Making the cut

This is a vintage Deidre post from an old blog I used to have. I thought it would be fun to dig up, since I got my hair cut short again.

As I will mention later in this post, cutting my hair usually has an emotional aspect to it. Growing up, I wanted to have ’emo’ hair, but I was too nervous to get such an edgy cut. So I’ve lived out the dream of 13 year old me, and I finally have my emo hair. I did what I wanted and what made me happy because that has been the theme of this year. No more prolonging my happiness or worrying about other’s opinions.

I was really proud of this post when I wrote it back in 2016, and my thoughts surrounding my haircut were a big revelation for me at the time. Without further ado, here it is:

(November, 2016)

This past week I made a decision: I was going to get my hair cut really short and I could not back out (into a pixie, but my hairstylist corrected me and said it was actually a short bob).

I have had long hair almost my entire life, with a few above-the-shoulder length flings with short hair. As a female, you are expected to have long hair. Hair is your beauty. Without it, we are told (or at least it’s strongly implied) we are as good as one of those cats with no fur.

I have always kept my hair long without questioning it, even though it would get caught on my backpack, caught on my boyfriend, bugs would get caught in it, and sometimes I would accidentally sit on it. I was never good at styling hair, and never particularly interested in learning how. I just knew that to be a girl, I had to have long hair.

My few flirtations with short hair always happened after big moments in my life- a falling out with a good friend, my first breakup. There is something cathartic about cutting one’s hair. This time when I cut my hair there wasn’t a negative impetus; for me it was symbolic of growing up. I’d been dating my boyfriend for 4+ years, I landed my first real job, got a 401k, and made an investment into an awesome bike to have as my main mode of transportation.

Back to the main point here- I thought cutting my hair was about me. To signify an important change in my life. I WAS WRONG. Apparently cutting MY hair was a big deal to everyone else who has to look at me, and they felt free to share their feedback.

Results: Overwhelmingly positive! (except for my dad, but that will never change. Hi dad!)

Everyone at work loved my new hair. To my shock, the men in the office complimented my new cut, and the women commented on how freeing it must be. I was shocked! I thought my hair was my beauty! It is and isn’t.

See, there are many definitions of beauty. I’m getting a bit ramble-y, but I wanted to impart that you shouldn’t keep your hair a certain way because you think it is what is expected.

I realized that I was keeping my hair long for fear of other’s reactions to it. Now I get to be part of a secret society of women who know how great short is. We have an instant bond.

Those women know it’s freeing. They know you save shower time, style time, and money on product. They know they made a choice about their body that was for them and not to please anyone else (if you like long hair that’s great too, but do it for you and no one else!) They know that people will look at you differently, and it’s an awesome feeling.

And surprise, no one’s eyes have melted yet because my new hair isn’t their idea of beauty. Over the last week I’ve felt respect, admiration, and even jealousy. To the one girl who said “I wish I could just cut my hair like you” the good news is, you CAN. I did. JUST DO IT!