As my long hair fell haphazardly to the floor, I felt a burst of excitement rush through me. I was reinventing myself. This was going to be the start of something great. I just knew it.
I’d never actually considered cutting my hair until now. Sure, I’d thought about in my head, even said it out loud to my boyfriend a few times, mostly just to gauge his reaction. But going through with it was never part of the plan.
Then I went through depression and it nearly tore me (and my entire relationship) apart. Surviving that and coming out on the other end OK gave me a whole new perspective on life. With the help of therapy, I grew as a person, stole back my happiness and strengthened my bond with my boyfriend. All I needed now was an outward change to reflect the new me on the inside. So I thought, why not cut my hair?
Sitting in the chair at the Fred Segal Salon in Santa Monica, I was nervous but super excited at the same time. After all, it’s not too often that a regular gal like me has a renowned celebrity stylist like Matthew Preece tending to her locks. I was getting the star treatment.
“So what are we doing today?” he asked in a friendly, upbeat tone.
“I want to chop it all off and brighten it up a bit” I said cheerfully, using my hands to show him the shoulder length I was thinking. I’d also sent myself several images I’d snagged off Pinterest to help paint him a clearer picture of what I was after: natural highlights and a textured lob.
“That’s going to look great on you, but why do you want to cut it?” he inquired, looking genuinely interested in what I had to say.
I shrugged my shoulders. “I’m just ready for a change. I’ve had long hair my whole life.” I truly had.
As soon as the hair started falling to the floor in large clumps, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I couldn’t believe how light and airy it felt already.
Because my hair was so long, Matthew decided to cut it first and then he added some insanely natural-looking blond highlights (by far the most natural highlights I’ve ever had) that subtly brightened me up all over. A brighter look for a brighter mood. I was obsessed, and once I left the salon, the compliments didn’t stop rolling in. My boyfriend loved it, and so did all my friends and family.
Arriving at my therapist’s office the following Monday, even she couldn’t stop raving about it. She also clued me in to the fact that, in psychology, a drastic haircut often signifies a new stage in a woman’s life, a shift in her internal identity and how she sees herself. It was true. I saw myself (finally) as “me” again. The me I was before depression struck. The me that enjoyed getting out and doing fun stuff with her friends. The me that actually had energy and didn’t want to just lay in bed all day. I was thrilled, ecstatic even. My short hair is giving me the fresh start on the outside I so desperately needed.
Although there are still fleeting moments in which I yearn for my long locks, I have to say, I’ve never felt so alive and excited about this next phase of my life.