A Hairy Journey

Hi Internet! It’s been absolutely forever since I’ve posted anything on here and I’ve missed it/you guys so much.

So, this post is a little different to my usual “dark and sad but trying to be helpful” posts. Nonetheless it’s something that I’ve been asked about a lot; why I did it etcetera, etcetera. You’ve probably figured it out from the title or, if you already scrolled through this post and saw the pictures…I cut my hair! And not just any ordinary hair cut where it’s a little shorter and some “huge weight” has been lifted and it’s all so healthy. I’m talking, “I chopped off all my hair and it’s about three inches long at the very longest”.

This story starts a really long time ago when I wanted to donate blood and I know you must be thinking… “what the actual hell does wanting to donate blood have to do with cutting your hair?” Well, I got my seconds done last year so I couldn’t donate blood for six months after that. Instead, I decided my contribution to society would be in hair form…I was going to donate my hair. I have been blessed in my life to be able to grow thick hair (and a lot of it) but, there are many kids who can’t do this. I think it’s something most of us take for granted and it isn’t until you lose it do you really understand what a significant part of your identity it is. Of course it isn’t everything and a person doesn’t just change depending on their hair – or lack there of – but I know it can really impact people, especially children’s self-esteem. As someone who has struggled – and still struggles – immensely with my self-esteem, it really got to me that there was something I could do to make these people feel more comfortable in their skin but I hadn’t done it yet. I knew my hair would always grow back so there was really no question about it.

This then leads to about 10 months ago when I went from having waist-length hair to a lob (a long bob, for all you non-haircut experts) and that was absolutely enormous for me. Here was a zip-lock bag with my ponytail in it – all 11 inches of it.

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the day before
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the day after

Fast forward to mid-February 2016, I was incredibly bored of my hair and it had reached a really awkward length. Boredom wasn’t exactly the only reason I decided to go really short but it was for me and not to donate this time. There was a major factor contributing to my decision but that will be coming in a later post because it’s a bit too long of an explanation to squeeze in here. I messaged Karin about it on the Monday and my hair cut was scheduled for Thursday.  In that one week I scrolled for so many hours through Pinterest trying to find pictures of the style I wanted and finally narrowed the pictures down to one of Julianne Hough and Jennifer Lawrence. I also told mum and dad who absolutely freaked out and then told my work friends about a big ‘surprise’ that was coming on Friday so I couldn’t back out of it.

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Jennifer Lawrence
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Julianne Hough

Thursday came. I was sat in the hairdresser’s chair and she had just cut my hair to a hideous bob length. She then hesitated again (italics) and said for the second time that she didn’t think I would look good with a pixie cut because of my hair type and some huge wave I had at my roots (what does that even mean?). After freaking me out again and leaving me to discuss with a hysterical Karin (because apparently I looked like The Weeknd with my hair clipped up)  I was left with this colossal decision to make. Although my hair does grow fast I knew that getting the pixie cut would mean it wouldn’t be back to a bob length for at least six months and I would have to deal with the awkward lengths when growing out a pixie. But (evidently), I decided to just do it because it’s just hair after all! I know this is a little off topic but can I just tell you that, for the many girls who have never experienced it, having a razor shave the hair at the nape of your neck is the best feeling ever. I’m not even exaggerating! It was pure bliss.

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– Going for “The Weeknd” look –

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– Evidently very chuffed with the new hair –

Since then, my hair has grown about one inch and I never realised how noticeable hair growth is when your hair is shorter! Before, my hair growing one inch wouldn’t have changed anything but the shorter and shorter I went, the bigger the difference it made. For any girls thinking of going for the pixie cut, I really would recommend it so much. It is, by far, the best decision I have made with my hair in my whole life and even though it does take more maintenance than my long hair ever did, it’s worth it.

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Yes, there have been the anticipated lesbian and “you look like a boy” comments – or as one of my students said, “You look like a male!” – because apparently hair has a sexuality and gender but after receiving the number of compliments I have gotten, those comments mean nothing to me. Sure, at first, the idea of people’s first impression of me could be that I’m more masculine or possibly a lesbian did get to me and not because being either of those things is a bad thing. Only because I didn’t want to look like a person I wasn’t and the idea of guys maybe not approaching me anymore scared me, as shallow and stupid as that sounds. After all, I’m still human and sometimes the “I don’t care what people think” attitude cracks a little. I’m not gonna lie to you, after much teasing from various people, it did break me and I cried a bit but it was after a couple of weeks that I actually realised, it doesn’t matter to me what people think. I’ve never felt so confident in myself and so screw what people think you know? If you live your whole life trying to please people, you’ll never be happy because you get one life so why not do whatever the hell you want? To think that a haircut had the ability to boost my confident so much still blows my mind! After many years of awkwardness and experimenting with my “look”, I  feel like I finally look what Chandra should look like so I couldn’t care less. There isn’t really a proper way to explain that to anyone reading but it’s like I knew in my head what I wanted to look like but I never felt like I could achieve that but with this hair, I finally feel like me.

To anyone who has thought of going short, just go for it! Whether it’s just a lob, a bob or if you’re feeling brave enough, a pixie cut, do it! It’s just hair after all. And if you’re in the majority of the lucky population that I am, it’ll grow back and along the way you’ll get to experiment with lengths of hair you would’ve never been able to experience before.

I hope I didn’t bore you all with this post but I just wanted to share the experience for anyone interested in or contemplating about going for the pixie.

– Chan

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