As a woman in her forties, I must admit that I’ve embraced the age-old saying of “Fake it till you make it” when it comes to beauty. And let’s face it, who doesn’t want to enhance their natural beauty? Nails, hair, and eyelashes have repeatedly found their way into my life. However, I must confess that I have mixed feelings about it, and I am quite ambivalent.
Let’s talk about hair extensions for a moment. With my naturally thin hair that can barely hold a style, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of long, luscious locks that can be achieved within minutes. So, a few months ago, I decided to take the plunge and get hair extensions. And let me tell you, I was on cloud nine! My hair was thicker, longer, and more voluminous than it had ever been before. I felt like a whole new woman, constantly checking myself out in every mirror I passed by.
However, the question that arises is, when we become so reliant on hair extensions to the point that we no longer recognize ourselves without them, is that a problem? Using hair extensions to enhance our natural beauty is one thing, but feeling like we can’t function without them is entirely another. It begs the question: have we just “faked it till we made it” to the point where it simply became a part of us?
These are the questions that went through my head as I visited my hairdresser today to get the extensions removed for reattachment. As they came out one by one I was shocked and, to be honest, a little disgusted with the sad bit of fluff that was my own hair. Images of Gollum with his three strands of hair and the swamp witch from Legend came to mind, and I nearly cried. It’s funny how we can become so attached to the extensions that our natural hair seems almost foreign to us.
Leaving the salon with barely-there hair was a tough pill to swallow. It’s as if my scalp is afraid to commit to a full head of hair and has decided to sprout the thinnest excuse for protein filament I have ever seen on a human head – apart from my family, of course. Now, sitting at home, I can’t help but wonder about the whole thing.
Sure, it feels good to run my fingers through my hair without tapes, not having to worry about them showing or if the colour matches, and knowing that washing and drying will be so much simpler. But then, when I look in the mirror, I feel sort of incomplete.
It’s hard to resist the allure of hair extensions sometimes. In a world where the length and volume of our hair seem to determine our worth as human beings, it’s easy to fall prey to the idea that we need to have hair down to our waist to be beautiful. But really, who needs natural self-confidence when you can have hair that looks like it belongs in a shampoo commercial?
And that makes it a tough call. On the one hand, I don’t want to be so reliant on hair extensions that I forget who I really am, and on the other hand, when you finally do take the plunge and remove them, it’s like discovering a different person, and you’re not sure if you like them.
So, what’s the verdict? Addiction, body dysmorphia, or just a simple desire to look our best? Who knows? All I know is that managing fine hair can be a real struggle, and sometimes faking it till you make it just seems like the easiest option.
I’ve decided to embrace my natural locks during the summer months and forgo the extensions until next autumn. Who knows, maybe by then, I’ll have gained a new perspective on what truly makes me feel confident and beautiful.