danielle mackinnon headshot

My new haircut

Haircut. Yesterday at the beginning of one of my live webinar classes, someone said, “Nice new hair” to me. My response was something like, “Thank you! I’m loving my new hair too!” but there’s actually so much more behind the whole hair thing – this is a big deal in my life.

Twenty five years ago, back in 1993, I was living in Santa Cruz, California with a boyfriend. We’d just arrived in town and we didn’t know anyone but we were both going to take classes as UC Santa Cruz and we were feeling pretty excited about what we were embarking on.

As I was walking down the street in town on my first day there, I saw a woman with this great, funky short hair. For some reason, in that moment, I fell in love with her hair and turned and stepped right into the hairdresser that I happened to be standing in front of in that moment.

And that’s when I cut my hair. I went from long, long hair to a pixie cut in a period of 30-minutes.

That’s really how much thought I put into it. I saw the hair, I marched in and cut it. I remember I had to send the guy outside to see the woman’s hair so he’d know what I want. Luckily she was just hanging out on a street-corner!

But why did I do that? I’d never thought about cutting my hair before. In fact, I had really beautiful long, thick. slightly wavy hair. It was kind of what everyone wanted back then.

Now, 25 years later, as I’m beginning to grow my hair out from the pixie, I’m realizing what was really going on. At that time in my life, I had no awareness of my sexual abuse. I wasn’t in touch with those memories and I wasn’t in tune to the various ways that I behaved because of the abuse.

I didn’t realize that I wore baggy clothes to hide myself so that I couldn’t be sexualized. After all, in the 90s all the pants were baggy, so I just kind of fit in.

It’s the same thing with my hair. While I loved my short, short hair and I know that it looked great (and I’m not, in any way saying this is the case for all women with short hair), there was a part of me, deep down, that wanted to reject my femininity. I happen to have a very androgynous face and build, so by cutting my hair, I was able to hide myself very well.

Since I wrote my Soul Contracts book back in 2012 and subsequently remembered the abuse, I’ve been working to heal the part of me so deeply wounded by my father’s abuse. I’ve noticed that, as I’ve been healing from that, slight changes are happening – changes that I’m not trying to make happen, but that are just happening as a result of me shifting my belief that I’m not safe as a woman in the world.

One of those changes is I’ve allowed myself to dress prettier. Recently, I did a cruise – and I had a wonderful time with an incredible group of people. But, for me, one of the personal successes of that cruise was that I purchased an expensive dress (VERY expensive) that would definitely make me stand out – and I wore it. And when I wore it, I didn’t feel weird or awkward or unsafe – I just felt great. This was a completely new experience for me.

The other change is my hair. I’ve been letting it grow and I feel like my hair is the most ME it’s ever been in my whole life right now. Sure, I don’t really know how to style it (I missed out on 25 years of experience there because with short hair it only takes 3 seconds!), but day by day, I’m allowing my hair to do it’s own thing. There’s now a part of me that is girly! And I’m loving that. I feel good about it!

Now, please know that I’m NOT saying that all women who cut their hair are rejecting their femininity. I don’t feel that way at all! Everyone has their own story (and short hair really is awesome!)

What I AM saying though is that, part of the reason I cut my hair was because of my wounds from when I was a child. And that this seemingly superficial growing of my hair is actually a sign of my healing.

Thank you for letting me share this story with you. It is also part of my healing to be able to talk about this.

Love & Light,

48 replies
  1. Cheryl
    Cheryl says:

