Mental Health – Hair Stress, Change and Control

Chop! Chop! Chop!

I cut most of it off, changed the colour, and went from dark brown to blonde. Honestly, every time I looked in the mirror, I was howling. I laughed until my tummy hurt. It’s been ages since I’ve laughed like that.

During the day, my mum had dragged me out the house. We went shopping and I got the kit for my hair. I felt excited, I had something to look forward too. I told my mum even if it goes wrong, at least I’ll have something to focus on instead of the recent low events I’ve been experiencing.

That same night, I bleached my hair. My mum and sister just stared, I think they thought she’s gone “crazy”. Not the right term for someone who’s currently in a battle with their mental health, but that’s what I read from their facial expressions. I grabbed the scissors and chopped away at my hair. It felt amazing! I was in control. Later, I got my sister to apply hair dye because I couldn’t take myself serious with the blonde and my tummy was still hurting from all the laughing. It’s now Almond Blonde. Urm, that’s what the box said.

It’s done. I’ve made the change and guess what?! I love it.

“Why is it when someone is battling depression they change their hair?”

Someone asked me this question and at the time, I didn’t have an answer, like most days I don’t have an answer for anything because I’m not prepared for the questions but this question lingered in the back of my mind for a day or two.

If you read my previous post, I’m not living. I’m Surviving. you’d know, I have been neglecting myself. One of the things were, not giving the attention to my hair, not brushing or washing it often. I’d feel tired from just thinking of treating my hair. I would spend an hour taking out the knots and then apply oil to my hair just to tie it up again, then a day or two later, I would wash it. My hair is curly, if it’s not treated every so often it’ll turn out really dry and tangled. Awfully tangled that it makes me feel like the easiest option would be to just shave the whole lot off. I would just feel this unnecessary pressure and it would really stress me out.

Has the change made a difference?

Cutting and colouring my hair was not a cry for help. If only you knew how good it felt to be in control after a long time, don’t get me wrong my depression and anxiety hasn’t just vanished into thin air just by making changes to my hair. Unfortunately, it’s still there but now when I think about treating my hair, I don’t feel that unnecessary pressure because it’s easier to handle, feels lighter and most importantly it makes me feel in control.

For so long, I’ve just been drowning and have been seeking for ways to cling on to whatever control I can re-establish in my life. Cutting my hair has made me feel like I can start fresh and just let go of how I’ve been seeing myself. It may sound silly to most people but it makes sense to me and that’s what’s important, I found a way to feel a sense of peace and control by just making a little change to my appearance. The best thing about hair is that it’ll grow back but I know I’ll switch it up again.

I know a few people who made small changes when they were in a battle with their mental health and when I asked them what their reasons were, their reasons were actually quite similar to mine. The main thing that kept popping up was that it was about getting some control back. So, I guess that answers the question, right?

On another note, I’d just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has reached out to me after reading my previous post. The love and support mean so much to me.

-Sabah ‘xo