PDA

View Full Version : Hair impulses, please help?



Tokki
July 2nd, 2016, 02:07 AM
Hello, everyone. Lately, I have been dealing with mental health issues (anxiety, depression, and Borderline Personality Disorder). The one that I feels relates most to my hair impulses is BPD, because part of the disorder involves struggling with your sense of self. Currently, I have dark golden blonde hair that goes past my tailbone. In some respects, I would like to keep it because it's a consistent part of my identity (people recognize me for it, frequently comment on it, and so on). But I also experience mental breakdowns and identity problems that make me want to alter my hair.

First off, back to depression. Sometimes, depression makes it hard to get out of bed or feel motivated to do much, which means I'll go days without washing my hair. From what I've read on the forums, it's better not to wash your hair every day anyway, and I've also read about some people who think the best option is to not wash it at all. But personally I feel disgusted with myself if I go for long periods of time without washing my hair (even if I pull it back or use dry shampoo). The other day, I was out with a guy and hadn't washed my hair in a few days, and he kept saying things like, "Why does your hair look so dark? It's gotten way darker! Why is it like that now?" I tried to keep him off my back by saying it was from staying indoors, but he kept being persistent and questioning me about it, which made me anxious and annoyed me to the point where I started getting intrusive thoughts about just cutting it all off myself.

Secondly, a part of me wants to dye my hair, but my mom is against it, even though I am no longer a minor. She won't let me do my whole head, but last year, she agreed to let me dip dye the ends, until at the last minute she told me she didn't want me to anymore because 1 - I wanted purple dye and 2 - the salon was charging too much for it. Today, I was feeling depressed about being unable to go to an event because my friends abandoned me, and thought maybe I should turn a negative situation into a positive one by changing up my look and doing something to look/feel cute. I found some copper red hair dye that my mom bought and opened but never used. After watching Youtube tutorials, I figured out how I could dip dye my hair DIY style. Once again, she said it was okay for me to do it, and this time, I thought she really meant it since I wasn't spending money on a salon or buying new dye, plus copper is less flashy than purple and goes nicely with my golden hair. But then when I was about to do it, she started complaining about it again, stopped me from doing it, and I felt extremely discouraged. Again, this caused "intrusive hair cutting thoughts" to flare up, as well as other thoughts like, "Why do I even bother with trying to make my hair pretty? All I do is stay in my room anyway."

And thirdly, sometimes I just want short hair thinking it'll make me more cute. I don't find my long hair attractive anymore sometimes... other times, I like it. I wonder if short hair suits my image more, but then again, I have more than one image of myself (this is in relation to the disorders I mentioned before). I like short hair, particularly unnaturally colored short hair, and sometimes I think a short hairstyle would look cute on me since I have kind of an "androgynous" look, minus the extremely feminine-looking long blonde hair. I admire people with this look and save photos of them on Pinterest. I've tried on short wigs before, and I like how they look on me, but I like my long hair, too. And other times, I enjoy that Disney princess/magical girl feeling that I get from having long blonde hair, and often get reactions like, "You look like Sailor Moon!" "You remind me of Rapunzel!" "Are you a mermaid?" even from random strangers, and it's kind of sweet, especially from younger kids.

Anyway, the reason I listed my disorders at the beginning is basically so that if anyone is familiar with them, they might know where I'm coming from. (I am being treated for them, though) But even if you don't have them, maybe you've had similar feelings as well? I want to know if I should convince myself to keep my hair the way it is, or make some alterations to my hair (and if so, what kind)? I thought dip dying my hair could be kind of like a compromise (if I hate it that badly, I can always snip the ends off and still have plenty of hair to spare), but I feel conflicted about that, too. If I get it done professionally, they'll overcharge, but if I do it at home, my mom thinks I'll mess it up, plus she really doesn't want me doing it at all. And then part of me wonders if I should go after that ideal aesthetic I have in mind (the short cute androgynous cut) but I feel like my mom will very likely object to that, too, especially if I want the "full package" (dying it an unnatural color, too). I could probably get away with the cutting, but not the dying (since I'd want my whole head dyed if I got a short haircut). I'm just scared that changing my hair will make me lose more of my identity, but at the same time, I want to like how I look, and think maybe changing my hairstyle would actually be a good thing. And this is the type of hair I've most of my life. It's not that I hate how it looks but sometimes I wonder if something different would just look better. I have been suffering extreme low self-esteem problems due to issues with my friends, and sometimes I think "new look, new me" might boost my confidence instead of basing my identity around having long blonde hair and always hiding behind it. Has anyone else felt like this before, and do you have ideas on how I can deal with this? Thank you so much.

