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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Drexel chapter.

I have had short hair for about six years now, so I’ve pretty much heard it all when it comes to my pixie cut, including compliments (both nice and backhanded), suggestions and even a few insults here and there.

Recently, my friend, who has even shorter hair than I do, told me a story about something that had happened in one of her classes. She had her ID sitting on the table while working, with an old picture of her with longer hair. A male student in the class came up to her and started asking questions. He asked the usual line of questions that any girl with short hair has probably repeated dozens of times: why she cut her hair, how long has it been this short, if she’s going to keep it that way.

Now, these questions aren’t necessarily rude or unwelcome; in fact, sometimes the attention is nice. But you have to remember that we don’t actually owe anyone an explanation for our choices. We’re volunteering something personal about ourselves, at times to complete strangers.

What is not welcome are responses like the one my friend received after giving her answers, which was: “I don’t understand why you cut it, it looked so good before!” To which she had the amazing response of, “Excuse me, I look good now.

In a way, I can see how this boy could think he was giving a compliment somehow. After all, he did say she looked good in her ID picture. But that’s not the point. My friend was busy doing real work when she took the time out of her day to answer his questions. She didn’t ask for his opinion, and she certainly didn’t ask to be insulted.

Her story made me think back to all of the comments I’ve ever heard about my hair, because this was not surprising for me to hear at all. Most comments are incredibly kind and complimentary, but it still all comes down to someone else assessing my appearance, examining the choices I have made about my haircut. The worst is the common response I get when I talk about even the idea of growing out my hair: “No! You should never grow it. It’s perfect the way it is.” It’s not even a suggestion, it’s a demand. Somehow, other people think that they know what is best for me, and whatever haircut they think will look good on me is the one I should have.

But what they don’t realize is that I did not cut my hair to impress them in the first place—I cut it because it’s something I had wanted to do for a long time, regardless of what anyone else would think! And someone telling me what I should do with it in the future probably will not have much of an effect on what I actually do, because ultimately it’s my decision what I do with my hair.

Now don’t get me wrong, I ask other people for advice all the time, even when it comes to my hair. After all, it’s not a bad idea to get a second opinion when it comes to making big decisions. But it’s when the advice is not asked for that I get frustrated. If I want that opinion, I’ll ask.

What I’m trying to say is, if you have something nice to say about someone’s appearance, go for it! You’ll probably make their day. But if your comment involves your own personal ideal of what’s best for them, maybe keep that one to yourself.

Her Campus Drexel contributor.