My hair has always been thin/fine. When I was younger my hair was much more red and very long, by the end of high-school it was down to my butt. I remember at about 18 years old a younger girl on the block asked to play with my hair as I sat on a stoop outside my then boyfriend's house. I told her yes then when she touched my hair she asked "What's wrong? Where did all your hair go?" Mortified.... I was like.... "this is all my hair".... as I stuffed down tears that came out later when alone.
In college I decided to cut my hair to shoulder length, then eventually went more to a chin length bob- as it was the best style to suit the fine, delicate and thin strands. One time I went pixie in my 20's and a co-worker at a country club I waitressed at asked me why I cut my hair so short because it made me look like "a cancer patient. " To which I immediately ran away to hide in the locker room and cry.
I was told for years to try various products for "thinning hair." I have tried many... lotions, shampoos, sprays, vitamins, oils, chemicals... nothing ever stopped nature from running its course. In my 20's a dermatologist told me my thin hair was most likely genetic. In my 30's I found out my bio dad had thin hair, as did the women on his side, apparently my paternal grandmother and aunt wore wigs.
Through this journey I've been told by some that my hair loss wasn't "that bad", "can't even notice it", or nothing at all in response to my concerns. Every few years there is literally less hair on my head and more scalp to be seen. The reality is I'm slowly losing my hair and I can't stop it from happening.
In my 40's I began writing, posting and speaking about my hairloss openly. I was fed up being in a silent hell within my own mind of culturally ingrained beauty standards and feelings of not being good enough because of an aesthetic problem that no one around me validated my feelings about. I searched for others like me and did indeed find an online community of support by following and connecting with other women who have hairloss too/various forms of alopecia.
Since college, to mask my insecurities I have been rocking on the regular: bandanas, hats, and scarves. More recently wigs. Why? Because as my hair gets progressively thinner it isn't all that pretty to look at according to visual standards of beauty enforced by the culture I was raised and live in. I also cannot go more than a day without washing my bio hair because it becomes insanely greasy. I used to spend a ton of time with dry shampoos, and other masking agents in attempts to hide bald spots. However, at this point it's pretty impossible to hide them as seen from the photos taken yesterday on my 41st birthday. I have found accessories, wigs especially, as viable options to assist in turning my frown upside down. They bring in space for making this experience fun and a playful exploration of my personal expression.
A few months ago I wrote an in depth piece about my hairloss journey with a warning that I might shave my head to be done with the powerlessness that comes with this specific human condition, slowly watching my hair go down the drain. Today is the day I face my fears and embrace this courageous next step in my healing, on the eve of graduating as a Certified Comprehensive Yoga Therapist.
Here is what my hair is not a sign of: my worth, my beauty, my femininity, my sexual orientation, nor the status of my health. As I have been debating shaving it all off, I've had to face many fears of being judged. As an embodied representation of Yoga my work is to bring all of the darkness into the light so that it can be transmuted and integrated. This allows for further soul evolution into a more harmonious state of being. When I share I heal not only myself but others who resonate with the message.
Today I choose to reclaim my power from a culture of unrealistic standards of what is beautiful. My head, my body, my choice. I'm claiming sovereignty over myself and holding up a little 🖕 with a 😘 for all those outdated cultural beauty standards that are still widely accepted. I do this publicly because I hope it finds the souls who are in need of inspiration to do that thing that has been nagging them for awhile but they were too afraid to leap because of being worried about what everyone would think..... the only person you should worry about pleasing is yourself. Do that thing you've been thinking about, dare to be all of you..... in your most authentic way, even if it's "weird."
This is my alchemical process of turning my darkness into light through empowered action. I choose the path of least resistance by following natures lead. I choose to practice non-attachment to something that held so much power over me for so long. Through this experience I invite liberation, freedom and a more authentic version of myself to be brought forth.
And so it is.
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