Two days ago, I cut my hair short. It took me one conversation with a friend, two YouTube tutorials and a pair of kitchen scissors. I spoke to a friend who has been cutting, no styling, her hair long before the pandemic took over our lives. She told me that “it is a nicely humbling lesson on how we give so much importance to things which are impermanent.” She nudged me to do it for fun, after all, hair always grows back. Though the videos will tell you to be conservative when you are cutting your own hair and that kitchen scissors cannot to it, I went ahead. And the last two days have been liberating.
I didn’t do it because I was missing out on another enriching experience like the saree challenge on social media it wasn’t a brain fade either. Also, I wasn’t upset that all the salons are shut. I tried to talk myself out of it telling that there are no salons to fix it if you go wrong but a part of me replied cutting your hair is a non-essential service otherwise the salons would have had permission to stay open.
Though the videos will tell you to be conservative when you are cutting your own hair and that kitchen scissors cannot to it, I went ahead. And the last two days have been liberating.
If you are not part of the straight, silky, shiny hair club you will understand my agony and desperation to get rid of my Indian curls, especially in the Mumbai heat, never mind that we are all hiding indoors playing peek-a-boo with the virus but the heat beats you hands down. If you are gifted with the Indian curls you have probably had this conversation with a fellow curly-haired friend on how your hair drinks serum, like people drink water. Amidst the lockdown, I just wanted one less thing to manage after cooking, cleaning, mopping, office, repeat…
Now, why am I ranting about it? It is because contrary to my expectation most people didn’t care about the cut or the look but were more surprised at my guts. And the two people about whose reactions I was worried where the most nonchalant. My four-year-old just asked where is the rest of the hair now? And my mother said, now that no one can see her she wishes how she could have done it too!
Amidst the lockdown, I just wanted one less thing to manage after cooking, cleaning, mopping, office, repeat…
We give more value to how we look than we think we do. Our appearances define us and we like to stick to them because we believe people evaluate us based on them. That is why we are worried about age-related changes. I cannot deny that part of my decision to go ahead with my caprice was influenced by the fact that I am not going to be in the public domain for a while, courtesy the lockdown. So, I took a chance and did something I have never done. I don’t know whether it has gone wrong or right. It just felt good to get over the fear. Like what we have defines who we are, a big lesson I have learnt is what we don’t have also makes us who we are. And I am in my happy space. Would I have done this under “normal” circumstances? I don’t know I would have probably trusted a professional hand. Will I do it all over again? Hmm… I think so.
The views expressed are the author's own.