Rapunzel, Rapunzel, cut off your hair

Long hair is gorgeous, desirable, sexy.

It’s also heavy, hot, difficult to manage and just a pain in the ass.

Of course, having long hair has its advantages. Without it, how would Mary Magdalene wash Jesus’ feet? If Rapunzel had short hair, she’d still be up in that tower. Unfortunately, that’s as far as it goes in terms of usefulness.

The author, left, before chopping it all off for the environment...

Wait. I’m sorry. I forgot about spending hours pulling, twisting, frying and spraying it in order to get a couple free drinks at a club. That gorgeous and sexy hair also has its advantages in the workplace as well. That is, if you’re into rising before the sun shows in order to flirt your way into a promotion or additional vacation time.

And that’s where I have my beef. Who the hell decided that long hair was a requirement for “sexy”? For most women, their hair is their curse. They don’t like what they have, and they want what someone else has. Depending on the day, my thick, wavy curls either look as beautiful as Debra Messing’s, or something that resembles Hermione Granger. To be quite honest, most days for me are Hermione days. Regardless, I still have people who tell me they would kill for my hair, when all I want is flat, straight locks.

Up until recently, I had long hair. It had been long for two years, and I was debating whether or not I wanted a change. I did love the way it looked when I was able to get my curls just right, but the procedure of straightening it, or trying to get it to go one way instead of the other, was more time and stress than I needed.

I had been going back and forth with cutting it for about a month. It wasn’t until I discovered an organization that takes donations of hair for oil spills across the globe. The organization, called Matter of Trust, creates mats – called booms – out of hair in order to soak up oil from small to major spills (BP, anyone?). Matter of Trust doesn’t just accept hair, but other oil-absorbing materials such as fur, fleece, feathers, and nylons.

Once I learned about Matter of Trust, I knew I what my decision was in regard to my hair: cut it dramatically.

When it comes to animals and the environment, I have a very big soft spot. Growing up, for Christmases and birthdays, I would ask to adopt a whale. If I ever saw plastic six-pack holders lying around, I would pick them up and make sure it was pulverized so it could never hurt a duck or fish. Ever since my family adopted an ex-racing greyhound, I vowed to always adopt pets from shelters instead of breeders. And, two years ago, my husband and I rescued a homeless dog from the streets of downtown Grand Rapids (she’s currently living a happy, well-fed, much-petted and very loved life at my in-laws’ house).

Of course, it’s only natural for me to do whatever I can to aid in environmental and animal relief programs. Matter of Trust was my way to at least contribute in some miniscule way, to aid in one of the most catastrophic boo-boos of my generation (I’m looking right at you, Tony Hayward).

Of course, when I told people I was cutting my hair, I was faced with some unbelievably vain comments.

“Long hair is sexy; every woman wants to be sexy.”

“But it’s so beautiful!”

Oh, and my personal favorite, “You’re not going to look like a dyke, are you?”

...and after the cut: short, edgy, and eco-friendly

Well let me tell you: Being “sexy” is not my top priority. Yes, it’s beautiful, but it’s also a pain in the ass. And, WHAT!? Excuse me while I make a donation to GLAAD in your name.

Despite defiance from friends, I did it. Why? Because there are far more important things to me than “looking sexy.” I’d rather be known for my knowledge, my talents as a writer and editor, and small contributions to this earth, than to be known for being nice to look at.

And for those who still disagree, think about this: Hair grows back quicker than the environment.

–By Lindsay Patton-Carson

141 thoughts on “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, cut off your hair

  1. Way to go..
    A couple of months back, I wrote about street dogs- “who let the dogs out…” Now I know there’s one more person around..
    Hair- yes, I have the same idea, so, they are short..

    May I also add- your pics are fab..

  2. Nice post. My hair is fine and breaks anywhere past the shoulders, so I’ve never been able to have really long hair. Despite being pretty damned curvaceous it’s amazing how “unfeminine” it used to make me feel — and I’d say hetero men are the ones who decided it’s sexy, mostly. They’re totally obsessed with hair. Funny thing, though, it’s turned out to be much sexier being in control of my own appearance. Now if we could just convince people that sexy doesn’t cancel out smart…

  3. I can’t bring myself to cut my hair short now, I think because of an upbringing as a child my mom couldn’t deal with long hair and I had pixie short hair XD I always always jealous of long hair (princess type mentality maybe? lol).

    I agree it is a pain and heavy… especially in Florida summer (which is three quarters of the year). I find it always ironic that I like curls and my best friend has to straighten hers.

  4. Loved your post Lindsay. Your new haircut looks great! I’ve been growing out mine for the past 1.5 years to specifically donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. Indeed – hair grows back quickly. You’re very wise.

  5. I can totally relate. I have very thick hair myself. And alot of it. People always tell me that I have enough hair for ten people. lol. Nice post. Come check out my blogs sometime.


  6. Well done! I had almost three feet of hair up until a not long ago, and became really frustrated for years before I cut it when complete strangers would come up to me telling me I should donate my hair. That always floored me – how presumptuous! I finally did cut it – because, as you say, it was “heavy, hot, difficult to manage and just a pain in the ass” – and mine went to the Gulf too!

    And rescue dogs are a joy.

  7. Lindsay, thankyou … and thankyou again, as a hairstylist I have been trying to get my clients to understand for years the one vital truth of hair, hair does not define the person you are, it does not make you something you are or are not, and the whole purpose of having a healthy growth is that it enables you to be able to do the one thing we are capable of as human beings; change. Change is the most positive thing you can inbibe in your life, it allows growth in so many areas,and, it asserts you as an individual, so BRAVO to you my dear.
    And now to the other more worthy topic here; Once again the people are called upon to try and save the planet from a Corporation only interested in filling it’s burgeoning pockets.
    What BP has managed to do to this world is create the greatest oil disaster ever, hmmm, how very typical, and once again we are called upon to help drag there ass out of the fire.
    Okay, I won’t go on anymore, but simply thank all of the women (and men) who have given up there locks for this cause, a huge round of applause is necessary here so “GOOD ON YOU ALL”. Blessings on all of you and you especially Lindsay for speaking your mind.

