It can come to be something that physically defines us.
But it can also carry a lot of things energetically and can come to emotionally define us as well.
My own hair was carrying a lot of weight and memories among its split ends and faded out colors. It carried warm salty breezes from Jamaica, the last vestiges of my life before pregnancy, the all day sickness of pregnancy, deciding to stay home and quitting my job, the sweat and tears of labor, sparks of magic from the first hazy sleep deprived days of parenthood, the frustration of nursing difficulties and infections, self loathing and feelings of failure that came along with postpartum depression, the tentative hope that's replaced it.
In the soulwork I've been doing lately, the message to get more vulnerable keeps showing up. It came up in Soulodge several times, it came up at my most recent discussion with my therapist, looking back at the two books I've read so far this year (Into the Wild by John Krakauer and The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer) there's a definite vulnerability theme, and I received a mandala with the affirmation "I release all shame of vulnerability" from someone to whom I haven't spoken about any of the rest of this.
I've always used my hair as a protective shield. I let it fall in my eyes when I'm talking about difficult things, I play with it when I'm avoiding something. And in admitting this, I truly felt the weight of it for the first time. And decided to cut it, for the first time in over 2 years.
And by cut, I mean chop off. I released 22+ inches of hair. This is the shortest it's ever been, though I kept the front somewhat longer.
And while I'm still a little in shock when I wash it, I regret nothing and already feel lighter. In more ways than one.