7 Things That Happened When I Cut 7 Inches Off My Hair

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“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” – Coco Chanel

 

Cliché, I know, you probably even gagged a bit reading that. Despite this, it holds true and I can attest to that.

 

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I had been growing my hair out for as long as I could remember. Long curly locks filled my hair-spiration pinterest board. As the years passed, and my hair grew, my strands became a staple part of my identity. Just as being a cheerleader had consumed my identity in high school, so did my long brown curly hair -- and then I chopped 9 inches off.

 

Alright—so the change wasn’t as abrupt as it sounded. I had actually been contemplating the demise of my long locks for many reasons:

  1. From years of straightening and curling my hair, my ends were fried. So my hair was literally dead and gross.

  2. I had become increasingly irritated of having to pull my hair out from under my coat and backpack.

  3. My hair wasn’t holding curl like it used to when it was shorter.

 

However, none of these reasons were what sent me running into the hair salon, begging my favorite (and only) hairstylist to chop off what we had been growing out for years (yes… we, it takes a team to take care of my mane).

 

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Saying peace out to my long locks.

For women, our hair and our physical identity is highly regarded, thus a drastic change appears rather daunting--what happens if you hate it? Therefore, there usually needs to be a greater reason in order for us to take the leap and chop off our beloved locks.

Some reasons maybe more serious than others, and they may be related to health concerns, charity donations, personal style or a change in lifestyle. Nonetheless, we (usually) don’t just chop off our hair because we are bored.

For me, it was because a feeling of overwhelming uneasiness had succumbed my being. Something wasn’t right, I felt out of place and out of touch with myself—not to mention I’m amidst the four-year existential crisis known as college. I needed a change. I needed to redefine myself, I needed to take back what I had lost and reclaim the power I had forgotten I had. So after much contemplation, discussions with my hairstylist and conversations with my roommate, I decided to take the plunge and reach for that ‘Lob’ hairstyle I had been pinning for the past 6 months.

And as my roommate and best friend had told me hundreds of time, it was by far one of the best decisions I have made yet in my life. In shedding my locks I felt as if I had shed my insecurities, doubts and my past. It was both a metaphor for the change I had been undergoing and a way to preoccupy myself. Since then, my life has changed in many small ways that when put together added up to a new me (no matter how cliché that sounds).

-It was a confidence boost.

I honestly couldn’t explain how or why this happened. Maybe it was because I realized I am more than my looks or because I felt like new person. All I know is that I now have a little more pep in my step, I act with courage and feel overwhelmingly empowered. Truthfully, I believe that this is what caused my next realization.

-I noticed more attention from men. Seriously. This happened.

It’s not that I had any trouble finding someone before (trust me, I’m over 300 matches) though I noticed an influx in interest the moment I chopped my hair. And not only did I find that more men had interest in me, but they were more overt and outspoken about it. In fact, as I was leaving Union Station after arriving back in the city from home, a guy stopped me on the escalator, complimented me and asked for my phone number so he could get to know me better. (And do you know what I did?! Good ol’ Marissa gave him a fake number because I thought it was weird and didn’t want to be kidnapped. But he was CUTE, holy hell he was FINE. I don’t know what I was thinking...)

-I looked older (and dare I say my age?).

I could probably pass for a freshman in highschool if I really want to--hell my cousins in 8th grade look older than I do. I have a baby face--which adults tell me I will be grateful for down the line, however right now it is rather annoying. Though, after cutting my hair I got many comments on how I looked a lot much older and mature.

-I needed less conditioner.

Though I sometimes forget this while in the shower and squeeze out a handful only to realize I don’t need nearly that much.

-A strong gust of motivation came my way (which I had been lacking).

I don’t know what had gotten into me. I was questioning everything, doubting my elf, taking every small failure as a career-ending event. Between cutting my hair and a girl power playlist I was listening to on repeat, I found my drive once again.

-I could whip my hair back and forth much easier.

Concerts are 100% more fun when you can shake your hair around like a mad woman while you rock out to your favorite band.

-I realized that I am more than my superficial identity.

In cutting my hair, I lost my security blanket that I had cuddled with for the past decade of my life. My hair was me, I was my hair. In cutting my hair I realized that I am more than my hair, more than my looks and more than skin deep.

 

More than anything, I felt liberated. In cutting my hair, I was hitting the reset button, I was reclaiming my life, and I was reintroducing myself to the world.

So to everyone out there considering cutting their hair, drastically changing its color or making some sort of change in their life. To everyone who feels off, lost or confused. And to anyone who wants to change their lives: stop waiting, stop putting it off and just do it. The liberation is worth it. (And so the cliche that you rolled your eyes at in the beginning has rung true and my job here is done.)

(My only regret is not giving Escalator Boy my actual number. Escalator Boy if you’re out there, please come find me.)

 

 

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About The Author

DePaul '19 Journalsim, Public Relations and Advertising major. Diet coke is my favorite & so is eating in general. Watching Scandal, Once Upon a Time & listening to Demi Lovato are my pass times.