The Liberation of Going Pixie
Seriously, you should try it sometime.
I remember the first time a picture of a pixie cut caught my eye while scrolling through Pinterest. A group of us were waiting for our flight to the Bahamas to be counselors on a mission trip. It was early in the morning and we were all struggling to stay awake. I had never searched for pixie cuts or short hair before, so seeing this picture on my feed was strange. I almost went past the picture, but came back and immediately was drawn to how stylish the cut was. The woman in the picture had darker brown hair, the sides and back were cut closer to her scalp, while the hair on top was longer, textured and the tips were dyed blonde. Thus, began my obsession with extremely short haircuts.
Ever since seeing the picture that early morning, I developed a keen eye for spotting people with similar haircuts. I began to notice length and texture differences, how having curly or straight hair affected the type of cut, how each style complimented chin and cheek bones. All of this contributed to my growing fascination for the hairdo. A year later, I made a decision to seriously consider getting the same cut myself. This would be a huge change — my hair was around 8 inches past my shoulders and I had never cut it this drastically before. All through high school and half of college I had blonde highlights and recently went back to my original color of light brown. The more I saw other women rocking the style, the more I wanted to be a part of the trend.
At the time, I attended college in the deep South where having long hair was the preferred feminine look. The longer, the better. The straighter, the better. Put on an over-sized Simply Southern t-shirt, Nike shorts, Chacos and suddenly every Greek organization comes running to recruit you. Growing up, I was never into fashion. Sports made it hard. Constantly being sweaty with three practices a day never made room for looking nice. It wasn’t until college that I truly began to explore my sense of style — including my hair. I averagely maintained my long brown hair and when an occasion came calling for something more than sweatpants, I put a flat iron to it and that was that.
Sherry has cut my hair since the day I was born. She and my grandpa have been on and off dating for years. When my grandmother lost custody of my mom, my grandpa became the primary parent and Sherry served as the mom my grandmother couldn’t be. I love my biological grandma (may she rest in peace), but Sherry will always have a special place in my heart. I sat in the plush chair I have sat in many times before, but today was a big day. Sherry began to place my wet hair in a tight, single braid. She reached the end, secured the braid with a hair tie, turned, and grabbed the scissors to do the deed. “Sarah my dear, are you ready?” she said excitedly. “Yes! Just do it before I change my mind!” I replied.
The entire braid with 12 inches worth of hair was removed from my head. People told me I was going to cry, but I didn’t. Instead, I felt calm. A sense of relief. The tens of blog posts I read in the days upcoming were right: it was liberating.
Deep down, I had always felt different from my peers, especially other girls. I never could put a finger on what exactly about me was different, but it’s an internal battle I deal with even today. I had always gotten a long better with guys, and my tom-boyish style never quite connected with other girls. Even the ones I played sports with still had the desire to be stylish and wear makeup. For some reason, I didn’t. Those avenues were never a clear path to expressing how I was feeling on the inside. I was never feminine enough to relate with other girls, but I also wasn’t overtly masculine. I walked this weird, blurry line. From the moment Sherry cut my hair, to watching her cosmetological magic, I finally found a outward look making the blurry line crisp and clear for me.
It took around a year to find my preferred pixie style (surprisingly, there are more variations than you think). Trying out 50 different types of pastes and wax sprays can be overwhelming, but the experimentation was fun! At points, I found myself all around the spectrum of pixie cuts: from long to short, to brown to red. The short hair and athletic build caused people to call me “sir” a couple of times. When I met my my now fiance I had long hair, then after summer break I came back with the surprise — it was an adjustment for him. Now, he loves it and can’t see me with anything else. He agrees the short hair perfectly represents my quirky spunk.
I’ve had this style for two years and people regularly ask when I’m going to grow it out. To give it up. Not anytime soon, maybe not ever.
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