  8. Thank you for a very cool post. I’ve been trying (it’s barely past my shoulders) to grow my hair out to please others and it’s completely unlike me (for everything else I tell them where to stick their opinion!). So I’ve made my appointment for Saturday and hope to get a new, shorter, and easier up-keep hairdo. Kudos to you for going for it!

  9. Way to go! Love your post. I cut my hair off 2 weeks ago, and I’ve never had so many compliments… from women! I’m a little sad that my husband doesn’t like it so much… this morning he lovingly (sort of) told me, “You can really pull off ‘mean’ with that short haircut.” Good enough. I probably could use some meanness. It is empowering… and I’ve calculated that at minimum, if I keep it short for a year, I will have gained 2.53 DAYS in saved time (at 10 minutes a day)!! Love your cut – you wear it well.

  10. I am glad you like your short hair, however for me, it’s not a matter of “sexy” or free drinks – it’s a preference. I like my hair long; short hair on me is not good.

    What I don’t like is that you’ve lumped all of us with long hair into a group of bimbos whose IQ drops with each inch of length. Smart girls, empowered girls have long hair too. What’s next? You going to start pointing fingers at all of us who like stilettos and dresses too?

    And, by the way, I too like the environment and have grown out my hair in order to donate my hair for both booms and to Locks of Love to make wigs for cancer patients.

    • Agreed on that with you, mschelly! My hair actually is harder to manage when it gets shorter; it frizzes and sticks up in odd directions, and I tend to spend less time, use less product in it just keeping it in a long tight practical braid.

      As a matter of fact, my lazier and greener minded friends tend to have longer hair (cut or trimmed or shaved every few years for charities of various sorts) while shorter and fussier ‘dos seem to be more fashionable. That said, I live in a pretty geeky city and we’re more likely to see a young man with long hair than a preening young caricature of femininity. I suppose that hair culture can be quite localised and contextual like that and what’s been said in some replies below regarding “dyke” cuts in CA.

  11. I just cut off all of my long, curly, pain in the arse hair too. so refreshing! Wish I had known about the oil mat donation. I let them toss it because it wasn’t enough length for Locks of Love.

    Cute cut!

  12. Well Lindsay, from a girl who hasn’t had hair past her chin in 10 years, good riddance. Long hair is far to much work so it always ended up in a pony tail. By the end of each day my head would hurt from being in a pony tail all day long. Screw long hair, yeah for the baby birds they may not be covered in oil due to your hair!

  13. I recently had my first haircut in 12 years and donated a 19 inch pony tail to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. Not only do I feel good about that, I love my new do. As my hair dresser says, a pony tail isn’t a hair style as much as an act of desperation. You go girl!

  14. Good post. I used to have very long, thick, hair but then it got chopped off. I found it a bit scary seeing it all on the floor. I wish I’d know that you could donate hair to help people at the time. If I ever grow it long and cut it off again I’ll find someone to give it to. At the moment it’s mid-length, which is just about managable. I feel a bit like Jo from Little Women, though – my hair is my “one beauty” so I’m a bit loathe to have it too short, although it is also definitely *not* my priority to look sexy! Giving hair away is a much better use. Sorry for rambling.

  15. This is a great post! You got it exactly right, so many hours are spent trying to make our hair look presentable and for what? To be considered sexy by some and not help the environment.

    Have a good day fellow blogger.

    -Ally Johnson

  16. I agree. I’ve never met a woman who was satisfied with her hair. I’m not satisfied with my hair and that having long hair has become a requirement for beauty is absolutely ridiculous. Kudos for you for cutting it into a more manageable style.

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  18. Hair is overrated. I’d rather talk with a funny bald woman than a perfectly coiffed woman with no personality. That being said, your new hair looks nice. Cheers.

  19. i sometimes dream that my hair has been cut short. Then i wake up all in cold sweat and thank god it was just a nightmare! What a relief! @ angirach: i AM happy and PROUD of my hair, it’s dark curly and almost reaches my buttocks now. I will never cut it, and if i lost my hair because of cancer treatment f.ex. i would have bean heavily depressed…
    It costs me an hour to make my hair look like i want it but it’s worth it! It’s the most beautiful part of me and i will never be too lazy to spend as much time on it as needed!!

    • I sometimes dream that my hair grows several meters long and then takes root in the ground under me, trapping me. But then, that’s me and my weird dreams.

    • Im 45 and I have had short hair and long back and forth my whole life- at this time it is pass my butt . I am sick of everyone telling me that I NEED to cut it off- why do people think that its ok to walk up to you and say some thing like that or they say you need to give your hair to this place or that one.Well if I cut my hair they are welcome to it but its very rude to tell some one that they need to do so. If you have two cars or homes do I have the right to tell you that you should give one of them away .I will cut my hair if and when I want so please keep your commets to your self thanks RE

  20. It’s funny how people get so caught up in looks. I’m guilty of fussing over my hair myself, but I got tired of having long hair… About 8 years ago, I chopped it all off from being past my bum to about 2 inches long… Now, I’ve been growing it back out and it’s past my shoulders again after not cutting it for 1 year. People keep asking me if I’m going to grow it out, and saying “it looks so nice long!”… Makes me think I was ugly or something with short hair hahaha…
    Anyways, it’s great you cut it all off for a cause! Maybe that’s what I’ll do this time around!!!

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  22. What disturbs me in your post is your need to curl your hair and not accept your straight hair as it is, not whether to cut it or not. We, as women, are constantly being told that we are not good enough or attractive enough because we don’t do something that our culture or advertisers deem essential to being sexy. We must start thinking for ourselves and not succumb to their motives which manipulate us to feeling what they want us to feel and buy.

    • The painful part of that post was (rather) talking about straightening her curly hair. It’s hot and time consuming. Curling curly hair is actually just as hard, and requires tons of gels and other styling tools.

