It ain’t your hair, girl

woman-in-curlers-knits

I admit, this is an ironic post for a hairstylist to write.  I love what I do.  I love making people feel good about the selves and the way they look, but I’ll tell you that in the twelve years I’ve been doing hair, I’ve learned there are some things that a new hairstyle (or a new car, new relationship, new lifestyle, etc.) won’t fix.

Last week, a client came in and she wasn’t feeling great about her hair.  I asked her what she wanted to change, and she couldn’t pinpoint it.  Finally, she said, “You know what?  I’ve had a terrible morning, and I think I’m taking it all out on my hair.”  I told her that this phenomenon happens all the time, but she was the first client I’ve ever had to recognize it.  (She’s also a therapist, so go figure. . . )

Trust me, as I get older, I am noticing the changes and not always loving them.  I’m also not against doing what we can to make ourselves feel good about our appearance.  But the thing is—if it’s something deeper within ourselves with which we are discontent, no amount of lipgloss or highlights or plastic surgery will really make us feel better.  As Lauren Hill said, “How you gonna win if you ain’t right within?”

It’s good to take care of ourselves, and make time for ourselves.  It’s good to take responsibility for the things we want to change.  It’s wonderful to feel beautiful.  But if we only pay attention to our outsides, our insides get all lonely and abandoned and pouty, and eventually fester and rot. And when that happens, we’ve done ourselves the greatest disservice.

So the next time I start obsessing about a designer pair of shoes, or the size of my jeans, or the lines on my face, I’m gonna ask myself, what’s really going on here?  Maybe I need to reconnect with a friend, or read a great book, or cook a nice meal—do something nourishing for my soul.  Or maybe—just maybe, I have fallen in love with a pair of shoes I will love forever, and sometimes that’s perfectly fine too.

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