When I was little, I had delicious golden ringlets. They were all around my face, in the back, all over. And when I look back at pictures, I totally understand why my mother refused to cut my hair. I was precious. Well my hair and the curls grew. Then one day my older brother and I decided to play “barber.” It’s one of my very first memories. I remember the orange and white plastic scissors. And I remember that I went first and snipped at the air around my my brother’s head. And when it was my turn, I sat in a chair that my grandmother had needlepointed my name on to and watched as my ringlets feel to the floor.
That haircut and the following repair job at Veda’s, my grandmother’s hair dresser, are some of my first memories. Those ringlets never did grow back, but I’ve always had natural waves, and volume, and kink to my locks. I get it from my Daddy. He has this soft wave along his forehead, and when his hair gets long enough, it curls along his collar at the base of his neck. But I’ve always brushed my hair straight, pulled it into a pony tail while it was drying so it would be straighter, gone after it with a straightening iron.
Week before last I had my friend and expert hairdresser, Jen at Luma Salon, cut off about four inches of my hair. It was my first cut in seven months. I was due. Shorter hair is simpler, naturally. And as I sat in the chair, I was thinking that it would mean less time with the straightener, less fuss to comb through. But in the days that followed, I had something of a revelation. I let my hair air dry, let the curls come through, and it kind of hit me.
Why do I stress about my mane? Not that I don’t want it to look good. I totally do. But why do I spend so much time brushing, combing, pulling back, putting down, tucking this hair? And why do I always want it to be so straight? When did I decide that straight hair was important?
Because it’s not what’s important.
So I took my new and shorter locks, and I decided to embrace the curly hair that I have, that Daddy gave me. I decided to try to enjoy them and see if I can make them look pretty. I don’t expect my ringlets to come back, but that’s not what I’m looking for. This is how my hair is. It’s wavy and uneven and a little unexpected. It’s kind of messy and imperfect.
But that’s who I am too.
This act of simplifying is about getting back to basics. It’s about breaking down the complicated and complex into something that feels manageable and approachable. It’s about defining who I am and what makes my heart beat fast and then doing that. It’s about being true to who I am and then making that Anna the very best Anna she can be.
And my curly hair is part of that. Sure, my locks aren’t fueling my passions. And they’re not even monumentally important in the grand scheme of things. But I feel like the curls are an unexpected part of this road to simplicity. If I can simplify my hair, and take it down to it’s most basic and natural state, then whose to say I can’t simplify the rest of my life. If I can simplify what I do to my hair in the mornings, then what other processes can I streamline? If I can be content with the waves, then I can be content with myself, at my most basic. My simplest.
And you know what? I like the way this simple looks on me.