I cut almost all my hair off in 2017, it was a weird time. My hair had always been long, ever since 11th grade. It had grown all the way up to my butt and it was a task to get anything done with all that hair on my head.
I chopped it all off randomly, and to add to it, I even went in for a side cut. I was practically bald on the left side of my head with patterns shaved onto my head. The one perk of going to a girls college? The support. Everyone at college was extremely supportive of my decision.
But my family was fuming, to say the least. My grandmother was just outraged that I looked like a boy all of a sudden. My dad was taken aback, but he still came around with just one request - "never cut it like that again." Basically, everyone except my college friends was not happy.
I was though, I felt cuter than ever, edgy and it felt more like my personality. I think the weirdest comment I ever received was a classmate from school genuinely asking me - "Did something happen to you? What happened to your head?" I didn't really have an answer, but a lot of people had the same question - what had happened to my head that I had to take the drastic step of cutting my hair off this short.
What I didn't realize was that no one should be this bothered by a haircut. It was just a haircut, why all these weird questions? But then my family's reactions made it all clear. My grandmother told me - "No boy will marry you. Nobody likes short hair, women are supposed to have long hair. It's more attractive. It's woman-like."
Maybe that was it, it's wired that women are supposed to have long, flowy hair that makes us look like princesses so men can like us more. After I stumbled onto this realization, things fell more into place.
Men on dating apps started commenting on my hair with things like - "I prefer long hair" or "long hair looks better on women." While some of these men were really nice and said the hair looked cool, there were a lot more who told me that I looked better with long hair after stalking my Instagram.
Basically, my short hair was an issue because men didn't like it. Now, there are quite a few things wrong with that but the fact that my hair, something so insignificant has such a large scale reaction, simply because men don't like it is baffling.
I found out that many, many women go through the same comments and weird looks, all for the same reason. Juliana, 24, cut her hair into a short bob after years of having kept it long and her family and friends lost their minds.
"I cut my hair off because it was too much to manage, it felt heavy, and honestly it was too much work. After I cut it off, I think the worst comments I got were from family members and a few male friends. Ranging from - "you look like a boy" to my grandma actually saying "chee, what is this? you look homeless" and not speaking to me for days. My male friends kept telling me how I'll never find a boyfriend if I looked like this. It was so annoying, all because I cut my hair, I was suddenly a whole different, weird person." she told me.
Many women have faced the same amount of rude comments, weird backhanded compliments and rather strange analogies as to why they shouldn't have cut their hair. All of us didn't give a damn though. Short hair has been the best thing that ever happened to me, lesser hair fall, a lot of breeze, and no long drying periods.
Ladies, dump the "men like long hair" narrative and do what you like, it's your hair at the end of the day. Do what you like with it.