The traumatic effects of a bad haircut, and how to learn to live with itsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #writing7 years ago (edited)

Yesterday I went to the hairdresser. There was a very friendly, very talkative 23 year old gay guy who did my hair. And he just did an awesome job. He finished and showed me my new haircut in 360 degrees and I was really happy with it. Now I wouldn't know how your experiences with hairdressers are. Mine are quite traumatic. In fact, today was one of the very few times, if not in fact the first, that I felt positively happy with the way my hair was done.

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Never realised how hard it would be to take my own picture from the side.
Apologies for lack of focus. Wanted to choose a pic where I was smiling.

Sooo... What's the big deal, you're asking? How does this compare to serious issues like world hunger, bitcoin going bananas, epidemics and floods and relationship breakups? Well, I guess hair and looks and fashion traumas are small compared to all those - but for the person undergoing them, they can be quite real. Me and my hair had a bit of a sensitive relationship. And in a way, going to the hairdresser today, having a comfortable experience and being happy with the end result shows (to me) that I've finally made peace with that part of me. Lol. Wanted to share the story, who knows some of you might get inspired by some of it :).

How did it start?

I don't know if it was the shape of my head or the quality of my hair. But when I was small, my mom would have me get the short kind of haircuts. Of course, like all girls, when I got a say in the matter I wanted longer hair. At least, when I was small I was kind of cute. But the life of a teenager, oh my god. Those just weren't my best days. Any struggling teenager reading this? If things turned out OK for me, then they will for you also!

There was this one particular situation where my sister's wedding was happening soon. I think I was sixteen. Nothing sweet about it if you ask me. My mom had a friend in our street who, in her spare time, did a bit of hair dressing, as a hobby I think. So we went there, and again, is it the shape of my head? Is it my taste which is a little particular, rather being little different in my looks than following regular fashion, making other people think I'm always out to make a statement? Anyways, that lady, as far as I'm concerned, really ruined my haircut. You know what a chicken's butt looks like? Well that was my hairstyle resembled. I went to school the next day and I'm not sure how truthful the memory is, could be it grew worse in time. But what I remember is going inside that horrid building and all my friends actually laughing to my face. Literally, all of them laughing out loud because of the way I was looking. I know there are worse things which can happen in life. For me, however, that was a very bad day. Next two days I convinced my parents I was sick and didn't go to school. I think my mom realised what was going on though. Sweet as she is, she allowed me some time to recuperate. But then, of course, I still had to go to school before my hair was done growing back.

Traumatic experiences

Sharing the above story with you is partly for fun. As adults (I'm only 30 but whatever, let's say I am one of those) looking back at earlier years, we can laugh at our experiences and with our current understanding, see them in a different light. At that time though, facing my peers was a big issue for me. I wouldn't go so far as to say I was seriously bullied. But the way I handled those years, how I responded to those circumstances - well, I just took it opposite of lightly and made my life so terribly horrid while doing it. Of course, this didn't all happen because of people laughing at my haircut. But still, over time, it were quite simple things that I took in a wrong way and got myself very worked up over.

When it comes to trauma, I know there are awful things happening to people, on a completely different scale than looks and peer pressure. But, at least from my own life experiences, I've come to realise that the impact a situation has on us has a lot to do with what we think is true about us and about life, the conclusions, cognitions we take from our experiences. At that time, when I was just nerve-wrackingly insecure about myself and unhappy with life, facing 'a school full of people laughing in my face' was one of the worst incidents of shame, of really being ashamed of myself, that I've had.

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The other side of the haircut. No smile, but with focus! ;)

Healing past memories

You might have your own version(s) of the incident described above. Memories which we tend to avoid, or if we remember them, then it's from the perspective of the adult we are now. I know I had dozens of them, if not hundreds. Memories carrying emotions. Nasty, really nasty emotions - shame is definitely one of them. I remember there was a time where my stomach continuously felt as a black pit, putting me into an almost constant nauseous state, just because of those emotions I hadn't dealt with.

