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How A New Hairstyle Helped Me To Heal A Childhood Trauma



When I was younger, a neighborhood friend cut my hair short. My mom yelled at me for allowing her to do it, and then she did what she could do to fix it. She brought me to her hairdresser and decided my hair was unsalvagable. The rest was cut short into a popular pixie cut of the time which was not flattering. I cried for days and was made fun of by other kids. They called me a boy in a dress. You can imagine how hurtful that was to hear for a small child trying to find her place in the world. So then my mom decided to perm it. I was then called little orphan Annie.


Because of my experience when I became a teen, my hair was always long and perfectly done. Any time I would cut it short, all those old feelings would come back, and I couldn't wait to grow it out. I felt invisible without long, perfectly done hair. So I bought wigs, clip-in extensions, halo hairpieces. There was always something that bothered me or made me self-conscious about my hair, even with the added hair.


As I grew older, the need for long hair wasn't as important as having healthy hair.

Then, this past summer, I decided to try sew-in extensions for fun. Everyone loved how I looked in them, including me. They started to become part of my identity, and I thought I would become invisible without them. Yesterday, as I was having them adjusted, my younger daughter said to leave them out; she loved me just like this (my picture here). So I agreed to give my hair a break. When I got home, no one even noticed my extensions were gone. They just saw me, their mom, their wife. I didn't say anything about them, not noticing that my hair was dramatically different. I was relieved.


We went to a party, and I received compliments about how I looked, not just my hair which was the case the past few months. I realized my hair was not the reason I am loved by my family or seen by others; who I am as a person is the reason. As a child, this was inconceivable to me. My younger self heard this: No one must like who you are because they made fun of my appearance. How could I be loved?

That's a tough thing to go through as a child. It sets you up for self-esteem issues for years to come.


These kinds of childhood traumas stay with you until you are ready to allow them back in with understanding and compassion for yourself as a child and yourself as the adult you've become, then it's time to release them. For some people, it can take decades to heal and can manifest in multiple ways throughout their lives, as it did for me.


I saw myself as the little girl with short hair and told her I loved her, and I was so sorry she went through all that pain. I wish I could have told her how amazing she was at that time. I cried for her one last time and let go of what I was holding on to, my past insecurities. After facing my childhood trauma of the haircut, blame, and ridicule, I no longer felt my hair had power over my self-image or self-esteem.


Try this method if you are holding on to something from your past that prevents you from living a completely joyful life. Envision yourself standing with your younger self and offer love and compassion. Allow all the emotions to flow in. There's no right or wrong way to process your feelings. No shame or blame; feel and then release those feelings.




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2 Comments


Oh my another story we share although I just allowed myself to get the short marylouretton cut and then the perm! at times it seems we lived one life in 2 places

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Barbara Ann Bruno
Barbara Ann Bruno
Dec 20, 2021
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Yes! We seem to have a lot in common.

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