    Thank you. For me, a different story yet not unlike as well, only I’ve gained weight to hide not just from others but from myself. After my divorce triggered memories, I put on weight but I thought enough time had passed to be back on track again. Turns out at 51 I still have work to do. Just last week a man thanked me for how he could see down my top at my ___, I looked down confused, it threw me into every moment I’d tried to forget. He couldn’t see anything but I knew that and still looked down anyway, I was shocked, made light of his nonsense, told him I was surprised he would risk saying anything due to the #metoo movement but it didn’t seem to phase him and he mover on. Instead, it affected and continues to affect me. My go to, to disappear, pop, chips, chocolate. And I was back into the pattern breaking my exercise and healthy eating regime. What I can take from your share is, I’ll know I’m healing when I don’t reach for the junk to hurt myself and hide when someone says something like that to me. Clearly it doesn’t matter whether I’m young, fit and perky or middle aged, soft and curvier, some men will continue to disrespect. So it’s time. I want to let go of the past I’m carrying the weight I’m holding on to to protect mysel, it’s restricting and uncomfortable. Is my brain ready to let go? Because I’ve got some living to do!

    • Danielle MacKinnon
      Danielle MacKinnon says:

      Wow Cheryl! It’s very inspiring to read your thoughts about what you’re moving in to! Yes, it’s time to live! It sounds like you’re on the brink of doing some wonderful inner-work to assist you in this. Sending you love and light <3

  2. Dori Rachel
    Dori Rachel says:

    Thank you for sharing. You are beautiful no matter what and you haircut is fun and modern. I’m glad you are feeling lovely.

  3. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Thanks you for sharing. I’m always impressed with your willingness to share and be vulnerable. This is a gift you give to all of us who follow you. So nice to hear that you are healing story. And, you look amazing! I noticed the dress, even before I read the story.

  4. Isabel
    Isabel says:

    Love the new hair cut!!
    I admire the courage to share such a story…
    The baggy clothes took me down memory lane and that image resonated quite strongly for me. During most of my twenties and thirties, I used to buy 3-XL size shirts in the men department as I “needed” to hide my body. I was a size 4 and the potato bag look was all I was allowing myself to embody. Thanks to your story, I realized that even if now I do – at times – wear more feminine clothes… there are still skeletons from my past that need to be heard…

  5. Beverly b
    Beverly b says:


    You are rocking that dress and new do! You are absolutely glowing! Such an amazing, uplifting story!

  6. Sue Rubel
    Sue Rubel says:

    Thanks for sharing your story of healing, Danielle. You looked amazing in that dress, and I also loved the black one with the cool back!!

  7. Rebecca Kirson
    Rebecca Kirson says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! I too have periods in my life when my hair represents the deeper healing that needs to occur with me stepping into my Femininity and embracing that part of myself. I am also currently growing it out so I don’t hide who I am and reject femininity and sexuality. What a journey we’ve all been on. Much love to you! You are a very strong and beautiful woman – love to see you embracing that!

    • Danielle MacKinnon
      Danielle MacKinnon says:

      Rebecca – Isn’t it interesting how much hair actually means for some of us! It’s not a vanity thing – it’s so much deeper. Thank you for sharing here too and I can’t wait to see it grown out (whatever that ends up looking like).

  8. Mary L. Holden
    Mary L. Holden says:

    It has been my personal mission since 2010 to address healing from traumas. Oprah herself is now addressing the issue. Please see http://www.acesconnection.com/blog/oprah-calls-trauma-informed-care-game-changing-promotes-upcoming-story-about-aces-and-healing and watch her on “60 Minutes” on Sunday, March 11, 2018. Keep healing, Ms. Danielle MacKinnon. It is a process, and there are a lot of alternative healing therapies that address the impact of emotional distress kinds of traumas.
    With love to you and all who may read this comment, Mary

  9. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    You look absolutely beautiful. Prayers that you continue to heal. God Bless you and keep sharing. It helps to share.

  10. Naixieli
    Naixieli says:

    Danielle thank you for sharing your story. It help me understand why I don’t feel secure and happy being a woman in the world, why I like to hide from men in plain sigth. Back in 2012 I read your book and started healing wounds from my past but I remember it was so painful. I wish I could do the same and feel safe being a woman in the world. do you think my animal ( a grey cat named Blu) can help me? You look fabulous both with your hair long or short. You bring light to many people in this world.

