I never thought I was going to write an article about hair. Me? The one who spent all her life with no fuss about her curls, just get up and go. I had 0 understanding for anyone who needed more than 5 minutes to fix their hair in the morning, lol. Yes, that was me, until I chopped it off a few days ago.
For most of my life I’ve had long hair, and only 2 weeks ago I was considering “just a trim”. Last week though I cut it short on a whim, it was short on one side and chin length on the other side. After I noticed how fast my hair grew back, like half an inch in only a week, I went back to the hairdresser and asked her to cut my hair really short. I’ve always wanted to do that, but I never had the courage for it.
I was excited about finally doing it, but as the day of my appointment approached, I felt really nervous, because the haircut I wanted was mostly shaved.
So, why is cutting hair such a big deal for most women?
Just look at YouTube, it is loaded with videos of women who cut their long hair into a super short pixie or who even shave their heads; and those videos get a lot of views and likes.
Maybe it is harder for men to understand why this is such a huge deal to women. It even was for me 😉 but chopping your hair short or even shaving it off is not just about shearing your locks. It is also symbolic.
It’s about throwing off a figurative – and a literal – weight. It could be about a new beginning, symbolically cutting ties with a painful past or dropping the weight of recent sorrow. I’ve met a few women who shaved their heads after a painful break up.
So, last week, I was so nervous. I sat on the chair in the salon, feeling butterflies ricocheting in my belly. When the hairdresser knew how tense I was, she asked me if I was sure about this, and I said, “yes, just do it.”
She got the hair clippers out and started shaving … Oh dear, now there was no turning back 😉
And it felt so liberating. It felt really good getting rid of (well, much of) my hair. Cutting it off is a truly freeing experience. It can be like a reversed Samson effect. The hair is gone and you’re filled with energy and a sense of freedom.
Doing This in a Small Town
Although Los Cabos is growing into the size of a city, a small town mentality still reigns here. Women in my hometown do not usually shave their heads or cut their hair short, but that is luckily changing with youngsters. Still, when I got my haircut I received a lot of looks, because it is unusual here.
Sometimes people react quite shocked when a woman gets rid of her long locks. Today, one of my ex-students stared at me open-mouthed, because he has known me for years and my hair used to reach the middle of my back. (Now, before I cut it, it was a little over my shoulders, so not such a big difference) His reaction was nearly comical.
Are You Up For a Little History Lesson?
Where does this notion that women should have long hair come from? For that, we need to take a trip into human history.
Women’s rights are still a pretty recent thing if you think of it. Barely a hundred years ago, women marched the streets, demanding the right to vote. Remember the roaring twenties when women wore shorter skirts and suddenly started chopping their long hair into short bobs? That was to make a statement, it was all about freeing themselves.
Long hair was considered a symbol of female beauty, and women did not dare to cut their hair, because they did not want to offend the men in their lives. The 1920s changed that way of thinking considerably. This mindset of attributing long hair with femininity and beauty comes from centuries of living in male dominated societies.
I am not going to bore you with a long monologue on history, but let’s just quickly look at Joan of Arc who cut her hair short in the times of the Middle Ages.
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc is a well-known historical figure. She was essential in restoring the French dauphin (crown prince) back to the throne and crowning him king. She won several victories for the French in the 100 – Years War. She cut her hair short during that time. When she was captured and delivered to the English – who were the enemy – she went on trial for witchcraft, and her having short hair was used as “proof of being a witch”.
Why? Cutting her hair short was viewed as something so unnatural for women that it was seen as “evidence” of witchcraft. And yes, they killed her, burned her at the stake …
All Our Beliefs of Female Beauty Come From …?
Who decided during centuries that women should have long hair? Who decided what women should wear? Who (well, many, not all) was shocked when German actress and Hollywood star Marlene Dietrich started wearing pants? I mean, come on now, women have spent centuries in male dominated societies, and such societies still exist today, in some places.
I am for equal rights, but I wouldn’t call myself a hard core feminist. Nevertheless, I think that it is about time that we throw off those silly beliefs that have been hammered into us by past generations and even centuries of conditioning.
I am from Belgium, and where I come from women with short hair are a much more common sight, but here in Los Cabos (Mexico) it is still something else. Times are changing though, they always do. More women here are now also making some bold changes, which I applaud.
It’s Just Hair
I love my new hairstyle, and I am so happy I did this. It feels like a new beginning. I think that many women look great with short hair, and even sexy. I’m keeping it short for now 🙂
If you want to do it but are afraid of what people will say, don’t worry about it. Yes, you’ll get comments, but in the end you’re doing it for yourself, not for others. And hair always grows back.
Have no fear, get those shears 🙂
Live life for you, not for society’s approval.