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The Benefits of Super-Short Hair

It might make you want to take the plunge…

12.19.16

Not to generalize women but (here I go) I think all of us secretly want to chop our hair off. Maybe forever, maybe for a day, but certainly long enough to know and appreciate the ease of a quick shower. I’m consistently frustrated by the amount of hair on my head and resent that the only utility it provides is one better served by a scarf. And yet I never just cut it the fuck off. My irrational fear of going short is the very fuel that powers my obsession with women who do it.

Like, for instance, the four women above. I talked to them to find out how and why they decided to do it. What it’s like? Do they love it? What products do they use? How long does it take to style?! So many Qs, so many As. Click through above to read them all!

Photos by Krista Anna Lewis.
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  • Amazing post!!
    I love short hair. Since I was 12, I came through cycles: grow my hair long, chop it into a pixie (something like Christine’s in this slideshow), then let it grow again for 2-3 years (like to a bra-strap length) until I’m tired of it.

    But I think that I’m done with that, I came to the point when I can admire beautiful short-haired ladies without wanting to chop my hair myself. My hair has MAJOR cowlicks, AND it grows coarser and coarser with the years. Thus, for me, long hair is LESS work every morning than short hair (it’s kinda between straight and wavy so it has a nice fluffy natural volume when it’s long, but when it’s short it just goes in random directions in a NON-harmonious and NOT-cute fashion).

    I’m just sharing my experience: short hair may be HARDER to style if you have big cowlicks and don’t like how they look, and if your hair is of rather anarchist obedience.
    So, as much as I love short hair, I don’t think I’m chopping mine again any soon 🙂

    • Mika M R

      I feel you. I have the very same story.

    • I always had short hair when I was a kid and it was naturally pin straight. I literally looked like Dora the Explorer. Then it started waving when I was 12 and kind of got a mind of its own. So I either need a buzz cut or long hair so it has length to calm itself down (aka not turn into a pyramid). I don’t like my face enough to get a buzz cut, but I admire women that do.

  • I’ve wanted to cut my hair like Frankie from The Saturdays for the longest time but have never had the guts. Maybe now I will go for it! Inspiring women x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • Abby

    I’ve had short hair almost my entire life and I mean SHORT, not just chin length. I buzz it myself once a month and otherwise leave it alone. I love it.

  • Hilary

    YAAAY! So happy to see this & read these stories! I feel like I rarely see short haircuts in fashion overall lately – long hair seems so very much IN – so it’s fantastic to see this article. 🙂

    I’ve been a short hair woman for a pretty long time now. I tried to grow it out for the past year, until finally coming to the realization that I just didn’t feel like *me* with longer hair. So without hesitation I chopped it all off again two weeks ago. I breathed a sigh of relief. I’m myself again.

    • Charlotte

      Exactly – short hair is not really considered in fashion. When I see it in a magazine, it almost always comes with a ‘borrowed from the boys’ or ‘androgynous’ line. I think a lot of women would feel a lot more comfortable if we would try to not define short hair cuts as masculine.

      I also have a very similar experience. I had a pixie cut similar to Shriya and while I loved it on myself (and made me feel more myself) I felt like I had to defend my choice to other people. I tried to grow it long (not because of others, because it just grew like crazy and going to the hair dresser every 3 weeks became to expensive as a student), but it just doesn’t feel like ‘me’! – just like you say!

      I now ended up with a bob. But I am looking forward to that feeling you describe: the sigh of relief! Happy to hear you chopped it again!

      • Charlotte

        * too

  • Fran

    I wore my hair in a cut like Shriya’s through most of the 1990s. It started while I was in the hospital on bedrest while pregnant and couldn’t wash my hair. My hairstylist came in and chopped it off for me and I loved it. It was easy to wash, air-dry and go every morning while raising my special needs son on my own. While he was in elementary and middle school, he wore his long (he was the only boy in middle school with a braid — his is too puffy to wear in a ponytail), and I wore mine short. It looked great on me, and was super-practical, but there was no variety there.

