Seven months ago, I decided to cut off my long mane and go for a completely new look that I was previously way too chicken to seriously consider. I wasn’t girly by any means (see below) but my hair allowed me to cling on to what little feminine physical characteristics I had.
My long hair felt like a big part of who I was since second grade, and I was hesitant to let it go. So much so that it took about four years for me to finally decide to chop it all off. As bad as it sounds, I didn’t want to be that stereotypical lesbian. I was already wearing men’s and boy’s apparel, something I actively resisted until my college years, so did I really need another visible signal of my gayness? But it was time. I had to go for it, especially after the thought marinated for years. After all, it was just hair, right?
I remember my haircut experience quite vividly. I had made an appointment with a friend of a friend, a talented hairdresser based on the pictures I saw on Instagram and Facebook, for the evening of October 3, 2013. My girlfriend at the time had fully supported my idea, and I was both excited and nervous. The stylist was very sweet upon our first meeting, and I could see that she was a little puzzled as to why I wanted such a drastic change. I couldn’t really explain it. It was just the change that I needed.
As she cut off the first bits of hair, I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. Did I just make the worst decision of my life? I couldn’t go back now. I wanted to cry. “Wait until you see the finished look,” I thought to myself, “Maybe it won’t be so bad.” Locks of hair dropped onto the floor, creating small animal-like piles around me. I was so overwhelmed that I had to quit watching the process, an attempt to rein in my emotions.
I don’t know when I gained the courage to look up again—probably when the stylist asked me if I wanted to go even shorter for an undercut, to which I nodded—but the person I saw in the mirror was not the one who walked into the studio that day. As cheesy as it sounds, I saw my true self for the first time. Along with the huge grin plastered on my face, I walked out of the studio with a new sense of confidence that I had never felt before in my entire life. I looked different. So androgynous. It was perfect. Everything was perfect.
Here’s my first post-haircut selfie (new do, same ugly bathroom walls):
Just hair, huh?