Hair. Being the cause of a crisis of confidence. A trip to the hairdressers leaving me hating not just the endless list of products I now need to buy (the list gets longer each visit, doesn’t it?) but also myself.
How fucking ridiculous is that?
I went to a hair salon before Ben and I travelled to Las Vegas. You know how it goes – holiday prep. Shave the bush, trim the hair, paint the nails and pack the bag. I’d seen many girls on Instagram (of course) with amazingly long bangs that made their messy top knots look all that more interesting.
But as I sat in the chair, under the world’s most unflattering lighting, drinking a watermelon infused water (because suddenly all hairdressers are a fucking Joe and The Juice) staring at my pallid pre-holiday complexion, a severe sense of dread crept in.
Dread that suddenly cutting off 2 inches around my face STILL wasn’t turning me into an Insta babe. Dread that a new hair cut wasn’t a new me. Just the same me with less inches.
And I felt like absolute shit. This was compounded by a stylist who promised me a ‘beachy textured wave blow dry’ but left me looking like Lord Farqhuar off Shrek.
There’s something about that salon chair which is so harsh.
Maybe it’s the lighting. The often uncomfortable conversations. Or the staring at your own reflection, head in a towel, make-up gone, tent-like cloak for hours that’ll really set the self-doubt off.
I walked out, with my curly, dowdy bonce, came home and cried.
I won’t go into the onset of social-media-based-dysmorphia that we all seem to be experiencing the more time we spend online – that’s a whole other post. But the level of dissatisfaction I felt was palpable.
And it carried over to the holiday.
Ben wanted to take lots of photos. I hated every single one. I was supposed to be working on fashion collaborations – creating content with the amazing backdrops of the Vegas Strip. But I could barely look at myself in the mirror.
Whilst I understood that my issues were stemming from far deeper worries and insecurities – the thing that definitely sparked it, was the hair cut.
Then came The Chapel in Islington. An opportunity for a gifted haircut, style and colour landed in my inbox and I knew I had to go, to right the wrongs of what had happened before.
It’s fitting that a trip to a hairdressers called The Chapel cleansed my soul in a spiritual way.
From start to finish the stylist heard my woes about how my hair affects my self-esteem. We even discussed Chloe Plumstead’s post on the topic.
She understood that I wanted a fresh colour that was modern but not try hard and a cut that was trendy but not, ‘oh hi I wish I was cool please give me a buzzed undercut and neon highlights’.
During the colouring process, she saw my face when the initial colour had developed. She could see the sadness and low-self-esteem I still felt, so she toned and toned to her heart’s content – or at least until I could muster a half smile.
We talked at length about my holiday, she put me in a chair and turned the ugly overhead light off because I said it made me uncomfortable – she even let me rest on sofas so I didn’t have to go through the trial by mirror for any more hours.
In the interest of transparency, I only asked for a trim. At the time, my confidence was so low that even though I knew I wanted a bob again, I was too down on myself to make the leap.
THAT cut came later.
The change in my mood and the opinion I have about myself couldn’t be more different pre and post Chapel.
Whilst I’m not posting a million selfies a week to Instagram or having 0 meltdowns over everything I wear looking crap, the trip to The Chapel certainly set me on an upward curve out of my recent shit spiral.
I struggle with body image and self esteem every day. It’s the biggest aspect of myself that I want to deal with.
Comparing my face, body and hair to people on Instagram will never be a good thing for me. But comparing how I feel about myself now, to back then – well that HAS been bloody fantastic.
Does your hair affect your mood in the same way? Or do you have an aspect of body-image that gets you down? I’d love to know I’m not alone!