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The Hair on My Head

“So do you have any ideas on what you want it to look like?” an innocent question, yet my hairdresser had no idea of its magnitude. I was preparing to enter senior year without the slightest idea of how I wanted my hair styled. In the past, every time I entered the salon before a new grade, I knew precisely what I wanted changed about my hair, and the result was always drastic.

Entering freshman year, I chopped off all of my hair, and chose a short bob. With the arrival of sophomore year came the disappearance of the bob, replaced by a head of blond locks. Half of junior year the blond hair remained, yet with the New Year came a new me: black hair. The real challenge then, arrived at the beginning of senior year: what to do with my hair. Over the course of the summer I came to a striking realization- that my various hairstyles reflected my dissatisfaction with who I was, and my intense desire to alter the physical, harbored the belief than an emotional change would soon follow.

In an epiphany of sorts, I came to understand what each style represented. The bob of freshman year reflected my insecurity; the short lifeless hair paralleled my frail body, as it wasted away from the effects of anorexia nervosa, which I was battling. On the other hand sophomore year marked my triumph over the eating disorder, and I felt the urge to shed my previous look for a more outgoing bubbly hairstyle; one that I believed would help others accept as the true me, not the confused child from the previous year. However, I was unhappy with who I was becoming as an individual, contrary to my enthusiasm with the new blond hair. I began dating sophomore year, and the blond hair reflected mainly my desire to be attractive. Unhappiness led me to alter my looks yet again, opting for black hair mid junior year. I was no longer the attention seeking sophomore, but someone who desired to be taken seriously as an upperclassman. Also influencing my decision to opt for black hair, I was struggling with depression and feelings of isolation. I maintained my grades and friendships, but the stress of junior year responsibilities as well as a troublesome home life weighed my spirit down. The black hair was a cry for help, and my hair color paralleled my emotions. As the year wound to a close, the love and support of friends aided me in overcoming the despair. The summer following junior year allowed me to grow fully into a mature young adult and enjoy being me.

As I sat in the salon early September I had an understanding that I had matured to the point that I am happy with whom I am. I have inner peace, something I strived for my entire high school career. “Nothing different this time, just cut off some dead ends…I’m happy the way it is.”



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