kuroi
July 2nd, 2016, 05:20 AM
I've had similar problems a few years ago. I'm still suffering from depression and anxiety but since I found a med combo that works for me (took 5 years to find) I can deal with it. I used to hate my natural hair colour since I was light blonde till 12 and then puberty hit and my hair got my current colour within a very short time. I also had long hair back then but since I was so desperate to change my hair colour I destroyed my hair with it. So I was only more miserable with my hair. After a while it turned into total neglect and I wore a hat 24/7 to hide my hair. And I cut it short cause I thought that would be easier) I actually wanted to shave my hair completely off at that time. It wouldn't have helped me though and probably made it worse.
My experience is that changing things about yourself out of depression or self hatred isn't going to boost your self esteem. There is nothing wrong with changing something because you really like it like the fun colours.
It really helped me to let my hair grow back in its natural colour. I lost my identity along with the depression and I wanted something back from before the depression. It's longer and in better state then before my depression now and that feels like winning against the depression. I also actually like my natural hair colour now. I do dip dye cause I like fun colours but it has nothing to do with not liking my natural colour anymore. I feel it just give my hair something extra and it makes me happy.

Anyway back to you, if you really want to dye your hair why not try some semi-permanent hair dye. I don't know about the relationship with your mom but as an adult I think you should be allowed to do with your hair what you like. My mum actually helped me with dying my hair so I got no advice about that.
There's also nothing wrong with liking short hair but I don't recommend doing something so drastic if it's out of mental problems and not because your 100% sure you want it. Growing back can take years so you could regret it terribly and only feel worse. You said you have some short wigs, why not wear those for a while to see if you still like it after let's say a month or so.

It's good that your being treated, it's hard and takes a long time but it's so worth it. I wouldn't be anywhere without my 6 years worth of therapy and my meds and of course having supportive people around me. It's still a struggle but no way I ever fall back such deep again. It does get easier even if it doesn't seem like it during a depression. Just don't give up and keep working on improving you mental health.

PixieP
July 2nd, 2016, 06:36 AM
I will be back later, I have a lot to say but no time right now. So in the meantime accept a *hug* from a fellow depression/anxiety/BPD ❤️

lapushka
July 2nd, 2016, 08:15 AM
Altering your hair while you know something is up with you mentally (and things aren't on point yet, especially meds) is... never a good idea. It is *hard*, I know. Not that I can relate. I do have a physical disability and getting beyond a certain length is very hard for me. Not that the two are comparable - not what I'm saying.

Maybe grow to a length that you know, and that you are comfortable with when everything's sort of fine. Then keep reminding yourself not to alter your hair when you have breakdowns and when things aren't going well for you. (yeah easier said than done)

That guy was rude. Maybe he noticed it was oily and didn't like it, but to go on drilling you on it, is beyond pointless.

Cassyopeia
July 2nd, 2016, 08:43 AM
I have a few mental health issues myself(depression, anxiety and PTSD, aswell as a few borderline -traits, but not enough to get the diagnosis), and I recognize a lot of your way of thinking.