  23. I get where you coming from. I have dark, black, think long hair and women are always coming up to me telling me they’d “kill” to have hair like mine. I used to have hair right past my hips — and i’m a tall girl. When i got it cut as a bob, my friends were completely shocked asking whether i regretted the decision

    Nope…but then see most people with thick hair will find that their hair grows back FAST. In 3 months, my hair was past my shoulders.

  24. I grow my hair out to donate it to Locks of Love. It takes it about a year and a half to get it to minimum donation length, and by then I just can’t stand my hair! I’ve never gotten negative comments about cutting it, but I do when I suggest to others that they should do it someday too. They always give me this why-would-I-do-that? look. Sometimes I really don’t understand people.

  25. I also have long (down to my elbows) and very wavy, sometimes curly, hair. I cut it 3 years ago and donated to Locks of Love. You know-the place that makes wigs for children suffering with cancer. Anyway, I hated my particular cut but I was thinking about doing it again sometime near the end of summer. This time it is longer so I won’t look like a boy when I do cut it.

    I am much like you in that I have a gigantic soft spot for animals and the environment. I go out of my way to recycle, I only adopt my pets, I use more of the natural products as opposed to chemicals, etc. I’m really glad I came across your blog post because now, instead of donating it to Locks of Love again, I can donate it to something different. Something that helps with things that I really care and have a passion for.

    So, thanks for writing this because now Matter of Trust is going to recieve a long, wavy donation from me! :D

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  27. I wonder why it is that long hair considered “sexy” and short hair “empowered” as if they can’t coincide? (Less we all look like Halie Berry!) I’m glad to see another woman brave enough to step outside of current social trends. But really I hate that our hair has to make any sort of statement at all.

  28. I’m a hair model for Vidal Sassoon, so I’m super biased regarding this point. I’ve even written a post regarding this exact topic.

    But it’s true: a great, short hair cut is totally sexy and gorgeous. I’ve found that a lot of women (and men, too) will give you shit about it, especially if you had super long hair before the cut– but usually they do that only because they are not confident enough to pull it off.

    I absolutely LOVE having short hair, and I can’t imagine ever, ever growing it out again (I can’t imagine Sassoon wanting me to do that either). It isn’t practical, and it wastes an unbelievable amount of time and resources to take care of it (more products, more electricity for styling irons and hairdryers, etc). Above all- having long hair isn’t interesting! It’s boring. Why NOT spice up your life, save yourself an infinite amount of time, and look awesome?

    • Personally it used to take me a lot longer to get my hair to look decent when it was short. I don´t find my long locks boring at all. I think my long, gently-layered, non-dyed hair stands out in the sea of artificially coloured, ¨edgy¨ hair styles around these days, and I get compliments on it a lot.

      I had fun dying my hair all sorts of colours and experimenting with short cuts when I was younger, but at 27 I´m quite content with letting it do its own thing. Also, I never particularly look forward to visits to the hairdresser because they often try to talk you into doing something you don´t want.

  29. lol, Great post! It’s amazing how ‘engrained’ it is in the culture (at least some people of this culture) that long hair = sexy. There are so many other things that contribute to a person than their long hair (confidence is likely well up on that list). I am glad you felt courageous enough to go against the grain.

    With Love and Gratitude,

    The Intentional Sage

  30. Great post. Disney’s latest fairy tale flick “Tangled” might be of interest to you. While the only visible point of connection with the Rapunzel story is that there’s a chick with long hair, I think you’ll really enjoy the trailer.

  31. The first time I shaved my head, the men at the factory I worked at completely stopped talking with me. When I confronted them, I was told they like women with long hair. I explained to them they never had a chance to begin with and they continued to ignore me.

    • Absolutely ridiculous! As if it´s a woman´s job to be physically appealing to the men in the workplace. Boo indeed.

      • I was pretty appalled by the whole thing.
        Another girl and I were applying decals. They ended up moving me to the back with the old ladies under the pretense that they just need 1 person. A week went by and they replaced me with a blonde bimbo. She really was a bimbo.

        Then my car was keyed and apparently the security camera didn’t see anything. When I tried to get them to look into it more I was “let-go”.

        Have to say though, sitting with the old ladies felt so much better than constantly feeling like a piece of meat.

  32. Your new hair really looks good on you. But donating your hair for better use is what touched me even more. This is a very nice post.

  33. For Asians like me, long straight and silky hair is the standard. You can’t imagine how bombarded women are with shampoo commercials that show women with perfect long hair! There are just as many shampoo ads as there are of food!

    The crazy thing is, I’ve had long hair most of my life (I’m 22). And it’s simply because it suits me and my style. I don’t go out much so I’m don’t get hairstyling agonies. But it just sucks to be told that if I don’t have perfectly straight and silky hair, I can’t have long hair at all!

    Anyways, when I’m at a transition phase, I always chop off my long locks. And I still look great! :)

  34. Great post. I still remember back in 1974 when I cut my l-o-n-g hair. I had nightmares about hair cutting for weeks. I still miss it but I don’t miss the inasanity that went with it. Last year I saw a beautiful elderly woman with a gorgeous grey braid all the way down her back march into Hair Cuttery. The technician secured the braid with a rubber band a few inches from her scalp and cut off the braid. She was donating it to Locks of Love, which makes wigs and hairpieces for children with long-term medical hair loss. Bravo to her!!!

  35. LP! Amazing! Love it love it love it! I have also cut my hair super super short. And I completely relate to all the comments you received as well. Especially being out in SF, CA I for sure got the common comment of you are going to look like a dyke. To hell with that, short hair is amazing. :)

    Great article. I hope all is well LP.C :)

  36. Mine is down to my waist- I cut it off VERY short about 6 years ago and I hated it, I felt so ugly, so NOT feminine and I ended up paying to have my nails done and wearing makeup way more often than I naturally do. I’m so glad its grown back now, I love the look of short hair on other people, but I don’t like the way it feels on me. I’m glad you enjoy your hair, it’s such a silly thing to feel strongly about, but i find that a lot of people DO have strong feelings about it. i wish I was indifferent.

