“Cut My Hair”
Fiction. Based on a True Journey of Self-Discovery.
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.
Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.
when i was young,
my classmates told me that my hair was frizzy, the colour of the devil, and not attractive to men. they like soft waves they can run their fingers through. i was told to pull my hair, make it long, make it straight and flat, make it brown to then make it blond. ginger, they called me
with a tone that reeked with distaste.
when i was a bit older,
my friends told me i looked better with short hair. i didn’t believe them at the time after i re- grew my hair. they had straight hair down to their wide waists. they tugged at my skin, pulled my curls, and poked at my eyes. and i called them friends.
when i arrived at college,
my dorm mates dyed their hair blond. the sounds of laughter filled the halls mingled with
the smell of burnt hair and alcohol. i let my curls go wild down my back, but my scalp hurt with the weight. i couldn’t let it get as long as theirs – short hair was out of style. you’re too red, too curly, too thin…. anorexic bitch.
when i moved to London,
every woman had different hair – some long, some short, some straight, some curly. i was a
woman for the first time whose body was not poked and pulled. my fingers were cold. a woman in a hijab was complemented, a woman with a short curly bob was smiling, a woman with brown hair had no highlights.
when i last cut my hair,
i only took off two inches and it still hung down my back. but it didn’t curl. it hurt my scalp. i tugged at my curls, pulling it as i did in the past. i left the salon happy but after a day, it hurt. i wonder, go back and cut it again, or wait another month? telling a friend i want to
cut the length, she worries for my mental health. no, i’m just tired. tired of all the time it takes to keep a curl healthy, to keep it frizz-free, to style it so my head is lighter. lighter, lighter, lighter.