How Short Hair Reduced My Pain:  CRPS Life Hack
Published on May 10, 2019 
I get lots of positive comments on my short hair, but it actually has nothing to do with personal choice. It actually is a CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) life hack for me. 

Hello everyone. My name is Kristi Oen and I am a CRPS conqueror and the founder of PAIN Help. And my hair used to be really long, like almost down to my tush when I was growing up. My Dad loved long hair and pretty much forbid me from cutting it. So I had really long hair and when I was 10 I was in the accident that started my migraines and my headaches and I had no idea that my long hair was actually contributing to my pain. Fast forward to college; I get away from the house and my roommate's said, let's cut your hair.

And I said, sure, let's do that. I got a nice little bob haircut. She just cut it in the dorm room. It was amazing. And I couldn't believe how much my headaches just went down. And I noticed even when I would put my hair in a ponytail or if I'd put a clip in my hair that there would be more pain.

So I knew having hair, no matter how much, was contributing some to my pain. With my CRPS, not everybody with CRPS has these kinds of feelings, but for me, if I were to be touched, it was extreme pain. 

I moved down here to Florida and the wind would blow and the hair would hit on my face, it feels like or felt like, cause I don't have those feelings really so much anymore, but it would feel like a thousand needles running through my body.   And I feel every single hair. And you get this feeling where you almost just want to completely explode. Like it is that intense of a feeling. And those of you who have CRPS know what I'm talking about. So I decided to go for shorter hair and try that to try and reduce those feelings with my CRPS. 

I started going to a hairstylist and I kept getting shorter, shorter, shorter hair. And then I just decided to start doing it myself and saving a ton of money by just using some cutters to actually go through and do it. So now it's money saving and life-changing. Not having clips that were contributing to my headaches, not having hair that's poking me in different places. All of these things were contributing to my pain. 

So I think it's really important for you to take a moment and think about what is happening in your life where you're recognizing that there's increased pain, increased problems, and what can you do to fix it, to help it.

And I know for me, cutting my hair, it took until the pain was so extreme and I was permanently disabled, you know, in my wheelchair, laying in bed. It was when things were just such crap anyway, and I wasn't leaving the house. I'm like, nobody's going to care what my hair looked like. I just did it. I did it for myself and it was really funny because I get so many more compliments now on my hair then I did when I actually had long flowing "beautiful" hair. So I busted that stereotype of beautiful. 

Actually, I get tons of compliments from men and women about my short hair and what I'm doing.   Or people say, you're so brave to wear it that shorter, I couldn't do it. And I really did it because of medical necessity and it helped. It changed my life. 

So if there is something going on in your life and you can do something to make it better, like cut your hair short and that helps you. I say go for it. And be in your power. And even though I was slightly intimidated and I was a little bit afraid about doing it, it worked out. It worked out for the best. 

And I love my short hair now. I was kind of embarrassed by it for a long time and not really loving it.  And people would say, I love your hair. And I was like, Eh. And now I'm just owning it. The more you own you and what you have to do, this is so important, the more you own you and what you have to do for yourself, it is so much better. 

We get in our heads about so many things. When you have really bad chronic pain like CRPS, you really have to focus on the simplest things in order for your life to be better. So I say do what makes you happy. Do what works best for you. Do what you can to reduce your pain no matter what it looks like to other people. You be you, own you, and what you have to do and just go for it. 

Kristi Oen
630 740 0312

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