Short Hair and Still Beautiful

“I’m beautiful no matter how long or short my hair is,” I commented to someone on Facebook when they told me to not cut my hair short because I’m beautiful with long hair. As if I wouldn’t still be beautiful if I cut my hair off. Nine months ago I made the decision to chop off my long locks and run with the pixie cut and I am still beautiful.

It was a decision I didn’t really even agonize over. I have doubly thick hair, or at least all my hairstylists have said so. It has thick strands and then I have a lot of hair too. So when I cut off two feet of my hair, it weighed three pounds. I kid you not. My hair was so thick and long that there was nothing I could do with it that made it manageable. If I wanted to blow dry it I needed to plan on building at least an hour into my schedule for that. Because it was so thick it took at least a day to air dry. If I washed it before bed so it might be remotely dry in the morning I had to sleep on wet pillows. It would dread by itself and had been colored for the last 14 years so it probably wasn’t in the best shape imaginable. The decision to go short was one I was really looking forward to.

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However, I thought it might be important to do a little research first. Going from really long hair to really short hair would probably be really different. Maybe I should find out if a pixie cut would look cute on my face shape? So I started in on the Pinterest and Google research. Everything I read was basically negative. As someone who cannot be categorized as skinny, most articles basically said fat people should never have short hair. I’d look butch, people might think I was a lesbian, it won’t be beautiful, and most importantly no man would think a woman with short hair was sexy.

I’m nine months into my pixie cut and I’m still not skinny, so maybe my haircut makes me look butch. Sometimes I get hit on by lesbians, but I think that’s a compliment. It isn’t beautiful and luxurious, but here’s the truth….it’s me. I’ve never had a haircut that felt so… me. Being me is beautiful. According to all the magazines it doesn’t fit my face shape, but it fits my personality and that’s what I think is most important.

There are lots of benefits to having a pixie cut, like my neck isn’t killing me from the weight of my hair (especially when wet). It doesn’t get caught in all kinds of things like my camera straps when photographing weddings. When I wear it down in the summer I don’t have to worry about gross neck sweat. It takes me about one minute to style. I save a ton of money on shampoo.

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There are some things that have taken awhile to get used to, like major bed head when I wake up. It looks like my hair exploded sometimes. However, the biggest thing I have to get used to is the commentary. I get told that it’s cute and it fits me, but I also get asked things like, “did you cut all your hair off for some cause?” Obviously the only reason woman should cut her hair short is if it’s for a charity. Some friends and family can’t even find it within themselves to say something nice. I assume they think I would be prettier with long hair. I find myself getting judged quicker when people first meet me or I enter a room. I was out in Vegas with one of my best friends just walking and a valet assumed we were a lesbian couple out on a date. People make all kinds of assumptions about the way people are based on their looks, but I find I’m judged even more than usual and people are more vocal about it since I cut my hair.

Despite the judgments, assumptions, and insinuation that I’m less beautiful with short hair I still wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m more me than I ever have been. However, I’ll never forget that first comment on Facebook. If you read this and get anything out of it at all, please, never ever tell another woman they’ll be less beautiful with short hair (or less beautiful for any decision they make for their body). All women are beautiful, and the more true to ourselves we are the sexier we get, in my opinion. So I say ignore the face shape articles, the rude comments, and do whatever makes you FEEL beautiful.

Carrie Swails

As a photographer of offbeat and no-traditional weddings and a blogger educating other photographers I feel the most important things for you to know about me are that I have a birthmark in my armpit and I am a terrible mathematician. What I lack in understanding of complex theories such as Pi (clearly a food item - apple is my favorite) and invisible numbers (if I can't see them, why should I care?) I make up for in awesomesauce. I believe there is no right way to put the toilet paper on - I'm just happy it's available. I believe there's no such thing as a bad fortune in a fortune cookie. I believe we only live life once so we should wear costumes as often as possible. I believe wine is like the force - it has a light side and a dark side and it holds the universe together. I howl with my basset hound every morning, call my brother to beat video game bosses for me, and love eating fried cheese.