Short Lady, Short Hair

A few months back, I made a personal decision that has evoked a LOT of opinions from friends, coworkers, and strangers: I cut all my hair off. Here’s a picture from right around that time:

photo-6

This photo, when I set it as my profile picture on Facebook, got a record 109 likes in a single day and currently has 38 comments. I didn’t get that many comments or likes when my gentleman friend and I went “Facebook-official” with our relationship or when I announced that I was becoming a homeowner. A pixie cut, it seems, evokes a strong reaction.

I should say that they were all positive and encouraging comments. I make a point not to be friends with the kind of people who would make nasty comments about someone’s appearance in a public forum like Facebook. Still, it struck me as very interesting that so many people had such a strong and immediate reaction to something as simple as getting rid of most of my hair.

Furthermore, a search for “pixie cut” on Google brings up titles on the first pace saying Yes, You Can Pull Off a Pixie Cut” and What Guys Really Think. . .About Your Pixie Cut” – indicating the two things that people tend to think about ladies with short hair:

  1. It’s cute, but I could never rock it.
  2. Dudes aren’t going to think I’m attractive anymore.

I had the SAME WORRIES, guys. And here’s my experience having short hair, and the reason I’ve decided to grow it back out. First, I’m definitively NOT in possession of the typical body type that the word “pixie” conjures. Pixies, in a cultural sense, are fairies – weightless, flighty creatures. My size-10 hips/booty and my 34D ladies are well outside that description. And yet, many of the comments on my picture were along the lines of how well I was pulling off that look.

Second, in my experience, gentlemen who are attracted to women are attracted to a wide range of appearances. Some ladies prefer guys with beards, some prefer clean-shaven guys, and some don’t care one way or another. I’m pretty sure fellas have similar opinions about women’s haircuts. I still get plenty of attention from my gentleman friend as well as in the form of catcalls from strangers on the street. I still feel the same way about that attention, insofar as I enjoy the former and detest the latter. (PSA break: catcalling ladies is not cool. It’s a nuisance and it’s objectifying. Learn more here, plus plenty of other places.)

Here’s something I’d been wanting to do but hadn’t been able to do with long hair: I stopped shampooing it so frequently. And it has changed my whole experience of my hair. Prior to the pixie cut, I’d have defined my hair as being very fine but plentiful. Despite having what every hair stylist I’ve ever seen has described as “a ton of hair,” it always seemed to be very flat and very prone to oiliness and limpness. My DC-based stylist, Kendall, implored me to cut back on my shampoo dependence to three uses per week max, and since following his directions I’ve seen an amazing transformation. My hair is textured, full of volume, and way less oleaginous. I’d never have tried this if my hair had been long, guys – it took the leap o’ faith that was my pixie cut to take a similar jump, and I’m never going back.

So, then, the question is: why am I growing my hair back out? BECAUSE IT IS MY HAIR, AND I GET TO DICTATE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. I wanted it short, so I cut it short. I got bored with it being short, so I’m growing it out. I like experimenting with style and playing with different looks, and while short hair is straight up fabulous, I find myself annoyed at the limiting factors. If I want it short again, I’ll go short again. It’s really that simple, y’all.

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