I recently heard a radio DJ quote a bald man who stated that “if hair were important it would grow on the inside.”
A smirk slashed across my face for a second as I recognized the veracity of this statement. I began to think of my body and all its parts and I realized that all the outer components of my complexion are there mainly to protect the inner bits of myself. Kind of like drywall in a house covers insulation and pipes. Any of my outer parts can be altered, just like a room can. I can tan my skin, paint my nails and even increase or decrease the volume of my chest, my hips or my lips. The appearance of my exterior can be whatever it wants as long as it continues to fulfill its protective function. Hair is no exception.
So when Caroline suggested we chop 8 inches off and donate it to make wigs for people who suffer from cancer, I almost instantly said yes. A few months, jokes and one cold swoosh of the scissors later, here I am. The experience may seem worthless to many but as exaggerated as it sounds, it was a route of discovery for me.
Faced with the stylist’s sharp blades I realized that hair may be an exterior accessory yet its absence would cause me great grief. Hair is there to make the house a home. The bald man quoted on the radio was funny but deeply mistaken. Or perhaps simply too masculine to understand… you see, a woman’s hair is tied to femininity and femininity is tied to both inner and outer beauty, which means that hair has a lot to do with a woman’s self esteem. In fact hair may be on the outside, but it’s truly the little inner organ that could: it starts behind the skin, breaks the shell and fearlessly faces the world outside. Hair is an inspiration.
A change of hairdo can propel a change of lifestyle. How many of you out there have run to the hair salon after a big break up? Hair is also strongly tied to our childhood, when we play dolls or in the intimate conversations that emerge while a mother brushes a child’s head. As we grow, we may color it as a sign of rebellion, cut it this way or another with a desire of transformation, or use it as a weapon of seduction. Some hide behind its curtain. Others caress it to offer emotional support. In short, Hair is a voice.
It is no coincidence that Eve Ensler‘s opening text in her acclaimed Vagina Monologues is titled, much like this post, “Hair.” of course in that piece she refers to “fluff” located below the waist, but either way the point is that no woman should ever have to go unwillingly bald.
Caro, her little 5 year old niece Marguerite, and I headed to Narcisse Echo Coupe – Couleur in our humble attempt to advocate for this cause. We took turns and Marguerite went bravely first. In all her innocence she was beaming with the chance to give a kid in need a part of herself she could dispose of. Caro went next and proudly held her detached thick ponytail in her hand. Then came my turn, and as much as I tried I could not stop the tears from running wildly down my cheeks. I always considered myself a very strong woman but while I cried for hours on end, as if my hair had been directly tied to something in the deepest corner of my self, I discovered that I could not even fathom the feeling of a naked scalp. The cause I was there to support seeped beneath my skin in one clipping.
With a strand of my own hair ready in a zip lock bag ready to protect another woman’s beauty, I can only hope that it will soon offer someone in need an inspiration to push onward and a chance to speak.
We chose to donate our hair to Pantene‘s Beautiful Lengths. When you are ready for a cut of your own, here’s some helpful information. You can also watch this brief and inspiring video on Pantene’s fan page.
If you are in the Montreal area I recommend you make the move at Veronique’s hair salon: Narcisse Echo Coupe – Couleur, 1257 Berri – 514-526-1000
Thanks for a wonderful hair style Vero!