The story behind my hair

June 02, 2015

The story behind my hair..

hmm.. what story? 

I believe most of you do know that I love my hair a lot and there's an interesting fact about it which is, 

I have not cut my hair for the past 5 years. 

Many of my friends and family members, strangers from the streets (who always gives me nice compliments for my hair as well, thank you) and teachers etc always ask the same question; Why you don't want to cut your hair? And one of my teacher also likes to joke that one day, it will not be thighs that are stucked in the gap that would obstruct the train, but my hair which is stucked in between the doors. 

Actually there are many reasons behind it. So I would like to share today! 

And it all begins from 1999. Haha, around there. 

Since young I was just a girl with a pixie hair cut. I never had longer hair beyond that pixie length. I was afraid of my mum so, I didn't really defied her orders. Anyway, pixie hair cut did look good on me as I had nice features and I was fair (young rachel, okay) 

However as I grew older, I realized I wanted long hair. As it looks more girly. Everytime as I see girls from my kindergarten, primary school having long hair I would envy them. But then my mum didn't allow it at all. I had pixie all the way till primary 3, where it started growing and I had to tie my hair (yay!!) 

I still remember, back then how I would cry when my mum forces me to go to the salon with my maid to cut my hair. I would cry, throw tantrums because I didn't want to. And for some occasions I even got caning for being such a disobedient kid.. haha.. hair only mah.. 

Some old photographs! 

I went to hide my classmate faces as I believed they may not want to appear here HAHA. But then yeah, that was when I was in primary one, and younger. Maybe not really a pixie but it's really just.. Short hair. But I was never misunderstood for a guy though, yay! 

Like I said, my hair started to grow when I was in primary 3, (2008) some photos as I grew older in 2009 and I could finally tie my hair! 

Now at the later part of this story I also want to share with all of you, my readers and friends about something that happened in the late 2009 that resulted in a change that I wanted in 2011. And, also now. 

I had ovarian cancer when I was 10 years old back then in 2009. It was diagnosed around December and I had to be hospitalized for it and get my operation done in 2010 January. I didn't know what was happening back then but as I grew older I then realized what were all the risks involved back then. And if I was one step later, I may not be able to survive at all. As it was very serious.. and imagine it happening on a 10 year old child? Which is very, very rare. 

I remembered after the operation was done, the doctor and nurses said ''the surgery collapsed!'' I was extremely worried and scared however due to anesthesia. I fell asleep once they wheeled me out of the operation theatre. As I woke up, I had tubes every where around me, I couldn't speak at all and I struggled to communicate via pen and the nurses' paper on their clipboard. I was at the high dependency ward and there, I saw a boy beside me who just had his brain surgery because he had a tumour as well, he was struggling also and he cried and screamed painfully in the middle of the night.. And I was in great pain as well at my pelvis area due to the area being ''cut up''. I had a huge supply of morphine that I pressed on every few seconds. It wasn't a great feeling at all. 

After 2 months or so, I finally left the hospital and I was recovering. (Thank god for that) 

That massive event has caused me to sort of, grew up and be more aware of the happenings around me. 

Anyway, a selfie of me back then in hospital. 

My hair was still a little long, and still growing. 

In 2010, I had that length of hair throughout and yeah.. 

In the airport back then. 

After my kakak's departure (she was my domestic helper) I felt lost and I didn't know what to do. At that point of time, my mum gave me freedom and allowed me to do whatever I wanted, I didn't had a time limit to use the computer and I could go anywhere I wanted, to a friend's party or house etc. 
And, she didn't asked me to cut my hair anymore. 

However in 2011. I had the urge to cut my hair.. short. At that point of time my hair was about shoulder length. And it was what I always wanted, but I don't know why, I needed a change very badly at that point of time. Then I realized, it was because I wanted to start afresh. After that ordeal and so, I wanted a brand new me. As I was also taking my national exams back then, (PSLE) I thought it was great. 

And so I had my hair cut after my 12th birthday celebration. 

Before ; 

And, after!

And no, there were no hesitations or what not. I just did it! My mum was shocked as well as I automatically went to the salon even without her asking me to do so. And well, as I returned to school and walked down the canteen during recess, everyone was like, hey Rachel! You're so cute!! I mean, people do notice that big change you have.. 

