Rural Mom 40-Something Make-Over: Afraid To Get My Hair Cut

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My hair numbers are 10, 5, 3, 2, and 1.

10 – The number of years I’ve had the same hairstyle, the only aspect that has varied was the length.

5 – The number of years since I’ve had a haircut.  My once shoulder length “bob” is now shoulder-blade length.

3 – The number of years since I’ve colored my hair, opting to embrace the grays (only, as the odd sort they are, the grays have yet to appear in bulk. not that I’m complaining…) 
I fathomed these numbers to be a result of complacency.  A kind of self-depreciating, I’m married, older, and comfortable in my low-maintenance ways.  A place I imagine many 40-something moms dawdle.
2 – The number of reasons I must exit my comfortable meandering garden stroll of complacency.
My thick hair is totally weighing me down and when it’s wet, I feel like I have an extra limb.  As swimming in the summer is my number one recreation, this simply will not do.
I’ve often thought about and admired others who donated hair to organization that manufacture wigs for cancer patients.  The thought buzzed in my mind last month and when I took out a ruler, I realized my hair was a suitable length.  As requirements include non-colored, healthy hair with less-than-five-percent gray, this would likely be one chance and the last chance in my lifetime that I’d have the opportunity to give this gift.

1 – The fear I have about getting 10 inches cut off of my hair and transitioning to a brand new style.

As I’m a fairly low-maintenance, laid-back woodsy-kinda-gal, it didn’t occur to me that the notion of lopping off nearly a foot length of hair would tap into some deep rooted fear.
My mind races with questions like: “What if it turns out ultra short?” “What if I hate my new hairstyle?”  “What if my double chin looks like it had triplets?”  – and the real whammy: “What if I look older?”

This 40-something me is admittedly struggling slightly with the aging process my body continues to journey towards without my expressed consent.

Silly, irrational, muckity-muck-muck fears of what ultimately boils down to a singular fear of embracing dramatic change and losing one’s identity.

I’ve carried this drapery with me for a decade embracing its simplicity and ease of maintenance.  Who will I be with short hair?

Well, of course I will be me… but yet, maybe a lighter, carefree version of self.  One who has hopefully helped to make a positive difference by donating this little part of myself.

My hair will grow back.  This opportunity will never come around again in my lifetime.  And soon the fear will be quelled as I say good-bye to the silly notions attempting to ground me.

In a way, I’m looking forward to this next step of metamorphosis.  I’m looking forward to meeting the new me…

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an author and sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky. When she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s writing about country living and artisan culture.
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    • Melanie
    • February 23, 2013

    I’m totally with you…I’m always worried when I get my hair cut, I go years without it for the fear they mess it up. I can’t wait to see your change. I bet it will be amazing.

    • Daisy B
    • February 23, 2013

    OMG, I had the worst haircut of my life about 8 months ago and there was nothing that I could do but let it grow out. I was so scared to get another haircut, but this time it turned out awesome! For the latest haircut, I had pictures so that I would be on the same page as the hairdresser. lol. I’m no longer afraid to print and take pictures of haircuts with me and I think that works well. No one wants to intentionally give you a bad haircut that you don’t like!

    I bet that you will feel great after your new haircut!

    • Grace Hodgin
    • February 23, 2013

    I had hair down to my hips when I cut mine off and donated to the same organizer. I love my short hair and the freedom it provides. Sometimes it is not the length of the hair we gain it is the change and the fear of being vulnerable.

    • Shelley Bryan @ All of Me
    • February 23, 2013

    My mother donated her hair a few years ago. It was long enough that it didn’t end up too short it turned out really cute, too!

    My hair is to my mid-thigh and I cut it only once when pregnant with my first child 10 years ago. Never again! I just didn’t like short hair at all.

    I wear my hair in a tight bun or braid when I go swimming. I am quite used to it being long.

    I’m sure you will love your new look. It is great that you want to donate your hair to those who need it. I am saving mine for the day I get cancer.
    (Cancer has taken many of my relatives -there are survivors, too- and I even had a scare at 10 yrs old with a golf ball sized cyst.)YIKES!

    Good luck!

    • Pam
    • February 23, 2013

    I am looking forward to the transition! I am the 40 something mom who tries to cover the grays but forget and let me roots grow out. My hairstylist fusses at me everytime I get my hair cut to color my roots. lol

    • Jennifer Wagner
    • February 23, 2013

    The one thing that I regularly do to my hair is color it. I would be almost completely gray if not. However I often go too long between haircuts and I usually just get a trim, almost never a new style.

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