IT’S JUST HAIR | Why Are We So Attached?

rawblog2~This post is dedicated to my sister Jaime McMahon ~

Being a hairstylist has been one super incredible journey.  Every day I have the opportunity to create different haircuts and colors for all different types of hair.  I wouldn’t trade this job for anything.  Through out my years in this industry, I have always noticed how attached people are to their hair.  Im not speaking of women only, yes there are men also who are very attached to their hair.  By the way, i am included in this group, I’m attached to my hair and someone else’s, since I’ve been wearing extensions for almost 8 years.  I always admire the people who come in and with the strongest confidence say, “I want to chop it off, I want a Pixie cut”.  Their free and careless spirit always inspires me.  Then theres those of us on the complete opposite end of the spectrum.  You take off a half an inch and were saying, “Oh my gosh its so short!”  Even for myself, Ive always wondered, what is this attachment to our hair?  Where does it stem from and what message is it trying to send?

This is my first blog post in over a month, and I haven’t created a How To video in over a month either.  Truth is, i really haven’t felt inspired to.  In the last month whats been at the top of my list, is helping care for my 38 year old sister who was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Many nights i wanted to hop on this computer and write something about hair and fashion, but couldn’t find the words I wanted to say.  Many days I wanted to turn on my camera and film, but my spirit wasn’t in it.  I knew I had to just let it ride, as an artist you can only create when the juices are flowing.  Last night while laying in bed, I was thinking about my sister, and how she will be getting Chemotherapy soon.  Our family has had many talks with her about the process.  One of hardest parts about Chemotherapy for most people is the thought of losing their hair.  Our first salon was located across from one of the most well known brain surgery hospitals in the world.  When patients have surgery on their brain, the nurses shave only the portion of the hair that is being operated on.  On occasion, I would go over and create the best haircut I could for the patient so they wouldn’t have to shave their entire head. One day, one of the nurses said to me, “When we do these surgeries, oftentimes people are more scared about the fact that they have to shave or cut off their hair, then they are about the surgery itself”.  As a hairstylist, and a person attached to their hair, I could instantly relate.

Now back to last night.  While laying in bed I was thinking about my sister and her journey and how she will most likely lose her hair during chemotherapy, and I thought about all of us in this world who are attached to our hair.  I just kept thinking to myself, “Why are we so attached to our hair?”

We always hear people say, “It’s just hair”.  For many that simply is just not the case.  Your hair shapes your personal style.  When people look at you and your haircut and color, as well as your fashion style, they can instantly create a label of what style category you fit into.  Also, your hair is part of your daily routine.  If your like me, there’s a major process getting ready.  So many lotions and potions, irons and tools.  Take away the hair,  and all of the prep that goes into it in a day goes away too.  For many this seems like a dream situation.  Wake up, shower, get dressed, and out the door.  This cuts the get ready time in half.  Sounds great right?  Wrong….  For many this process of getting ready is a huge part of the attachment.

Your hair is also associated with your senses.  The feeling of having your hair touched, and the smells of the hair products you use.  Often when I refer hair products to clients, the first thing they do is smell the product.  I believe that sometimes people care more about how the product smells than how well it actually works on their hair.  So the sense of smell plays a big role in your hair and your attachment to it.

As I process this thought, I’m thinking about my goal as my sisters co pilot through her chemotherapy journey.  My goal is to help her feel empowered, and inspired through out this journey of possibly parting with her hair.  My plan is to help her find the best wig, that matches her current hair for the days when wearing hair is a must.  For the days when she wants to be free of the wig, we will create fashionable scarves that will help her feel as though she is sailing on a boat on the Riviera enjoying a beautiful sunny day.  Who knows, this journey could lead to a favorite new hairstyle that she may have otherwise never tried.

At the end of the day, it is “Just Hair”, and it does grow back.  Even though many of us know this, we still will never take the chance and choose to try something drastic and new.  Its just how we are, and for now, thats ok.

As I close, I want to ask, Are you attached to your hair?  I would love to hear your answers and thoughts on this subject.

Until next time beautiful friends….