  37. I know lot of women who would LIKE to cut their hair but are afraid to, as not to appear attractive to men….how shallow is that? Power to you girl…you show them! The new cut is very sexy!!

  38. Food for thought, and it went down sweet. I used to have super-short hair, and have only just gotten used to it being longer again. Contemplating a cut myself – if I do cut it, I’d love to donate it to Locks of Love, but will certainly look into Matter of Trust. Very cool.

  39. What a great post! My hair is long – too long, mainly because of infrequent trips to the hairdresser. That said, I find it easier to maintain when it’s long because the weight pulls it down. There, that’s hardly very ‘sexy’ is it?!
    I found that when I had it shorter, in my twenties, I used to fret ridiculously about it, and fiddle and mess with it because it wouldn’t go where I wanted. Now I just brush and go!
    By the way, I prefer your shorter look – it looks lovely!

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  41. From the male perspective – yes, long hair is sexy but what is sexier is that wonderful smile that comes from you feeling good about yourself. After all, a self-confident woman that is happy with herself is the most sexy of all. I bet you still get those free drinks at the bar. I tell my girlfriend all the time, “to hell with what I think, you do what makes you happy and I will love it.”

    Another good use for beautiful, long, locks cut is “Wigs for Kids” (www.wigsforkids.org) They make custom wigs for children going through chemo and never charge them a penny. That way every time you look in the mirror and smile at your beautiful short hair, you get the gift of knowing a child can look in the mirror and do the same.

  42. Excuse me!
    You can be plenty sexy with short hair! I donated my hair about a year ago and every time I say I’m going to grow it out to donate it again people get upset and tell me how my short hair makes me look more sophisticated and looks way better than the crazy Hermione mess I used to have.
    Good for you! If you’re going to grow it out, do it to donate again!
    Way too many exclamation points. Sorry about that. I just think you can be sexy with any hair length AND you’re doing it for a good cause so everybody should just shut up.

  43. I love your post! We women are so funny and vain about our hair, but hey it’s a major component to who we are, so back off and cut us a break if we think long and hard about what we want to do about it’s length and color, right…we just want to look best on the outside so people will be attracted to us to get to know the inside of us…when I was diagnosed with breast cancer and lost my hair, it was very hard. I decided to take the bull by the horns, shave it all off when it started falling out, it was the best decision I ever made. It was very empowering. The real me shown through. I would be laughing, catch my reflection in the window, and remember I was sick with cancer, but I felt like ME. So if we’re not aware of what we look like we are the real us!! During the regrowth, I have found so many short style I love, that I never would have found, because I always wanted it long. I also could get showered and out of the house in like 10 minuted like a guy. Ha, ha! I even dyed it pink when it was about an inch long, which I so LOVED!!
    I LOVE YOUR NEW CUT!!! It shows off your lovely face!! You GO GIRL!!!!! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!!!

  44. Love it! I grew up with long hair and I have very thick hair. When I got older I found out my long hair was actually a hinderance to any sort of style because it always went into a ponytail. I just don’t have the dedication to get up and spent 20 minutes blow drying and another 20 straightening. So I chopped it way off.

    I am proud of my short hair, because I know it breaks the mold. As a new mother, it also it a big life saver because babies don’t care if you need to dry your hair. I don’t feel the need to appear more feminine by doing my nails or adding extra make up. Not to mention all the shampoo, hairspray and other crap I’m no longer wasting.

    I think you made a great move and for good reasons! Good job!

  45. I used to only have short hair and everyone told me I looked “cute”. My twin sister had really long locks and everyone told her she had gorgeous hair and that she was beautiful. So i decided I wanted to grow my hair out. I have had it long for a while now and everyone tells me it is beautiful, but at the same time it is more work to take care of and honestly…i’m kind of sick of it. cause it is so much work! I love your post and women can look amazing with short hair. it can look beautiful and sexy!

  46. I recently cut off more than ten inches of hair for Locks of Love… and I don’t miss it at all! When my hair was waist-length, it choked me at night, shed everywhere (and who else could i blame for a two-foot long stray hair? LOL), was hot and sticky, and got stuck in car windows, coat zippers, and subway seats.
    I actually feel a million times sexier… and now I have a ‘grown up’ haircut, instead of a long ponytail.
    Congrats on the haircut, and thanks for donating the hair to a good cause.
    PS Your hair looks great!

  47. Having the courage to change your style is something to be admired, many of us get stuck in style ruts. Well done x

  48. I love your post! I admire your heart and your attitude, and will be passing your writing on.
    I also completely relate to the plastic six pack holders. My family still laughs about me doing the same thing as a child (I still hate them and cut them to pieces).
    Looking forward to reading more!

  49. Wonderful post. Just got home from having my hair cut – my stylist and I discussed how ridiculous people can get over … hair! You look smashing with your new do. Had way long hair first half of life, and way short ever since last baby. In my experience, the length of my hair has never had been a deciding factor re:whether I’m sexy or not. Please. I salute you for your donation. You are making a difference and you look great, too! Cheers!

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  51. I kept my hair long for 23 years. Granted there were trims and some cuts but my hair was long for as my entire active memory. I have extremely curly hair. The type where you can’t wash it everyday or it’ll dry out. Just to wash my hair would take half an hour for the clarifying shampoo, a regular shampoo, regular condition, and a 15 minutes detangling because only in the shower with heavy amounts of conditioner could my “beauty” be combed out. And of course styling with leave in conditioner, gel, and maybe some frizz cream (hence my need for a clarifying shampoo.)

    My long locks stopped at my jeans and then if stretched out went well into the crack of my behind. Sure I could straighten my hair temporarily, go to the salon and sit under a hair dryer for just under two hours with rollers so big they had to literally stuff me into the hair dryer so I can sit there with an uncomfortable bend in my neck to be removed for a 15 minute blow out session to get my roots and then pray for no rain and please please no humidity.

