Long hair is gorgeous, desirable, sexy.
It’s also heavy, hot, difficult to manage and just a pain in the ass.
Wait. I’m sorry. I forgot about spending hours pulling, twisting, frying and spraying it in order to get a couple free drinks at a club. That gorgeous and sexy hair also has its advantages in the workplace as well. That is, if you’re into rising before the sun shows in order to flirt your way into a promotion or additional vacation time.
And that’s where I have my beef. Who the hell decided that long hair was a requirement for “sexy”? For most women, their hair is their curse. They don’t like what they have, and they want what someone else has. Depending on the day, my thick, wavy curls either look as beautiful as Debra Messing’s, or something that resembles Hermione Granger. To be quite honest, most days for me are Hermione days. Regardless, I still have people who tell me they would kill for my hair, when all I want is flat, straight locks.
Up until recently, I had long hair. It had been long for two years, and I was debating whether or not I wanted a change. I did love the way it looked when I was able to get my curls just right, but the procedure of straightening it, or trying to get it to go one way instead of the other, was more time and stress than I needed.
I had been going back and forth with cutting it for about a month. It wasn’t until I discovered an organization that takes donations of hair for oil spills across the globe. The organization, called Matter of Trust, creates mats – called booms – out of hair in order to soak up oil from small to major spills (BP, anyone?). Matter of Trust doesn’t just accept hair, but other oil-absorbing materials such as fur, fleece, feathers, and nylons.
Once I learned about Matter of Trust, I knew I what my decision was in regard to my hair: cut it dramatically.
When it comes to animals and the environment, I have a very big soft spot. Growing up, for Christmases and birthdays, I would ask to adopt a whale. If I ever saw plastic six-pack holders lying around, I would pick them up and make sure it was pulverized so it could never hurt a duck or fish. Ever since my family adopted an ex-racing greyhound, I vowed to always adopt pets from shelters instead of breeders. And, two years ago, my husband and I rescued a homeless dog from the streets of downtown Grand Rapids (she’s currently living a happy, well-fed, much-petted and very loved life at my in-laws’ house).
Of course, it’s only natural for me to do whatever I can to aid in environmental and animal relief programs. Matter of Trust was my way to at least contribute in some miniscule way, to aid in one of the most catastrophic boo-boos of my generation (I’m looking right at you, Tony Hayward).
Of course, when I told people I was cutting my hair, I was faced with some unbelievably vain comments.
“Long hair is sexy; every woman wants to be sexy.”
“But it’s so beautiful!”
Oh, and my personal favorite, “You’re not going to look like a dyke, are you?”
Well let me tell you: Being “sexy” is not my top priority. Yes, it’s beautiful, but it’s also a pain in the ass. And, WHAT!? Excuse me while I make a donation to GLAAD in your name.
Despite defiance from friends, I did it. Why? Because there are far more important things to me than “looking sexy.” I’d rather be known for my knowledge, my talents as a writer and editor, and small contributions to this earth, than to be known for being nice to look at.
And for those who still disagree, think about this: Hair grows back quicker than the environment.
–By Lindsay Patton-Carson