I had been growing my hair out for about 3 years now, and then last Monday I decided on a whim that I wanted to chop it all off. I spent the rest of the week looking at every single picture of pixie haircuts on the internet, and obsessing over if it was the right choice. Is my face the right shape? Will I look like a boy? Will my hair even do that? etc. etc. etc. (To my coworkers who read my blog, I apologize for not talking about anything else all week and for making you look at so many pictures. I appreciated your input a ton, though; thanks for helping me decide!)
All the advice on the internet says that you should use a stylist you know and trust when doing something as drastic as a pixie cut. But, I don’t have a relationship with a stylist since I usually only get my hair trimmed once or twice a year and I tend to just book an appointment with whoever is available. So I called up a salon I’ve used in the past and asked for an appointment with whoever has experience with pixie cuts. Needless to say, I was a little nervous; what if this person sucks and then I don’t have any hair left to work with?
But when I got to the salon and met my stylist Gina, my mind was put at ease when I saw she was sporting a stylish pixie cut herself. Who better understands the importance of getting it right than someone who has short hair? And she did a great job- spent time discussing exactly what I wanted, encouraged a few modifications based on my face shape, took her time to make sure it was cut perfectly, then showed me how to style it. I’m really happy with the results! So, here’s my little unpaid advertisement for Gina at the Rock House Salon. I highly recommend her!
Here’s the before and after:
The “before” picture is from about 5 months ago, so my hair was actually a little longer than that.
Why did I want to chop off all my hair, anyway? Well here’s the thing- I’m lazy. My long hair took a lot of time to blow dry and straighten in the mornings, and so I very rarely fixed it. I would just pull it up into a bun or braid while it was still wet and, quite frankly, it was never particularly flattering that way. My experience with chin length hair cuts in the past are that I’m forced to style them since the hair is too short to pull back, but then my laziness eventually wins out and I go buy headbands and bobby pins in bulk and figure out how to pull it back. Pixie cuts, on the other hand, are amazingly low maintenance. My new ‘do takes about 3 minutes to blow dry, then I flat iron the bangs, run a little texturizing gel through it and I’m done. It’s magic.
This whole experience has me wondering about the cultural norm of women with long hair and men with short hair. I would imagine that back in ye olde cave man days before mirrors and hair stylists, everyone probably had longer hair. If you look at the animal kingdom, it tends to be the males of the species that are flashier- think of the difference between male and female peacocks, or male and female lions. At what point did the current model of hair preferences become standard? So I asked Google, and got a whole slew of completely non-scientific, but interesting answers.
The answer I find most reasonable, but didn’t list any sources so take it for what it’s worth, is that Roman soldiers started trimming their hair and beards so their enemies couldn’t grab them by the hair during battles. Then as the Roman empire spread, so did the trend, and soon it became fashionable for men to cut their hair short.
Other answers included: Women have long hair because it’s pretty, because it keeps their heads warm, because men prefer women with long hair, “because women let there [sic] hair grow but men don’t always,” religious reasons, “it’s just that long hair is attractive on women and short hair is attractive on men,” because men are practical, or long hair is a sign of fertility. There were also a lot of results claiming that women over 40 shouldn’t have long hair.
With the exception of the Roman explanation and the religious reasons, none of those answers actually address why women tend to have long hair and men tend to have short. They basically either say “‘cuz that’s how it is, duh” or “blatant sexist crap.” I saw a great response to the “men prefer women with long hair” trope in the comment section on one page that said, “Well ya know what, if my appearance was to solely attract males, I’d be walking around topless.” Take that.
And so, I have to say I’m really enjoying my New Year’s resolution of embracing my style and trying not to worry about what people think . I’m glad I chopped all my hair off! I think it’s cute and it’s super easy to deal with. The idea that women should have long hair is a silly societal construct, and I don’t have it in me to worry about what a bunch of strangers think should be best for me.
Also, lionesses. They’re pretty fierce with short hair.