There are a few things that nobody told me when I decided to cut off most of my hair. I was never informed that my pixie cut would result in serious bedhead every morning. I wasn’t aware that maintaining it requires monthly trips to the hair salon, lest I start to show signs of a gnarly mullet. And I was certainly never told that my hair would naturally take on a Justin Bieber quality if left untouched after a shower.
One thing everybody did tell me — it was a terrible idea. I don’t really remember when I first thought “Yeah! It would be really cool to get a pixie cut!” I imagine it happened between my mid–morning naps (yes, plural), as all my best ideas do. Summer had just started and I was armed with nothing else to combat my boredom. As I lounged around my house, I planned out all the details of my new life: “Short hair will be awesome! Emma Watson and I will become best friends! My shower drain will never get clogged!”
But my idea was met with less enthusiasm by others. Friends and relatives made a collective “Uhhhh” when I brought up how excited I was. Most changed the subject, but a few were quick to tell me what they thought. “Please,” a high school friend pleaded, “don’t do it. Short hair will look SO BAD on you. I’m telling you this as your friend.”
I was stunned. Every visceral reaction added to my confusion. Was this what I had waited for all semester? A return home to see friends only to have several catch–up sessions turn into uncomfortable silence sessions? My friends’ words left a knot in my stomach. People kept asking me, “Cut off all your hair? Why?” as if asking, “Cut off a leg? Why would you ever hurt yourself like that?”
In the back of my mind, something didn’t add up. I mulled it over, the haircut, the potential for disaster, the groans from my closest friends. Then it clicked. It wasn’t about the haircut. I realized the friends I’d waited so long to reconnect with weren’t my friends at all. All at once, I had a reason to go through with it — I wanted to prove people wrong. I wanted to do it because they said no. I wanted to piss people off.
The next day, I made the appointment. The old ladies in rollers sitting next to me held their breath as they watched my hairdresser braid my long hair and audibly gasped when she made the critical cut just above the ponytail holder. I heard disgruntled mumbles all around as I saw her hold up what was once my hair in the mirror. Someone asked my hairdresser if she was okay or if she needed someone else to take over. She said no, but the scissors still shook in her hands. I smiled as everyone else frowned.
These days, I'll be the first to admit — I'm not crazy about my hair. The honeymoon stage is over, but others still rave about how short hair is "sooo you!" Despite mixed reactions, I know why I did it. I don't regret it for a second.