I have always had long long hair. It was always a staple of mine. I also had never put any color in my hair. All my friends in middle school and high school were bleaching and highlighting their hair, but not me. I stayed a dark brunette. I think I was just way too nervous to do anything drastic with my hair. Everyone would tell me, “Don’t do anything to your hair, once you start, you’ll never stop!” or “Just keep it natural!” I loved being able to just grow my hair out and keeping it really low maintenance. I would only get my hair cut every 6-9 months and it was such easy up-keep.
My junior year of college I started to get bored with my long hair. I decided on a whim to cut 10 inches off. My hairdresser who I had been cutting my hair since high school was shocked when I came to her and told her to cut it off to my shoulders. At first she refused. I guess she knew me pretty well and how much I was attached to my long locks. But I did it anyway! And I LOVED it…for about a week. Then I went into a depression for about 6 months….I wanted my long hair back and wanted it NOW!
Bryan always loved my long hair, and even made an off putting comment after I cut it off that “your long hair defines you”…he was obviously joking…we had been together 7 years at this point, and I knew he was kidding around. But it still made me self conscious that he might find me more attractive with long hair. I never let that “your long hair defines you” quote go, and still to this day me and my friends joke with him about it. (And don’t worry babe, I saved the pic of you with your shoulder length hair-do from college too! ;))
It took about two years to get back to normal length. One thing that bothered me the most is that during my “in between” growing period was my wedding. I always regretted not having my signature long hair on my wedding day! I swore I would NEVER make the mistake of cutting all my hair off again. I never wanted to have that feeling of regret and sadness over something that seemed so permanent and live-changing.
But you live and learn right??
Or was I being way too dramatic over something so superficial and temporary?
IT IS JUST HAIR. Right?
All of the hair back story to say this…back in September when I was just realizing how serious my fertility struggles were getting, I wanted to make a major change. I wanted to be in control of something and make a decision that I had complete power over, when so many other things in my personal life were completely out of my control.
So I did it.
I cut it all off.
Ok, not all of it, I didn’t have a Britney Spears psychotic episode or anything. But I cut a LOT off (for me, at least!) But not only that. For the first time in my 27 years, I put color in my hair!
I was wild. And crazy. And it felt SO good.
Why did it feel so freeing? It was just hair.
Looking back, I think it was a symbolic freedom that I felt. After hearing my devastating infertility news, I felt trapped, and tied down, and so completely and utterly out of control of my own body. It’s very hard to come to the realization that what you are born to do and what God made your body specifically for, WAS JUST NOT WORKING. As much as I wanted it to and as much as my doctors were trying to help me make it do what it is naturally supposed to do, it just wasn’t.
So, as superficial as it might sound, I wanted to make this one “life-changing” decision.
But now, I realized hair color and length is not really so life-changing as I had thought it was all those years ago. It really is just hair. As soon as you cut the ends off, it immediately starts its cycle of growth again.
So over the last few months, I’ve kept my short hair, and even played around with different dyes and highlights.
And it’s been so fun!
And dare I say, a distraction from other realities in my personal life.
Well, I guess I’ve developed a pattern of when Merichelle receives devastating news = Merichelle goes to the hair salon. Again, it’s my way of being in control, control that I long for in my fertility journey.
So this past Thursday, I went. I asked my hair stylist Lisa to go more blonde. And shorter. I showed her pics of haircuts and colors that I liked and we were on our way!
Until my hair turned orange. Not like fire orange, but like macaroni and cheese orange. I wish I had pictures to show you, but I didn’t even pause to document the craziness that was going on with my hair. You can use your imagination with this:
Lisa always tells her clients that if they are pregnant, she can’t guarantee color because of the crazy hormones that are going on in our body. It effects how your hair reacts to the color treatment. Well, we didn’t think about the last few months all I’ve been doing is putting synthetic hormones in my body with all my fertility treatments!
I had to leave and go pick up Cade from school in the mist of my orange color treatment, and then rush back to the salon to keep working on getting my hair to the blonde color I wanted. We ended up going back darker at the roots to try to get the orangey color out, but still keeping parts of the blonde. I felt so bad for Lisa because she was trying so hard to get it right.
It wasn’t her fault.
My over-reacting hormones.
My stubborn body not doing what I wanted it to!
She kept me there until almost midnight to get my hair back to normal. And, it turned out great! Such a change for me, and definitely the shortest my hair has ever been.
I’m sure I’ll keep it short for awhile. It’s fun, and different and something that I can be in control over!
And I’m looking forward to playing with hair color again. Maybe not doing any more blonde at the roots, I think I learned my lesson there! At least for the foreseeable future while my fertility journey continues on.
For me, it’s important to keep these little choices we make in life in perspective. It is just hair.
It will grow back, color will fade, and roots will darken.
There are more serious and permanent circumstances that I can dwell over, if I choose to…
Sometimes it takes the real life-changing obstacles to realize that the little things you thought were so everlasting/devastating/dramatic/permanent/intense are not really that bad after all…