“What if we took it all off?” my hair stylist asked me. It caught me by surprise.
“Sure, let’s do it.” I agreed, quickly. Almost too quickly. I was in a funk. I wanted change. I needed change, and hair dye wasn’t going to cut it (pun intended).
“Here you go,” she said seconds later, handing me my lopped-off ponytail. She must have known time was of the essence.
I looked down to the black mat on the wooden floor. There, scattered in pieces, was remnants of my hair, all that was left of my past experiences as a single, 20-something woman. Soon, I’d be thirty.
Shitballs. What have I done? I thought, making my way back to the car.
No one knew that I was going to cut all my hair off that day, not even me. And now that the wind was tickling my scalp, it became clear there was no turning back. I had just erased three years of solid hard (hair) work.
Who should I call first?
“You did what?” my best friend asked, or more like gasped.
“It’s gone,” I repeated, beginning to explain the willy nillyness of my haircut decision to her. It was the first of many similar conversations that day, and each time I told the story I noticed a sense of empowerment. It felt good to do something so spontaneous, so bold, so unexpected and all on my own terms without any outside influences. It was like my long hair had become a burden that I didn’t know existed until it no longer did exist. I was liberated, free even.
And then, miraculously, my short hair brought me my future husband. (I would only learn of this years into our reationship.) (He’s also the husband who married me despite the fact that I’m in a wheelchair, that story’s here.)
“Sure, I had seen you around. And I thought you were cute, but with the long hair, I thought you were a sorority girl, so I didn’t think we’d have anything in common. Then you cut off all your hair and I thought, Interesting. What is this girl about?”
I sat at our table dumbfounded. First, I wondered how to tell him that I WAS a sorority girl for one semester (although it was mostly for the meal plan). I thought about the day I chopped off my hair and how it was the catalyst for a lot of change in my life. I thought about my hair dresser and how happy she’d be to hear this news and learn that it was her short hair suggestion that sparked our love connection. And finally, I thought about how my hair salon was located directly cross the street from the dive bar where my now husband and I met. How could one haircut affect my life so profoundly?
“Let me get this straight…” I said flippantly. “You came up and talked to me because of one hair cut?”
“Originally, yes. And then well, the rest was all you. You were funny and engaging and held my undivided attention…”
Fast forward five years to present day, and I still rock the short hair. It’s hard to go back to long locks, especially when I think about all the funky in-between stages it’s going to take just to to get to the point I pull it back in a ponytail anyway. Also, I simply love my short hair — and my husband (obviously) does too. And to all the women who have complimented my short hair, and then said, “I wish I could do that.” I’m here to tell you, “YOU CAN.”
Don’t believe me? Here are 6 reasons to cut the locks and drop the dead weight:
1. It grows back. No really, it will. And if it doesn’t happen fast enough, I’m sure Kim Zolciak from Real Housewives of Atlanta will let you borrow one of her many wigs.
2. You can give back. Someone, somewhere needs your hair more than you do. If short hair doesn’t suit you, your long hair will certainly suit someone else. You can at least feel good in knowing that.
3. Wind is your friend. Because nothing is worse than hair in lip gloss. Amen.
4. Less is more. From time and water saved in the shower to lowering the amount of product used, you will save a lot of time, money and electricity, consequently making eco-friendlier decisions in the process. Go you!
5. It’s a conversation starter. I REPEAT: It unexpectedly landed me a husband. Now, go cut! Marry!
6. Because you’re the boss of you. You wouldn’t let fear of the unknown stand in the way of desire in any other facet of your life. So what are you waiting for?