Both of my daughters are blessed with great hair. From their dad’s side of the family, they inherited thick, full heads of hair.
Shelbie’s is naturally straight, and was very blonde when she was younger, although it’s getting darker as she gets older.
Elayna’s is naturally wavy, and light brown with natural blonde highlights. People think her hair has been highlighted in a salon.
Both girls have almost always worn their hair very long. They both cut it short once in their lives, just above their shoulders. But then they grew it back out.
Growing up, I was not allowed to cut my hair. It was very, very long; past my rear end. My dad loved long hair and forbid me to cut it, other than trimming off the split ends, until the summer before I went into high school . So, only because it was forced on me, I hated it most of the time. It was very pretty though; my Mom helped me take very good care of it (it’s not easy to brush through hair that long by yourself). In middle school, I was voted Prettiest Hair, and that’s about the only time I was proud of my hair.
So of course, I vowed to never tell my kids what to do with their own hair, within reason. My son had shoulder-length hair in middle school, and even very briefly dyed it purple on a dare. Elayna had a pink streak a few years ago. My former stepson Andrew had a mohawk which we dyed red with Kool-aid.
The thing is, I really do love long hair on girls. Growing up, I never wanted short hair, and when I did finally get my hair cut, it was still past my shoulders, almost to my shoulder-blades. I’ve only had very short hair once in my life and that was a horrid, hideous mistake. Never again!
So my daughters have had long hair most of their lives because that was their choice. And I love it. It’s part of their identity, to me. But that doesn’t explain why, when Shelbie recently considered cutting her hair very short for summer, I started hyperventilating.
I’m not even kidding. I discovered that thinking about my daughters cutting their hair off literally gives me anxiety. Shelbie was texting me about cutting her hair and sent me a picture of the short style she was considering. I literally felt my heart rate speed up. My respiratory rate increased. I truly can’t explain what it is about them cutting their hair that causes such a reaction in me. Shelbie thought I was a few sandwiches short of a picnic. I really couldn’t argue with her. I finally said, look, it’s your hair, do what you want with it. Just don’t tell me about it. Go get it cut, let me have my meltdown, and then we’ll move on.
But (THANK YOU SWEE T BABY JESUS) she ended up changing her mind about getting it cut.
Shortly after, Elayna was talking about needing a hair cut and wanting to cut off quite a bit. I told her that I would take her to get a haircut but ONLY a few inches off. If she wanted to cut it short , that was her choice, but I wanted NO part of it. I wouldn’t take her to the salon, I wouldn’t pay for it, I wouldn’t go with her, I wouldn’t participate. She decided to just get a few inches off. (THANK GOD.)
Even Elayna’s friends told her she shouldn’t cut her hair.
The lovely girl who trimmed Elayna’s hair (and had cut mine the day before, and styled Shelbie’s hair for prom) said she sympathized with me, and TOTALLY agreed that my girls are blessed with gorgeous hair and should keep it long.
Recently, when I was on my way to get my hair cut, Byron texted me: Baby, please don’t get it cut too short, ok?
He had nothing to worry about. And I fully admit to being super-vain about my hair and not giving in to going gray. I color my grays and I don’t know if I’ll EVER stop doing that.
What is it with women and our hair? Is your hair your identity? Do you have an emotional connection with your hair, and/or your kids’ hair? I have heard of teary reactions to kids’ first haircuts, but am I cuckoo for coco puffs for still feeling emotionally attached to my teenaged daughters’ long locks?