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I’m Not Brave For Cutting My Hair Short

Is it radical for a woman not to need long hair?

BY Agnes Amondi

Aug 20, 2021, 08:05 AM

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I'm that girl who has more stories to tell about visiting the barbershop than salon stylists. Being at the barber's has always felt second nature. There’s just something about that environment. Perhaps it's the buzzing of the hair clipper or the scent of spirit and its coolness on the head after the shave is done.

I don’t need statistics to prove that the barbershop is like the “man cave”. It’s where they talk about everything from politics, sports, relationships, and still have room for general life advice. In a sea of deep broken voices, I always sank into my barber's chair - after describing how short I want my hair cut plus selecting the number of blades he should use. Yes, I know that too.

It’s been a long time since I visited for various reasons - I don’t want to chop off my hair, sometimes it’s the weather and other times, I often wonder what it’ll be like if I just let the mane go on uninterrupted. But for those times that I used to visit, I pretty much bid adieu to Dante’s Barber Shop satisfied with everything - the length, the uniformity, the outline and the spirit which was always my crowning moment.

I always felt good about myself as most people always are after a new cut but that never stopped me from picking up on the comments made about my preferred look, at least then. “Why do you cut your hair short?” This has to be in an FAQ somewhere because the number of times I have had this question directed to me calls for a sigh and an eye roll. The implied meaning I’ve always extracted from this is that wearing short hair as a woman is not endearing. It’s super unconventional and you should just do what others do, which is to grow it long and straighten it.

The other backhanded comment as I see it, again thrown at me countless times, is that I must be “very, very brave” to trim down my hair. Just where do you find the audacity to go against the grain, in a world where most people would rather camouflage? What kind of self-confidence is this? 

But is it really brave to have short hair?

Honestly, I’ve always been surprised that people would even approach what I’d consider minor decisions with such acute thoughts. I understand that hair is a big deal to women, to me also, but it should be understood that we all don’t have to “die on the heel of trying to look like someone out of a magazine cover”. The way you make a conscious decision to wear that wig, weave or braids is the same way short-haired women consciously decide to visit their hairdressers and get a trim.

I still have a paragraph to fit in a final shady comment that’s been recited to me over the years. “Have you tried growing your hair? I bet you’d look much better but you have a face for short hair so that works too.” 

Eeeeh! This level of shadiness should be outright criminal. This is basically stating that I should reconsider my short hair decisions because it’s not cute at all. But you know people. They’ll never give you that jaw-dropping review because they have a friendship to maintain. So they make you swallow the bitter pill while at the same time managing to smoothen things over.
Food for thought. Is it that radical for a woman not to need long hair? Because I never had an instant comeback line, I’ll put one here to all those who rubbed these comments on my face. If you are a short-haired girl, please with all the power you have, continue antagonising the masses. I’ll keep mine as well. Not for the trends, or the politics of hair but because Dante’s hair spirit at the end of my cut always feels like a new lease of life. Cheers!