    Then there were illnesses and lifestyle changes, my hair stopped being so oily that I had to wash it daily and it developed a bit of texture/waviness instead of being stick-straight, and I tried growing it out. Chopped it again to go through breast cancer treatment, then grew it out again, currently keeping it tailbone length, silver streaks and all. I have various braids, buns and ponytails that I can style in five minutes in the morning. Wash + deep condition once a week, refresh with a cleansing conditioner halfway through the week; either blow-dry with one set of products for straight + silky, or air-dry with another set for a messy waves look. It’s kind of become my signature look, but, when I get about half gray, I told my hairdresser we should go for an edgy silver pixie. It can be too much work to keep the gray hairs from going all frizzy. My main problem is that I like it either super-long (past my waist) or super-short, so the growing-out phase lasts several years.

  • ValiantlyVarnished

    I’ve had short hair most of my life. I think because of that reason I’ve never been over attached to my hair. I am currently in the process of growing it out. I could have grown it our years ago and but I kept chopping it off whenever I would get to that awkward grow out phase.

  • Riley W

    I’ve been super interested in cutting all my butt-lengthed hair off for a while. But I am SO scared. My face is round and I’m worried I’ll come out of it looking eh

  • cicillionaire

    I love this. I have super short hair, maybe a quarter of an inch at the longest? It looks like it is all one length but it’s not. I cut it every 2 weeks and I do it myself. I was going to the salon but that’s ridiculous. It takes 20 minutes and you can learn how to do it with the clippers on YouTube. I had long hair before and Dana Blair is right, especially for black women, hair maintenance is a religion. Moisturizing, maintaining, color, straighten, deep condition, edges, wrapping at night, taking a break with protective styles… the list goes on and on. I had bleached/lightened my hair myself and was growing it out and it was great, but I just had to keep doing more and more to get it to look how I wanted. I wanted to start over. I finally cut it and I was very mellow about it for some reason. My stylist was like, “Um, don’t you realize that this is a big deal?” But here’s the thing, it’s not. It’s hair. It’s a big deal because WE MAKE IT a big deal. If it’s not a big deal to me, it’s not a big deal. The only big deal was how much my time I had now that I wasn’t doing HAIR all of the time. It’s amazing. My life is so easy. The other thing I’ve realized is that men fall into very distinct categories. They either love it/don’t really care either way OR they hate it. But whatever, I love it and that’s what matters. And I get way more love than hate, people cross the room to tell me how much they love my almost non-existent hair. I laugh at hair products now. I use this curling cream that cost $4 at Target and whatever shampoo is around and smells good. I condition in the winter but only when I feel like it. I will say this, I am more conscious of my look now. My clothing speaks a lot louder now that it doesn’t compete with hair.

  • Ashley Flores

    The thought of cutting off my hair more than a trim gives me anxiety. I have tried shorter looks before and get frustrated trying to style it or put it in a ponytail without 5 million clips. These women are inspiring and all look so beautiful with their short hair.

  • PlaidandPrejudice

    Love this! This is the second year in a row that I shaved my head for my Halloween costume, and I love it! I have never had so many compliments on my hair until I shaved it off. I save so much time and money too.

  • navneet dudhagara
  • Lisa

    i’ve had short hair since high school–over thirty years now–it is super short–buzzed on the sides and just a smidge of hair on top. i get it cut at great clips every three weeks–the money saved! i’ve grown my hair out only twice since chopping it off–once we went on a family vacation and my daughters forgot a hair brush and asked me for one–haha–nope. short hair is my best defining personality trait as well–once, my sister’s friend asked me why i had such short hair and i told her–because being a woman and choosing to have hair that is not considered ‘feminine’ is a big fuck you to the world. that i can and will do what makes me happy, and not be defined by what the world or men think a woman should be or look like.

  • LadyLeo

    Love!!

  • Shevaun

    I shaved my head all the way down to a #1 (I think that’s a 1/4 inch?) and it was amazing. I had been wanting to do it for a year, but put it off because of where I was living/working (conservative towns/conservative jobs). Last summer I was still a grad student, so about 10 months away from graduation, and it is so humid in Toronto (I’m from BC; not accustomed to the heat here), and I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. So I bought some clippers off amazon, and shaved it all off.

    It was amazing. It made me appreciate my facial features more. It made me feel like a different person. I didn’t have bad hair days! I’m growing it out now, and really am looking forward to having hair again, but it was so cool to shave it. I recommend.

  • Bob77

    I LOVE hair on women. USUALLY when a woman chops it off, my libido drops by half. But, that may be your point!