A girl’s relationship with her hair is always an interesting one.
Girls with thick hair wish their hair was thinner.
Girls with curly hair wish their hair was straight.
Girls with any-colour-hair wish their hair was different-colour-hair.
And my 28 years of hair care have been no different… For someone who hasn’t changed body shape since the age of 15, my hair sure has seen it’s fair share of transitions.
I was born with blonde hair.
Actually, I wasn’t born with hair at all, but pretty soon, fine, blonde hair appeared… But only if you were close enough to look carefully.
My hair was actually so blonde and fine that I looked like I was bald until I was about 2. My gender was only distinguishable by the colourful ribbon that my poor Mum would attempt to stick to the side of my head.
However, once I hit 3 years old things improved.
I had a wee blip aged 7 when wide headbands were all the rage, and an even greater blip aged 11 when I had my hair styled in a pixie cut which took us back to the indistinguishable gender issue of my early childhood; but predominantly, my blonde straight-ish hair did it’s own thing and looked ok whilst doing it.
I found an old passport photo the other day… I’m about 14 at this point —>
Seriously. That was my natural hair. I look like a little doll.
Now, at 15 years old, two simultaneous changes occurred. 1) I discovered hair dye. 2) I became confident enough in my wacky fashion to use it.
First step, the underneath of my blonde hair went blue. Then black. Second step, the top of it went red. And then pillar-box red. People I met at various missions/youth events/conferences throughout the following two years genuinely believed I was a natural red head.
A bright red head.
At 18, I thought I’d let my hair go back to it’s ‘natural’ colour… Whatever that would now be.
And after a variety of dye-matching, colour stripping, growing out months, my hair settled on a kind of strawberry blonde colour.
And was now naturally curly.
Kind of like having completely different hair.
Check out this passport photo from when I was 18 —>
And so that was my hair. Fun. Random. A way of expressing who I was on the inside on the outside.
I lived by the beach. My hair was often weighed down with sand and salt water. Frizzy in the sea breeze. And pretty much happy doing it’s own thing.
But my early/mid twenties have taught me a valuable hair-care lesson.
Stress affects your hair.
And when you’re stressed or sad or depressed over a long period of time, you might be able to hide it from everyone else, but you can’t hide it from your hair.
Your hair knows.
And it cries for help by being dull and lifeless. By refusing to grow. By falling out. Or by breaking off. By being subject to nervous hair-picking/pulling/split-end destroying antics.
And if people really looked close enough at your hair… They might get an insight into your heart.
My Doctor once told me that hair and skin were the first things to show signs of emotional trauma and the last things to recover from it.
So over the last year (almost an actual year now!!), my external appearance has been catching up with my internal healing. My skin is healthier. My hair is stronger. And it’s starting to grow again. And as God repairs and restores my heart, everything else is playing catch up.
A wonderful lady in my Church had a picture for me about 3 years ago now. It was the beginning of 2010. Things were just starting to get really tough, and I was starting to pray for hope. And in reality my hair was starting to show it’s displeasure. And I’d been leading worship that Sunday, and this lady came up to me and said, ‘Peta, as you were singing I saw the Holy Spirit all over you, and I saw you with a face like porcelain. Like, your face was as smooth and radiant as porcelain. But it was like you were older at the same time. Maybe your late twenties.’
So, as I sit here now, I have just turned 28, and I am thankful for that picture… But ever more thankful to the God who turns pictures like that into reality.
And as Steffany Frizzell once said, ‘I realised that God loved my prayer hair. He loved it when I took off my shoes and I danced before Him..’
I love praising Abba with a fully healed and whole heart, knowing that He finds me beautiful, inside and out.