How Cutting My Hair Short Became an Investment in My Personal Wellness

I’ve spent the majority of my life with long hair, mainly because long hair was what girls my age had throughout elementary, middle and most of high school. I did cut my hair short once in 6th grade (because I was in my Twilight phase and felt extra daring), but then I grew it out again. Most of my friends had long hair, and I was aware of the fact that boys tended to like girls with longer hair. And yes, I know, it’s ridiculous to think at one point I cared what boys thought about my hair length. Fast forward a few years and I was getting sick and tired of dealing with my long, thick, frizzy and unmanageable hair. I even tried bangs for a little while, but trust me that was not the look for me. It seemed no matter what I did to it, it never behaved how I wanted it to. It just sat there, boring and lifeless, and too long for me to have the patience to style it. Once I was in college, I realized everyone had moved on from the gender expectations of high school and had begun embracing their true selves. I also noticed that the people I admired on Instagram, specifically beauty influencers like Estee Lalonde and Allana Davison, had started this short hair trend. It seemed as if short hair was the new thing, and I was into it. It looked sophisticated, fresh, and easy to manage — what could be better?

Last summer, I was about to make one of the biggest transitions of my life: transferring to a four year college which would be the first time I’d be living away from home. Such a big transition called for some personal transitions as well. I decided to cut my hair before moving because you know, new school new me. I also decided I was tired of my natural dark blonde color and wanted to lighten it, so that’s what I did. I had my new short hair with a slight balayage for the whole year, and I liked that none of my new friends knew me with my long hair. I still felt like I wanted more of a change once this summer began, so in June I cut my hair even shorter and got my first-ever highlights. It was the most satisfying haircut I’ve ever had, and made a bigger impact on me than I expected. 

How my hair change made an impact 

First of all, chopping off my hair felt like I was chopping off all the sh** I’d been carrying around recently. Like, the metaphorical weight had been lifted off my head and shoulders. And trust me, there’s been lots of weight. So, just like that, I felt much lighter and fresh. It felt like the beginning of a new start. The anxious feeling before you get a new haircut is usually a sign that it’s the right thing to do. Visibly, your haircut changes your appearance, but underneath the surface it also makes an impact on your mental health. Even if it’s the smallest change, a haircut can boost your self-positivity. I remember always talking negatively to myself whether it be out loud or in my head about how my hair looked, but once I cut it off those comments became positive which in turn made me feel so much more confident overall. It’s not just about looking different, it’s about feeling different. 

This new haircut also made me feel more mature. Not that I wasn’t already a pretty mature person, but people began telling me how much older and sophisticated I looked which is super nice to hear after being told I look 13 by a Trader Joe’s cashier the first time I was buying an alcoholic beverage. Also, the blonde highlights brightened up my entire head and face, and somehow just matched better with all my outfits? I think my natural dirty-blonde hair, as nice as it is, was making me feel dull and plain. I needed that extra brightness to perk myself up. 

One of the best impacts it made was being so much easier to manage. Short hair takes minutes off my shower and styling time — I also never have to deal with tangles. A miracle? I’d say so. I’ve used my curling and straightening irons more the past few months than ever in my life. 

This new hairstyle has increased my confidence because it’s finally a style that feels like me. Like my hair has finally grown into my personality. My long hair resembled a different me, a me that no longer exists. This change has made me feel good about leaving the house which truly makes a difference in how the rest of my day pans out. I’m sure we can all relate that having to leave the house when you don’t feel happy with how you look or feel puts a damper on your mood for the day. Feeling happy with my hair makes me want to do more and get stuff done. Throw on your favorite outfit, put some curls in your hair, and you’re ready to take on anything. What can I say, it’s the little things. As a bonus, I also feel more confident in exploring different makeup looks now that I actually love my hair. 

Basically, if you’ve been thinking about chopping your hair off or dying it or changing it in any way, you should go for it. Changing your hair isn’t mandatory for feeling better about yourself. There are a multitude of ways you can make an impact on your confidence and motivation, this just happened to be one of the ways that’s made an impact on me. If you’re going through a rough time, or just feeling bored, changing your hair can feel like a giant lift off your shoulders, both literally and figuratively.