Short Hair, Don't Care: My Post-Haircut Feelings

I have had long hair for as long as I can remember. I have pictures of me at six years old with hair down to my waist. I recall cutting my hair short on three occasions in my life – once when I was four (my memory is impeccable, believe me) and I went with my grandma to the hair salon and they chopped my hair into a fairly stereotypical "bowl cut," another time when I was in the seventh grade, and finally, a third time when I was a freshman in college. I also recall that each time, I regretted my decision almost instantly. Actually, the third time, I immediately freaked out and Googled ways to make hair grow faster, which led to three long weeks of different shampoos and even olive oil hair masks. (I know, overdramatic much?)

Looking back, I think the concept of cutting my short was scary to me. Short hair meant that I was more exposed, and as someone whose self-esteem had previously been quite low, exposure was not something I readily sought. I would see my friends getting haircuts and would admire their new 'dos from afar, but I had always believed that long hair was right for me — until recently.

Maybe it was because I was busier, and that meant that the upkeep that came with such long hair got annoying this year. Or maybe I was finally ready to suck it up and make the change. For the entirety of fall semester, my hair had been hanging out it a tediously droopy bun. Eventually, I decided that chopping it would not only be a fresh new look, but that it was honestly the most practical choice for the sake of all the hair ties I had sacrificed over the last few months trying to contain my Rapunzel-esque hair. So, over winter break, I literally took a pair of scissors and chopped it. And I was surprised by how much I loved it.

I know I'm treating a haircut like a huge life event, but in my defense, it was one of the biggest changes I had made to my appearance since I abandoned heavy eyeliner a-la Sk8er Girl Avril Lavigne in middle school. The feeling is kind of similar, though. I don't really have a place to hide anymore, not that I need one. Even though I experienced a major spike in my confidence over the years, I think I was still reluctant to touch my hair because it often feels like everyone treats hair like it's one of the most important components of a woman's appearance. How often do you see people crying post-bad haircut?

I think I was honestly so terrified of the idea that cutting my hair and hating it would just kick me right in the self-esteem, which I wanted to avoid at all costs, especially since I was doing so well in that department. But what I didn't anticipate was that my confidence in myself and my appearance could be bolstered by a new look — a change. My freshman-year self would have worn her hair in a ponytail until it grew back, but I'm actually kind of sorry to see the short hair growing out already. I'm planning on keeping it shorter.

For those of you who have resolved to do something that scares you, if a new hairstyle happens to be one of them, I highly recommend it. People joke often about "cutting your hair and starting fresh," but to be honest, the feeling is real, guys. Personally, it feels like I've started 2018 with an even stronger sense of self-love. And there's always room for more self-love.