A lesson from my hair

It is said that growing up I had beautiful hair. Even my old pictures can testify to this claim; thanks to a gene my paternal grandmother had passed on to my sister and me. That gene seemed to be doing wonders for my sister whether she wore her hair straight or curled up in an afro. That was not the case for me. The good-hair-gene seemed to have lied dormant. As a result, it’s either I hid my hair or tied it up in a braid. When feeling optimistic, I would try to give it a chance to be out again, but after two days, I would be tired of it. It was thin and would break. “What happened to your hair?” my mom would often ask. I would dismiss this question as I could not answer it but yet would know the solution. I played around the solution, habouring the problem only to make it worse. At this point, my hair had even lost its deep brown-black colour into a chestnut (light brown-orange) collection of hair strands. If only there was another solution! Unfortunately, there wasn’t. All options led to this fate: cutting my hair. Fear would hold me back by whispering, “My head is shapeless, that I would look horrible without my hair.” I had cut it before, but it would only be a trim. This time, I had to shave almost all of it, if not all. I was terrified by this solution but it was the only way to good-hair-restoration. Long story short, I had to befriend the scissors and make the big chop. One afternoon, I stood in my bathroom and witnessed my hair falling to the tile floor beneath me, with every fall leaving my head bare. I then called a friend to oversee this venture and to give it the final touches it needed.

What a liberating feeling cutting my hair was! It felt as though the burden of my sins had been removed. I was so light and free, and I was not ugly at all. In fact, short hair looked good on me. I was ready for this new short hair journey.

I would like to believe that I am not the only one who has held on to something that no longer served them good. For me it was hair, but for you, it might be bad company, a toxic romantic relationship, an unhealthy habit, or that subscription that you have not used in months and, yet it never fails to deduct money from you. If you are looking for a sign, this is it: cut ties! I know that it is easier said than done, and I am sure fear has a lot to do with that. As true as that may be, you have to do it. Just like me, you are deceiving yourself that things will get better. You hoard, holding on to things and people that were once good to you while that very same act is harming you. You’re holding on to potential that you know will never materialize. Perhaps it’s time to face the reality that the relationship, just like my hair, has run thin.

Just like with my damaged hair, you would hide it or even make excuses for it while you know that you are habouring the problem. How many times have we had people losing their lives because they would hide unhealthy food items from their families with which they were supposed to cut ties according to doctor’s orders? How many times have relationships been dented because of rotten character traits that the perpetrator should have discarded a while ago? How many sisters have we lost due to them holding on to abusive partners that they should have left while they could? The message is simple: cut ties!

When cutting my hair, I used a pair of scissors. Instead of being overwhelmed by a whole head that I needed to shave, I took it piece by piece until the whole head was bare. I suggest that you do the same. Take small doable steps that will lead you to your freedom.

Cutting my hair did not only liberate me but it gave my hair a new opportunity for a healthy growth. My hair grew back to its state. It did not necessarily instantly gain length as that needed more time, but it was definitely stronger and healthier. It had even regained the deep brown-black colour it had lost. Fear almost robbed me, and I am so grateful that I finally had the strength to go against it. You should do the same.