We’ve all heard the hashtags #longhairdontcare but for me it was #shorthairdontcare-except I did. Almost a year ago to the day, I decided I had had enough of my hair falling out all over the bathroom floor. It was not only a nightmare to clean up after, but the feeling of my hair falling down my body in clumps while in the shower brought me to tears almost daily. As if I hadn’t gone through enough, I was now losing so much of my hair. I always tried to maintain a positive attitude and thought to myself, it can always be worse and at least there’s regrowth. Recalling my feelings, even now, brings tears to my eyes. Until this point I had been able to hide what was wrong under my clothes-but when my hair all fell out I couldn’t hide the true torture I was enduring anymore. Anyone who has ever known me, including my hair stylist of nearly four years, has known me with long, thick beautiful hair. I was blessed with great genes (thanks mom!) and my hair has always been my thing, my pride. I have my cosmetology license and have always been into styling and doing my hair. Even as a middle schooler, I can recall waking up early to curl or straighten my hair. It was always my thing. That is, until July 1, 2015 when I had no choice but to have it all cut off. I always knew I’d write about the experience of losing all my hair, until now though, I haven’t felt comfortable enough to do that. Even after I got the pixie cut, which everyone in my life admired but me, I always reminded myself that at least I have hair. I was never bald, and I can’t even imagine what that is like for other’s who’ve endured losing every bit of hair they had. However, at moments it made me feel less feminine and very insecure. Every time anyone would compliment my hair, I felt compelled to tell them why it was so short. Usually I would be vague and say something to the effect of, “I didn’t have a choice, but thank you.” As I was reminiscing with my hair dresser last month, I reminded him that a year ago was when we chopped it all off (or what was left of it). I have come so far in a year, and although I have a hell of a long way left to go-pictures are a reminder of how far I’ve come.
I wanted to share, how I feel, my hair has grown so much because I do believe it is in large part to taking the vitamin, Biotin. You can get it anywhere, any store that sells vitamins-it has helped me tremendously. I was blessed with a thick, dark, Italian head of hair. My mom would remind me often, that she had so much heartburn while pregnant with me. And as a result I was born with a full head of hair. Genetics are key, but biotin (I feel) was also the key.
After I cut my hair, I was devastated (to say the least)-and my mom’s friend who has known me nearly all of my life sent me this message and I wont ever forget it. She said, “Hi, Jerica-when your mom first told me about your hair falling out I was completely heartbroken for you. So much of who we are is literally tied up in our hair (unfortunately). Then your mom told me that you were thinking about cutting it short & I couldn’t imagine how devastating that must have been. But knowing what a beautiful face you have, I was certain that you could pull it off. Well, your mom just sent me a picture of your hair (the one with the bangs). Jerica, you look AMAZING, GORGEOUS, I love, love it! I knew you would be beautiful! Xoxo” Throughout the year, this text is something I’ve reread because it is so true-so much of who we are is LITERALLY tied up in our hair. I gained a confidence I didn’t know I had, and I appreciate so much more the little things- like being able to put my hair in a half ponytail (as I’m still not able to fully put it all up yet). I feel blessed, and I’m so thankful for the hair that I can pull up. In fact, the day I was able to use my old ponytail holders again, was one of the most exciting days I’ve had-it was a hair milestone!
Today, I wanted to share with you (a year later) my hair milestone and to say thank you to everyone who reminded me that throughout the process of growing it back that I was still beautiful. Especially my husband, who continuously told me he loved it-and meant it! We don’t always love the hands we’re dealt in life, but if you can learn to love and enjoy the game it makes the bad hands easier to handle.