Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Hair Identity Crisis

(Written a few months ago...)

"...but if a woman has long hair, is it her glory?"
1 Corinthians 11:15

Some of you may find this humorous (men,) but ladies, I think the majority of you can relate to this post.  For the past 2 weeks...wait, scratch that...more like the last month, I have been trying to decide what to do with my hair.  My last color job was back in December, and so my roots are nearly to my ears now.

Some days I would wake up and just marvel at my natural-colored roots peaking in.  I loved that color!  How long it had been since I had seen a full head of that tint.  Perhaps I should take the time to grow out all of my artificial coloring.  I mean, the half and half hair color is in style, not to mention hipsters.
Do you think God gets mad at me for changing the color he gave me?
How will people categorize me differently?
Am I really a "hipster-earthy" type of person?

The next morning was the complete opposite.  I love being blonde, it's my personality!  I've always been a fun, outgoing type of person, and blonde just always seemed to fit.  Plus, in my neck of the woods it's all about glam, high-hair, and jewelry (see Country Girl post) that type of style did not work well with muddied roots and an unkempt mane.
I think colored hair gives me a more professional look, and since I am entering the professional world, I need to keep a nice outward appearance.
I've always been known as a glamour girl--hair is what I do.
Then again, am I really an outwardly focused person?  I spend 20 minutes in front of the mirror max.

Ahhh this decision was beginning to drive me crazy!  Who knew that something as simple as a color job would take up so much of my free thinking time.  I found myself judging my hair at work, at school, and at church.  What hairstyle will encapsulate all of who I am?  How do I want the world to perceive me?

One night in the middle of this early-life crisis, I was explaining to one of my close guy friends how complicated this decision was.  Profoundly and yet obliviously, he responded, "So this is like an identity issue for you girls, huh?"

Wow.  I never thought of it like that before.  He went on to explain that one of the most insecure women he knows, dyes her hair different colors all the time.  Perhaps he was on to something!

Later that night I really started thinking about his observation.  My first hair coloring was when I was 13--a very insecure time in my life.  I wanted just a few small blonde highlights to fit in better with the girls at school.

9th and 10th grade came with all sorts of pressures and adjustments--including my hair-dentity.  First it was blonde, then red, then dark brown, blue, pink, and green.  I would have loved to go pitch black, but thankfully my mother wouldn't allow it.

After my 10th grade year, God grabbed hold of my heart an worked a drastic life change within me.  One of the first things I was convicted about was my fashion choices, and with that came the mane.  I dyed my hair all over a rich, bold red to signify the new creation I was transforming into.  I was returning to school a different person, and I wanted my hair to reflect that.

Red hair is rare, unique, bold.  That's exactly who God was calling me to be that year.  So for an entire year (which is forever in hair years,) I kept my hair that same bold red color, until Junior prom.  I had to dye my hair to compliment the dress of course!

Senior year is a place of really figuring out where you want to go in life.  Who do you want to be after high school?  Oddly enough, my hair reflected this too.  I returned to a more natural hair color for most of the year, adding only a few highlights for Senior prom.

Two weeks before beginning college, I sliced off ten inches of my infamously long hair.  I was showing the world, and my junior college, that I meant business.  Life was mine for the taking, and that's what I wanted people to understand.

Now my hair is long with hardly any layers--something I attribute to this "city style" I'm surrounded by.  I still don't know what color I want to be, in terms of hair, but I have come to terms with the fact that it reflects my identity for each season of life.

At the same time, I am completely relieved to know that my identity is not based solely on the color of dye I decide to use.  As I explained in an earlier post What is Identity, God is the only place where lasting identity is found.  People, sports, and hair change, but God doesn't.  He is eternal and forever, therefore my identity in him is unwavering, no matter what color of hair I decide to have.

Upon this realization, I prayed.  I asked God to show me the insecurities that were seeping out through my hair.  Why am I not fully trusting you with every part of me?  At this spiritual age and time in my life, I wouldn't think hair-dentity would be a problem, but it is.  "Search me Oh, God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts."  (Psalm 139:23)  I'm yours for the taking father, show me my trust issues.

What do you think?  Am I basing my identity in hair instead of Christ?
Where do you put your identity?
Do you think God wants us to always stay the way he naturally designed us?
What does the Bible have to say about this issue?