*This is the start of something awesome. This space has been a place for me to chronicle feelings and relationships and stories (the ridiculous and the sad and the funny), it’s been my way of providing a time stamp to major life events, and it’s been a place of advice and discussion and feedback (which I’m incredibly grateful for). But now begins a new chapter, this space will also be a celebration of adventures, of personal triumphs, of doing things we never thought we could, and to cheering each other on. If you have an adventure (big or small) you’d like to write about, please email me at betterinrealife at gmail dot com.
Daaaamn girl, you got some sexy locks rockin’ out.
So … Friday afternoon I did something brave: I chopped off 14 inches of my hair.
I know, I know … that doesn’t sound like such a brave thing, right? Well, when you consider my hair hasn’t been above my shoulders in 17 years … and that the last time it was I cried, nightly, until it grew out? That changes the story a bit, doesn’t it? Honestly, just thinking about it makes me want to run to bed and hide my head under the covers.
Well, too late for that!
Inspired by Lauren and my best friend … who both chopped and donated their hair to Locks of Love last summer, I’d been thinking about it for a while. Months. But I could never bring myself to do it. So, when winter set in, I heaved a sigh of relief … I NEVER cut my hair in winter, lest the cold break it and I’m forced to cut even more off … and so I forgot about it. And then, winter ended.
In the space of a week I thought about cutting, pushed it to the back of my mind, thought about it some more, and chickened out.
Then there was Friday.
Somewhere around 11am, I emailed Lauren … a long rambling email that concluded “Thoughts? Opinions? Suggestions? HEELLLLLLLP!!!”. I researched hair styles. I begged my husband for reassurance. I got a stylist recommendation. I looked up his salon, and found that he had a 5:15pm appointment open. A same day appointment with a stylist who normally books up a month in advance.
I really don’t think the universe could make it any more clear than that.
So, with Lauren cheering me on (And seriously people? She’s the best cheerleader EVER.) I booked the appointment.
After one of the better shampoos I’ve ever had, done by a beautiful boy with one of the best sleeve tattoos I’ve seen (I wish I’d gotten his name!), I sat down to meet my stylist. When I told him I was thinking of doing a donation chop he stopped me.
“Have you ever done it before?” (No.) “When was the last time you had a drastic cut?” (Um, when I was twelve?) “Are there going to be tears?” (I don’t know, but I don’t think so!) “Are you ABSOLUTELY sure you want to do this? It’s a big change. Think about it for a minute.”
Once I’d given him the ok he stood me up in the middle of the salon, pulled my hair into a ponytail, and snip-snip-snipped. The other stylists may or may not have cheered.
Then, he got to work on, in his words, giving me “an actual HAIR CUT”. And really, the man is a master. He took my inspiration, analyzied my hair type, made some suggestions, AND taught me a couple tricks. All in about 20 minutes, including the chop. Totally worth the outrageous amount of money he demands.
We also chatted about places to donate. Obviously there is Locks of Love, but I wanted to know if other options were out there. He pointed me towards Pantene Beautiful Lengths… who partners with the American Cancer Society to provide real hair wigs to women stricken with cancer.
That did it for me. My grandmother was once the recipient of a wig from ACS’s wig bank … so I know first hand how well they’re made, and just how much of a difference they can make in the life of a woman who maybe doesn’t feel beautiful anymore. As much as I love Locks of Love’s mission, this one is just a little closer to my heart. And for you wanting to donate, who don’t have 10 inches to cut off? Beautiful Lengths takes donations 8 inches and longer.
Walking out of the salon, I felt fancy. Before I’d made it to the corner I’d gotten two compliments on the cut. And I felt … lighter? I don’t know how to describe it any better than that. Suffice to say, I spent the evening bopping my head around … and ended up with a headache. But a giddy headache!
That is 100% pure sassy happiness. Sassy happiness should be a new go-to description.
My biggest fear, going into it was not that I wouldn’t like it, or that my husband wouldn’t like it … though I did think about those things. It was that after cutting so much, I wouldn’t look like myself. I was terrified of looking in a mirror and not knowing myself. At 28, that’s not exactly a feeling I’m familiar with. And luckily, the fear was totally unfounded. Not only do I feel like myself … I feel like a BETTER me.
Better, because I did something brave. Better, because I’m doing something that will make a difference in another woman’s life. And better, because I know I’m capable of looking a fear in the face, and doing it anyway.
Now … can someone please teach me how to use a round brush and a hair dryer at the same time?
Ahh!! This is so awesome and inspiring I can’t even handle it! Plus she looks amazeballs. Plus she is helping others. Plus she did something she was afraid of and it made her feel stronger and more alive. HELL YES. If you would like to check out more of Sarah, go here for her bloggy and you can also follow her on twitter. Hooray!