Liberate Yourself with a Haircut: The Surprising Emotional Benefits of Braving the Chop. 

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At some point in our lives we’ve either experienced or observed a tedious hair styling routine, whether it’s ourselves, a girlfriend, or our mothers. Hours spent tangled up in hairdryers and straighteners and curling wands, choking on clouds of hairspray and volumisers while frantically searching for that bobby pin that was ‘literally right there’ a second before. It feels about as enjoyable as it looks. And we all get to that one day that makes us scream, “That’s it, I’m cutting it off!” but it’s a statement with which we usually never follow through.  

Why? Because we’re too afraid to think about who we’d be without our long luscious locks.

Society has embedded this idea of ‘perfect beauty’ being directly related to having tumbling, glossy hair, like Venus emerging from the sea foam; look at any Victoria Secret model and you’ll notice the veil of hair they all have flowing effortlessly behind them. I think it’s safe to assume, that effortless was the last thing it was, their hair is the product of hours sat in a chair (probably getting a numb butt) while swarms of stylists curl, crimp, twist, fiddle, spray, reposition, re-curl, and re-fry every strand. And then of course those nifty little Photoshop edits hide any heat damage. We see these beautiful women with beautiful hair and believe it to be the epitome of femininity.  

Short hair often gets a bad rap because how could a woman with short hair not possibly be a bra-burning, man-hating, radical feminist, lesbian? Unfortunately, we still live in a society where some men believe this to be true and will steer clear of any woman with even a hint of a grade four. How could any man ever be attracted to such a woman? Short answer: Who Cares! 

I don’t know why we ladies still prioritise the quest for a man, over being happy with ourselves? I personally have had to struggle through a relationship in the past where any change to my appearance would stir up a storm in him; when I was sixteen I bought blue synthetic hair extensions to experiment with a bit of colour in my dark brown hair, I thought it looked great! He on the other hand told me I looked like a hooker. But that was all it took for my smile to fade and take them back out. We shouldn’t have to think of how our appearance effects men, I should have kept those blue streaks in as protest! If these are the kind of men you are striving for, then you’ve gotta realise you deserve better than that, darling.   

Your hair is for you to decide what it looks like; if you’re rocking the long locks because you love it, then keep going, girl, but if you’re putting up with long hair for the sake of your man’s or any other man’s opinion, get yourself into a salon and be who you want to be. You’d be surprised how liberating a simple hair cut can be – every short haired girl will tell you the same – but you won’t believe it until you’ve done it.   

I used to think that women with short hair used to hate it and be in denial about hating it, that they yearned to have long hair like mine, but as I got older I realised that they truly loved their little cropped cuts and I couldn’t understand why.   

So, What’s the Big Deal About Braving the Chop? 

For me the pros greatly outweighed the cons of chopping off my hair – well it was more like just the one con: not having long hair, which in my mind meant I wouldn’t be ‘sexy’ or ‘beautiful’ anymore. However, that turned out not to be the case, in fact I feel sexier and more confident than ever; it’s far easier to feel this way without battling with the wind to keep my hair perfect, or strands getting stuck between my eyelashes, or having to deal with the horrendous headaches after having it styled up for too long – and that was when I was on time! But, now, those days I’m running late, have the easy ‘brush and go’ option or my personal failsafe: the hat. 

If you love anything that saves time as much as I do, then short hair is a god send. Even when I put in the effort for a night out or a special occasion, it still takes 45 minutes less time than it used to. Almost an hour of spare time! Think of what you can get done in an hour… 

Coming in at a close second to time saving, is money saving. How many products do you go through in a month? I used to empty a big can of hair spray every two weeks and had to replace my shampoo and conditioner at least once a month. The worst was when it came to dyeing my very thick, waist-length hair as I had to buy 4 boxes of colour each time. Now it only takes a grand total of 1! And I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to buy new hair products since the summer. All that extra money in your bank every few months could mean more savings for more important things down the road.  

For me, the biggest thing that made me realise I’d made the right choice to cut my hair off, was the feeling of a fresh start; all the damage caused by heat, dyes, and frequent restyling was suddenly gone. Like a snake shedding its old skin, I felt renewed. All the hair on my head was fresh and healthy, and I had an opportunity to make sure that I looked after it this time and my hair is currently in the best condition it’s been for a very long time.  

I feel like, for the first time in my life, I now know what it feels like to be myself and not the person others expect me to be. My inner creativity has finally spilled over to the outside, my internal fear of change has been challenged and conquered, and the compliments are a rather nice experience too! 

Have you ever braved the chop? Would you ever? Let us know your thoughts!  

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