When I checked my daily reads this morning, one post immediately stood out to me. After receiving an inquiry from an “ignorant male,” beauty site Into the Gloss posted an interesting article on Long Hair vs. Short Hair. If you want my response to make any sense to you, read it here first.
All done? Okay, now let’s talk. There’s something about this post that irks me. Not ITG’s take, per se, but the responses. To say that a “pixie cut” doesn’t look good on anyone is a lie – we all know that honor is reserved for the mullet, right? Perhaps it’s that every time I read the post and comments, I relive my teenage-hood all over again and hear every Tom, Dick, and Harry, and Tiffany, Jessica, and Allison, bitching about the length I chose (and choose) to keep my hair: short.
This is what my hair looks like RIGHT NOW
I touched on this very, very briefly in this article I wrote for xoJane last year, but I didn’t get too deep into it.
Now, I’m going to. I have a long, complicated, hardcore history with my hair. It’s like we’re in a gang together, sister cholas, blood in blood out (more like red dye in, red dye out). If you fuck with my hair, you fuck with me, and that’s not cool. I’ve had short hair, longish hair, blue hair, black hair, my natural hair (ew), bobs, lobs, pixies, shags, mullets, scene-kid hair, and hell, I’ve even been bald.
My hair is naturally really dark brown and thick, and up until recently, super stick straight. These days it has a slight, beachy-type wave to it. I also have a TON of hair. So. Much. Hair. Getting a trim takes at LEAST an hour, because I have SO MUCH HAIR. Do you know how hard it is for a 9 year old to sit still for that long? When I was younger, my mother refused to let me get it cut short, so obviously, I had to apply guerrilla-style tactics: I cut it off myself.
Well… There’s not much you can do to even out a 9 year old’s hack job of her hair besides cut it shorter, so that’s what my mama did. It was a REVELATION. No more squirming, kicking, and screaming while she combed it, detangled it, dried it, and braided it. No more fear of it getting accidentally pulled in an elastic, getting a hairbrush stuck it in, or getting hairspray in my eyes. I was done. It was awesome.
This is what my hair looked like on February 14th
Until it wasn’t. Do you know what a fucking pain in the ass short hair is? Anyone who says it’s unfussy is a LIAR. Short hair is NOT unfussy – not by a long shot. Miss a trim and you could end up with a terrible haircut. Growing it out, even as little as 3 inches, is a bitch. Sometimes you end up with, ohmygod, a mullet, which is something no one wants, right (Can you tell I really hate mullets?)? Not if you started out with a pixie, at least. Aesthetically, short hair only looks the way you want it to for a short amount of time unless you have the time, patience, and money to maintain the shape.
That’s not all!
Lest we forget the societal implications of having short hair, let me tell you: I’ve been asked if I was a lesbian so many times I’ve lost count. I thought something in my personality must be telling people that I like vaginas. So when people would ask me if I was into chicks, I’d respond by asking why they want to know. They’d ALL say, “Well… you have short hair.” This exchange started when I was 13 and continues to this day. What in the world does my sexual orientation have to do with my hair length? I don’t go around asking dudes with long hair if they suck dick, because I don’t assume that’s what a dude having long hair is trying to tell me with his style.
Culturally, Latinas don’t have short hair. If you think I’m lying, think about the TOP Latina celebrities we’re presented with. From Selena to Shakira, Salma Hayek to Sophia Vergara, all of these babes have wickedly wild, gorgeous, LONG hair. Even when Hayek chopped off her hair, she didn’t cut it all off – she opted for a shoulder grazing medium length. It was shorter, sure, but it wasn’t SHORT. While having long hair in any culture is considered the ideal, having long hair is a trademark of traditional Latina beauty. Short hair just isn’t something they (we?) do. In fact, I’ve even had other Latinas tell me I’m so BRAVE for my short hair.
You guys, I’m not brave. Moreso than being too lazy to bother with a flat iron and a paddle brush, I’m just really fucking indecisive. I can never decide what color I want my hair to be, so I’m constantly bleaching it, dying it, treating it, and then hating it. My hair ends up lookin’ gross from all that damage, so I cut it off the ends, thus leaving me once again with short hair. I have a ton of fun with short hair. With longer lengths, it just gets so out of control and I get frustrated trying to comb it, so I just let it be. When that happens, I feel boring, and, worst of all, BORED.
It really is that black and white – for me.
This is what my hair looked like January 14th
I know that for other women, it isn’t. It’s a really gray area. I had my hair colored (see above) by a straight dude back in December, and he even said to me that you’d have to physically force him to cut off long hair. While that was pretty much the grossest thing I’ve ever been told at a salon, it’s the way a lot of women think. To cut off their hair is to cut off their lifeline to their confidence, their power, their sexuality, and their security blanket.
I know. I’ve been there. Not so much with a short haircut but in regards to a TERRIBLE haircut, yes. I didn’t feel un-confident or less sexy or ugly, but I just didn’t feel like myself, and THAT’S important.
So to answer ITG’s question: Yes, cutting off your hair can mean something. Maybe everything in your life seems lost, and your hair is the only thing you feel you can control. Maybe you ARE a lesbian, even transgender, and decide that you want to look more like the societal expectation of what a dude looks like. Maybe you are going through a breakup. Maybe your husband is running for re-election for the President of the U.S. and you think, “I need to get bangs.” Maybe you have lice!
Maybe you’re just bored. Whatever, dude, it’s just hair. It grows back. In fact, I’m late for a trim as we speak. Uh-oh.
PS: If you are sitting there thinking you don’t have right facial structure for short hair… Shut up. Anyone can have the right facial structure for anything. I have a face as round as the moon and I rocked the fuck out of a pixie cut. I didn’t have a choice. Look good or go home, am I right? What you need is the right VERSION of a pixie cut. If your hairstylist can’t give to this you, find a new one.