    Last May I cut my hair. I donated over 20 inches of my hair to Locks of Love and although the hairdresser went scissor happy and chopped off the rest leaving me feeling like an adolescent boy, I would advise any woman with long locks to cut their hair off. I love the idea of Matter of Trust with the current oil spill and deeply encourage all women to look into organizations who accept such hair donations for a better cause than a garbage can.

    I now finger comb my shoulder length hair in and out the shower. Despite the “OMG why did you do that to your face” and “I would kill to have your hair why would you cut it off” from pretty much everyone, men and women of all sorts, I love it. My change even inspired my mother to cut off her own long locks. I couldn’t be happier.

    Thank you for such an amazing post. Your cut looks fabulous and eco-friendly <3

  52. I had hair down to my butt and cut it off to my shoulders. What a life change! It’s long again and I’m dying to get extensions – I’m 43 – I don’t know how much longer I can pull off the long, sexy hair. You look great “short” by the way!

  53. I think that it is awesome that you’ve donated your hair!

    But I have to disagree with short hair being easier to deal with. For me, long hair (mine is to my waist) is so easy cause it is naturally wavy and just needs to be brushed. I had a cute short bob for a couple years, but I had to blow-dry and flat-iron every morning or else it looked awful…it was a huge pain and makes me really not want short hair again.

    So, I guess it just depends on your hair type and styling preferences :)

  54. I suffered for years with long, thick, heavy hair. Then when I was seriously injured in a car accident I simply could not tolerate the physical weight of my long hair anymore. Cutting it was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done. That was years ago and as much as I like the long hair look – it is soooooooooooo not worth it!
    And besides, short hair rocks! Who has time to be tied down dealing with all that hair?!? Better to live your life than waste it on all of the time that is spent dealing with a ton of hair. :)


  56. Interesting post, and it opens up many avenues of discussion. Let’s just say that for some of us, growing our hair – pain-in-the-ass though it may be – is an act of asserting our femininity and power at an age when most would take it from us. As a woman over 45, beautiful (longer) hair is a statement of sensuality and sexuality, an act of defiance that maturing means growing invisible.

    Here’s to choices (environmentally sound, of course).

  57. Ah hair! I don’t think I have been happy with mine ever. When I was little I had horrendous pixie cuts with chopped up one inch bangs. It looked as if a drunk had cut it. Then as a teenager it was long. Long but blah. Oh and slightly frizzy. Not long and beautiful. As an adult it has been every length it could possibly be. About two months ago I went beserk and chopped it all off myself after two bad shop cuts. I think I got one good week from it. So now I am growing it out again. This time chin length and slight layers forever. of course it looks like stupid old woman hair right now. I am fifty so I can say old woman. I hate being fifty and I hate my hair. My baby hair was probably the only good hair. But then again I don’t want to wake up bald.

  58. I am a ‘ curly girl’ myself but I could never get it just ‘right’ so most days it’s a frizzy mess.. I finally just cut it due to the fact that I felt I was shedding way too much hair,, yuck!! I wanted to wait it out and donate it but I couldn’t get it long enough for Locks for Love.. I don’t think I’ll be doing the really long hair thing again. Loved this post. I can relate..

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  60. So true! While my husband loves my long hair, he doesn’t seem to love the fact that it often clogs both the drain and the vaccuum cleaner…having long hair requires maintenance from both of the adults in my household!

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  62. Great that you donated your hair to a good cause. As for me, newly single, I will not be chopping off my hair. It is the third most complimented feature of mine. Eyes, Lips and Hair. And I usually get the, “it looks too gorgeous to be extensions, but it is sooooo long and pretty.” So, yes, I am vain.

    If I ever do cut it drastically again (but I doubt I will because I have chubby cheeks and short cuts make me face appear slimmer), I will definitely consider the charity you mentioned.

    Who knew such a charity existed?!




  63. Amen!
    I have had short short hair. Like boy short. AND I prefer it that way. I am in the process of growing it out because I craved a ponytail, but am already getting excited to cut it off again.
    I am not, however excited for all of the lesbian questions I’ll get.
    I’ve had rumors spread about me, strange looks, or just straight up asked if I’m gay because I have short hair.
    I’m not offended by the thought of me being gay, but I’m offended that someone thinks that by looking at me they feel they can determine my sexuality.

  64. From the perspective of a somewhat-older-than-you guy, here are 7 retorts to the “long-hair-is-sexy” schtick:

    1) Reese Witherspoon – just as gorgeous with short hair.
    2) Pink – punky, funky, and definitely gorgeous with short hair.
    3) Cameron Diaz – often has long hair, but looks great with short hair.
    4) Janine Turner – looks fantastic with short hair
    5) Julia Stiles – often goes for longer tresses, but looks great with a short bob
    6) Halle Berry – what more is there to say?
    7) Winona Ryder – I’ve never seen her with long hair, and never seen her look ugly

    So, if you’d rather have short hair, “do” it (dumb pun intended) and while you’re at it, high-heels aren’t really all they are cracked up to be, so where some comfortable shoes, too!

  65. Loved this blog. When I told friends I wanted to cut my (then) long, annoyingly thick hair, I received similar responses. I cut my anyway. Since then, I’ve saved time & sweated much less. I don’t understand how women can have long hair in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Since you’re into the environment and animals, you might be interested in this article about cleaning hair without shampoo: http://simplemom.net/how-to-clean-your-hair-without-shampoo/ .

    Anyways, carry on!

  66. No surprise here, I agree too….hair is a pain. The haircut looks wonderful and suits you nicely. I wish I had hair like the “Velvet” doll. It was a doll that allowed you to push in and hide the long hair, so she had great options, but I really don’t need another hole in my head. :)

    Great post!

  67. My wife has short hair and I love it. Way to go! There is nothing sexier than confidence and a confident woman is sexy no matter the length of her hair (but I still think short hair is awesome).