When I have a bad period, meaning I stay home and life feels like it's not moving forward, I get a need to make a drastic change. For 10 years, that meant changing my style or moving or switch jobs/studies. If I look back at pictures of myself, there are so many haircolors, haircuts and wardrobe-changes it's hard to believe it is the same person. But that is what it is. And that is what I came to discover. Changing my hair or my clothes or moving didn't so anything to change who I am. It didn't make me happier with who I was. Yes, the change gave maybe a sudden boost in confidence, and a feeling of being able to reinvent myself, but deep down I was still the same person with the same personality and the same issues. And when the depression or anxiety hit again it became worse, because it felt like I had failed...again. I still get the urge to change, not so often anymore. I have been in therapy for the last seven years, and that has helped me a lot. I hope you will find other ways to deal with it. But bottom line, hair grows back, and it is not the worst thing you can change about your self, but I do not think it will help you with your problems.

Agnes Hannah
July 2nd, 2016, 09:10 AM
HI Tokki, and welcome to LHC, you will find lots of support here both for hair issues and depression etc. Yes I have depression too and am taking meds. Iam currently off work due to stress and depression and have been for 3 months now. My hair has been various lengths and colours throughout my life, it was spiky and black with a purple stripe once, bobbed, longish, bobbed again and pixied. The pixie had three colours put through it including a streak of bleached blonde. Now I am at tailbone, and I colour it with Henna. I have often thought about a wig, a short one with different colours for fun, but not permanent as I love my long hair.
Anyway, over to you. I also think a semi permanent colour would be good, as you aren't tied to another colour you may not like in the long run. Plus the wig idea, that would be really cool, you would be like a chameleon! Try to accept who you are, you sound lovely to me, thoughtful and kind. I have accepted that depression is part of who I am and that has helped a little bit. Like you I have issues with people who are supposed to be my friends, and also with my partner. Sometimes he makes me feel that I don't want to be me anymore, but I can't be anything else. I fully get what you say when you talk about changing things, I have changed jobs, my hair and dress style for exactly the same reasons. The one long thing I have had all the way through is my love of long hair, even when I had a pixie, which made me look old! So I defied all convention about people of a certain age and grew it to where it is now. I was told to "glam up" by a so called friend, and she grabbed my bun in an attempt to undo it. Sometimes now, I wear flowers in my hair to liven it up a bit or really old haircombs, ones from the 1920's, Spanish combs. This makes me feel better about myself and I haven't done something to my hair that I may regret later.
Long blonde hair is gorgeous, celebrate your gorgeous hair!
Good luck and keep us posted on how things are getting along.
x

Nastasiya
July 2nd, 2016, 09:12 AM
Sorry to hear about your struggles and I want to say I can relate to you in a way (anxiety, deppression, recovered from ED).
I would agree that you should avoid making any decisions on changing your hair, and if you REALLY feel like you need it, just do something not permanent.
What helped me personally as I had the urge during one of my worst times (I really wanted lots of layers and a drastic color change) was pampering myself. The hair stylist who is also a good friend of my and my mom probably felt I would do that for the wrong reasons, and only agreed to make a trim and an intense treatment for my hair, including scalp massage, professional products one can not get easily and some very positive talk. It was not a drastic change at all, but my hair felt and looked so much better, plus it was a really nice time for me to escape from my negative thoughts.

Sure, something like this costs something and it might not work for everybody, but it did work out for me. So maybe something like this could help you as well. You know, to me it kinda improved what I already had (yay, shiny hair) which made me appreciate it much more than before.

In any case I hope you feel better soon!

spidermom
July 2nd, 2016, 01:08 PM
I can definitely relate to the hair issues in that I love it long, but I love it short, too. I know that if I get it cut short, I'll enjoy it for a few days or even a few months, but then I'll want to grow it out again, and that will take years. So I don't get it cut. However, with a little layering around the front, I can get a similar look to how it would look if it were short by pulling the rest up and back in some sort of bunned or braided style.

