My sister and I were walking back home after visiting some relatives and on the way, she told me that she would cut my hair because my long hair was starting to absorb the growth of my body and preventing me from growing tall. She must had been 15 and me, 8. I remember the fear of not growing tall but the thought of losing my hair made me sad and therefore I was crying and trying to bargain with her. All while half running after her (she walks very fast). I was hoping that when we reach home, our mother would be back from office and would not allow her to cut my hair. It was my sister’s day that day. She chopped off my hair when we got home. I only remember our walk and then sitting on a chair when we got home. I’m sure she would have got a good scolding from our mother later in the day. And my sister, being herself, a mischievous brat, would not have cared.
Since then, I cut my hair short (neck length) only twice. In fact, last time I had it shorter than my armpit length was more than 10 years back. I feel like it has always been in my hip length and it’s an achievement because it’s not easy. Especially because my hair is coarse and frizzy and impossible to manage. Long hair demands too much from a person. I have thought of shifting to a shorter and easy to manage hairstyle but it’s always just a thought. One good reason behind keeping my hair long is once again my mother. She always says that like everything else, even hair has a limited lifespan, that it will stop growing and wither away after we reach a certain age. She also says that the hair is the most important accessory of a woman.
Well, my accessory is a tangled and twisted streamer that needs to be tamed at least thrice a day and even after that, it still looks unkempt. It seems stupid to complain about bad hair in the present day when numerous products and treatments are available. It also affects the self-image and confidence and yet I choose to stick to my decades old hairstyle. I actually had my hair straightened once and it was wonderful to have hair that didn’t require to be braided or tied up in a bun. But the hair loss I suffered as a result can never be compensated. I’d rather have bad hair than no hair: that’s my motto now. After all these years, I have stopped believing in any hair products, none. And at present, I only use a very cheap and basic anti-dandruff shampoo because having dandruff is the second worse thing to having no hair.
A year back when I went home, I visited an aunt who suffers from paralysis. She was sitting on the first-floor balcony and saw me entering the gate. The moment I reached her, she remarked, ‘Your hair has thinned.” I felt amused and at the same time a kind of sadness filled me. Like another aunt who personally requested me never to cut my hair because “… these days girls don’t keep their hair long.” and my mother who professes the same idea, even she had an attachment to my hair. I think it reminds them of their own youthful days when all of them had beautiful long black hair, their pride, their only accessory. Now, they are reduced to grey thin limp hair and I feel like the day is nearing when my hair will only remind them of the truth of life that ‘All must end’. I now realize that maybe a few years down, age will have me chop down my hair and I will be left with only memories of the days when I had thick, long hair. This thought makes me love my rough and wiry hair even more.