When I was a young girl, I loved my long hair. I would have it braided into two plaits and wear it to school everyday, showing it off. And when I let my hair loose, it would be straight, like a sheet. I was very attached to it.
Every year, my mom would take me to the salon to get a haircut. I dreaded that day the entire year because I simply could not handle the idea of losing my hair. I didn’t want it to get any shorter, and I hated sitting in that chair while someone else handled my hair. But my mother was strict, and I rarely had a choice. So I would sit, anxious, while my mother made an appointment with the salon near our house for me.
When we reached there, they would make us wait at the reception. Since I would look extremely annoyed and worried, my mom would tell me that it’s for the best, and that for hair to grow it should be cut. But her reassurance was futile. I would still count my minutes with my hair until it would be cut. Then the lady would come out and call me, and make me sit on the chair. Since I was just 10 or 11, they would make me sit on a very high chair, and wrap me tight with a cape. The lady would then undo my hair and let it loose, usually it would’ve grown to mid-back level or even more. Then she would admire my hair, for it was thick and beautiful.
Then she would look at my mom, who would usually sit behind me authoritatively, watching, and ask “how much should I cut?”. My mom would point to a certain length, and that was that. I could not see how much my mom was asking the hairdresser to cut, nor did I have a say in it. Both the hairdressing lady and my mom didn’t care much about what I wanted.
Then she would spray my hair with water, and section it, and slowly, running a comb through it, would began to cut. All I could do was feel my hair from behind my neck being pulled, and feel it released as the scissors went through it, chopping it. I could not see how much was being cut, or what I would look like after it was done. It would terrify me.
Seeing me looking irritated, the haircutting lady would always tell me “don’t worry, it’s just one inch”. But I knew that was a lie. All I could do was sit and wait while my hair was being chopped off. All I could do was listen to the snip, snip, and then watch the hair fall to the floor, on my lap, and on the chair.
The funny thing about the salon we went to was, there was no mirror in front of me. Only my mom and the hairdresser could see what was happening, and I was usually jittery to notice. So only when I got home and saw my hair would I realize how I looked. So after the haircut was done, my mom would walk over to the haircutting lady and me, and survey the results. “Little more,” she would say. And then the lady would again show her a length, and she would approve, and began to cut again.
After we were done, and the cape was removed, I would follow my mom back home. Then, running to the mirror once we reached back home, I would look in the mirror. My hair was so short – what was midback length was now above shoulder-length. And when my hair was plaited, the braids were so short. I hated it.
And this was when it started. After this, I developed an obsession with haircuts, and especially loved it when the lady cut more than necessary. I loved the feeling of nervousness and seeing the new, shorter length.