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Special Needs Parents: Getting the Chop

Special Needs Parents: Getting the Chop

I would never have associated me getting a haircut with bravery.

I have never really known what to do with my thick, heavy, sit here there and everywhere hair. It is wavy, uncontrollable and to be totally honest, completely out of my current hair maintenance skills. I am an awful hair stylist!

I wasn’t always- for years I styled my own hair, my friends’ hair and I once even styled bridesmaids hair!

Then I became ‘mammy’, time to style my hair let alone anyone else's was something I never gave priority to.

There was always something more pressing to do like cleaning the walls, floors, toilet ...with a house full of boys; hair styles become non-existent or important to me.

I decided to cut it all off... not, I personally, (I am not that daring) - I paid a professional to chop my hair right up.

Short. Not a little short, I mean short, short.

Is that brave?

The only person who asked me why I wanted it short was the hairdresser, who bless her, was a tad nervous of cutting up my shoulder length hair.

“I tie it up, every single day. I don’t know why I have it long anymore. I don’t go anywhere and I rarely have an occasion to get it put up into an up-style, let alone a valid reason to have it nice and straight or curly, so why not cut it up” I smiled at her in the mirror. “And I would like a change. If I don't like it, it's on me, not you and thankfully,” I smiled, “my hair will grow”.

She nodded thinking of what to say next. Then she said what every good hairdresser would and should say “Tell me, you have an idea of what style you would like?”

And like every good customer should do, I had to hand the style I figured would suit me and asked for her honest opinion.

“Oh yes, that should suit. Now, are you sure?” She smiled, scissors ready.

I gave her the thumbs up and she began to chop into my long hair.

As my thick unruly locks fell from my head, I closed my eyes. With each newly liberated piece of hair, I felt lighter. I began to relax my shoulders.

Each time she cut more of my hair, I smiled.

She probably thought it was the strangest of reactions but I really didn’t care. I enjoyed sitting on that chair feeling my hair fall all around me.

Opening my eyes to see my short hair; now that took some bravery.

I took a deep breath, I peeked through one eye.

The hairdressers laughed.

I opened both eyes fully. “OH WHAT HAVE YA DONE” I exclaimed, then I began to laugh. “I love it. I’m only messing with you”

She giggled, “What do you think? I'm going to blow dry it now for you!”

“I am so relieved that I don’t look like a boy!” I blurted out my real, genuine fear about having my hair this short.

Suddenly I saw a different version of myself in the mirror. I felt excited!

It felt liberating.

It felt like I was taking back a bit of control.

It felt like I was making a change for me and me only.

A change which for once, I controlled.

I don’t control much in my life; I can’t control the pains which cause my son to have meltdowns...

I can’t control the rate of progression my son’s syndrome take.

I can’t control or plan family day outs; as it can all change in an instance, and normally because of something I could have never seen coming, despite my years of experience with meltdowns, autism and sensory issue.

And, of course, the bottom line is; I have no control over the syndrome that is stealing my son away from me, bit by bit.

While I do think making a drastic change in any part of your life does indeed take some form of bravery; I now wonder is there something else that drives a person to do such a bold and daring thing.

It wasn’t something I ever considered before until I was the one they called brave for cutting off my hair.

I would have called my friends brave for chopping off their hair too; but now, now I wonder if its bravery mixed or diluted with something else?

For me, it was definitely control diluted with bravery with a dash of stubbornness thrown in.

It has been four weeks since I cut my hair.

I have no clue if I will keep it this short or not, yet.

I do know now that having short hair takes more time in the morning than I could ever have possibly imagined, or maybe it could be that just I am that crap at styling?! (That's a strong possibility)

I am also discovering the styling products that are out there which helps maintain short crazy wild hair.

And that cutting my hair really didn’t make it any less ‘wild’.

Oh well... it’s only hair!

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

Ger Renton

Meet Our Blogger

Mummy to three boys and now a mother to a fur baby, Lola. Wife to D and lover of music, books, writing and reading. I'm a believer in the power of mindfulness, it's definitely the best gift I ever gave myself!

View Ger’s Profile

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