• Emily Powell

Why I decided to chop my hair off, & why I have no regrets

About four months ago I made a decision that nearly everyone questioned; I chopped my hair off. WHAT? That's crazy!

In many societies including our own, long, flowing hair is considered a sign of beauty. Women constantly hear from men "I like women with long hair better." I know I heard it quite frequently. Making such a drastic change is frequently considered crazy; take how the world reacted when Britney Spears shaved her head, or Miley Cyrus took her long "Hannah Montana" hair and chopped and bleached it. Both of them were considered crazy, and still now people look at those eras of their lives and say things like "she had a mental breakdown" or "she was going through a psycho phase."

So why, with so many negative views, would I want to cut off my hair?! I'd always wanted to try having short hair, but never had the guts to do it.

Well, for the last year or so of my life, I had been growing and changing so much that I'd lost sight of who I was. There were so many things happening in my life at the time, and I was having a sort of identity crisis.

Working at a salon, you constantly are being looked at and judged for your hair, which is really just part of the gig because I mean, who wants to go to a hairdresser that has bad hair? Your hair is your brand, it shows off what you can do, who you are, and people look at your hair and without even realizing it, judge to see if you will be a good fit for the way they want to do their hair.

With all of these eyes on me, it was almost like I was putting on a face, trying to be someone who I wasn't. I started to feel like a fake. I started to ask myself a lot of questions that at some point or another in your life, maybe you've felt as well. "Who am I?" Was a big one. Because the "me" that was at the salon was not the same person that came home to my husband and fur-babies. I didn't want that, I didn't want to be that person.

I started to really consider what it was that made me feel beautiful. I'd recently gained a bit of weight, and having long hair was almost like a security blanket that I was hiding behind. So, what was it that made me beautiful? I felt like having long hair shouldn't be what defines me as beautiful. Diving deep, I started to really consider that question. For me, I feel I have a great personality. I have a nice smile. My eyes are a really nice shade of blue. I started to add all of these things up, some physical some not, and realized my hair was the least of them. What?

I realized that I didn't care if society thinks I'm only beautiful if I have long hair, because that's not what I truly believed. Hair doesn't define true beauty, I told myself. So I sat down in my co-worker's chair, and told her: Chop it off. Chop it all off.

The scissors started flying and before I knew it, I had a pixie cut! In this moment, as we finished styling and I was able to really look at myself in the mirror, I realized how much I'd been hiding behind those long sheets of hair on either side of my face. Now I could actually see myself, and the beauty that was there. I felt like I'd had this load on my shoulders that had been weighing me down, and suddenly it was all gone. I felt like I could fly, and the pictures told the same story.

I'd been wearing a hat all day. Check out those greasy roots!

Fast forward months later, and I've taken that pixie cut and shaved the sides, cut the top shorter, and now dyed it purple and I tell you, I absolutely love it. I feel free, I feel like myself again, and I'm definitely not hiding behind my hair anymore.

Chopping my hair off was definitely the change I needed. Since I did, I decided to go through my wardrobe and get rid of all of the clothes that didn't reflect the way I wanted to feel. I got rid of over 80% of my clothing! I couldn't believe how much I'd let myself be someone who I wasn't. Not anymore. I also left a salon that I'd loved for two years, but felt it was holding me back. I decided to go on my own, open up E.P. Studio, and let myself flourish the way that I knew I needed to be, without the pressure of anything or anyone.

I'm so glad that I chopped my hair off. It gave me the freedom to re-evaluate and re-center myself. That freedom to be my true self has helped me to help my clients to help them find who they really are and reflect that in their hair as well. And no, I'm not chopping all of their hair off, but I am helping them realize that hair shouldn't be all you are, but should be a reflection of who you are.

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