Try not to invest your self image in the diagnoses you've been given regarding your mental health. You're a person like anybody else, and your issues don't define you. If you need medication and counseling, then get it, but a lot of functioning well in your life is getting on with the activities of daily living whether you feel like it or not. Work on developing the ability to get yourself up and into the shower even while part of you is trying to hold onto the bed. Also work on getting independent from your mother. You should be able to make your own decisions about your hair without her interference. She's certainly entitled to her opinion but she's not entitled to prevent you from trying something new.

nekosan
July 2nd, 2016, 01:31 PM
I'm a fan of the deposit dyes like manic panic/directions. Over unbleached hair, they are temporary, so arguably are hard to mess up. (It'll fade away in a few weeks anyways.) I also found them conditioning, so no hair damage. I used to do just a section of hair, as contrast. My hair is medium to dark brown, so it just looked darker indoors, but had (say) plum reflective highlights in the sun. If you take a section of hair on the underside of your canopy, it's also more subtle.

The problem with cutting short is that it takes a long time to grow back (years, instead of weeks for temporary dye to fade) - it's much harder to go back if you change your mind.

The downside of manic panic/directions is the temporariness (my hair spat out the colors pretty fast) and the messiness (I got purple everywhere the first few times - hands, ears, shower, towel, pillowcase, streaks down my body when rinsing, ...). If you have lighter hair and don't bleach, remember that your natural color will show through (so, blue over blond hair is greenish).

tl;dr - I suggest use temporary dye either on a section of hair or as dip dye.

nekosan
July 2nd, 2016, 01:46 PM
The other day, I was out with a guy and hadn't washed my hair in a few days, and he kept saying things like, "Why does your hair look so dark? It's gotten way darker! Why is it like that now?"

Oh, and my response to this was "It looks darker when it's wet." It's a misleading truth, but usually was enough to deflect, as long as they didn't comment again in an hour asking why it wasn't dry yet. (At which point you can politely repeat the same statement until they give up, or you can say "It's wet with oil, that's why it's not evaporating.")

czech it out
July 2nd, 2016, 02:15 PM
So sorry to hear that you are struggling with these issues. It sounds like you are doing everything right by seeking treatment, and I hope it involves a therapist or psychiatrist who just gets you. I can't tell you how invaluable my therapist has been for me.

Now to the hair! It sounds like you feel a drastic cut will be a solution to some negative feelings (feeling icky when not washing, getting comments from others, and just feeling not attractive). If I had to guess, I imagine a haircut won't solve any of these issues for you. Keep focusing on the root cause of these negative feelings (again, hopefully with a therapist!) and don't let these impulses be a distraction for the hard work you are doing. Wait and see if you feel a desire for a big chop that is coming from a positive place inside, not a negative one.

I'm sure most everyone will agree on waiting it out. LHC members have talked me down from several hair-related ledges before! Sending positive thoughts your way! :blossom:

Tokki
July 3rd, 2016, 07:03 PM
Thank you for your advice on using temporary dye on just part of my hair. I've been looking into it and that's probably the option I'll be going with since it seems like a nice compromise. Also, I'm definitely using your response next time that guy pesters me about my hair looking dark when it's not been washed. Thanks again.

Tokki
July 3rd, 2016, 07:07 PM
So sorry to hear that you are struggling with these issues. It sounds like you are doing everything right by seeking treatment, and I hope it involves a therapist or psychiatrist who just gets you. I can't tell you how invaluable my therapist has been for me.

Now to the hair! It sounds like you feel a drastic cut will be a solution to some negative feelings (feeling icky when not washing, getting comments from others, and just feeling not attractive). If I had to guess, I imagine a haircut won't solve any of these issues for you. Keep focusing on the root cause of these negative feelings (again, hopefully with a therapist!) and don't let these impulses be a distraction for the hard work you are doing. Wait and see if you feel a desire for a big chop that is coming from a positive place inside, not a negative one.

I'm sure most everyone will agree on waiting it out. LHC members have talked me down from several hair-related ledges before! Sending positive thoughts your way! :blossom:

This really grounded me and helped me think of things from a different perspective. After I thought about it for a while, I realized that a super-dramatic haircut won't solve any of those issues, and would just be coming from a negative place. Thank you so much.

Tokki
July 3rd, 2016, 07:11 PM
Thank you to everyone who replied and gave me their input, I'm actually feeling a lot better about this now and will try not to give into any impulses about my hair. I truly appreciate everyone's responses. I will definitely be keeping them in mind. Thanks again, all.