For the last year and a half, I was on the fence about cutting all my hair off. I had my doubts and fears—“what if I looked boyish?”, “what if it didn’t suit me?”—it was mostly a question of aesthetics. About a month ago, I decided to silence my fears, and embrace the shears.

As soon as my stylist took the first snip, I felt immediately lighter; while a soft wave of catharsis calmed my body.

However, not everyone was as pleased about it as I was. Upon displaying my brand new pixie cut to an acquaintance, she screeched;


“Eh, I was bored.” I shrugged nonchalantly.

Usually when a woman decides to don a short haircut, we assume that something truly terrible has happened. Why? Countless studies and hours perusing Cosmo have told me this: dudes don’t dig short hair! You must be crazy! You want to be sexless! From John William Waterhouse paintings to porn stars, a woman’s long hair is a symbol of her sexuality, her fertility and her beauty. As some dating experts say, to cut off your hair is to cut off a third of your attractiveness.

I’m here to tell you, that’s a load of crap.

After cutting my hair, I immediately noticed a change in the way that men treated me. It was rather odd, guys who would usually cat-call, or feebly attempt to pick me up on the subway would keep their distance; if they did approach, it was more respectful and less insulting. My guy friends similarly commented positively on my long hair—“it looks AMAZING!” gushed one, “it really suits you!” said another.

Until then, I was always the type of girl who hid under her hair. Pulling at my overlong side bangs (aka  “emo fringe”) was an hourly occurrence. With my safety blanket gone, I began to be more assertive. I was more willing to tell people what I needed, and more importantly, what I didn’t need.

I found myself either selecting masculine inspired looks, or veering towards the opposite of the spectrum–aggressively feminine. Where once a Peter Pan collar, or flouncy frills would have terrified me, I welcomed the juxtaposition of the boyish hair cut with girly clothes.

Joining the pixie cut club allowed me to tap into a certain sensibility. When celebrities opt for the big chop, it seems to propel them into “quirkiness”. Audrey Hepburn, Winona Ryder, Carey Mulligan, and even Emma Watson understand the power of the pixie. It’s a delicate subversion of gender norms; rebellious yet entirely fey. If we buy into the myth that “long hair is beautiful”, these women illustrate that one can still remain beautiful without the veil.

Short hair is also high fashion. Socialite and Warhol superstar, Edie Sedgwick’s most iconic look was her kohl rimmed eyes and short hair, while supermodel Linda Evangelista’s chop was career making. The idea of the androgynous woman is something that’s captured our imagination.

So, does a pixie make you feel freer? Will it suit you? Does it make you less sexy? Will you find your inner fashionista?

You’ll only find out the answers to these questions if you make the snip.

~ Natasha Hunt