When I was younger, I used to be really attached to my hair. Not in a crazy obsessive way, but whenever I’d get trims, I may or may not have shed some tears (but let’s be honest, when the hairdresser says “I’ll give you a trim,” we all know they really mean “haircut”!). Since those days, my hair has radically transformed in so many ways, as has my attitude toward it. I’ve been on a “natural hair” kick for over three years now, and with the sometimes tedious wash days (yes… wash days), it’s been one of the best lessons in patience and perseverance I’ve had. But recently, it has also been a great teacher on the art of letting go.
About a month and a half ago, I stared in the mirror at my head of hair and huffed in annoyance. It was incredibly tangled, super dry, difficult to style, and always looked slightly matted to my eyes (thanks, dryness). I wasn’t sure what was going on… should I deep condition longer? Did I need to keep trying different hair moisturizers? I was frustrated – hair products are expensive, and nothing out of the multiple ones I had tried seemed to be working.
So I did a little research.
Okay, a lot of research. I happen to find articles on hair pretty interesting to read, and since I’m my own hairdresser now, it never hurts to have more information on how to improve. So I was reading up on how to alleviate my hair problems, and one thing stood out to me: a ton of unhealthy, split ends are often the underlying cause of much of what I was experiencing. It’s weird to say, but I went back and forth with myself for an unnatural amount of time thinking about giving myself a hair trim because I could’ve sworn I didn’t need one. I don’t want to do it unevenly, I thought. I might end up with hair sticking out everywhere, and anyways, I’m always snipping split ends whenever I see them. And my best excuse of all: I probably just have the wrong styling technique… I don’t even need a trim.
Finally, after lots of research on how to best trim my hair myself (dry? on wet hair? stretched hair?), I made my decision.
Snip snip snip.
Section by section, I cut off inches of weathered, unhealthy hair. And actually, it was quite refreshing, like a whole new head of hair! In the weeks since, my hair has detangled much easier, it doesn’t get dry so quickly, and it finally became apparent again that I had curly hair, rather than pieces of crackly hay attached to my head.
Who knew the health of your hair’s ends could cause so much trouble (or ease) for your entire head of hair? That experience got me thinking on how similar hair health is to our lives, especially with this holiday season upon us.
If we all took a good, honest look at our lives, there’s sure to be extra …stuff… in there: things that act as “split ends” in our lives – drying our energy out, blurring our focus, and causing tangly problems in other areas of our lives as well. We all have them. A lot of times, we wish we could get rid of them too, but we like hanging on to them even though we have the power to let them go (raise your hand if you’ve ever kept split ends because it makes your hair look “longer”).
That bad habit.
That unsavory attitude.
That unhealthy mindset.
The stress of holiday events.
That constant procrastination.
Snip snip snip.
Letting go of unnecessary distractions is one of the simplest, yet most difficult and expressly beneficial things we can do to refresh our lives, our energy, and our focus on what matters. Sometimes we might hem and haw, and wonder if we really need to release that pesky distraction from our lives, or if it’s even a distraction at all. But giving excuses – like I did for months with trimming my hair – just keeps us in a state of frustrating struggle for so much longer than necessary.
So, snip away.
My hair has been such a dream since I gave it that massive trim (read: haircut) a month ago (it’s still a work in progress, but I’ll take it). Likewise, our lives can blossom so much more abundantly when we let go of unnecessary complications that weigh us down.