This week, after feeling completely run-down and emotionally exhausted, I followed Mandy’s advice and finally cut my hair, which I left untouched for almost a year as I was growing it out.
When I first chopped it all off in November, I felt so liberated. Short hair, after all, requires confidence in your face and body, because you have nothing to hide behind after those final snips. I had thought about it ever since I saw Emma Watson's cheekbone-accentuating, eye-enhancing new 'do, but was met with skeptical eyebrow raises and a politely worded, "Girl, DON'T," most of the times I brought it up.
But I was the happiest and most carefree I'd ever been while studying abroad in London, and when my friend (who had just gotten the sleekest bangs/fringe I've ever seen) just happened to have a 50%-off voucher to Headmasters -- well, guess who found themselves in the closest one with an extensive collage of Keira Knightley/Natalie Portman/Katie Holmes in hand?
The thing is, a pixie cut, while a totally cute and incredible attention-getter (I seriously never got so many compliments/excited screams in one day), is kind of pricey and time-consuming to keep in shape (the whole thing took about two hours to layer properly), and if you're not committed to keeping that look forever, it can kind of feel like a jail sentence. As in, you'll have a LOT of time to think over what you've done.
That's not to say that I didn't have fun. But as my hair started to grow out, it hit some awkward stages, like "Friar-Sans-Bald-Spot, "50s Flip Gone HAYWIRE" and, my personal hell, the mullet, which made me wince to the beat of every replay of "Livin' On A Prayer."
However, having less hair than all your lion-maned friends doesn't mean you have to get any less of the spotlight. With a few simple steps, you can walk your path to flowing locks again with total grace:
1.) Always Blow-Dry
I'm so lazy. I also love going to bed with wet hair and waking up with slightly lopsided Tay-Swift curls (okay, I'm being way too nice to myself with that one). However, when you do this with such short hair, you might wake up with a sticky-looking, flat little bundle on your scalp. Luckily, blow-drying will now take about five minutes and result in much fuller, fluffier hair. And you'll always psyche yourself out thinking it's growing much faster than you thought it was.
2.) Keep Your Bangs
Personally, I'm keeping mine forever, because all my life people told me my cowlick and wavy hair would make bangs impossible, but my pixie cut helped me somehow magically obtain them. If you don't see yourself with bangs once you've regained your Rapunzel/Robert Plant hair, keep them for the time being, because bangs can help add drama and give you a more put-together look when the rest of your hair is pinned up. Which brings me to:
3.) Invest in a Lifetime Supply of Bobby Pins and Hair Ties
I have no idea how I've gone through so many bobby pins. It is a feat unlike any other. Thank God, they're cheap. They will help you successfully construct the teeniest ponytails and bun-pigtails on the planet. Your friends won't stop telling you how cute you are, and while this may not be the sultry night-time look you're coveting, it's better than nothing, and if you've ever wanted to be just like Lizzie McGuire, you're in luck.
4.) Get All The Hats and Headbands You've Ever Wanted
I've always felt self-conscious about hats, because, going to an arts school in NYC, I've been included in plenty of conversations involving, "OH, MY GOD. He has interchangeable bowler hats. WHY?" The last thing I wanted was to be branded as pretentious just because of a whimsical headpiece.
But then I reached an ultimatum: hats, or piecey, uneven hair for all to see. I chose sweet, sweet hiding, and started donning everything from berets to little straw hats. And you know what? The thing about adult trash-talking is that it's often more about your personality than your attire -- if you're nice to people and don't do things like casually make rape jokes or participate in fat-shaming, you're probably good. At least, that’s been my rule concerning human interaction.
5.) Big Earrings -- Now Or Never.
Earrings were that other accessory I was shy about until I realized they could help add a little something-something to my otherwise mousey look. You can wear the blandest outfit on the planet and still look put together with a pair of feathery lifesavers dangling from your ears. You can stock up easily from places like Buffalo Exchange. ModCloth and Forever 21, or you can splurge on some skull creations from Betsey Johnson and make me eternally envious.
Extra-Yet-Totally-Crucial Step: Watch "Tangled"
I hopped on the "Tangled" bandwagon way too late, but I'm grateful I saw it when I did, because right when I was lamenting over my locks-in-limbo, I was instantly cheered up when the movie ended with Rapunzel sporting the same, super-short brunette style as me (and being loved just as much by her man.)
So that's it! I really hope this hasn't deterred anyone from going full-pixie. Does anyone else have any good tips?