10 Things That Happened When I Chopped Off My Hair

The day after the big chop!

Short hair, don’t care. I chopped my hair off fifteen months ago, in July 2016, and the decision has been rewarding, so much better than I could have ever imagined. Although it was shoulder-length at the time I got it cut, my hair reached my waist in middle school. I won’t say no to growing it out someday, but not anytime soon.

Cutting my hair wasn’t as simple as, well, cutting my hair. A lot happened afterward, things both big and small. I’m going to tell you about the ten most important today.

1. I’m more willing to go swimming or take a shower on short notice because my hair dries quickly

You would never know this if you met me after I cut my hair, but I had wavy hair! Combined with its length and how thickly it grows on my head, going swimming or even taking a shower was a pain in the ass. Now that my hair takes about ten or fifteen minutes to dry (and even less time when I have a buzz cut!), both of those activities pose no problems at all.

2. I know that if I grew it out long, I would be fine with eventually chopping it off again because IT’S JUST HAIR

And hair grows back! I mean, I knew that before, of course, but knowing and experiencing are two different things. While I’m not sure I would ever let it get waist-length again because taking care of it was so time-consuming, I wouldn’t think twice about growing it out past my shoulders and then, say, buzzing it off.

3. I look forward to trying new things with my hair, rather than dreading them

While we’re on the subject of growing it out and chopping it off and growing it out and chopping it off… I’ve been much happier and more relaxed about changing up my look every so often. The first time I buzzed my hair – well, a friend did it for me, actually – I was super duper nervous but now I know that it’s no big deal! It’s really fun to see what I look like every time I make a major change.

4. People exclaimed “Wow, your hair is so short!”, as if I didn’t know

It’s more cute than annoying, because I know they mean well and someone having approximately twelve fewer inches of hair is surprising whether or not you were expecting it… but it did get old somewhere around the sixtieth time I heard it.

5. Everyone wanted to touch it

I don’t mind this at all! Having my head stroked is super calming… wow, is that a weird thing to say or what?! But it’s true. I can’t blame them either, since it’s super soft and looks it.

Here I am at this time last year.

6. I laugh every time someone calls shoulder-length hair “short hair”

This happens more often than you might think! Flipping through a magazine or scrolling through Facebook, I’ll see an article discussing “the pros and cons of short hair,” often with advice on how to best style it. I used to check out those articles in the hope of finding new ideas for my own hair, only to find out that whoever wrote the article considered shoulder-length hair short.

Like, I understand that there’s a big difference between shoulder-length hair and hair that stretches down to your butt – and that your hairstyle options are a little more limited with the former than with the latter – but that’s??? Still not short hair?? By any means???

7. I bonded with other girls over having short hair

Because it’s honestly the best! One of the first things we ask one another after meeting is, “So when did you chop all yours off?” and then our faces light up with a giant smile. We get each other, you know. We’ve all heard our share of stupid, rude comments such as “But you had such pretty hair!”

8. I express 100% support + enthusiasm whenever a girl mentions thinking about cutting her hair short

My friend Jai, who had short hair the first time I met her and still does, did this every time I talked about chopping my hair off. I was skeptical at the time – like, how great could it truly be? – and took a while to be fully convinced, but now that I finally did it I’m all about encouraging other girls to try short hair for at least a little while.

9. I’m much more easily read as gay

It is an unfortunate fact of our universe that stereotypes are a thing. Sigh. I wish they weren’t, but at the same time subtly coding ourselves as gay and signalling to others of our kid allows us to find a community! I LOVE BEING THE LESBEANIEST LESBIAN OF THEM ALL.

10. I struggle with bedhead daily

Not that this is entirely bad… it has made for some super silly squished-hair selfies! (How’s that for alliteration?) It’s just a fact of life now. Before, my hair was curly enough to hide tangles, weird flat areas, et cetera. Now, there’s always something sticking up somewhere in the back.

-~-

Have you ever chopped all your hair off? Are you considering it? (Is there anything I can say to make you less doubtful about short hair lmao?)

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About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
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3 Responses to 10 Things That Happened When I Chopped Off My Hair

  1. orphu44 says:

    I ended up writing out a comment that sounded inadvertently disagreeable because it was just like, “this thing has never happened to me, that thing has never happened to me, that other thing has never happened to me,” so here’s the version of the comment where I tell you the things that have happened to me. 1) It didn’t affect how willing I was to go swimming because my hair has always been the straightest possible (this might’ve changed in the past 8 years since I cut it? it’s hard to tell so far?), but I do remember going down a water slide, waiting in line to go again, and having my hair be completely dry by the time I went again, 2) Sometimes people mention how short my hair is, mostly only when I was 13, though, 3) I don’t hear people talk about hair often enough for this to come up, but I did start calling my hair long when it was 4 inches from scalp to tip, and 4) No one’s ever read me as gay, but they have read me as a young boy, does that count?

  2. I’m going through a quarter life hair crisis right now. I feel like it’s been pretty much the same since middle school, give or take a few inches. I don’t know that I’ll ever have the confidence to go that short though…we shall see! Yours is so cute!

  3. I remember thinking how different you looked – but that’s because when you first cut the long lengths of your hair off it shaped your face differently. If that makes sense? Lol, I have no hair knowledge.

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