Wednesday, April 10, 2013

on pixie cuts and short hair for girls

"Why'd you cut your hair off?" Nick asked me.

I wiped down another blue Culver's tray and stacked it up.  "It's all about the efficiency," I lied.  "I just get out of the shower and shake my head back and forth and I'm done!"  Also, I like the way it feels, and I think it looks good on me, I didn't say.

"But..." he trailed off.  "But you like boys, right?"

Yes, yes I do, Nick.  That was me, the summer before I came to college, working fast food, trying to deal with a hideous blue "team member" visor and a hot pink polo every day.  I knew I would be set up for that question when I chopped it all off, because honestly I'm not a girly-girl.  Heck, I came to school as an engineering major!  I talked guns and cars with the guys all through high school.  I was in the Civil Air Patrol that summer as well, and let me tell you, BDUs aren't exactly flattering...

Pixie cuts are a tricky thing for me... I attend a Southern Baptist university.  When I got here, I was one of two girls on campus with hair shorter than shoulder length (and I'm only exaggerating a little).  Now, many have made the cut since then, but it was a little weird.  My guy friends (read: all of my friends, engineering major, remember?) encouraged me to grow it out.  I didn't want to pay money for trims, so I decided to give it a go.

My hair got long again.  I permed it twice, trying to make it low maintenance.  The first time, successfully.  The second time...well, it just started looking and feeling so tired.  And perms are expensive!

I noticed several things.  First, I started wearing less "feminine" clothing.  I like that, I'm all for jeans and a work tee or a denim welding shirt.  But second, I felt...younger again.  More fragile, more wide-eyed, less confident and less daring.  That, I didn't like.

I had a rough couple of years.  This semester, I decided to pull the plug on the engineering major altogether, and I'm switching to straight math.  I've felt burnt out and exhausted, beaten down by the stress and the pressure I put on myself.  I needed a pick-me-up, and some kind of visual spark that could help me turn over a new leaf.

"You can cut your hair," my boyfriend said.

"Are you sure?  What about our deal?  I'll keep mine long if you keep yours short..."  I'd forced him to cut a 70s-esque mop in the fall.

"Yeah...but then you got sick," he said.

"Thank you," I said.  And I cut ten inches off over Spring Break.  It feels really good.  I've never been happy with my hair or the way I look, except when pixie'd.  I feel more like myself, sharper, low-maintenance, and unable to hide behind a curtain of hair.  It's good for me.

Would you ever make the cut?  I think everyone who wants to, ought to, at least once in her life!  Yes, it's a bugger to grow out...but it's such a great experience!  And you may just decide that you'd rather keep it short.