11 Things I Learned From Losing 12 Inches Of Hair

Flickr / Ally Mahbobi
Flickr / Ally Mahbobi

I cut my hair over Christmas break. Drastically.

After doing it I’ve had so many girls say, “OMGosh you cut your hair, I love it!” My mom and grandma both said I look older, but in a good way. A few guys say, “Oh, you got your hair cut?! How do girls notice those things?!”

Since then, I’ve talked with a few girls who still have super long hair and they have all said, “I just could never do it, no way!” Through this experience I’ve learned that drastic change is fun! I didn’t realized this before, but I’ve learned so much just from separating 12 inches of dead protein cells from my head:

1. It’s changed my attitude for the better and for the long term.

Of course, we’re always excited/more confident/more positive after a good session and gossip hour at the hair salon. We feel fresh with a new trim job and new color, ready to take on the world—or just post selfies on Instagram. But this has made me feel so much more free and easygoing and happier…on a daily basis. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true. I still feel this way two weeks after making the cut.

2. If something is making you uncomfortable, change it NOW.

I have a bad habit of just “getting through things” instead of making a change instantly. I had been planning to cut some hair off for a while but kept overthinking it and was putting it off until college graduation. If you want to do something, DO IT NOW. Become more spontaneous.

3. Don’t plan so much.

If I had followed through with my initial plan, I only would have cut off about six inches. I was nervous about too much change at once, which is stupid. Then my amazing hair lady Trish said if it’s ten inches I could donate. That pushed me over the edge. Honestly, I couldn’t say no to losing a few extra inches and making a donation to someone who needed hair WAY more than me. And would enjoy it so much more.

4. Life is too short and full of too many opportunities to stress about something as minor as hair.

I think living in Switzerland and traveling Europe really pushed my relationship with my hippie hair over the edge of “Screw this, you’ve gotta go!” Staying in hostels, spending days walking around cities, having to take showers while holding the showerhead, not having a curling iron or straightener because I didn’t buy a converter. When your hair is so long it gets stuck in your armpit and you don’t notice, and then try to turn your head quickly and get whiplash. That’s when you realize there’s a problem.

5. Don’t let other people tell you how YOU feel.

I’ve had quite a few people say that “You will totally regret it if you cut your hair off!” or “I cut my hair a few inches and I’ll never do it again!” At the time, I didn’t realize that I was putting off doing something that I consider one of the most positive changes I’ve ever made in my life. If you let others tell you how you feel or scare you about things that could happen, you’ll never be happy. You end up living your life according to everyone else’s opinions and not on your own terms.

6. Don’t be afraid to do something just because it goes against what society desires.

It seems like everyone wants long hair. Girls are constantly wishing their hair would grow faster and even taking biotin supplements to make it grow faster. They stay up late at night pinning photos of girls with waist-length curls to Pinterest boards. I had what many girls in today’s society want. Embarrassingly, that was holding me back from making a positive change. The grass truly isn’t always greener on the other side; it’s green where you water it.

7. One of my favorite quotes ever is, “If it doesn’t nourish your soul, get rid of it.”

I was absolutely not following this belief of mine. Don’t be afraid to cut ties with something that’s been a part of you for so long but doesn’t improve you anymore. Keeping negative thoughts, triggers, and feelings out of our daily lives truly makes a difference.

8. By losing, most times you’re actually gaining.

I didn’t weigh myself to know for sure, but I’m pretty positive that I lost at least five pounds. Not that weight loss was the motivator here, but it sure feels good! My hair is extremely thick, so because it was so long, my ponytails wouldn’t stay in without two or three hair ties, running seemed 10x more horrible than usual, and I would end up with headaches at the end of a lot of days. Besides losing a lot of weight from my noggin, I’ve also gained so many other things emotionally.

9. I gained confidence.

I did something that truly terrified me and it turned out better than OK. I’ve spent days and weeks traveling completely alone, found my way just fine in The Tube in London, The Metro in Paris, went skiing in the Swiss Alps, and rappelled through canyons. I’ve done a lot of things that have initially scared me, but they don’t anymore. This is just another one of those experiences.

10. I realized how much I hid behind my hair.

Going off of my previous point. I know I hid my lack of self-confidence behind my hair at times. If I absolutely hated how I looked in an outfit I was wearing I would curl my hair, it would look cute, and people would notice that instead of how insecure I was.

11. Do whatever the hell makes YOU happy.

Seriously, just do it. If you have the right mindset, you can’t fail, because there are no failures, just lessons learned. I always remember when I was younger, hearing my parents say, “Try it, you just might surprise yourself.” Truth. TC mark



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