26 Jul 2009

Hey there, Delilah.

My long period of absence is due to my almost 4 week holiday, travelling round America. But don't worry, this isn't going to be a "What I did on my holiday" post. I realise hearing about other people's vacations is only marginally more enjoyable than feigning interest and amusement at their holiday pictures.

No, I want to talk about my hair today.

On my last day in Denver, I had an appointment at a hair salon (http://www.avedaacademydenver.com/) for a trim of my fringe, which was getting painfully long and tickly. By the way, in America, they call a fringe 'bangs', which made me laugh so hard. The hairdresser totally didn't know what was going on.

Anyway, I went in their with hair that was pretty long (a bit longer than the bottom of my heart) and came out with 8.5 inches of my dark, silky crowning glory on the cutting room floor. And I didn't even feel sad. The hairdresser (who had amazing hair herself, all black and short and Tonks-ish) was a bit unsure when I said 'I want you to cut it all off', but she did it. So I spent 3 hours staring at myself in the mirror, not fun; after about 20mns you begin to notice horrific imperfections in yourself that I'm sure no-one else ever spots. At one point she turned me around and pointed at all these dark curls on the tiles and was like: 'that's your hair'. It didn't bother me, After all, I've had it for almost 16 years. I was just excited to be something new.

And it looks SO good!

I've got this little bob now, all sleek and shiny and terribly grown up.

But, ever since I've gotton it cut, people have been assuming there's some emotional turmoil in my life. No, I haven't broken up with anyone. No, my parents aren't getting divorced. I just cut my hair off, something I've been longing to do for years.

There's some feeling behind the act of a woman cutting off her hair; it's something quite primal. A womans long hair is a sign of her femininity, her sexuality, so when she cuts it off she must be cutting herself off from the opposite sex. History puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of hair. In Samson and Delilah (note the title of this blog), Samson loses his strength when Delilah cuts his hair. In fairytales, princesses are beautified with their long flowing hair (usually blonde, but don't get me started on the way society projects an image to girls of blonde being The Ideal). In magical folklore, hair is often needed in spells to increase their power. The message is clear: hair is important.

And it is, but when you've got hair like mine it's also a pain. My hair is thick. I know lots of people say that, but mine is the kind of hair that means hairdressers call over the over people in the salon to "get a look at this!" I'm a (pale) white girl with a mix of English and Irish ancestory, and yet my hair has been described as African American. It knots like hell and takes an age to dry and straighten. My new hair, however, is completely different. It feels thinner, lighter, in better condition. I can actually pull a comb through it (oh, the novelty). I cut mine for conveiniance, but also because I wanted too.

I'm going to a new school in September, I'm turning 16 in a couple of weeks. I was desperately in need of a fresh new me. Perhaps, as well, because everything else in my life is changing around me (not neccisarrily for the better) I wanted to change something that I could control, on my own terms. But, even though the cut was partly due to something more physcological, it sure as hell wasn't to do with other people.

Hair might be the symbol of womanly virtues, but I think I can keep mine without an acre of dead cells growing from my skull. I'm not waiting at the top of the tower for my White Knight to decide he's ready to come and rescue me; I've climbed out the window myself.

I've de-Rapunzel'ed myself, and I don't regret it.


  1. I'm getting mine lopped off soon.
    Cannot wait, and I know what you mean about wanting a change.
    But I meanI'm getig it so short its unbelievable, with a quiff (Y)

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