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Next step...hair

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Hi everyone,

I took a somewhat unexpected next step on Friday - and it came with a pretty big bit of self-realization.

Since I started wearing a wig regularly (going on 2 years now) I've been rather relaxed about haircuts. The last couple of haircuts were self-inflicted - I mean "self-done" - and so my natural hair has, I'm sure, not looked so great. But it didn't matter, nobody was seeing it - even if I just went downstairs for laundry, etc., I'd at least wear a baseball cap.

It occurred to me that if I actually met someone and started dating, they would eventually need to see it. So I've known for a little while that I at least needed to get a real haircut and not keep doing it myself. At a practical level I wasn't sure how that would work - would I go someplace without a wig on to get it done?  Unlikely. Would I wear it and take it off when I got there? That seemed likely, but possibly awkward.

I had lunch with a friend on Friday (Bastille Day!!!) and mentioned all of this, and showed her a picture I had found on-line of a hair style that I thought might work for me (BTW, my hair is quite thin, and there is some male-pattern baldness, that's what's made going natural so difficult for me). She agreed with the style, and with my "plan" to go to Supercuts after our lunch. To help me along she insisted that I send her a selfie when I was done :-)   I like that kind of thing, being "backed into a corner" helps overcome any last-minute jitters.

So I went to Supercuts. There was one guy and two women doing hair - I was hoping not to get the guy - I didn't. I explained to the person who did my hair that the last cuts had been my own before I took the wig off, and I showed her the picture I found. I knew she couldn't do exactly what was in the picture, I don't have enough hair :-(   But she got the idea, she knew what I was going for, and she did a great job!!!  I had fully anticipated that I would put the wig back on when we were done, but then I didn't, I went home "natural" (and mind you this was in the city, so "going home" involved a 10 minute walk in Manhattan to the PATH train, a 20 minute train ride, then a 10 minute walk home). It's not my "fantasy" hair style, but I'm not likely to ever have that (see above re "not enough hair", plus I don't think the Farrah hairstyle is so popular these days).

Below is a picture I took after I got home (so my hair was dry). A "pixie cut" as I came to learn is what it's called :-)  Pardon the exposed bra strap and lack of any make-up!

The self-realization happened because as I was walking home I felt a sense of liberation from not wearing a wig. I realized that I had let my wig(s) represent my gender - subconsciously I only felt like a woman with a wig on. Not that I won't ever wear them again, but I need to work through this (especially now that I'm on summer break, so I have some freedom to ease in). Friday night I had to make a trip to Rite Aid, so I decided to do it without a wig. Then yesterday when I went to play tennis I didn't wear it, and again today I went to the gym and the supermarket without it. It really does feel good, it feels like another step towards authenticity :-)

***Please know that I'm not criticizing wearing wigs!!! I know a lot of trans people do, and obviously I was for 2 years and probably will continue to do so. I just personally need to know that I'm fully me with or without it***

Here's a pic -

Chrissy_new_hair.jul1417.thumb.jpg.01a8b 

And unrelated to this post - here is a picture of Cinammon. I got her a few days before my GRS (at Duane Reade when I was getting my surgery-related prescriptions), she went with me to Philadelphia for the surgery, was with me through the entire recovery and ever since :-)  Particularly in the few weeks right after surgery, when I couldn't really write in a journal, I often talked with her about things that I was feeling...she's a great listener, she doesn't judge, she just smiles :-)

Cinammon.thumb.jpg.2c1a9e9620ae8b3c31250

xoxo

Chrissy


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8 Comments

Posted

Chrissy, congratulations on your hair independence now that you are free to wear your own hair or a wig. I just want to tell you how much I understand the importance of hair to your gender identity and overall sense of self, appearance, and social persona. That has always been an issue with me, beginning in middle childhood when my desire for long hair became a terrible battleground for me with my parents. That made me hypersensitive about it for life. You portrayed your hair unveiling so vividly and I could totally see myself going through a similar thing if I were you or in similar circumstances. I've rarely been entirely happy with how my hair looks and it being as androgynous as I want it to be rather than too male or too female looking. I also have a so far unfulfilled desire for feathers in it, especially ever since I saw Steven Tyler with them years ago on American Idol. 

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Posted

I agree with Blue. I loved the way you told your story and the outcome of course, too. I'm not happy with wigs for myself and am going to get it styled in about a month. I have a high forehead and some hair recession/thinning there too. I really hope mine will look as good as yours!

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 I have a high forehead and some hair recession/thinning there too. I really hope mine will look as good as yours!

A "pixie cut" seems to be a good option for those things ☺

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Emma, I can't wait to see it and whether you go pixie or try something else. A tremendously talented hair stylist might know what is best for you, but I have found them exceptionally rare so you would probably know best what works as well as the kind of look you want.

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Blue, I've been collecting photos of women with possible styles, and plan on reviewing them with a pair of women friends who know me personally so I can get their opinions. Then I will also show the stylist and get her feedback. I hope that works or at least makes the best of it! I should be able to post a photo in about a month...

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Dear Ladies,

Please keep in mind that ONE OUT OF THREE adult cisgender women wear wigs or hair pieces.

Have experimented with wearing a wig.  The wig flattered me very much and was much more attractive than my natural hair.  Wore it daily but kept very good care of it.  Sadly, even though it was an $85.00 wig, I had to give it up, because the wig only lasted three months, which would have been financially prohibitive for me.

By the way, artificial hair wigs are much more comfortable than natural hair wigs, in my experience, and just as natural looking.  Also, I think artificial hair wigs seem to stand up to wear and tear better than natural hair wigs.

Yours truly,

Monica

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Posted

Emma, that sounds like fun, the hairstyle hunt. I also appreciate your post, Monica, since I had no idea that one out of three cisgender women wear wigs or hair pieces and that seems freeing in case I ever want to try it.

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Dear Ladies,

Please keep in mind that ONE OUT OF THREE adult cisgender women wear wigs or hair pieces.

Wow, I didn't realize the number was that high. I haven't given them up entirely, I just need to know that I'm wearing them as a choice, not because I feel less like a woman without. I know that's not objectively true - I'm every bit as much a woman with or without a wig - but it's a self-perception I need to work through.

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