The Art of Haircut: Freedom from Trauma…or Not

The Art of Haircut: Freedom from Trauma…or Not

Our Hair is…


Hair (head) is one of the major characteristics of the human beings from many other living creatures. It serves as the thermal regulation and the sensory functions, which the biological functions rather go unnoticeable compared with the much greater social significance, e.g. gender, culture, job status or religion, etc.

On the personal level, hair helps with one’s representation of own identity and personal trait, and the strengthening and consolidation of the self image. For me, long hair has long been my typical physical signature since my protruding awareness of female beauty. However, lately my long hair has become something deeper, which makes me reflect on the spiritual and emotional significance of our body parts in our spiritual journey. I l would love to share with you all the spiritual significance which has grown in me during my recovering journey of the physical assault.

Narrative Sharing: Hair is something more than a physical part.

Since I became injured caused by the physical assault, my long hair, the usual proud body part has become a tiring burden. My mother tried to persuade me into accepting the haircut idea out of her concern over my hygiene matter of my head under the rainy/humid summer season.

I was unwilling to follow the instruction. Deep in my mind I thought my life was altered beyond imagination after me giving up for being the usual self. If I could be given the choice, I would never give in for an extra inch to change myself.

I looked at my hair, and a wild idea popped inside my head,

“Why don’t I keep the hair until the last moment of my recovery, and then I have a clear cut to mark the ending of my whole hard healing journey, so that I can happily welcome the fresh start?”


Haircut marks the ending of my torture and pain.

The ending of the suffering journey, the beginning of the end, and the beginning of re-newness. This thought grew in me, profoundly and cautiously buried under my outer seemingly unchanged positive attitude, bright face and limitless energy. I hardly showed bare temper, glimpse of sadness, or grumpiness. Ignoring and rejecting my mother’s demand on undergoing the haircut, I told no one about my haircut plan, as I found my idea entirely personal and sacred. I wanted this blissful moment of haircut – the relief, freedom, and peace, to be entirely the moment belonged to me: My Moment.

hair cutSuch moment was sabotaged on one day at the half point of my recovery. Out of the flooding worry my mother took the scissors, grabbed my hair and straightly made the move. I was shocked. Upon the clear “click-chop” scissoring sound, my body was still frozen, and my mind was blank except the thought that I still refused to accept the idea that she would actually “just do it”.

I gave a few desperate yells along the few chopping sounds of the scissors, and then everything turned silent.  Aside shock and mischief was the unspoken bursting rage, humiliation and confusion. I remained in seat for minutes, and slowly returned to my room.

Control of trauma loses control.

I touched my hair, and at some point the abrupt shortage of breaths began, starting from the location of heart, then it went up to my mouth. I gasped for air, and soon tears began to run through my face. I gave out a few sobs and broke down.

I cried for minutes. I cried as if I could pull out all the emotions of sadness, frustration, anger, hurt, pain and loneliness, long hidden since the first day of my physical assault. It was as if there was the leakage of dam, and then the sea-ful of water violently washes away the whole land. I finally let out the long suppressed negativity directly through the act of cry.

On the next day of crying I fell ill. I felt I was the rubber-band, being pulled for so long, with so much energy, until it reached its maximum and released. The rubber-band is then left unnoticed on the floor, pulled beyond repair. I felt the drainage of my body and mind, and replaced were the attacks of serious cold and fever which lasted for days.

Meaning of Haircut in my spiritual healing, and letting go of the need

Upon the moment of writing, I reflect on the meaning of the “perfect” haircut moment. The haircut plan is the special moment of putting my whole injury journey to the “perfect ending”, yet at same time it is also the more implicit illustration of my struggle to conceal the ultimate darkness, the extreme irrationality brought by trauma and wounds.

All those were forcefully squashed underneath my mask, as I ordered its hiding until the sacred and secret release in the last moment of haircut. The meaning of my hair and the haircut has become my hope for the spiritual breakthrough, that I could let go of the painful and lonely hidden trauma, and welcome my new self. I longed for the renewed self replacing my “not so clean and happy” soul, and put everything behind.

Now the haircut is already hastily done, the moment is forever taken. I wonder about the meaning of “now”. The grandiose and meticulously prepared exit for trauma vanishes. I am left to pick up the pieces. To face the realness of my pain and suffering.

Returning to face Trauma

I am now left with no choice but to face the trauma. I question whether the early haircut would have led to the better or worse outcome. Perhaps this accident has broken the fantasized yet headstrong belief of me attempting to control trauma and pain – something which no one knows if I would ever succeed or not. Or the accident indeed has made me suffer more, as I could have been in a much happier and smooth emotional journey.

The haircut is an activity, and I project its cutting motion into something greater – it cuts my trauma, my pain, my suffering, and I can just stand up and move on. Or can it really give the clear cut power?

I have used haircut, the magic of my hair to foster my hope of letting go the horror and fearful side of me. Even as a counselor, I cannot give an answer to whether the use of haircut act to help bury my darkness, and release it through the art of haircut would succeed or not.

However, what I know is that if I can no longer run away from the brutality of trauma, and there is no other way I can indirectly control it, then I would have to face it. Sit in it. Be with it. Perhaps this result is not what I want, but I would take the high road.

howl_facing trauma

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