COLUMN: Growing my hair long helped me appreciate myself


Corryn Brock

Robert “Rob” Le Cates

Rob Le Cates, Editor-in-Chief

When I came to college last year, I had a few goals to test out my newfound freedom. While obviously being financially responsible and more independent was a given, some of these goals were quite simple.

During my childhood and teenage years, I felt I needed to keep my hair short because I was a boy. Family members often try to make the connection saying I won’t be a professional until I look like one and that I look like a “girl.” Even though it bothers me when they say those things, I don’t give it much thought because I like how I look and where I am in my life.   

Although I am not a girl, because for some reason it matters, I always wanted to test the waters and see what it was like to have longer hair, to see if I was missing out on anything.

I always used to keep my hair short, mixing things up here and there. My signature hairstyle for a large portion of my late junior high and early high school days, six inches on top and two inches on the sides. I would get haircuts every one to two times a month from my mom, who went to cosmetology school, so I had the limited luxury of having a personal stylist because she only let me to do certain hairstyles. 

I’ve had my fair share of hairstyles like getting accidentally shaved for my 8th-grade graduation (I forgive you, mom). I had to beg for a mohawk one summer when I was in grade school because they were really cool to seven-year-old Rob. I also had a weird phase during my senior year. I heavily considered shaving my head and going bald. Luckily I got talked out of it thanks to my friends; I slowly started to get bored with how my hair looked, wanting to spice up the bland hairdo. 

I would scroll through Pinterest trying to find a hairstyle that would sit pretty on my head. After countless disappointing scroll sessions, I would close the app feeling more lost than I was before. 

Somewhere along the line, I thought, what if I just didn’t cut my hair. Influenced by all the attractive men with man buns and longer hair, I decided to grow my hair out.

After nearly a year of not cutting my hair, it touches my shoulders and while I am getting quite annoyed with it, I am much happier and way more comfortable with myself. A year ago, I wouldn’t have had the courage to go up to random people walking across campus and strike up a conversation. 

I know this metaphor is used quite a lot and is very cheesy, but the growth of my hair kind of represents my growth coming to college. Although I am very thankful for it, it gets in my face a lot, it’s annoying to dry, when I do laundry I have hair ties I always manage to forget to grab out of my pockets. I don’t need to continue because this would be too long. After pondering for several weeks and bothering my friends with hypotheticals, I have an appointment this Saturday at Great Clips to say au revoir to several inches of hair.