There was a point in my life when my single most prominent identifier was my huge, teased up hair.
I would forgo conditioner so it wouldn’t weigh down my hair’s long-ish length, mousse it up, blow dry it upside down, crimp it with a triple barrel iron and proceed to backcomb it within less than an inch of its life before also adding dry shampoo and hairspray.
Not gonna lie, it was pretty glorious:
And the best part about all of this was that I achieved it in a way that fooled many people into believing that was my hair’s natural state. Really, my fine hair tends to fall pretty flat when left to its own devices.
Then came more teasing and dying and extensions:
….BEFORE THE BIG CHOP:
I decided within a span of less than 24 hours that I wanted to take my beyond shoulder-length hair to a pixie. At the time, it was accidentally dyed black from a botched at-home effort to achieve a dark brunette. Whoops. But I was rolling with it. My hair was super damaged from taking my natural ashy, mousy light brown color to flaming red, strawberry blonde, back to a medium brown and then black within just a couple of years … also from — oh you know, the relentless knotting and frizzing that resulted from all the teasing.
I figured I didn’t really have much to lose in hacking it all off. My locks were pretty much beyond repair anyway and all I usually did was a messy bun. I would be starting fresh and could grow it out within a couple of years.
That didn’t happen.
My first Rizzo (from “Grease”) cut went even shorter in the following months and years — I even embraced a side shave for a bit (plus my natural hair color followed by my current extreme of white blonde)! I came to crave the feeling of clippers on my neck and kept going shorter and shorter to the point where I definitely required a trim every few weeks to prevent myself from going mad. NOT TODAY, MULLET!
I loved (and still very much do) the general badassery that comes with being a short hair girl. I’ve tried at least three times (currently on another attempt) to grow my hair out to a bob.
But even if I do succeed and wind up with longer hair, I’ll always be a short hair girl at heart in the ways it really counts.
It takes a certain amount of lady balls to go from flowing mane to naked nape, especially at a younger age when a woman’s long hair is often considered her trademark, her pride and joy.
Here are just a few of the comments I’ve received from strangers as well as close family/friends in my short hair years:
“You were so pretty, and then you just had to go and cut off all your hair.”
“Sure it was damaged, but you shouldn’t have cut it.”
“Why do you have a crew cut?”
“I assumed you were older because usually a younger woman wouldn’t wear her hair that short.”
“When are you going to grow it out again?”
“You cut it AGAIN?”
Don’t get me wrong — I’ve received way more positive, encouraging comments than those of this negative category — but the comments above do unfortunately come with the territory of the chop.
But despite those comments, there’s such a feeling of freedom that comes with making such a drastic change to your appearance. 10/10 would recommend. You yourself will shed preconceived notions of what it means to feel beautiful and powerful. You’ll pay closer attention to your facial features and learn what level of bangs you prefer to work with. You’ll cut down your morning routine drastically. You’ll find it’s easier to experiment with colors because you can just chop again and grow it out. You’ll become more confident in ways you never would have expected.
Taking the scissors to your tresses in such an extreme way is on par with moving solo across the country a couple of times, jumping out of an airplane, giving the middle finger to normal life to become a flight attendant, moving in with a guy you barely know, and so many other adventures I’ve embarked on — which of course is probably why I’ve grown so attached to my pixie.
My short hair is also initially what drew my current boyfriend’s attention. I love to tell the story of how he thought at first that I might have been romantically involved with my female co-worker (we’re also just very close in general — it wasn’t only the ultra short hair). I recently told that story at an important dinner and quickly realized that hanging around raunchy flight attendants all the time might be spoiling me for appropriate conversation topics. ;)
Anywho — whether you currently rock long hair or short hair or no hair — I hope you’re doing it with the confidence and badassery you deserve.
Thanks for stopping by!
Until next time —
Peace, love & fairy dust,