When I was 18, I had worked myself into a condition where I was so scared of people I avoided all crowds and groups. And there were two incidents where I lost my sensory perception, which got me scared. I remember taking a shower, without being able to feel the touch of the water. And sitting on the floor of my room, pulling my hands through the rug, not able to feel it. I panicked and finally told my parents about how things were going, and they got me to see a social therapist. Who did a great job in showing me how to get out. Of something I now understand was self-made. But of which I had no clue how to fix it at the time.

The therapist asked me to divide my life into five parts and for each part, express my feelings about it in drawings. For me this worked as a way to start opening up and looking at my feelings. Then, at one particular moment while I was making one of those drawings, something happened which was like a very strong daydream hitting me. I wasn't sleeping, but was flooded by memories in such a way that it was really like I was reliving them, and just memory after memory after memory poured over me. It was very intense. I know that at that time I wasn't sure I would make it through, because the huge breakthrough of surfacing emotions was such a raw experience. But afterwards, the difference I felt in me was just indescribable. Literally it was like a part of me which had been dead and dull and had even started closing off to sensory perceptions, had now become alive again.

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Told you I had a particular taste ;). This is how I had my hair when we were living in India - dreadlocks. I had extensions. It was fun to have the experience of wearing my hair really long for a while!

Reliving to relieve

That particular situation of memories coming back was my first experience with the power of reliving memories and how much healing happens when suppressed emotions are allowed to surface. It gave me the experience and confidence that emotions we've blocked because they've seemed to be too much to handle, that suppressing them is the worst part and reliving them is the only way out.

Years later I read the books by Carlos Castaneda and his apprenticeship with the shaman or sorcerer Don Juan. His books are a very interesting read. Towards the end of the series he describes a technique where he meticulously goes through all his memories. ALL his memories, and relives them. After reading how much he felt this technique impacted him, I started trying it out for myself. Moving through all my memories, finding those where some hurt or emotions are stored, and simply going over it again and again till the pain has run out, till there is no more emotional residue left behind.

Short after that, my husband and I went to India to join a 21 day program called Inner Awakening, offered by a Guru called Paramahamsa Nithyananda, at an ashram close to Bangalore city. And I didn't know before hand, but the majority of time of those 21 days we spent on doing completion, a technique described by Paramahamsa Nithyananda but originating from the ancient Vedic texts. Completion is an amazing technique, still the most powerful tool I ever found in life, and sometimes also described as 'reliving to relieve'.

The results of cleaning up residue emotions

When we clean up the pain and hurt from our past, when we relive and relieve the emotions, a lot of things happen. We become very light beings. We forget about the 'identities' that we've invested so much in throughout life, the story of our lives that makes us who we are and is often based on pain and feelings of powerlessness or compensating for powerlessness. We become flexible, fluid, happy, joyful beings.
But most typically, when a certain memory, situation or issue in our life has been 'completed' (we've practised completion and healing has happened) then even what we face in our day to day life changes. For example - after I completed the situations where I felt bullied, my fear of people dropped and I wasn't afraid anymore to join groups and crowds. When I completed with feelings and experiences (my interpretations of those experiences) of life being unfair and that getting what you want only happens after so much struggle, that easy success was not for me - then all of a sudden I saw a life which was supportive, where things happened so effortlessly, success comes very natural. Or, and with that I finally come to wrapping up this post ;) - after completing with those traumatic haircut experiences, I can finally go to the hairdresser and enjoy my time and walk away with a haircut to my liking. Completion often shows in our day to day life, when things that were once an issue for us cease to be a problem.

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Thank you for reading!

This was a long post, if you read to the end I'm impressed ;). The thing is, completion is such an interesting topic, and the results it can bring us is so amazing. I liked sharing this story with you, I like getting the story out there that healing yourself and adding lightness and happiness to life is so very possible and in a way, so easy. Wishing all of you more happiness and lightness in every next day of your life! Thanks for your comments, upvotes, follows, your support. See you around on Steemit!

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Great post. I remember the nervousness I would feel when I had to get my Mullett cut. That has been along time ago for me but haircut trama still has the potential to affect my life. A few years ago I took my wife to get her hair cut at a new salon. Everything was fine when she went in to the establishment. 45 minutes later I saw her walking toward the car with her head down and when she got into the car she had a total emotional meltdown. I must admit it wasnt the best haircut I had ever seen on her but she was traumatized. It grew back and she has perfect hair again but I still get nervous if she asks me to drive her to a new salon.

