My hair has always been a huge part of my identity. In primary school, I was always “Andrea With the Long Hair.”
The first thing I did when I turned 18, and could make my own decisions about my hair? I chopped it. Now every 5 or so years I get this major impulse to chop and start anew. I go from waist-length hair to shoulder length hair, and usually with no regrets.
I hate when people say, “You’ll regret it!” but I also hate when people say, “It’s just hair!” It’s not just hair. I have a family member very close to me who has Alopecia, and makes the decision to wear wigs. Whenever I am ready to do my chop, I know it is hard for her to see me cut my hair with such reckless abandon.
When did people start identifying themselves by their hair? Women are pressured to keep our hair long, make sure our roots are died, and don’t forget we need to style it to perfection daily. Even Ancient Egyptian women were using hair dye, wigs, and hair extensions to keep up appearances.
We humans lost our fur 2.5-3 million years ago, so you would think by now, we could do whatever we wanted with the hair we have left, without any societal pressures.
The scientific reason long hair is attractive to both males and females, is that it is a sign of health, longevity, and reproductive health. Those who have short, thin, or balding hair, are seen to be less virile and healthy.
For men, short hair is seen as a conformity to society, while long hair is seen as a sign of antiestablishmentarianism.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, short hair on women is usually seen as someone who goes against the grain, and long hair is a sign that she has conformed to society ideals.
As progressive as we in the developed world think we are, we still fall under these ideals and pressures when it comes to hair and appearance.
Cut your hair! Don’t cut your hair! The decision shouldn’t matter to anyone else but you. Your style, makeup, and hair decisions should be based on what makes YOU feel your best and most confident.
This topic is on my mind today, because I do have a hair appointment after work, and I am in a time in my life where I need something new and fresh, and hair is always a good place to start. I have been thinking of doing the chop, but also thinking of the pressure from family, friends, and society to keep my hair long and growing.
What will I do? I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
What are your thoughts on hair?