  68. as a salon owner i am pumped that you sent your hair for the oil spills! it’s actually a policy at our shop, everyones hair gets swept up and boxed up and shipped out. i think most people are a little proud that their shorn locks are going to a good cause. and you’re right about it coming back quicker than the environment…

    about long hair being ‘sexy’, it’a about the head that’s under the hair. it doesn’t matter what kind of hair you have or the length. it’s about how you rock it. that’s where the sexy comes into play.

    ’nuff said..

  69. Ha! I really would too like to know when long hair became the object of everyone’s desire. I had long hair my entire life – thick, wavy hair. And yes on a good day, which was about as often as Mt. Rainier reveals her pretty head in rainy Seattle, it was fierce! I cut it all off about 5 years ago and have not looked back. My reasons were not as noble as yours but I faced the same dumb questions. And being a black with long hair that chose to chop it off – it was if i was cutting off my powers!

    In the end, I actually did look much better without all the fuzz and use much less product saving myself money, time, energy, and waste. Cheers!

  70. How much money and chemicals we spend on our hair depends on many more decisions than just short vs. long. My short-haired friends spend a lot more time, money, and chemicals on their hair than I ever would.

    I don’t dye mine; my mom and mother-in-law both have less gray than I do, but not naturally, of course; they perm, spray, dye, etc. I also don’t mess with mine; my sister-in-law presses hers flat every morning and brags about how “quick” she is because she does her hair in only fifteen minutes or so. I’ve had really, really short hair, and it looked awful because I refused to invest the time or hair spray necessary to make it look good.

    My long hair does not say I’m looking to be Mary Magdalene, or that I flirted my way into promotions, or that I’m harming the environment, or that I’m only concerned with being sexy. And my usual ponytail is chemical-free, easy, and quick; of course the hair dresser tells you it’s pathetic, because it would mean less money for her if you could actually style your hair yourself.

  71. Great post! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    I have had long hair and short hair. I get the most compliments when it is somewhere in between (about shoulder length). When it was about 1/2 way down my back, I cut 10 inches off and donated it to Locks of Love (which, BTW is not just for cancer patients, but any medical conditions which cause hair loss like Alopecia). I did this in honor of my sister-in-law who has alopecia.

    I am in the process of growing it out again, only this time I am going to donate it directly to her to give her wig-maker (she buys her wigs about once every 2-3 years). One thing I notice when it is long is that when I get out of the shower and comb it out, there are lots of loose hairs. I have started collecting them because I had heard about being able to donate hair to help with the oil spill. I didn’t know where, though, so thanks for the link to Matter of Trust. I will also be asking my hair dresser to start collecting the hair that they sweep up each day. What a great cause – and I love the line about hair growing back much quicker than the environment!!!

    (PS – I am gay, and I find it irritating that people assume that short hair on a woman means she must be a lesbian! Thanks for the comment about the donation to GLAAD!)

  72. Congrats on being freshly pressed!!!

    I have straight long hair which is still very difficult to manage even though it is is straight. I would love short hair anyday, everyday. You did a good job there by cutting ti all and I like your closing comment about it growing back :D :)
    So, well, you would be back in square one in a few days with the same feeling of whether to cut it or not. I have these feelings for long stretches of time and everytime I go and cut it short for it to grow back the same length and the feeling returns. :)

    And hey, you are lovely and sexy and gorgeous with both longa nd short hair. Love both the looks and I have an appointment with the hair dresser this saturday ;)

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  74. Hey,
    Interesting post but I am a little disappointed in how you lumped all long-haired women together. I have had really long hair (past my butt) and really short hair (chopped to about 2 inches in length); I like both looks and all the ones inbetween but I keep coming back to the long hair look.
    I don’t wear it long so I can get a promotion at work; or to get free drinks at the bar or for any other ridiculous reason. I wear it long because it looks good on me, it is easier to take care of when it is long and I like being able to yank it back off my face.
    When my hair was short I had to style my hair everyday – it took so long to take care of compared to my long hair. With my hair long I wash and dry it and go – it takes almost no time at all and for the rest of the day I don’t need to do anything but occaisionally flip my hair behind my shoulders if I don’t want it framing my face.
    If you don’t want people judging you because you have short hair you shouldn’t judge women who have long hair.

    • skrinkingwmn, it’s not so much that she is lumping all of us together, but merely expressing the frustrations of women who feel it is necessary to have long hair to be view as sexy, etc. Personally, I have fine, kinky/wavy hair that is honestly just a huge pain in my rear end. It looks good from chin length to butt, and although I LOVE my long hair, there are many, many days when I feel like chopping it all of merely because of how awful it is. She is completely right– on the wrong days, it is hot, heavy, never wants to stay in a hair tie and off the back of my neck, and I have a bigger ‘fro than… well, you understand. The gist of my point is that this woman is only trying to express the very common daily frustrations of women with long, curly or wavy, frizz-prone hair, and how we feel about the fear of being view as unattractive if we chop it all off.

      Lindsay, your short hair is gorgeous. It seems to suit you.

  75. The hair is super cute. I tried to go short but I looked awful with short hair…like a boy. I cannot believe someone actually asked if you would look like a dyke! There’s stereotyping at it’s “finest”. Anyway, great post and great hair! Good for you!

  76. Incredibly fearless of you! I always thought I’d be the same, cutting off my hair at the slightest prompting, but having grown it out for 10 years now, it’s getting more and more difficult. Wish I had the courage again!

  77. That’s great! Didnt know about Matter of trust, good to know!
    Women can be gorgeous and have great haircuts no matter the amount of hair they have! :) You made a great choice for yourself and the environment!

  78. I decided to grow my hair out because I thought it would be more impressive (or something; I can’t think of the right adjective for the thing I was going for). I had long hair when I was in my early teens, and I began romanticizing the idea after having such a long time pass since it was like that. I forgot how INSANE hair this length can be! I’m getting my hair cut next month and I’m at least getting four inches off. Boo, who cares if it’s sexy. It’s a pain in the butt! Even when I style it, it wants to droop in the heat or it gets in my face and winds up greasy from all of the touching I have to do to get it out of the way. I like how it looks right after it’s “done,” but other than that I just feel frustrated. (Long paragraph, but I’m sympathizing!)

