Until a couple of years ago, I had what you'd call regular hair. The kind of hair you wouldn't care much about; you know, the kind that wouldn't catch your attention. It was an unappealing medium length. It was healthy, of course, but absolutely devoid of character.
If I happened to pass you by and the only thing you saw was my back, (zooming in on the hair here), you wouldn't care to think, "Whoa, who's that girl?"
But then, all of it changed.
It was a pleasant winter evening. My sister had just gotten married and after going through some unfortunate wedding pictures, it finally dawned upon me. My hair made me look absolutely... nothing.
I realized that I was in dire need of a new look. Also, cutting my hair at that particular point of time was the only thing I could do to irk the guy I was dating.
I know. What a cliché, right? But like most girls, that was the only reason I needed then.
While my mother protested the decision by giving me mommy reasons like 'Ladka nahi milega' and 'Shaadi kaun karega', I was adamant. Moreover, my Do-It-Right-Now impulse was kicking in too strongly for me to let go. So, without thinking twice, I embarked to act on my hasty, impulsive, and outrightly bonkers decision.
I reached the salon and waited in the lounge area, vehemently deliberating my decision.
"Should I really go ahead with it?"
"You know, it's true. What would people say?"
"What if men think of me as a threat? You know, short hair = probably a lesbian, hence a threat."
"What if I never get married because of my short hair and die alone?"
The questions along with my anxiety fizzled out as soon as I sat on the chair, all ready to have my hair executed for failing me in my life endeavours. I know, I was punishing them for my failures. But hey, someone had to take the fall and it sure wasn't going to be me.
The stylist asked what I was looking for? I smiled and said, "Chop it all!"
Post the mind-blowing job he did with my hair, I felt a surge inside me and God, it was worth all the martyred hair, which now lay limp on the floor, waiting to be swept away. I felt a weight lift off of my head (Yup, it feels at least 1000 metric tonnes lighter).
When I finally looked in the mirror, I felt more than just light.
I felt different.
Not the I'm-So-Enlightened-Kinda different.
More like I-Can-Deal-With-Whatever-Life-Has-To-Throw-My-Way different.
My hair was short, like boy-cut short, but my confidence was skyrocketing through the roof. I had zero fucks to give about what people thought. And eventually, I became a completely different person - bolder, edgier, more positive.
I became someone I always knew I could be. I became me.
And after a very long time in my life, I felt content.
A few months after this epic moment of self-discovery, I decided to go shorter and bolder.
My stylist was happy to have a head to experiment with, and experiment he did! This time, he gave me an undercut on one side and oh boy, was I ecstatic!
I realized I'd gone too far the edgy tunnel to turn back now. I fell in love with my hair and myself once again.
A haircut is not only therapeutic, it's life-changing.
It changed the way I looked at myself and it changed people's perception of me as well. They thought I was badass and super confident, and weirdly enough, slowly, I somehow became that person. My short hair became the strength I was looking for in life.
Fast forward to this day, I'm more free in my thoughts and so much more at peace with myself. My perspective towards life has changed, and so will yours, if you stop caring about what people have to say.
Because they'll say whatever they have to, regardless of how you look or what you wear.
Perhaps that's why I can never grow my hair long again. Because secretly, all of us like to rebel a bit, for our own reasons, don't we? And when you can rebel in such a subtle yet colossally defying way, then it's all the more fun. When people who're close to you think you can never have the pluck to do a certain thing, you know it's just the right thing to do.
To people who ask me if they should go short, I say, "Why the hell not?"
If for some reason you don't like it, don't you worry, ghar ki kheti hai! It'll grow back.