I had been debating this move since my sophomore year of high school. My hair has pretty much always been super long. Before I got it cut just now, it was grazing the top of my butt. Any longer and it would’ve been getting stuck between my cheeks.
Ew. I know, it’s gross. Have you ever pulled a hair out from your ass cheeks? If you have, I bet you cringed just now. Hell, even if you haven’t, I bet you cringed! And I hate to say this but the Internet is for anonymous confessions: Have you ever pulled a hair- like a hair from your head- out of your vagina? It’s disgusting and the worst feeling ever. Worse than nails on a chalkboard. Like, how did it even get in there?? Anyways, my hair was grazing my ass and that’s part of how I knew it was time for the “big chop.”
The summer before your first semester at college is such a golden time. Especially if you’re moving away from school like I am, you get to become whoever you want and your new friends will never know about that one time you totally embarrassed yourself in front of the entire class by complimenting your crush on his eye color… Not that I’ve ever been in that situation.
And plus, don’t you just hate it when you cut your hair and everyone kinda “freaks out” about it?
“Omg you cut your hair!” “It was sooo long before!” “Why’d you cut it?” “If my hair was as long as yours I’d never cut mine.”
It’s annoying, isn’t it? That’s exactly what I’ve been avoiding since sophomore year. Now that I’m out of school, there’s no one to freak out on me except my coworkers. But most importantly, my new classmates at college will never know the difference unless I choose to tell them. And I mean, why would I?
So I finally did it. I finally cut my waist length hair…
and it’s amazing! Here’s a pic of my hair before:
And here’s a pic of what length I was going for:
And now here’s the final after picture:
I should’ve done this years ago. There are so many benefits to having your hair shorter:
1. Less Damage
Every hair stylist I go to always remarks on how healthy looking my hair is. Despite the fact that I get yearly permanent straightening treatments, I attribute this to the fact that I never use hot tools. Within the past year, I’ve used a blowdryer 5 times, max, and I haven’t used a curling iron or straightener since 8th grade unless you count the time I got my hair done for my senior photo a year and a half ago. I also use coconut oil to protect my ends before shampooing so the shampoo won’t dry out my ends.
However, no matter how healthy your hair is, or how well you take care of it, your ends will never be as healthy as the hair closer to your scalp (barring any chemical mishaps…). It’s just not possible, the hair furthest from your scalp is too old and dry (yes even if you don’t have “dry hair” it’s still drier than your roots) to be as healthy as your new(er) hair. And the further your ends are from your scalp, the drier and more “damaged” they will be, whether that’s from heat styling, chemical treatments, or just everyday manipulation. My hair feels so much healthier now that my ends are closer to my scalp.
2. More Volume
Having shorter hair definitely gives your hair more volume at the roots. The reason for this is that the longer your hair is and the more hair you have, the heavier it weighs. And the heavier your hair weighs, the harder it is to fight gravity to get that root lift so most of the time, my hair was pulled flat against my head. Not cute. All the styling product in the world won’t be able to win against gravity so the only solution- lighten the load.
3. Shorter Hair is Easier to Style- Not to Mention Cheaper!
Styling shorter hair is less expensive, quicker, and easier. Shorter hair requires less product than long hair because well, there’s less hair (although this is probably negated by more frequent haircuts- I used to go once a year now I’ll have to go every 8 weeks to maintain the length). It’s faster to wash and style shorter hair too since shampooing will be quicker and you’ll have shorter and fewer passes with a round brush or straightener. Also, shorter hair gets less tangled than long hair because (1) there’s less hair to get tangled and (2) your hair will be healthier without the damage from the ends which means a flatter, smoother cuticle that won’t catch on other raised cuticles (YMMV on the tangling front if you have high porosity hair).
4. It Curls Better
If you’ve ever tried to curl long hair, then you know there’s only so much hairspray you can use before gravity wins out and the curl falls flat. I’ve tried damn near everything to curl my hair (without a curling iron)- headband curls, rag curls, pin curls, Conair Rotating Hot Air Spin Brush, Caruso Steam Rollers (which actually worked pretty well aside from the fact that the set didn’t come with enough large rollers for my long ass hair and even if it did, the thin sections I had to take so that all of my long hair would fit on a roller meant that all the rollers probably wouldn’t have fit on my head anyway)- and if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you cannot fight gravity.
5. Updos are Possible
When doing an updo with my long hair (that’s if you can do an updo with long hair), I couldn’t leave my hair up in a ponytail for more than half an hour before my head started to hurt. Long hair weighs more which means when I put it up, I was met with headaches and a tender scalp.
Long hair had confined me to low ponytails (not cute IMO) or wearing it down all the time (too tangle prone). The only way I could put my hair up without pain was if I put it in a proper ballerina bun:
And even then, taking it down meant a tender scalp the next day. Anything more than a ballerina bun or low ponytail was next to impossible. French twist and fancier updos? Forget it girl. I tried so hard to make it work but it would not stay up. My hair was literally too heavy to be put up, all the bobby pins in my house were no match for gravity.
In short (pun intended), I’m really happy with the choice to cut my hair. Not gonna lie, it was a bit scary at first. When you have long hair for so long it acts as a sort of security blanket. I know my hair isn’t made of Kevlar but it’s comforting to feel your long hair down your back or brushing past your elbows. It feels strange to run my fingers through my hair only to stop short of the long length I’ve gotten used to.
Still, I’m so glad I finally cut it. It was about time and I’m looking forward to all the new styling options made possible by my new haircut.
Bonus Reason 6. Shorter Hair Looks Chicer
Having shorter (bra strap length and up), well-styled hair looks (IMO) chicer and more “put together” and mature. Waist length hair is generally associated with mermaids, teenagers, and flower children- not exactly the best look for convincing a bouncer that you really are 21.
A few months ago, my family had a contractor come to the house to fix our shower and naturally he asks about school, if I’m a senior when I’m graduating, etc. When I said I wasn’t in high school, he said, “Oh so next year then, you’ll be going to *Town Name* HS!” My mom and I just looked at each other and laughed. We finally told him that I graduated HS last spring and was taking a gap year.
The point of the story is, it’s great to look younger (I’ve been using prescription retinoids and sunscreen every day since I was 11, mostly for acne but still, I’m never gonna stop) if you’re 35 trying to look 25. But when you’re 18 looking like you’re 14 but you’re trying to look 22, waist length hair isn’t helping your cause.