Monday, December 1, 2014

What I learned from cutting off my hair

It's almost been six months since I accidentally cut all my hair off. In those six months I've learned more about myself, what it means to be feminine, and what others think I need to know about their thoughts on women with short hair.

I cut my hair when I was in high school and I've struggled with it growing since that moment. I spent years regretting this cut, years wishing I had long hair like the girls on the internet. I bought fake hair and I went through the agony of wearing 180 grams of fake hair in the middle of the hottest summer days. I bought a curling iron. I bought a curling wand and I bought hair vitamins. I pretended that if I could learn how to curl my fake hair and rock it on the daily, that I would finally feel completely like a woman. Despite all my wasted dollars (on products and hair), I was still light years away from having hair skill or the ability to consistently wear fake hair. I would spend more time putting in my fake hair than I would being out. It became this entirely unsuccessful game of "is this even worth it?"

Despite all the work, energy, and money I was spending on cultivating a look that I was conditioned to believe was the epitome of femininity -- I still kept trying. I was determined to make it work and look effortless. But at a certain point, I realized that my hair wasn't just going to magically grow. That I was tired of keeping my hair a specific color to match my hair extensions. That I simply didn't want to spend so much time getting ready and worrying about such trivial ideas.


I always thought about cutting my hair dramatically, but the idea of having that much of my face on display and having to worry about my acne prone skin being entirely too visible made me cringe. I thought if I had hair to my ass, clear skin, and got extremely ballsy that I would chop off my hair and be like, "long hair be damned," And everyone would applaud me.

That never happened and I needed a change. I'm the kind of client that lets a hairstylist do whatever they want with my hair and I rarely mind. My stylist took me short and at first, I cried. I mean, not in front of her or anything, but it was a huge shock to me.

Once I got over myself, the almighty pixie cut became something I was obsessed with. I spent years of my life hiding behind my hair. Cutting it all off empowered me because let's be real -- you kind of feel like a bad ass when your hair is short. I feel invigorated and somehow a thousand times more feminine than I ever did with long hair. It was a huge adjustment for me, but it's one that I needed.

Styling short hair is easy. It's low maintenance on a weekly basis (though high maintenance on a monthly basis) and I always feel REALLY good about myself. When I was struggling with my hair I consistently felt badly about my appearance and I am glad to not have to negatively obsess over my looks.

It was one of the best accidents that has happened to me and I only wish I had done it sooner.

25 comments on "What I learned from cutting off my hair"
  1. Oh, Jessica. I love this, and I've always loved your pixie so it is great to know how empowering it has been for you too :)

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  2. Short Hair. Don't Care. It absolutely suits you!

    _Abby
    bottesdeleanor.blogspot.com/

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  3. I feel the EXACT same way about my short hair. I wasted so much time trying to tame my hair when it was long (like, roughly an hour every morning). It took me awhile to realize that perhaps I'm just not made for long hair – and I'm totally OK with it now. Like you, I think short hair is just as sexay! And you look awesome!

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  4. Aww your hair is beautiful and you ROCK IT, seriously <3 I'm so glad you've come to love it and let it empower you!

    Jemma xx
    www.dorkface.co.uk

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  5. I'm so glad you feel this way now because you look so amazing with a pixie! I think short hair looks so so cute on girls and I totally understand how scary it can feel to chop off your long hair security blanket. Good for you! <3

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  6. This is awesome Jessica! To borrow a word from other comments- it really is awesome to see how empowering the cut has been for you. It is so flattering on you and looks super healthy. It takes time to learn to work with our hair instead of against it- I spent so many hours straightening mine, back when I though curly hair was from the devil :)

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  7. I love this so much! Your hair is gorgeous, you rock the crap out of it.

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  8. This is a great post! It's so very true, with hair comes baggage. I could use to lose some of my hair obsession. I'm glad this whole experience has been a good one, especially since you look amazing with your short hair! I just love your mix of a pixie cut, feminine dress, and a bad-ass leather jacket.

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  9. I love this style on you and it looks so beautiful. I never would have guessed youd previously felt insecurities about your hair. I can relate so much because my hair is so thin and I spent years trying everything and was convinced I could be happy in every respect of life if I just had beautiful long hair... So that's what led me to my current style because I feel comfortable with it.

