Hundreds of blogs are filled with ‘hair journeys’, little tips to make your hair longer, procedures, and DIY recipes all in the name of becoming conventionally pretty. Long hair is attractive; it’s the way of the world, so it’s clear that the opposite isn’t exactly accepted. That’s why every woman should do it at least once in their life. It’s a hairstyle you’d be doing for yourself, to understand your self-worth, not to impress others, not to become what the world considers a beautiful woman. It’s Just for you. How so? We hide behind our hair, and in a way it helps us deal with our insecurities, and our problem areas. Without it, there’s absolutely nothing to cover the good, bad and the ugly, it all hangs lose, and the only thing to do is to deal with it and accept yourself. It’s almost therapeutic.

I videotaped the first time I got my hair shaved. When I made the decision to chop it all off, I was sure that’s what I wanted for myself. While I was anxious as I saw my hair get shorter, it wasn’t at all torturous. In fact it was almost a relief, all the effort required to maintain hair was somehow a thing of the past. I began to notice differences as a stared into the mirror. Seeing your own face without its customary framing is an intense experience. Your cheekbones and jawline instantly become sharper. Your eyes look bigger. Everything that is unique and interesting about your face is heightened. You look like well…you.

Then there were the comments and reactions, some good, and some I wasn’t so sure. A few female counterparts claimed how ‘brave it was of me’ to chop my hair, stating that they couldn’t imagine themselves doing the same. While I’m sure the intention was to compliment, it sounded quite a bit like an insult. Would it be brave of someone to wear makeup, and look stunning as a result? No…so if I looked great with my hair short as some claimed, then how would that be brave of me? There was an obvious mixture of admiration and disapproval. “If you’re going to cut your hair short, you’re going to have to start wearing more makeup”, a comment made by a friend who was probably trying to help, however to make up for lost hair by increasing an artificial aspect beats the purpose of the haircut, to accept your true self.

Then there were those who said, ‘I need to look more like a girl’. There lurks unsaid rules of how women are required to look like. As women, we grow up to believe that our worth is placed highly upon our beauty. It’s important for us to do things for ourselves without worrying about what others may think. When we chop our hair, a sort of liberation comes with it. You become just a tiny bit superhuman. You’re a little less susceptible to the slings and arrows of what random people on the street think about you.

Truth to be told I didn’t always feel like wonder woman, at times I would look at my short hair in the mirror, and feel incredibly hideous, I would buy and wear a wig, just to feel prettier again when I removed it.  As women, we think too much about how our appearance makes others feel rather than how it makes us feel – which should be the most significant. It is detrimental to live our lives out of obligation for society, and as women we should attempt to rebel against that. If however you fail to accept or appreciate how shorter hair looks on you, no worries it’ll always grow back, but first give it a try.

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