    • Danielle MacKinnon
      Danielle MacKinnon says:

      I do believe that your cat can help you – absolutely! Maybe try my Animal Lessons book? That’s the book where I explain how the animals can help. I know FOR SURE that all of the animals I am working with (with my clients too) are helping me.
      It can feel so yucky being “noticed” in the world – I get this. As you come to work with it, it will become easier to be seen. <3

  11. Gina
    Gina says:

    Thank you for sharing, Danielle. I am glad you are able to continue the traction to keep moving through the past. The strength you show by opening yourself up inspires so many others.

    And yes, you are ROCKING that dress!!

  12. Sharon Smith
    Sharon Smith says:

    Thank you for sharing such a deeply moving part of your life. When you expose your pain in this way I believe it opens a door for Grace to enter the world. Please know what a great blessing you are!

  13. Angélica
    Angélica says:

    Hi Danielle, thanks so much for being.
    You are such an inspiration and I feel blessed to have seen your light (and beopen!) 🙂
    Much love,
    P.S. Yesh! You look graciously feminine with your hair like that, and stunning in that dress <3

  14. CynDy Parker
    CynDy Parker says:

    All I can say is wow! You are amazing, powerful in your very vulnerability. You are beautiful and so is your family! So much love & joy in that picture that you shared. May you please know how much you being you helps us all.

  15. Annette
    Annette says:

    You look beautiful, loving the sassy and sexy haircut. So glad that you are gradually coming into your own. Wished I felt comfortable with that. I was naturally a very friendly kid, talked to everyone. On two separate occasions I was molested by two different boys within a period of a few months. Where do 8 and 9 year old boys learn that? So scared didn’t know what to tell my mother. Within two months I blew up like a balloon to hide myself. Even when a man saw my essence and told me I was sweet, or say some off color remark I would go back into my shell.

    A few years ago more of myself than I ever felt in a long time. Then someone saw me and said you seem so different and came on to me. He said I won’t hurt you, just felt so uncomfortable, he said you don’t need to hide. So when I see you I have hope I will feel comfortable and safe being me.

    Danielle you give me hope.

    • Danielle MacKinnon
      Danielle MacKinnon says:

      Annette, as I read your story, I got goosebumps. Thank you for sharing. There ARE wonderful people out there and we can feel safe with them. I love that you are starting to encounter some of them. <3

  16. Sylvie
    Sylvie says:

    Thank you for sharing Danielle! The dress is great! Your post stirs a lot of feelings inside. For me it was the opposite effect from my abuse, I wanted to be noticed. I dressed provocative and used my body to get the men I wanted. Now I am kind of lost on how to meet a man because I can’t not use that body anymore, I have to rely on my personality 🤔

  17. Kat
    Kat says:

    Dear Danielle, thank you for sharing this very personal story, that gave me goosebumps various times whilst reading. I am so happy for you, so proud of you (as you are such an important person in my life, I want you to know that) that you are able to heal this wound not only inside yourself, but also being able to share it publically and therefore showing our woman, that we all have wounds from our past and that we are constantly healing as well as motivating to look deeply inside themselves.
    You are an incredible, wonderful and so beautiful woman.
    Thank you for everything that you give to so many people – and women!
    With much love to you <3

  18. Julie U.
    Julie U. says:

    It makes me so happy to hear about your beautiful steps toward healing. Thank you so much for sharing and for always being an inspiration of strength and self love.

  19. Denise
    Denise says:

    Danielle, I too, think you look fabulous-haircut & dress! Very feminine & chic, & you glow! You show great courage to share your story & I appreciate hearing your thoughts & about your healing. Thank you! Blessings & all the best to you!

  20. Patty D.
    Patty D. says:

    Danielle thanks for sharing your story of healing. I’m also smack dab in the middle of a lot of ‘stuff’ coming out from mental and emotional abuse from long ago. It’s a huge time of growth for me but so uncomfortable. I love hearing your success story, it brings hope. Love the hair. Love the dress! And so much of this story, the ‘afraid to look feminine’ thing, all of it strikes home for me. Thanks for sharing something so intimate with us. Patty


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *