A Long Road
Kira held her breath as she waited for what they had to say. She had walked a long road to get where she was, never thinking she would actually make it.
She never liked having eyes on her, but she felt differently about it now. She owned it. Her life had changed so much that it felt unreal. Yes, she had changed her hair, but so much more had changed, too.
His Childhood And Hers
Kira Mason had grown up being nervous and shy. As she got older, the longer her fine brown locks grew. Despite her dad’s love for her hair, she started to feel strange about it.
He started with a regulation. When she was younger, she didn’t know about the rough childhood her father had to endure. But he had no idea how much of an implication it would have on his daughter’s life.
A Sign Of Love
Kira often thought about cutting her hair, but her father refused to take her to a salon. He had been brought up believing certain ideals, which is where his obsession with her hair originated.
Allan Mason believed that being beautiful meant having long hair. Despite what outsiders thought, he considered his refusal to cut her hair a sign of love.
Kira was still young when her father passed away. She knew she had the chance to experience the rest of her childhood fully, but that didn’t take away from how much she missed her father.
Allan Mason had been a great father to her and had loved her very much. Kira was looking forward to living a normal life, but she had no idea the damage that had been done. She would soon find out.
Kira found herself often thinking about her hair and worrying about her beauty, trying to understand what it meant for beauty standards. She felt like she was on a rollercoaster of emotions.
She was constantly teetering between feeling normal or obsessing about growing her hair. Another extreme was cutting it, but the thought made her anxious. She had no idea that these thoughts presented a pattern, but she would only piece them together much later.
Falling In Love
Kira found her oasis nearer in adulthood. She was at peace and felt happy. She had fallen in love with a man, found a career she enjoyed, and soon discovered she was pregnant.
It was only after her first child was born that Kira noticed something strange about their relationship. She was in her early twenties when she fell pregnant for the second time. She hadn’t planned on it, and things only worsened from there.
Leaving Her Behind
She was heartbroken when her partner, Glen Johnson, left her and the children. She had just started growing accustomed to a normal life only to become depressed. She turned to what she knew and started growing her hair, obsessing over the length.
Kira was naturally beautiful but grew insecure as the depression and psychological trauma took hold. It wasn’t long before she lost sight of the glimpse of beauty she had seen within herself.
When Jesse Stevens made his way into her life, Kira had turned her back on love. But Jesse didn’t give up and eventually made Kira feel happy again.
He took in her two little girls and raised them as his own. He marveled at her inner beauty, and Kira slowly began to heal. She had been protecting her heart, but she began to show that she had fallen in love again.
Kira and Jesse spent years together, and her happiness grew. She felt like she had reached her oasis again and started cutting her hair like she used to. Kira was surprised when Jesse surprised her with a proposal but instantly said yes. She once again began growing her hair out.
She started sinking back into her old feelings of anxiety. She had grown fearful that Jesse would do what Glen had and abandon them. She started growing her hair to keep her fears and anxiety at bay, but it only worsened.
Running Out Of Time
Kira’s anxiety led her to let her hair grow to the longest it had ever been. She refused to mess with it, fearing it would ruin the length. However, the wedding date was fast approaching, and she ran out of time to fix the situation.
Jesse stood by her side and did his best to understand what she was going through, but he had no idea how deep her scars were. She had to do something about it and was lucky enough to find someone to help her.
A Special Team
Living in a gated community, another resident had noticed Kira more than others. Jason was the owner of a sleek, trendy salon and could tell that Kira needed help with her hair.
After hearing her story, Jason assured her that his salon team would help get her ready for the wedding. Jason even went a step further and invited her to take part in a makeover competition where she would get the chance to model on a runway.
Despite all her anxieties, Kira decided to be courageous and take up Jason’s offer. When the big night arrived, Kira had to sit through a 7-hour makeover. When she emerged on the runway, she had been so radically transformed that even Jesse could not recognize her.
Not only was her hair cut, but she also looked amazing and completely stole the show. The night completely changed her life, and she also knew now that she had to seek long-term help.
Kira’s amazing transformation showed her that beauty took many forms. She had one of the most wonderful nights of her life and even won the best make-over award at the show.
Kira began regularly seeing a therapist who helped her unpack her childhood issues. They soon made a breakthrough and realized her father’s well-meaning but strange obsession with long hair equating to beauty, had left Kira with a skewed reality.
Taking Control Again
Heightened periods of stress made growing her hair an anchor point that helped Kira feel normal. Her father’s belief that long-haired girls were more beautiful made Kira feel a sense of comfort in having long hair but also afraid to cut it.
Now that she better understood herself, Kira began to embrace her new look and live a more healthy lifestyle. In time, she naturally began to feel less anxious and more confident about herself, even with short hair. It was finally time to live.
A New Start
Kira also used her therapy sessions to work past the hurt and abandonment issues she and her girls had been left with when Glen walked out. It made her realize that she had found an amazing person in Jesse and needed to embrace her new life with him.
Kira made it to her wedding day a happy and beautiful bride. She and her girls were finally ready to start their new life and move forward. Strangely enough, it had all truly started with a makeover.
A similar incident occurred in Texas where a hair stylist was met with one of her biggest challenges. Astra-Anne Taylor had been in the hair business for a decade, yet what she saw that day made her stomach churn with anxiety.
She had just reported to work on a Sunday afternoon and was getting ready to start working on the day’s clients when the most unexpected happened. A girl she hadn’t seen in months suddenly showed up.
She Comes In
The girl, an eighteen-year-old senior, had a massive mop of hair, dirty and matted all over. It was shaggy above her head, with sprouting tendrils that spoke of the weeks the girl didn’t wash it.
The mass of hair was so long it reached the girl’s waistline, yet it was so dirty that its bad smell blanketed the entire salon. Astra knew she had to step in.
A Good Life
Astra had been a hairstylist for over ten years, with a long list of satisfied clients who always sought her out whenever they needed their hair done.
She was a warm and welcoming woman with a three-year-old angel named Camilla and a husband who loved her to the moon and back. Her life was perfect, happy. Little did she know the worst was ahead of her.
Night And Day
Astra recognized the girl the minute she stepped into the salon, although she couldn’t believe what she saw. The last time she’d been here, she’d asked one of the stylists to help trim and style her hair.
She’d been so happy then, dressed in a flowing blue sundress and talking with a broad smile. But now she was dressed in dirty sweats and a hoodie that had dried food and sauces on it. What happened?
The girl, Kerry, looked around for a moment, her vacant eyes hidden behind the steel wool-like fringes of hair before her forehead. Astra had seen that look before on many clients who came in to survey the line.
The salon was packed for the afternoon, with each stylist having three or more clients waiting. Astra knew the girl was going to wait around.
Kerry stood for a minute and turned abruptly to leave. But Astra hurried after her. She tapped her shoulder and called, “Hi!”
Her enthusiasm seemed to frighten Kerry because she took a step outside the door and wrapped her arms around herself. “Do you want to come in?” Astra asked, hoping the girl wouldn’t leave.
A Bad Idea
The girl’s lips trembled, and her eyes darted all over the place. “This was a bad idea,” she mumbled and turned on her heels. But Astra was never one to give up so easily.
She hurried after the girl. She knew what anxiety and depression looked like and could tell that it had taken everything for the girl to come to the salon. That thought made Astra do the unthinkable.
I Want To Help
“If you come with me, I’ll clear my client’s list,” she began, but Kerry didn’t stop. “I can do your hair free of charge and have a nice chat and some pumpkin spice latte. We have the best muffins this side of town, too.”
The girl stopped, prompting Astra to hold her hand out. “Whatever’s happening,” she began. “I only want to help.” She had no clue what dark thoughts swirled in Kerry’s mind.
She Follows Her In
Kerry nodded after minutes of thinking things over. She took Astra’s hand, and they walked back to the salon. She watched as Astra cleared her client list for the day, apologizing to everyone before distributing them to her colleagues.
With a smile, she ushered Kerry to her station. She thought this would be a typical styling session. She was deeply mistaken.
“How do you want it?” Astra whispered immediately after Kerry sat down. Her hands were warm against Kerry’s neck as she ruffled the mess of hair.
“Cut it,” Kerry answered, revealing what she had in mind all along. “Cut it all,” she seethed. “Leave nothing.” “What?” Astra asked. “I want it all gone!” Kerry screamed.
Shave It All!
Tears broke through the girl’s eyes as she looked at the human-sized mirror before her. “I want it all gone,” her voice broke as she spoke. “Please.”
“Of course, honey,” Astra said in a soothing tone. She remembered the last time Kerry had been at the salon and why she had come in the first place. “Let’s see what we can do,” she said.
Her Last Visit
Kerry had been at the shop because she had been preparing for prom. She had been so happy since her high school crush had asked her out.
She had been accompanied by her grandma, who Astra heard had fallen sick recently. Looking at Kerry now, she couldn’t pinpoint why she was so upset that she’d want all her hair gone. But she suspected it had something to do with the boy or her nana.
Starting The Process
Astra began by moving Kerry to the washer and cleaning her hair. They spent over an hour separating dirt, grease, grit, and dried chunks from the mane. Kerry was quiet throughout the process, her tears telling Astra all she needed to know.
After the washer, the two moved to the drier, and Astra got to work. Slowly and slowly, the once dirty and dry hair was coming back to life. But she couldn’t have expected what would happen next.
The Truth Comes Out
“I loved him,” Kerry whispered under the dryer’s growl. “I really did.” Astra finally understood what was happening. The boy that Kerry had been so excited about had mistreated her.
If only she knew how long the poor girl locked herself in her room, crying herself to sleep. She talked Kerry down, promising her that things would get better. But she offered one thing that would change the girl’s life forever.
Turning It Around
The only thing Astra could give Kerry was a piece of advice that her mom had once told her when she got heartbroken in her younger years. “Work on yourself and shine so brightly that the only thing your ex can brag about is telling people he once knew you.”
Those simple words, decades old, had been Astra’s mantra. As she passed them down to Kerry, she told her she wouldn’t cut her hair. They would style it and turn a bad day around. In Astra’s own words, “There is nothing a good hairdo can’t fix.”
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of those depicted, some names, locations, and identifying characteristics have been changed and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblances to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, are entirely coincidental.