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  10. I wrote a thing and then it disappeared.
    Cliff notes:
    1.I agree w/you about short hair making a gal feel like an insta-BAMF
    2. The way you articulated your personal relationship w/your hair is beautiful
    3. I got a Scion 2 weeks ago! My car stopped moving, so I got a new one! Your car convinced me to go for it bc #hellaMPG
    That is all. <3

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  11. I've only been reading your blog since you've had your pixie cut, but it seems so completely you that I can't picture you with anything else! It suits you perfectly. If I was brave enough I'd love to try it just to see... but I know I never will be!! I'm too attached to having a wall of hair to hide behind... CC x

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  12. This is amazing! I actually started reading your blog when you already had the pixie cut and I immediately thought you looked fabulous. I can't even imagine you with long hair, the short hair just looks so good on you!! :)

    Jessica
    the.pyreflies.org

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  13. I love this post and I think hair cuts are a big deal! It does take balls to chop it all off because you ARE exposed in a sense. I think you do have to be really secure in yourself to pull it off and my dear you have! It looks amazing on you and I love that you are having fun with it... in color and accessories and playing around with the style. I too had short hair in High School and also in College (pixie cut) and missed my long locks.... Great post and I love your edgy style.
    xoxo
    Taylor

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  14. This is such a great post. I absolutely equate having long hair with femininity (on myself, I mean, not on anyone else), and I usually feel unattractive even when I'm wearing my hair up. I've had shorter hair a couple of times in my life (not as short as yours, though) and it's never looked good on me, and I also tend to hide behind my hair. You really look amazing with short hair, and though it's sort of silly to call you "brave" for this, I think you kind of are.

    xox Sammi

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  15. I believe having short hair is so amazing! I have a friend who's cut off her long hair into a real short one and she loves it because she can get ready so quickly! However, I do believe that short hair would make me look much younger so that's why I'm not that brave to cut it.

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  16. It is empowering! I had a similar cut years ago and people go through the "am I still feminine enough?!" thing. Not everyone eventually gets to the point of looking and feeling confident. I've always loved short hair the most.

    I get hiding behind your hair. That's why I chopped mine!

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  17. I really, really appreciate this post. I've had everything from a 1 inch all over pixie cut to hair down to my waist, and every time I cut it short again, I have this crisis over my femininity. At least for a little while, it's all lipstick and skirts and pink, just to make sure no one really thinks I'm a guy. It's so silly, and I think I'm finally starting to move past that a little bit as I become more secure with myself as a person.
    I really love you with short hair, though. I haven't been reading your blog all that long, so I've never known you with longer hair. Your icy blonde pixie is really lovely on you, and it projects a coolness and a quirkiness that seems very much in line with how you come across in your writing and your style.

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  18. It's amazing all the power we give our hair! I'm so happy for you and glad about what you've found out. You go, girl!

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  19. Loved reading this- I cut my hair into a pixie cut this summer and was absolutely devastated by it. No one really understood where I was coming from and said I was dramatic when I stated that I had lost my favorite part about myself. I had always hid behind my hair, and suddenly I didn't even know how to dress anymore. I felt like I had lost my femininity. I wore hats all summer, I bought a wig, I tried extensions. Everything was very uncomfortable and so much work, and I just felt tired. Just recently with the help of a lovely stylist and some insight into the right products I have FINALLY, after five months, starting embracing the shape and feel of a short cut, the bad days and the good days, and photographing myself so I can remember what I looked like during this part of my life. It taught me a lot about myself and I have reached a point where I feel liberated and confident. Your hair looks fantastic- you rock it.

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  20. This is lovely, and I'm so glad you found such confidence in a hairstyle. You've worn it so well, and it suits you.

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  21. I've always thought you were beautiful, but as you already know, I'm absolutely obsessed with your short hair. I feel like it's your signature look, and when I think about it, it's hard to imagine you any other way! I'm glad you feel confident in your own skin (and hair) because you're amazing and it shows both inside and out ♥

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  22. I love this post! You seriously look amazing with short hair and I love the bright blonde shade you've been rocking lately. My mom is my hairdresser so I always feel free to let her do what she wants. I've grown up with her changing her hair and having it at different lengths and seeing pictures of all sorts of short 80s styles she had. I have the philosophy that hair grows back so go for whatever style you've been craving! I've really enjoyed having short hair this past year (though I think I'm going to rock a short bob for a little while) and will most definitely cut mine really short again someday. We short girls look like little pixies when we have short hair and I love that.

    Also, can I just roll my eyes with you about the people who think they need to pipe in and tell you how they prefer long hair? They can suck it. There's no one femininity and no singular source of beauty. People who think only long hair is pretty are boring anyway. End rant.

    The moral of the story is: hooray short hair love!

    Jamie | PetitePanoply.com

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  23. Fantastic post. I love your hair so much - the way it looks and the way it makes you feel. I think your skin has looked amazing the last few times I've seen you! What's your secret? I had just gotten mine under control and then pregnancy came along and BLAMMO. Ugh. -♥- Rachel (For the Birds)

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  24. Wow, I'm really late to the party here, but reading this makes me miss my short hair so much! AH! Unlike you, I had been planning my pixie for months and loved it from the first moment I had it. But now I've spent 2 years growing it out because I'm conscious I'm getting older and if I want long hair again I should have it NOW. But I miss my pixie like every day. :/

    It looks fabulous on you, btw. Continue to rock it!

    -Rebecca
    http://mn2nz.wordpress.com

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