Thanks for reading! I figured I wasn't the only one ;). It's weird right, how some things which are in a way so insignificant can have such impact. I think for women especially, looks and beauty can be a sore spot. It's really useful to have some tools to alleviate those sore spots and live a lighter life :).

I always find it nice to read how someone can turn bad experiences into good energy. These are usually the finest people to have around. They do not worry so much about small things and be negative in life but enjoy life more ... :) Thank you for share this.

Thanks for your sweet comment! True, the more we ease out our sore spots, the lighter and more pleasant people we become. And surrounding ourselves with others who are dedicated to the same is a great way of adding happiness to life! Actually, finding those people in the first place depends on how we handle life. The teacher we lived with in India had this phrase - your vibes attract your tribes. If you're seeing pleasant people surrounding you, it's because they find those same vibes with you :).

agree and probably also because we do not invest in people with bad energy anymore. So you just keep the good ones. :)

lol @ You know what a chicken's butt looks like? I can imagine how traumatising that must have been at school. Haircuts are not as tragic as other issues (as you've mentioned) but in context, it's a difficult thing to overcome. Glad you are happy with your latest haircut. It looks great :)

Thanks! And yes, context makes the difference! If our beliefs about ourselves and the world are already in a bad shape, small things can rock our world in a bad way. Still, having the chicken butt hairstyle, even these days with much more positive beliefs about self and world, would still be very effective in having me cover my head with shawls and hats ;)

I absolutely LOVE your India dew! So cool. And of course the hair you have now is gorgeous. You are very photogenic :)

But hey I totally feel you on this. I was also a sensitive one and it's been quite the journey of self exploration. Diving into my emotional memories has been quite a process, but I agree with you that it is totally necessary and very much worth it!

I will say that this year I've really begun to open up more and feel confident being who I am (I'm 29 so a bit of a late bloomer). It feels so good to just be okay with being me, and I know that has been a result of working through the deeper insecurities that were stored subconsciously for some time.

Thank you so much for sharing this @amritadeva. I actually wrote a very similar post recently about my hair. It was the part of my body that I really didn't like, and so I made a commitment to loving it. And now I do! Here's the post if you are inspired to read my story: This is why I’m going to love myself for the next 7 days

Thanks for your awesome comment! :) Come on, at 29 you're no late bloomer. Life is just getting started, right? So many more years to live. There are people who never even get around to going on that journey of self exploration in the first place! And yes will definitely check out your hair post! :)

Okay okay you're right. 29 is purty young still, I agree. I guess sometimes it feels like it was quite a long process to open up (and still a process!). But again, you're right - some never get around to that journey. Thanks for being my voice of reason @amritadeva :P following you!

Transformation... ain't it grand?
When I was 12 I had LONG hair, and I wanted it cut like Farrah Fawcett, the style was called "gypsy" back then. I told the nice lady who had given me Pixie cuts since I was a toddler that I wanted a gypsy. Without needing any further instruction, she confidently began whacking. I envisioned Farrah. She envisioned a pixie gypsy... I wanted layers, and variation in those layers, but keep the overall length. She whacked it to my shoulders, THEN did some layers. I did not cry, I was old enough to realize gluing it back on was not an option.

Fast forward several decades. My buddy who cuts my hair when she is in town was rolling through, only here one night. I had choir practice, so she cut everyone else's hair... and drank beer... until I got home. She was so drunk she cut her HAND. My haircut is sort of a geniune "gypsy" look at the moment... but I don't care. We had SO much fun that night, and this will grow out, just like that old gypsy... LOL!
Thanks for sharing your tale, and strolling with me down memory lane!

Sweet :). Thanks for sharing your own story! Lol, your friends hand recovered OK? And isn't it awesome to be so relaxed with your looks that a haircut with a bit of an edge to it gets you to laugh instead of have an emotional break down? Good for you friend. Best luck to you and your hairstyles :)

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