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The Big Chop: Things No One Tells You About Cutting Your Hair Off

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

It happened again, the way it does every few months or so. There I was, sitting idly in my bedroom doing nothing with boredom in mind, when all of a sudden, I feel a strange tension arise between my scissors and I. There they are, on the corner of my desk, ever so alluring and begging to be used on my long hair, which I’ve taken a full year to grow out. One minute, I’m contemplating skipping my classes for the day, and the next, my hair that grew to reach the depths of my back sits narrowly above my shoulders. 

And so my day goes on — calling all my friends to premier my new look, asking their thoughts and basking in their compliments. And there’s no shortage of those, either. People tell me how well it suits my face, how it fits me so much better than my old hair and how adorable and mature I look. I’ve just cut all my hair off and the excitement from both the abrupt decision and positive feedback have me reeling with contentment. 

As most impulsive decisions go, this one came with its fair share of issues. After there was no one left to show my haircut to, I was left to look at it myself in my bathroom mirror. My mirror told me things no one else had to gall to say to my face: “This haircut is so f*cking ugly!” Now that I take the time to look at myself, not only do I not recognize her but I don’t even like looking at her anymore! 

I’ve cut my hair. Now, I feel like a different person, not in the way that I’ve reinvented myself into a cool, sexy rockstar with a cool, sexy bob, but more in the way that some ugly girl has crawled into my skin and taken over my identity. Suddenly I can’t stand to look in the mirror, and when I do, it’s only to see if my hair is as horrid as I remember. Now my hands are constantly running through my hair, trying to hide it away from others as if this will somehow make it grow faster.

I’m out of sorts. My hair is gone, and with it, I felt some part of myself has left too. I don’t feel pretty, and I don’t feel confident. Worst of all, I feel like less of a girl! While I’ve never applied such a perception to anyone else, I can’t shake the idea that my impromptu haircut has somehow drained me of my femininity. Now, not only do I feel boyish, but I also feel like a really bad feminist. 

This feels like the worst overreaction I’ve ever had, but I can’t shake this insecurity so quickly. Hair grows, I’ve been told by multiple people, but what am I supposed to do until then?

The answer? Get over it. Yeah, I know, bad answer after I’ve told you about all the horrible things I felt, but now I’m telling you differently. I don’t think “overreaction” is the right word. I felt all those things I said, and still do sometimes even days after the initial cut. This was a big change, and when you have such an attachment to your hair as I did, it can be intimidating to see yourself in a way you’ve never seen before. 

So, yes, I felt all those horrible things. I felt like crying to my mom and contemplated never leaving my bedroom until my hair grew back. But it’s been a few days and I laughed with my mom on the phone today. Afterward, I went to class, ready to ask my classmates their opinions. 

I got over it. I have a new look and spend my time on Pinterest looking at short hair inspo. I’ve started taking selfies again and found that I look cool and French when I pair my hairstyle with pretty lipstick. I feel girly again, even if I never stopped being girly in the first place. I think I like how I look, even if it is different. Change is daunting and can be very difficult; it might even suck at first (very badly). But you persist, as always, and come out all the more beautiful and strong afterward. 

Maybe you’ve been thinking of cutting your hair, and despite everything I just said, you should absolutely do it. This is not meant as a piece to ward off haircuts and short hairstyles, but more of a reminder that it’s okay to be upset when big changes arise, even if you think it to be a bit superficial (because, honestly, haircuts can be a big deal)! So cut your hair. The first few days may come with the doubt and fear that accompany most large changes, but in the end, we always come to love ourselves (and I’m sure you’ll look amazing). 

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Alexa is a Senior majoring in English and Political Science. Her hobbies include stealing cats and creating voice memos to look back on <3 You can find her running on the track at three in the morning crying to Mitski!