The Big Chop: Does It Define Me?

Why Shrinkage Matters

Before the Chop.

Have you ever made a decision, followed through and then experienced a brief flicker of panic? Well, that's the position in which I recently found myself.


About a month ago, I got a Curly Casualty. A big chop (4 inches coiled, 6-7 inches stretched out), quite a dramatic change from the way I've worn my hair for the past 20 years. Did I just say that? Out loud?! OK, some perspective - it's just hair. It will grow back. And I've received many compliments on it. I actually like it. However, I no longer look in the mirror and see who I'm expecting to see and I've been surprised by how this has affected me. It's kind of funny to say that, as I built my business on nurturing confidence, compassion and your hair!


AFTER the Chop

Background: From FuzzyDuck to Swan I was bullied because of my hair as a young girl. It was frizzy, it was big, and I did not have anyone in my circle who knew how to work with it to best advantage. I was called Fuzzy, Brillo, Poodle, and MopTop, which affected my self-image and eventually drove the creation of my own haircare line. That's why it's ironic that decades later I am once again feeling so philosophical and "hair-aware" as a confident woman with her own business. Apparently, I have a bit of a Samson-complex, except instead of physical strength it's tied to my emotional fortitude and overall outlook. Who knew? Why is hair for a female such a big deal anyway? There are so many biblical references. Here is a sampling: 1 Corinthians 11:15: NIV But that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 1 Corinthians 11:6 ESV For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. Luke 12:7 ESV Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Proverbs 16:31 ESV Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.

A Voice Bigger than My Hair That said, my hair tells a story about me, but it doesn't define me, no matter the length, quality of the cut, amount of curl or frizz, height or volume... and while I prefer many more good hair days to bad, at my core I know that regardless of how my hair appears to the world, it's window-dressing compared to the rest of who I am. I'm a Christ follower, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a business person, a visionary. I'm a visionary because I've been hurt and crushed and bullied, but was able to find my voice and rise above; and it turns out my voice was even bigger than my hair! @SimonSenik says it best “ that we need to believe that the solution we find to overcome our weakness as children becomes our strengths as adults, to not play victim, and the solution makes us a success as adults."

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