Shocked screaming young woman“I cut my bangs with some rusty kitchen scissors.” Those nine little words are the beginning of Miranda Lambert’s new hit song that snatch us into her story. Even if you hate country music, you listen because you have to know why a woman would do such a thing?

Now, let’s get personal. Think back to the last time you cut your own hair. Were you just trimming your bangs a few days ago or were you in a closet with your pretty locks in one hand and a pair of scissors made for hacking through construction paper in the other? And for God’s sake, why did you do it?

Changing your hair to change your life is powerful juju, but I never realized just how powerful until I sat in a roomful of women’s fiction authors at a New York pitch conference. Nineteen of us had come from all over the US to the Big Apple with our hopes and dreams and our manuscripts to sell. Of those, six of them had drastically changed their hair for the trip. Long to short, curls to straight, new colors, you name it, they believed that change would give that little extra oomph to sell their manuscript.

I suspect all of us do things to our hair for the same reason Zora Adams, the protagonist of The Wisdom of Hair did the day her father was buried. She was just nine years old then and was too young to know that she was changing her hair because she wanted change her life. When The Wisdom of Hair begins, Zora is a young woman and things at home are so bad, she’s contemplating shaving her head. But she puts the clippers down and does something braver than the change that comes with a new hairdo. She opts to leave home for beauty school and a chance at a better life. For the first time ever, Zora has real friends and a true BFF. Sure she has a hot romance with the wrong guy, but her friends help her sort things out and she finds her calling fixing hair and changing lives.

Okay, back to you. Now that you know you change your hair to change your life, what does that do for you? Since I realized this truth, it’s made me question my motives before I beg my stylist to go three shades lighter or for bangs. Again. But when I do get a new hairstyle, when I believe in the wisdom of hair, it makes the change that comes with that new hairdo all the more powerful and real. I hope it does the same for you.

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About Kim Boykin

Kim Boykin learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows. Kim is an accomplished public speaker and serves on the board of the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.
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