Hair: Paving the way for a new you

By LAURA SANCHEZ, Staff Writer 

It was one of those weeks last week. It was the type of week that found me on Friday morning not being able to get out of bed, even though I knew that I had a lot to do. I was feeling lousy and down, and I was itching to do something spontaneous. So just like a normal person does when she’s feeling out-of-sorts, I cut my hair and my bangs.

I’d been wanting to do this for months, but my haircut musings usually involved seeing a professional who wouldn’t be able to ruin my hair as I committed myself to a life (or at least a few months) of bangs. On Thursday night, though, as I began to sink into my funk, I began to muse about cutting my own bangs. By Friday morning, as I was lying in bed, I had had enough of feeling miserable. I shot up, grabbed scissors, and (ever-so-responsibly and not recommendable) ran to the bathroom.

Like the cheesy person that I am, I began to play Katy Perry’s “Roar”, stared at myself in the mirror, and snip-snip, cut my bangs. They were uneven at first and I had to laboriously work on them to at least look even. Fifteen minutes later, I felt like a new person.

You might say I’m being dramatic about how cutting my own bangs changed my outlook on life that day, but I kid you not, it did. I felt better. I felt a little lighter on my toes, and I felt as if I could conquer the world that day.

Somehow, cutting my hair has always made me feel good about myself. Before starting my first semester in college last year, I chopped at least ten inches of my hair. I didn’t really think much of it; I just did it. I plopped down in the hairdresser’s chair, said, “Chop it off,” and it was done. I had short hair, and I loved it. I felt so empowered afterwards. When going to my first college classes days later, I felt like a different person. I felt a bit freer, a bit more outgoing, and a bit older, all because of my short hair.

Maybe it’s shallow of me to base my feelings on my appearance. But it’s not essentially my appearance that makes me feel good about myself (although we all love a good hair day, am I right?) It’s the empowerment to make decisions about myself that makes me feel good. It’s the simple fact that I have the control and freedom to choose to cut my hair that makes me feel powerful. Just like when starting a new phase in life and feeling a bit miserable on a cold, gloomy day, I want to know I have control over these types of situations.

Empowerment is so important. We all want the knowledge that we’re independent, and want to believe that we can achieve whatever we want by making our own choices. We all have our ways of dealing with powerlessness and lack of control in our lives by doing things that make us feel good. Some people feel empowered when hiking and climbing rocks, while others feel empowered just reading a book or by being alone and listening to music. I feel empowered by cutting my hair.