But it wasn't the hair cut that I wanted as well. The hairstylist actually made a few mistakes and I needed to wait for my hair to grow more to sort of cover up her mistake. So from that day onwards, I sort of had a fear to cut my hair. I always felt that they misunderstood what I was saying, especially when I said like cut a little, around 1cm etc but to them it's an inch. 

And that fear went on with me for four years. However that's not the only reason why I didn't want to cut my hair as well. 

In 2012, when I went back to my primary school during national day, I had friends coming to me telling me that my hair grew really fast, at that point I didn't really bothered so I didn't thought much about it. 

Until 2013, when I took part in a contest where I impersonated the WWE Legend, Booker T, I realized, I do have long and very thick hair. I then realized that my hair really grew very fast. And from then on, I was famous for my hair. Hair flick as well. 

And from that day onwards I began to care more for my hair. And I thought to myself too why I didn't felt like cutting it. 

A photo to see the differences in length in the recent years! 

It grew really fast! 

This is my current hair length, and also fringe length whopping at a massive length of 22 inches. 

I just had to! 

So one day, I decided to sit down and talk to myself (don't judge me, it's normal somehow hahah) on why I didn't want to cut my hair. 

One of the main reasons was because, I think that I have not let things go. As the brand new chapter of my life, started again back then in 2011 I thought things were somehow great but then it went very bad in 2012 where I basically experienced the worse part of my entire life. There were many issues that happened and problems everywhere. It wasn't memorable at all. To me, as I cut my hair, it signifies a change. As Coco Chanel's quote goes, ; "A woman who cuts her hair, is ready to change her life". 

At that point of time in 2013, 2014,

I wasn't ready, at all. 

2013 was a good year however 2014 I made mistakes again and I learnt way too many lessons. So this year I was very cautious about everything and I swore not to make the same mistakes again. It takes time to let go of certain things as well. So I told myself I want to change, and yes I shall cut my hair - this hair that means the world to me because IT GREW WITH ME from a kid to a mature (I would say so) teenager. It has accompanied me to walk through the different aspects of my life and it grew bit by bit as I go through obstacles. 

But, what stopped me was that, I felt that my hair would be a waste. I thought that I wanted to go to the hair shaving event in Singapore to cut about 20 inches to donate to the organization, but then I realized they do not accept hair donations at all and all the hair cut/shaved will just stay on the floor and be thrown away. 

I thought it was really wasteful and it didn't really create much awareness. 

So, I went on to google for 'donating hair in singapore' and I found Recycle Your Hair Singapore and I decided what I wanted to do, which is to donate to them. 

What they basically do is to get donations of hair from people who wishes to donate, and then make them into wigs and give it to the cancer patients. Which is a very meaningful thing. 

I was a cancer victim/survivor and since I have survived it, I should do something to make a change. 

To me, though not hiding who you are makes one really proud and happy of themselves, I do think it's needed sometimes. I used to have a friend who's mother had breast cancer, she went for the operation and removed one of her breast and proceeded to chemotherapy as well. She was losing hair, but she was really strong. And when I visited her she looked healthy and had a wig on. She was a business woman, a designer and I have always looked up to her because of the fact that she is so strong. 

You may ask, why did she put on a wig then? Since embracing yourself the way you are should be the right way. But then I felt that if a woman wishes to start over, she must change herself as well. If she didn't had on the wig, people would ask her questions every single time they see her and pity her instead.. You stand up from where you fall. So I guess with a wig you can lead your life normally, again. 

And so, I'm glad to announce this project that I will be doing where I will be cutting my hair, (after 4 years finally!) and donate it to Recycle Your Hair Singapore to make it into a wig where the whole procedure will be filmed by the team from Our Better World Singapore. I am also glad to announce that Shunji Matsuo Singapore is also part of this project as they will be the ones who will cut my hair. 

While donating my hair at the same time, I can finally start afresh again, after 4 years. 

While changing my life at the same time, I am also helping someone else to change their life. 

It will be taking place on the 13th of June so I really can't wait for it! I will update again once the whole procedure is done. 

Thank you for taking time to read this post. 

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