I’ve been feeling very existential today and thus will romanticize anything I can get my hands on. Today it’s my hair. Let’s discuss.
I’ve been wearing my hair down and natural lately – no curling, straightening, or hair spray. It started 2 weeks ago, when I was getting ready for work and I just felt this overwhelming sense of exhaustion of doing the same things day in and day out.
Every morning at 6:00am, I will get out of bed, drag myself to bathroom to prim and prep for the day ahead. Every single day, my hair is washed and dried and curled or straightened – based on the outfit of the day. Daily, it is bent out of shape – made to look like something else in order to look fit my standard of cascading hair perfection. And I’m tired of it!
So one day, I skipped doing my hair. I washed it and then I left the bathroom. The time I usually spent blow drying and styling it was instead spent having breakfast and reading a book. It was the most relaxing morning I’ve had in weeks! And then I thought, “Good lord have I been wasting my mornings this whole time?”
It occurred to me that we are so conditioned (get it, ha puns) to hold ourselves up to a certain image that changing it seems so daunting and impossible. Nonsensical images that were imposed to us while we were young. Let’s delve deeper.
When I was but a young-in, my parents and I lived in the Philippines – where btw all the impossible standards originated. I was born with dark tightly curled hair and tanned skin – naturally because that’s how Filipino women are supposed to look like. BUT no, much like other backwards old fashioned countries, the colour of one’s skin/type of hair signifies social status. Evidently, having both curly hair and tanned skin scored very low in the Filipino social status scale.
I was considered ugly, you guys. So much so that my first memory of being judged was when I was 6 and one of my older cousins told my mother that “my look is not on trend right now”. I was too young and thus too short to cut that cousin a side eye but my mother should have.
Anyway, from a very young age I learned not to look like a dragon. My mornings were spent slathering whitening lotion on my body and straightening my hair. This routine has shackled me and I’m sure many other girls for years!
But a few weeks ago, I just decided not to do that anymore, and so I didn’t. I think everything’s OK. What kind of black magic is this? You mean to tell me that we can just decide not to do something and just willy nilly stop doing it? Jesus!
I was subconsciously concerned about how external forces will perceive the change in my appearance. Will my coworkers think I’m feeling under the weather today? Is it rude to go on a date without shiny smooth hair? And then I realized that I just plain don’t care and it felt naughty but also euphoric. Why is it such a radical thing to not give a fuck lately?
Look I get it. It’s just hair but somehow it’s a deliberate reintroduction to my authenticity that I desperately needed. An eye opening merging of who I was – silky straight haired to the crazy curly, occasionally frizzy woman I’m becoming. It’s liberating. You should try it.