About four summers ago right around this time, I decided to take the plunge and do a dramatic pixie cut. I brought a picture of Halle Berry to my stylist. Each time I went to the hair salon, I went just a little shorter. Almost daily, someone would stop me on the street to tell me how great the haircut is on me. I had friends tell me NEVER grow my hair back out. For some time, I thought I never would. The short hair suited me so perfectly.
Then in the summer of 2013, my boyfriend and I broke up. I use it as a marker of when my perception of my once loved pixie cut changed. I got the short haircut early on in our relationship. Suddenly, it felt boring and limited.
Growing up, I always liked to play with my hair. In the pre-YouTube tutorial era, I was left to my own devises (for better or worse). That love for changing my look never went away. I just was able to suppress it for a while though because the pixie was so flattering.
For me, beauty (makeup/hair) has always been my source of control. You can’t control a relationship outcome, the strength of your friendships, and/or whether or not you get that promotion at your job. You can control if your hair is long, short, blonde, red, or magenta though.
With short hair I did not have the control that I wanted. I had three short hairstyle options— straight, slightly curled, or slicked back. It left little to the imagination and in the summer of 2013 it felt like dungeon. Sound dramatic? Yes I know it does, but it is true. My world was spinning and I didn’t even have an authority over my one source of control. So, I did what every girl with short hair remorse does. I got a weave. Clip-in extensions to be exact.
Now, my boyfriend and I have rekindled our relationship. Distance was the biggest factor in our breakup and that issue has since been eliminated. Are there moments I am tempted to go back to the pixie? Definitely. At the end of the day though, I am a girl who could have beachy waves on Monday, milkmaid braids on Tuesday, and a top knot on Wednesday. I like options. I like control. For those reasons alone, it will be hard for me to part with the long hair.
I guess when I had the pixie I didn’t remember what I was missing. Today, going back to the pixie would be like going from a delicious buffet with endless options to a three choice menu. All of the food is great, but I’ll remember how many options I had before. A breakup led me to long hair, but it’s here to stay because it brought me back to feeling like me again. I don’t think long hair defines femininity or beauty, but for me it defines my creativity.
Are you considering doing a dramatic haircut? My strong advise is to ask yourself these four questions.
Do you wear your hair the same way everyday?
If you wear your hair the same way for 75% of the week, then there’s a good chance that you will do just fine with short hair. If you are someone who needs change frequently then you will probably not be a fan of short hair after a while. The newness wears off, so you need to ask yourself how you will feel when that happens.
Do you like going to the hair salon often?
Short hair is a commitment. No matter how fast your hair grows there is a good chance you will need to be in the salon at least every 6 weeks to maintain the haircut. It loses it shape rather quickly. This applies to a both bobs and pixie cuts, though bobs can go a bit longer without a salon visit.
Does short hair flatter your face shape?
Bobs are great with all face shapes. You should have your hair stylist recommend where you should go with length though. It gets a bit trickier with pixie cuts. The best thing to do is the ponytail test. Pull your hair into a low ponytail. Do you like how it looks? If you do, wear it that way for a week. How do you feel? If you don’t like how you look after a week there’s a good chance you will be not love a pixie.
What is your plan for bad hair days?
The ponytail isn’t an option. With short hair there are headbands and bobby pins. That’s about it. You WILL have bad hair days. It is something to keep in mind.