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How Cutting My Hair Off Set Me Free

The Three-Year Process During Which I Let Go of My Hair and Gained More of Myself

"I'm just not attracted to girls with short hair."

This is something that my (now ex) boyfriend said to me during an argument once. I'd just caught him cheating on me and that was his apparent excuse for doing so.

This mentality, this ridiculous ideology that women can only be attractive or beautiful if they have long hair, is absolutely absurd. But it keeps women from cutting their hair. It prevented me from doing it for a long time.

Flashback to five years ago. I was a college senior and my hair was chest-length. It was thick and very wavy, but I used to love braiding it after a shower or throwing it into a messy bun on lazy days. Straightening it was a pain, but eventually I grew to love letting the waves/curls free. It felt like a different version of me. Curly-haired Sara felt like a lioness. Straight-haired Sara was sleek and always felt more put together. But I loved each version of myself the same.

At the time the aforementioned argument took place, my hair was approximately chin-length. This was a very ballsy decision that I'd made at least a year prior. Apart from the occasional trim, I'd never had a drastic haircut. At least, not since I was a toddler and ended up with a mullet.

The other piece of my chin-length bob was a shaved left side of my head (I know, I looked/felt like Skrillex and it was... a transitional time in my life). The sidecut was another bold move, but I adored it. 

After this argument, I refused to cave. My short hair (which, at the time, wasn't even that short) was a part of my identity and I would be damned if I allowed any person to take it from me based on their preferences. I started experimenting with the idea of pixie cuts. I still haven't ever had a true pixie... maybe someday. But I started playing with more angular cuts. Inverted bobs. Each time, feeling like I was chipping away at the wall around my truest self. 

A year later, when I finally left that relationship, I said "fuck it." By this point, I'd been flooding my Instagram with different pixies and short haircuts. Girrlscout and Sarah LouWho have been two huge inspirations from day one. So I did it. I went out and got a modified undercut (I only say "modified" because my hair was already a hundred different lengths, so it didn't look like a traditional undercut). And I was in love.

It was the best of both worlds. I could still rock the messy bun or wavy look, but with an added flair. It was perfect. And in that moment, I had found myself again.

Since then, I've often looked back on my old hairdos and missed having hair to run my fingers through or braid. Maybe I'll grow it all out someday. But for now, short hair is who I am.

People often tell me they love my hair and that they wish they could pull off a similar 'do. And I tell them all the same thing: every woman should have a "short hair" period. Even if it's not for you in the end. It teaches us how to see beauty in a new light. Throwing the "long hair = attractiveness" theory out the window and embracing boldness. Because the truth of the matter is, beauty is not defined by hair. Hair is merely the icing on top of an already beautiful individual. And anyone who disagrees is not worth a second of your time.