Over a year ago, a thought skipped through my mind: What if I chopped all my hair off? I consulted a few friends (and my therapist). All of them raised their hands in front of their faces and shook their heads with wide eyes.
Don’t you dare! You will regret it. What are you going to do when it grows out? It will look weird. What if you don’t like it? Wait until you are older. Your hair is so pretty.
A friend said, “You are just looking for something extreme because you just lost your job.” I did want to do something crazy; I wanted to go Cheryl Strayed and hop on the PCT for a month. I wanted to join a burlesque troupe and do stand up with no experience. She was right. I was not in the space to go hacking off years and years worth of brunette locks.
I shoved the idea aside and reminded myself of the one time many years ago I walked into a salon and said I was thinking of going short. The stylist plopped me in a chair hacked away, and left me with a really ugly chin length bob that did not match my oval face. My hair grows really slow, so for a solid year I wore my hair in buns until it was at an acceptable length to dangle around by my neck.
And yet, a typical day with long hair consisted of blow drying it at 7; pulling my hair into a bun at 12; undoing it at 1; braiding it at 3; giving up by 5; impossible tangles by 8.
I have a friend with short hair who just shakes her head after a shower, and it looks like she spent hours, literally hours, curling her hair into the perfect wavy beach hair. She looks like she walked out of magazine; I look like a walked out of a wind tunnel. Not fair.
The idea of doing some serious pruning never really left. My hair ruined most cute outfits. It had no style; it did nothing for my face. It was starting to get a little coarse (Is anyone else experiencing this as they get older?) It split at the sight of a brush. No volume. No glisten. Just a dull mop hanging from my noggin.
Last week, for mother’s day my boyfriend made me an appointment with my favorite hairstylist (thank you Erin Athey Hair!). I decided this was it. I was going to do it.
I walked into her salon and said, “I want a boy cut. Lets do Demi Moore in the 80’s.”
“Ghost Demi Moore?”
“That’s a bowl cut. Lets keep some length and go from there.”
I thought for sure I would at least feel a little remorse as the scissors sliced into the first foot of hair. Nothing. Not a tear. In fact I watched it pile up on the ground with relief.
I loved it immediately, but I didn’t realize that there are so many benefits to having short hair. Below I have compiled a list of unforeseen perks.
1. I actually feel sexier. Totally did not expect that.
2. My hair does not get stuck in my purse strap anymore. For the first few days, I kept flinging my phantom hair out of my strap. You don’t realize how nice it is to not have something pull your head to your shoulders until it’s gone.
3. I am saving on Shampoo. And conditioner. First shower, I squeezed my usual plum size dollop into my palm. Nope. only a pea size will do now. (If any is even needed.)
4. Blow drying takes literally 5 seconds. No more half hour straightening sessions. Blow, blow done.
5. Volume is a hand fluff away. You heard me. Short hair unlocks loads of volume I thought only thick-haired ladies could enjoy.
6. My hair is styled even when I go for a run. That’s right. No more ratty braids or sliding ponytails. I look sassy on a jog.
7. I will never search for another hair tie again. I don’t even care about the five in the couch crack.
8. My side burns cover my pimples. One the first day, I broke out by my ear, but my little side burns made it all go away.
9. I don’t need to brush anymore because my short hair does not knot. My fine long hair knotted in a light breeze. But when it’s three inches in length; it’s physically not allowed to go there.
10. Short hair makes my butt stick out. My butt is always threatening to disappear into my thighs, so this is super plus plus.
There is one down side. Bed head is a real thing. I have never experienced this many cowlicks in my life. But it’s an easy to fix. If I’m in a rush, I just throw some water on it and pat.
If you’re wearing your hair pulled back most of the time, or spending most mornings thinking “What am going to do with this?”, free yourself with a short haircut. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have something that actually complements me rather than something that others think looks good.
I’ve even gained a little unanticipated self-confidence.