Take a Dare and Change Your Hair

I’ve had the same hair cut since childhood. Well, ok, the story goes a little deeper than just that. Let me explain:

When I was about two, I finally had enough hair on my noggin that my mom decided to trim it. Of course, she chose the most basic hair cut possible for a little girl that could possibly be chosen: bangs and a slightly-past shoulder length trim. I pretty much hated that hairstyle since that very first trim.My bangs would constantly be pushed aside and I would purposely make my hair as messy and wild as possible despite my moms attempts to braid and style my locks.

In the third grade, I had finally had enough. I told my mom that that would be the final straw. This time when she cut my hair, there would be no trimming of the bangs. I had had enough and was ready to let them grow out. She let me do it with a slight tear in her eye, seeing that her little girl was starting to grow into a slightly bigger little girl who would be a woman before she knew it. From that moment on, I grew my hair out, and I grew it long.

This is about the length my hair has been since the age of eight.

I don’t remember a time after the third grade when my hair wasn’t butt-length and sun-kissed. There were times when I did a more blunt cut to get rid of some dead ends, and there were times when I layered it more and it would look gorgeous when it was curled or wavy. My hair became my trademark. It was usually the first thing people would notice about me (after my 5’9 by high school stature, of course), and it was even my source of comfort. By that, I mean it became my own fidget tool. If you’ve ever grown your hair out as long as I have, you’d know that hair gets split ends, which can be quite fun to split apart when you have nothing better to do.

For the past year, I had been thinking a lot about chopping my hair off, shoulder length. I’ve seen the style pulled off by celebrities and friends alike, and by women short and tall, curvy and thin. As someone who hasn’t had hair shorter than my waist for over ten years, I couldn’t help but be curious about what the style might be like on me. It took a year of consulting with friends and my own mother, of course, and I finally decided to pull the trigger just a few days ago. Well, not completely.

Yes, this is a bathroom selfie. Anyways, hair post-chop.

I didn’t end up going with the short, shoulder length style I had originally dreamed about. After talking with several people who had made the transition from super long to very short, they advised me that I’d regret chopping it all off at once. So, with my moms help, I went with a short-for-me style.

Though the style might be considered long for most people, for me it’s a short style, especially in contrast to my hair before. I am quite happy I chose this length for a number of reasons. For one, I do think I would have regretted chopping it off to a shoulder length cut right after having long hair for more than half my life. Starting with a shorter style was definitely the way to go. Second, I am glad I chose to cut it at this time in my life! As cheesy as it sounds, I think that my new hairstyle is a marker of my transition into adulthood and professional life. My old style was a symbol of my independent, free-spirited self, and my new hair still represents that, although a more polished version.

I did keep my blonde, sun-kissed highlights, however. Although, maybe someday I’ll experiment with a different color as well.

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