Why My Hair Is So Important to My Eating Disorder Recovery
When I was at my lowest in my battle with anorexia, my hair was long. It was almost down to my hips; it got caught in zippers and my backpack straps, but it was thin. Handfuls fell out when I showered, clogging the drains. A girl living in the same university dorm as I did straightened it for me once and kept pulling out clumps and handing them to me.
“You’re really shedding!” she said.
I did what I could to change the subject.
It took months after I began eating properly again before it stopped falling out. Around this time, I got it chopped to my shoulders. I realized in this moment that I had nothing to hide behind anymore. My hair was always bigger than me; people commented on it, it took the attention away from me. Now, you could see my face, my shoulders, my arms.
And it was thicker. It took me a while to get used to it.
I learned how to do my makeup. I learned how to style my hair in a way that made me feel pretty. I couldn’t control my body, but I could accent the features I had.
Yesterday, I got my hair dyed a balayage of pastel pink. When I sat down in the salon chair, the stylist gave my hair a once-over and said, “Your hair is so freaking healthy! It’s gorgeous!”
It is not my failing invisibility cloak anymore. It is just a part of me, just like every aspect of my body. And just like the rest of me, I am learning to love it and learning to rock it.
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Lead image via contributor