love those loose locks. Great hub.
James Jordan from Burbank, CA on June 08, 2014:
It looks great! Congrats on this change!
Ibidii on June 01, 2014:
I was in a coma for 6 weeks and my hair got all tangled and a rats nest. So I let them cut the ponytail off. My hair was so long I could sit on it. The pony tail went to my grandson who has alopecia from his syndrome. He is a dwarf and has a lot of other issues as well. He does not want the wig for now as he gets too hot with the ones he has tired. So it waits for him when he is ready. Great story and sorry you got stuck. You look cute with both long and short hair. Your daughter is cute too, looks a lot like my youngest daughter when she was that age.
Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on May 31, 2014:
That was one heck of a breaking point! I've donated my hair several times and it's almost time again. I'm just waiting for it to get a little longer so after the donation, I have enough hair left for a style I like.
jen09 writes on May 31, 2014:
Love the soap story. I've been thinking about cutting mine but it has been this way as long as I can remember and I guess I am a little afraid of change.
Lorelei Cohen on May 31, 2014:
I am so sorry but your shower story was so funny that I could not stop giggling. Being a natural born clutz myself I can so imagine it happening. Your hair is beautiful short or long.