by AMY BURDICK
One night my 14-year-old daughter, Cheyenne, went sleep walking, just as she had done numerous times since she was about 4 years old. But this time she did something she had never done before.
Cheyenne took a pair of scissors out of the cabinet in the hall bathroom and ambled her way back to her bedroom where she sat on her bed in the dark and proceeded to cut her own hair. Snip by snip, clump by clump, her hair fell until she was finished. Then, she laid back down. When she awoke she found herself laying on a blanket of her own hair, scissors still in hand. She came to my bedroom at five in the morning and stood in the doorway and said “Mom, I think I cut my hair in my sleep.”
I opened my eyes and looked at her. It was still dark and a little overly warm in our little home, but I could not really tell a difference in the length of her hair until I climbed out of bed and turned on the light. “Wow.” It was not a good “Wow.”
Cheyenne’s blonde hair used to be long, all the way down to her bum. Every time I took her to the salon she would only have it trimmed one inch. You couldn’t even tell a difference but that’s how she wanted her hair. Cheyenne had been so proud of her hair, letting it grow as long as she had. But now it was gone. Her long hair was no more. It was now shoulder length.
I must say my daughter did a pretty good job cutting her own hair in her sleep, in the dark and without a mirror. It was surely dangerous, but there were only a few strands I needed to trim. She went to school and hoped no one would notice what she had done to her hair in her sleep. She put her hair in a ponytail and braided it. Then she rode the bus to her high school.
I’d heard of sleep eating, sleeping while using the bathroom, and even sleep driving, but never sleep hair cutting.
Even though her fellow classmates could tell her hair was much shorter now, they were still left wondering. What did it really look like out of the braided ponytail? “I’ll leave it down tomorrow,” she told them. Once she made it home from school, we headed straight to the salon.
Cheyenne told her hairdresser, Maggie, what she had done to her hair. Maggie did not seem surprised. She said this was not the first time she had seen this and Cheyenne’s hair was not bad compared to others she had fixed. I had never heard of anyone sleep-cutting their own hair before. Aside from the obvious walking in your sleep, I’d heard of sleep eating, sleeping while using the bathroom, and even sleep driving, but never sleep hair cutting. But it was comforting to know we were not alone in this.
When they were finished with Cheyenne’s hair, it was beautiful. She looked just like Julianne Hough from her role in the “Safe Haven” movie. “Safe Haven” was Cheyenne’s favorite movie and with her blond hair short, styled and parted to the side, she could have been Julianne’s twin.
As we left the salon, Cheyenne was glowing with happiness. The sun shone on her hair and she wore a smile that went from ear to ear. She could not wait for school the following day to show off her new hair style.
At 5 in the morning when Cheyenne’s alarm buzzed, she did not hit snooze, not even once. She jumped out of bed, fixed her hair and added a little make-up to enhance her beauty. I didn’t complain as long as she kept it simple. Then, she scarfed down her ketchup-covered scrambled eggs and buttered toast, guzzled down her tart orange juice and hurried to the bus stop.
After the bus made it to the high school and Cheyenne strolled off, she said she felt like a movie star. Everyone complimented her on her new hair style. “Wow.” “Your hair looks great.” “Your hair looks amazing.” All of her friends, teachers, kids she didn’t even know and the boy she liked, loved her hair. Everyone noticed it. I’m not sure if it was because it really did look great on her or because it was a drastic change. Either way she was happy and it gave Cheyenne a huge boost of self-confidence. It was a reminder that everything happens for a reason.
After Cheyenne came home from school she told me all about everyone at school complimenting her on her hair and how happy she was it was cut. She told me she played it off like she had planned to cut her hair all along. No one at school needed to know the truth. It was Cheyenne’s little secret.
AMY BURDICK is a freelance writer from Florida.