    You look great with short hair! I think it’s awesome that you donated it to a good cause. I think hair can be beautiful at any length, just as long as it’s worn with confidence.

  79. I currently have long, thick hair and am ready to chop it off as well! This seems to be a tradition of mine: I go from long down-to-your-butt hair and chop it off boy short. I say a woman is sexy when she does what she damned well pleases! :)

  80. nice cut. I like short hair, and you’re right, it’s the best haircut for the hot summers, plus no regret at all, since it’ll grow up again… being short never means being “not beautiful or sexy”.

  81. …great posting! As a guy who eight years ago had a braid that fell past his waist, I can commiserate with you on the work involved with maintaining long hair… don’t know if anyone ever thought mine was ‘sexy’, but I’d get lots of comments from strangers almost on a daily basis. When I went under the chop while on vacation, I just knew it was time. I was surprised at how many folks I work with couldn’t believe I’d cut it all off! To this day, I occasionally get people telling me they remember me with THAT braid… just wish I could have done like you and donated it to something worthwhile.

  82. I agree that there are more important things in life than prescribing to other people´s idea of being ¨sexy¨. However, I find having long, thick hair does have a practical use in that it keeps my ears and neck warm during winter! My main issue with having long hair is that I probably spend more time in the shower washing it than a person with short hair, and this can´t be good for the environment (ie: more water usage). I used to sport a very short pixie crop for a number of years, but I found I was spending far longer in front of the mirror trying to make it look good than I do now with my long hair, and to me, it just wasn´t worth the hassle. Not to mention the amount of money I used to spend on hair styling products. These days I just use a basic shampoo, conditioner, a once a week protein treatment and a tiny amount of hair gel to define my fringe.

    I don´t bother with fancy hair styles except for very special occasions such as family weddings. So, once or twice a year. Daily, I either wear it down past my shoulders to show off its natural kinky texture (which I used to hate but have come to accept), or in a messy up-do that takes about 10 seconds to complete. I´m sure lots of people think my hair looks unkempt and messy, but I don´t really care because I think it looks good. I only visit the hairdresser a few times a year because it´s expensive to keep getting my hair trimmed every 6-8 weeks as recommended and if I see a split end I cut it off myself with a small pair of sewing scissors. I don´t dye my hair either so I think that´s a win for the environment.

    I do have a 10 inch lock of hair that I kept from my last long-to-short haircut from 2007 that, thanks to your post, I am now inspired to donate to either Matter of Trust or Locks of Love (a foundation that accepts human hair donations to make into hairpieces for cancer-stricken children).

    But yeah, it does bug me that people will assume all sorts of things about you based not only on the length of your hair, but on the colour, cut and condition of it as well. Also, I find most people´s definition of ¨sexy¨ to be a pretty drab standard that I would never wish to emulate. Long live originality!

  83. Well done on giving your hair to a good cause. I did something similar a few years ago. There was a shaveathon for a cancer association, encouraging people to shave off their hair to raise funds and awareness. I was humming and hahing until I discovered that long hair would be kept and used to make wigs for children with cancer. So I chopped off my elbow length hair. And was amazed at the horrified reactions I got. I am now in a two year cycle (my hair grows fast) – so every two years I donate my hair to sick children, then let it grow again.

  84. I had long hair as a teen but it was always a bother to care for. I now have shoulder
    -length hair and feel pretty happy with it.

    Quite a cool post!

  85. I agree. When I was a little kid I had quite short hair, looking back on old photos and stuff I’d say it looked pretty darned cute. But in my early years of school some girl in my class said ‘you look like a boy!’ which made me very upset as when I was a little girl I was very girly which bascially started me wanting to have long hair. I hated having it cut and didn’t want it short and it was down to the middle of my back.

    • (stupid enter key!) I couldn’t wash it, I couldn’t brush it and I sure couldn’t put it up so my mum had to do everything for me. Then one day when I was about 13-14 I finally decided to cut my hair. It went from the middle of my back to my shoulders. I’m 18 now and firmly like having shorter hair now. It doesn’t need putting up, I can get it washed in no time and getting it cut allowed my natural wave to really show and I just think it looks so much nicer.

      I seem to have inherited my particular hair from my dad’s side, my mum deemed it the ‘Hollingbery mop’ as I have quite fine, wavy hair that is somehow quite thick and if my hair starts getting longer I think I could probably take up a career as a professional mosher or a rock band drummer.

  86. I had my hair cut short short (think Halle Berry short) and LOVE it. Turns out as well that some men find women with short hair extraordinarily sexy. I like those men!

  87. Thats a good point. I´ve never thought of it this way. Just cut it of for the envoirement! I also have long thick hair, but I don´´t think I dare…

  88. Arggghhhh!!! My problem exactly! I have curly hair that troubles me every sinlge day! My problem is that I want it to go long for my wedding next summer but whenever I see someone with shorter hair I wish I could have the guts to go and cut it all off!!


  89. Few weeks ago i read about girl with long hair feel more sexy and may look more sexy. There may be some truth in that. But i assured you that, you look exceptionally warm and cute with short hair (sincere and honest). Sexy is not mere appearance but on personality too. Don’t worry, you look at your best XD

  90. Yep, I’m another short ‘do lady and I have to admit to liking it better than long (on me).

    My hair’s flat, fine and breaks off shortly after shoulder length. Not terribly helpful in achieving the gorgeous sexy pre-raphaelite tumbling tresses that I dream of (somebody mentioned “Princess Complex” above which I can completely relate to).

    Ultimately, short hair just suits me better; suddenly I have cheekbones instead of pudding-face, a jawline instead of multiple chins. I may not look sexier to the average man on the street, but I sure as heck feel it – and I’m reliably informed that my husband likes short hair better on me because it’s easier for him to get in and kiss my neck!

    Well done to the OP for donating her hair – I’d love to do something like this, but sadly my hair will never make it past my shoulders before falling out and splitting. Maybe I could have a quiet word with my genius hairdresser instead and find out what he usually does with his clippings….

