About a month ago, I was finally going to do it. I was going to cut all of my god-awful hair off. It was the longest that it had ever been after more than a year’s worth of growth. I chalked it up to COVID as to why I’d waited so long, but in reality there were zero cases in my area and I just did not want to be treated like a girl by the hairdresser. I walked into the salon with a bunch of short hairstyles saved onto my phone… and walked out of there with a variation of the same haircut that I’ve had all my life.
This is at least the fifth time I’ve done this.
Why can’t I just do it?
My hair is dark brown, super thick and wavy, and sits just below my shoulders if I wear it down (which I never do). My hair is just… there. It exists on my head for no purpose other than to be ‘women’s hair’. It perpetually lives in a ponytail or bun and never gets a break except when I sleep, because wearing it down in public makes me feel too feminine. It is just a safety blanket for people’s female perception of me. It doesn’t exist for me. It exists for them.
There is no logical reason for me to have long hair. I hate how hot and sticky it is in the summer. I swear I get muscle pain in my neck from the weight of it when it gets exceptionally long. The amount of shampoo and conditioner that I use is ridiculous. And I just want short hair.
The hairstylists never help the situation, either. They always take one look at my hair and don’t dare cut it short, as some women would kill to have this hair. It is always “I don’t think it would suit your face shape” or “are you sure you don’t just want to keep it shoulder length?” Once a hairdresser told me that my hairline was ‘too masculine’ for a short cut.
But jokes aside, I am always coerced into paying for a haircut that I don’t want because I can’t put my foot down. I fall victim to my insecurities that I will look awful with short hair and won’t like it. Or worse still, that they will give me a ‘Karen’ hair cut.
So here I am again, only a few weeks after my last cut, feeling like shit about my hair and needing to get it cut again for my own sanity. I have been stuck in this cycle for years and I am doomed to repeat it again unless I change something. Maybe it’s time to find a new place to get my hair cut? Can I have a consultation with a hairdresser (or barber) and tell my concerns about being talked out of the style that I want? Can I enlist one of my friends to be my backbone for the day? I need to sort my shit out before I waste more money on something that I don’t want.
For the record, here is my ‘short hair insp’ Pinterest board in an easy-for-unknowing-cis-hairdresser-to-digest format (aka most of these photos are of women).