Cut it Yourself
Hair is a powerful symbol of identity. Whether we like it or not, our appearances send signals to the rest of the world, but it recently occurred to us that we have the power to take charge of this particular tone.
Obviously we're not the first to come up with the idea that hair can be a marker or even tool of resistance, not the first to write about how empowering it is to cut your own hair. Battles have been fought, books written, tattoos inked with iconic and powerful hairstyles that have made real waves. Ours don't necessarily do all that, but it felt damn good to do them ourselves.
Most big changes in life are most often internal. New mantras, re-set body clocks, and ditched philosophies all make a big impact but are seldom manifest externally. Even starting a new relationship, quitting a job, or moving to a new place might make small ripples in our appearance. However, armed with a pair of scissors and a set of clippers, we're unlearning some social myths in very visible ways.
It's easy to spend a lot of time and money on hair. It feels good to go into a salon or barber shop and sip a free beer, browse old hair magazines, and get your scalp massaged. But this all comes with a set of expectations that are tough to shake. Are you getting a hip enough cut? Do you have to go back once a month to keep it up? Do you look professional enough? Sexy enough? Feminine enough? Masculine enough? Natural enough? Done enough? What does all of that look like anyway?
It's not just channeling Joan of Arc or your favorite punk rocker that feels so damn good. You have to look at your hair, touch it, and know that you understand it better than anyone else. You have to trust yourself. And you have to know what you want. Likely, this is the toughest part.
There are tons of tutorials online that can help with the technical stuff. All you really need is a set of haircutting scissors, a comb, a couple of mirrors, and some rubber bands. Clippers are an added bonus. Taking time to explore and have fun imagining what you see in yourself, trusting your instincts, having fun, and knowing that feeling good makes you look good regardless of your hair is the real job.