It started as a simple little comment: I wonder how long my hair would get if I stopped cutting it while I’m pregnant. What resulted was not simple.
I am and always have been a short hair kind of gal. I had long hair until I was 11 when I had it all cut off. I had my waist length hair cut to my shoulders.
I had had very short, short hair for about ten years when I got pregnant with my oldest child. One day I made an off-hand comment about how I heard that women’s hair grows like mad when they’re pregnant and wondered if mine would too.
It was two years before I was allowed to cut my hair again.
I set out to let my hair grow long, but then it was on my neck and I wasn’t sure I was sure I wanted long hair. I made an appointment to get it cut short again, and Donkey said make sure you don’t more than a half-inch taken off. When I came home, he was upset with me because I did have more than a half-inch taken off.
By the time we got married, my hair was to my shoulders. I didn’t really like my hair that long. I had always liked my bouncy curls, and they bounced less with longer hair. Much like I bounced less in an abusive relationship.
I started straightening my hair. Every day I would spend thirty minutes with a flatiron pulling the less than enthusiastic curls into bone straight strands. That was before I gave birth to my daughter, when I had thirty minutes in the morning to fix my much hated hair.
By the time I was six months pregnant with my second child, my hair was to the middle of my back, and that was with the curls. I almost always wore it up in a ponytail to keep it off of my neck, out of my eyes, and away from my daughter’s sticky fingers.
I was able to convince Donkey to let me cut my hair about two months before I gave birth to my son because it was long enough to donate and I could get a free hair cut for doing so, but I had to agree not to cut off more than was required for the donation.
He was willing to take the before picture but he refused to take the after picture. When I came home from the free hair cut, Donkey was upset because he thought I had had too much cut off. I had cut the exact number of inches necessary to donate my hair. By this time in the marriage, I knew better than to defy his orders. He let me know how bad my hair looked. I disagreed, but I didn’t tell him that.
I had to let it grow again, and I don’t have any pictures of that. I don’t like long hair. I don’t like that the curls get pulled out from the weight of long hair. I don’t like how long my face looks. I don’t like my neck getting hot.
When I left him I cut it short again, short like I like it short. It’s still short. I like my hair. I like it short, and I like the crazy curls. Cutting my hair the way I wanted it was one of the first things I did to feel good about myself after letting Donkey convince me I should feel bad about myself.
Now I get my hair cut as often as I want. Sometimes it’s after a month, sometimes after two. Sometimes I have them take an inch, sometimes two. I always feel good. I will never have long hair again.