Why Short Hair Makes Me Feel Powerful

I have had long hair for most of my life. I was one of those young girls who had tresses down to their butt in grade school. Ponytails gave me headaches because of how heavy they were. I didn’t care. To me, long hair was the goal. Tragedy struck in middle grade. I was talked into a short, curly perm. I hated it so much; I didn’t hand out copies of my school photos to my friends. My hair eventually grew out again. I had learned my lesson. No short hair again. Ever.

Fast forward a couple decades. I put on weight, which happens. I ignored it. When we all went on lockdown in 2020, I packed on even more. I could no longer ignore it. I felt unhealthy and unhappy. My hair was my shield. I might have been heavy, but my hair was beautiful. I still had long princess hair. Even when I felt uncomfortable in my skin, I’d make sure my hair was curled and shiny every day.

Then I had enough. I changed my life. It felt like a miracle. I wanted just a little refresh. So I had my hair cut. It was still well past my shoulders. However, it was just the beginning. Two years ago in June, I marched into the salon and announced to my hairstylist I wanted a cut. A big cut.

I was ready to go short.

I’d shed the weight, so why should I be afraid of less hair? I sat down in the chair. An hour or so later, I was staring at myself in the mirror. I was in shock.

Left: Before the weight loss. Right: Immediately after my haircut.

Who was this woman? My hair barely grazed my shoulders. I loved it. Freaked out. Cried a little. And I found power.

It’s been almost two years since the chop. And honestly, short hair has more benefits than I first imagined.

I knew many of the obvious ones.

It’s amazing how fast showers are with short hair. Of course, sometimes I still zone out in the water. But I no longer need 15-20 minutes just to wash and condition my hair. Drying is a breeze. It takes months to go through a bottle of styling mousse. I’m not stopping in the middle of a cardio session to wrangle long tresses back into a bun. In fact, now I don’t need to pin my hair back at all when I work out. Summers are amazing when you’re not dying under pounds of hair.

It’s stylish.

I felt anonymous with long hair. This is most likely due to the fact I used it as a defense mechanism when I was heavy. Still, it doesn’t change the fact I feel more visible with short hair. I can’t conceal myself. There isn’t enough of it to hide behind! My haircut has layers, so it requires styling to look its best, unless I’m going for the punk rock/bedhead look. I adore the way short hair highlights earrings and sunglasses. And the way it leaves my neck uncovered, which is perfect for showing off necklaces. As someone who loves fashion, short hair has become another accessory to my outfits. It makes me feel sexy, which leads to confidence. I feel like myself with short hair, like I’m showing up in the world exactly the way I should be.

It’s a middle finger to expectations.

You’d be surprised (or not) by how many unsolicited opinions I got when I showed off my new cut on social media. Many people were complimentary, but I did get quite a few “I prefer longer hair.”
Or, “Oh, no! Why did you go that short?”, even though I’d seen many women with hair even shorter than mine. It made me remember how fixated society can be on the idea women need long hair to be feminine. Keeping my hair short isn’t just a matter of comfort and ease for me, it’s a statement: “I do not need anyone’s approval except for my own.”

The aerodynamics!

Listen, nothing, NOTHING, is as freeing and fun as headbanging to metal with short hair!


  • Lucky Number Eleven

    “I do not need anyone’s approval except for my own.”
    That’s the most important part of this post.
    (Another unsolicited opinion: You look fabulous with the shorter hair. It suits you, if for no other reason than you love it yourself.)

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