The First Cuts are the Scariest: Life lessons from a haircutting adventure

Last night I did something crazy…

I cut off my hair.

Not like, “I went to a salon and had my hair cut,” (although I did that this afternoon…just to tidy things up). Nope. I stuck my hair in 2 bunches, grabbed the scissors, and lopped it off. Seriously.

The last time I did that was when I was 19 an in a major bout of depression. And it SUCKED (the depression AND the haircut). This time? This is something different.




I’ve been feeling increasingly weighed down. Not just by my hair (although I have…had…a HELL of a lot of it), but by all kinds of garbage and limiting beliefs that have built up over the past 2.5 years. “I can’t”s and “I should”s and “I have to”s. Bitterness, resentment, martyrdom, victimhood. It’s been pressing down on me.

Yesterday I was playing guinea pig for a friend’s art therapy session, and my drawing of myself looked like this:


See that hair? That hair is the weight of the freaking world, my friend.


Last night I had one of those pivotal moments of realization…one of those moments when everything clicks into focus and all my patterns turned into what they really are: not “this is the way it is,” but “this is the way I have been limiting myself, and I’m effing tired of it.” And my hair felt like the embodiment of all of it, just like in my drawing. So I cut it off (honestly, I was this-close to giving myself a buzz cut).


…the clippers were RIGHT THERE. It was a near thing!


Before I started cutting, I took a deep breath and visualized my hair containing all the limiting beliefs and emotional baggage that was holding me back and weighing me down.

And then…

Snip snip snip.

The minute the scissors hit the hair, I was terrified. There’s a certain “Holy shit, I can’t go back now” to beginning a major transformation (whether it’s a haircut or something bigger). All I could do is keep cutting and hoping that everything would turn out OK in the end.

I kept cutting. The hair came off.

…I’m thinking of donating them. That’s a LOT of hair!


It turned out OK…

No…more than OK. It turned out really freaking awesome. It was JUST what I needed!

Eeeeeeee! No regrets whatsoever!

Honestly, I was pretty thrilled with the end results. I felt 10 pounds lighter, and infinitely freer. It was amazing.

And here’s the final cut, after the hairdresser fixed it up a bit.


And I feel different. More present, less stuck. Ready to make other, bigger transformations.

The moral of the story: The first cuts are the scariest. Everything else is just shaping and trimming.

11 thoughts on “The First Cuts are the Scariest: Life lessons from a haircutting adventure”

  1. MEG!!!! You are GORGEOUS!!!!

    Excessive exclamation marks, sorry. You look WONDERFUL.

    I felt the same way the last time I chopped off my long hair. Snip snip snip and instantly, I felt free.

    I’m so happy for you!

    1. HEHEHE!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!
      I feel AMAZING! Like years of toxic emotional gunk had built up in that hair and now…I’M FREE!!! YAY!!!!

      (I may have to exorcise the pigtails before I donate them, now that I think about it) 🙂

  2. Big smile here, Meg — I remember when I cut my really long hair (didn’t have as much courage as you – I had a hairdresser do it, lol) – and how freed up I felt.

    After that I heard from other therapists (and started to notice it with clients and friends) that when someone gets a big hair cut it’s often a sign of a HUGE transformation. Way cool! And you look grrrrreat!

    1. Hehe! Thank you!

      Yes! I think you can definitely tell what’s going on for me by my hair! I love that! And this is a BIG one…I don’t remember the last time I loved a haircut this much! It feels perfect 😀

  3. I LOVE it, Meg!!! You look gorgeous – and you really do look free, too. Early last August I had about 7 inches of my hair cut off, and this past almost-year it’s been the shortest since I was in my early 20s. It felt like the perfect thing to do, to get it so short after so long, to have it be so different. It felt so freeing! (I’m in the process of starting to grow it longer again now… because I feel like it’s time for me to do that, I’m feeling drawn to another cycle of change with longer hair again…) Yay to you for doing this!!

    1. YAY!!! Thank you!

      I feel like the process of growing out my hair (which I did for about 2.5 years before it started feeling heavy and stuck) marked a major period of growth for me, and it got me ready for this transformation. I’m looking forward to seeing what this next cycle of change brings for you! <3

    1. Yes! It SO is! I never thought of the word that way before, but it’s pretty telling, isn’t it.

      When my hair was super-long, I kept thinking about a post you wrote where you mentioned using your hair in the dance. The last couple of inches tipped the scales and made me feel like my hair was weighing me down instead of giving me something new to dance with. My dancing feels freer now, and I LOVE it!

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