    Love the new ‘do – ooooh, suits you sir!

  91. I have long straight fine hair – I love it – except that it is so fine it wont do anything except be straight – and it does get hot and bothersome in the warmer weather. I have had long hair now for 17 years – and its so easy to sort out – wash, condition, leave to dry – my boyfriend cuts the ends every now and again and thats that! When I had short hair, which was a long time ago now, I used to be mistaken for a boy, whatever cut I tried! So its long – and I am probably the least sexiest person around – spending most of my time scrabbling around in undergrowth taking wildlife photographs, or mucking out stables, or walking dogs in the rain…..

  92. Short or long – It really depends on your face cut… I have tried short hair of various styles, but it never really suits me.. I have to stick to long straight hair… how boring!! :(

  93. I went from long auburn hair (color generously assisted from the bottle..) to a dramatically short razor cut, bleached blond (no longer than 1/2 inch) cut in one day and never looked back! Brushes and combs no longer reside in my home….

    Not a week goes by that at least one person comments on how much they like my haircut/style and wishes they had the nerve to just go for it! My husband loves it!

  94. I’ve had short hair most of my life. So short that I could go to a barber shop and have it trimmed. ($5 hair cut? Yes, PLEASE!) I’m growing it for Locks of Love… an item on my “30 before 30” list. I realized something: What is the point of having long hair when you just pull it up in a ponytail day… after day… after day… after day. I try to keep it down and style it, but in the end its just his annoying hot mess that gets in the way. Especially when a good cause is involved, who cares what people think?!?

  95. High five! As you can see by all your responses, you’ve got a lot of support for your actions. I think it’s important in the modern world to not necessarily redefine gender standards, but UNdefine them.

    While a man’s sensitivity or sense of humor can be just as sexy as his six pack abs and a woman’s intelligence and self confidence can be just as sexy as her smoking hot backside, it’s pretty apparent that looks still go a long way in establishing sexiness. However, there are a lot of looks that I personally find sexy in a woman. Yes, a long flowing frock is 100% gorgeous, but pixie cuts are also ridiculously tasty. I find athletic girls attractive (especially during some sort of sporting activity), but I also think edgy hipsters with colored hair and excessive tattoos are crazy hot. I guess that explains my thing for roller girls?

    I think something that we don’t think about but could all agree on though is that attractive looks are relatively fleeting. Meaning, when something catches our eye it needs to be quickly reinforced by something else. Looks are an important part of sexiness, but without personality and attitude to back them up they’re just something to appreciate from afar.

  96. First of all, I dont think a woman such as yourself can help being sexy, so as for it not being a top priority, well, just have mercy on those who have to try. Second, you had beautiful hair, everyone does always see the grass greener on the other side of the fence, and part of what makes hair like yours sexy IS the fact it does what it wants, when it wants, its wild and crazy at times and its just plain alluring at other times- if you let it grow back, remember to let it be, and you can’t dictate to beautiful, when it is or can be. You have to allow for what others see, that you can’t. Third, glad you found a cause to satisfy your need for change. Good blog.

  97. I used to have my hair down to my butt for a very long time as a kid, and my hair is super, ultra, thick. Even having it shoulder length I can feel the weight, but I need to have it long enough to pull back inside of a pony tail. Women always desire someone else’s hair, and this is true, though I still haven’t even colored my hair and I don’t plan to until gray hairs start popping up. I’m glad you got it done, having long hair is literally a pain in the neck!

  98. As a woman who has heard the same comments over and over about her own hair, I identify with your experience, and I give you props for taking such a daring step… and for sound reasons! I have debated making the same hairstyle change for years, for precisely the reasons you named… long curly hair draws admiring comments from friends and strangers alike, but it requires great effort to maintain and of course, the products I rely on to tame the frizz are not cheap (or environmentally friendly, unless you go the dirty-hair route… I wash mine once a week).

    Thanks for sharing this! I’d not really considered the eco-friendly perks of having short hair. I am a bit concerned about the cost benefits, however, since the money I might save on product I may end up spending on routine visits to the hairstylist for a trim. But your blog entry motivates me to resume my search for a short haircut that would work for my particular hair-type (dry, frizzy, curly-wavy thick red hair). I am not too keen on being compared to little orphan Annie… but I think my hair would do something else entirely because my curls aren’t very tight.

    Your new style looks great, btw.

  99. I lived for almost 30 years with ultra thick, long, curly, frizzy hair. When I was little it went to my butt and people used to ask if it was real…what?!? Anyway, all I’ve ever wanted was to have straight, brush & go hair. I gradually cut it a little more every few years but never went above the shoulders because all the stylists told me if I went too short it would raise up & out because it was so thick. I finally decided I wanted to just do it because my hair grows really fast. When the stylist cut it off (I donated a foot of hair to Locks of Love) he blow dried it straight and I absolutely loved it. I never thought my frizzy mess would ever be straight like that! It was so wonderful and in the last few years I’ve cut it shorter & shorter, now just above my shoulders. I prefer it straight although I had that it takes time & effort (less now that its shorter) and I do still wear it curly about once a week when I don’t feel like taking the time. Great post!

  100. Love your hair cut… love that you did it for a good reason. And while it is shorter, it is by no means short. You could have done a super short pixie cut or something along those lines. Hair does not make the woman, the woman makes the hair. Halley Berry had super short hair and I don’t think anyone every thought she wasn’t sexy or hot with her short hair… I cut mine off a few years back and loved it, the only thing I missed was being able to put it up. I have since grown it back long enough to wear it up and now that is all I really do. I’m thinking it is time for a short do again. Thank you!

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  102. As someone who has often presented the ‘but it’s beautiful!’ argument to the women in his life (friends, mother, sister), I do realise it’s selfish and sentimental. Still… it is indeed beautiful, and giving it to a good cause certainly respects that beauty far more than leaving it on a hairdresser’s floor. May your tribe increase :-)

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