Hair is a strange concept, especially for those who have interesting locks. My hair is naturally curly, and a dark golden blonde colour. Yes, it grows from my head like that. I was quite young when people began commenting on it; saying they wished they had it, that it was lovely, or that I should straighten it – what have you. When I realized that my hair was the thing that made people look at me, I was terrified. It was a frizzy, barely nice looking at all, rats nest on my head. It was hot, heavy, and hard to manage. My hair was a chore; a repetitive, needy, piece of my identity.
As you might imagine, as I got older, it occurred to me that this hair atop my head made me unique. Not many have hair like me, and when I took care of it, it looked -dare I say- nice. I still felt like I had an alpaca on my head, but it did have its perks: Free insulation for winter!
This obsession with my hair began around age 15. My family would always comment on my hair, and how lucky I was to have it. I honestly started thinking the same. I’d coloured it a few times, but ultimately grew it out and stopped damaging it. My curls were my lifeline. I grew my hair to my waist, and treated it as if it were pure gold.
Being me, I got bored. I started cutting it, colouring it, cutting it again, growing it out, cutting it, etc. I’ve been doing that since I was 16. I’m 21 now, and I miss my hair. It’s cut into a longer bob, currently, and coloured a bleach blonde. The thing I didn’t think about, before bleaching it, is that curly hair is delicate; it doesn’t really curl anymore.
I can’t help but think that these actions somehow mean something else. I took advantage of this beautiful thing life gave me, and now I’ve wrecked it. I was also given porcelain skin, but wreck that every day with a compulsive skin picking disorder (Dermatillomania caused by OCD). One can only really move forward though, and though I don’t have the curly hair and porcelain skin of my 15 year old self, I have many more things to be thankful for. Hair grows, and skin heals.
Photo is of me, circa Spring 2011 – Age 15