The first time I cut my hair short was a few days before my twenty-fifth birthday. Not only did I want a new look on the day I turned a quarter of a century, I wanted a “clean cut” start into the life of a grown woman. For me, cutting my hair into a new glamorous look symbolized the removal of the old me. My bad habits, mistakes and all the other under twenty-five things I did. My new hairstyle allowed me to feel free, re-freshed and rejuvenated in one simple visit to the salon.
Fast forward a few years later, I ironically found myself having that same feeling again sitting in my beauticians chair last month. Besides the fact that I needed to cut some hair due to breakage and split ends, I felt the sudden urge to once again clip off the “old me” and relive that “new me–new look” feeling I experienced when I was turning twenty-five. Although it was not my birthday or any other special holiday or occasion I wanted to celebrate and reveal the new person I have become since that sentimental birthday four years ago. It was at that moment I realized that having the feeling of starting over doesn’t just happen on January 1st or significant birthdays like 25, 30 and 40. Feelings of renewal, second chances and lessons learned happen everyday.
Who would have thought that hairstyles and the feelings that accompany them are metaphors of life? When you make changes to your hair as you would in your life you automatically begin to feel and look differently. The natural process to care for your hair is in direct correlation to the natural process to grow and succeed in life. For example, any hairdresser or beauty expert will tell you that you must have your ends clipped every six to eight weeks to promote healthy hair growth. If not, you can cause split ends, breakage and eventually hair loss. The same holds true for your life. It’s important to trim and get rid of the old habits, negative people and thoughts to promote growth. Failure not to can cause unhappiness, depression and frustration. Similarly, just like hair, in life you must go through various stages to ultimately get to where you want to be.
Consider these four hair stages as it relates to the growing pains of life:
1) The fresh new hair style–you look and feel great and it shows and everything you say and do.
2) The bad hair days–nothing is worst than these days. Your confidence level is down and you feel horrible. To mask the pain you cover up with a “hat” or “ponytail” but yet these are only temporary fixes.
3) The in-between-stage–the most annoying and frustrating part of life is the struggle to get the next level while dealing with the urge to give up. Even though this stage is the most uncomfortable one, it’s the only that teaches you the gift of patience.
4) The fourth and final stage is the birth of your signature style–this is the point in your life where you realize what works for you and what doesn’t, while being comfortable with it. It can be a “natural fro”, “twists”, “braids”, a “perm” or a “weave.” Whatever it is, it’s who you are. That is the part of life that is the most precious, the realization of self and loving every part of it.
Embrace the changes and stages of your life and hair; their purposes are more stylish than you think.