“So, class, there is a test on Thursday over Chapter Eight, so we need to…” Ms. Miller announced at the beginning of second hour, Algebra 2.
Maybe I should get a pixie cut… I thought. Because that’s just how my mind works sometimes.
Anyway, I dwelled on that idea for a while, drowning out Ms. Miller’s lesson about imaginary numbers (I figured I’d only use them in an imaginary world, anyway). I’d always wanted to get my hair cut short… like, super short. I hated the way my head hurt after wearing a ponytail for too long, and the way my curls got frizzy if I didn’t let them dry just right. I never did anything fancy with my long hair, either – just a simple braid to keep it out of the way.
To me, my long hair was a nuisance, a waste of time, and just not my style. I wanted it gone.
So, I sat there in math class, dreaming about how great it would be to have short hair. Then, reality set in, and I thought about how I’d probably never actually get the haircut I wanted because a) it probably wouldn’t look good on me, anyway, b) boys don’t like girls with short hair, and c) it’s a very daring move, and I don’t have the nerve.
Now, I’ve gone through this cycle before; wishing I would do something, then talking myself out of it. But today, that brave side of me had had enough. It was tired of waiting; tired of wishing. Tired of stepping aside. The world wasn’t going to end if I cut my hair off, right? Of course not! So, why shouldn’t I have the look I want? Why shouldn’t I give myself the change, the breath of fresh air that I needed?
And… boys who only like long hair are shallow anyway!
Immediately, I began Googling “pixie cuts” on my phone. (Yes, this is still in the middle of Algebra 2. Give me a break, I was making a huge life-decision!) I scrolled through hundreds of pictures of famous celebrities and models with super short haircuts, but nothing seemed to be exactly what I was looking for.
Hers is curly like mine, but I like the length of that one… I like the way the back looks on that one, but it’s not as thick as my hair… Nothing looked perfect. Nothing matched the image in my head. Nonetheless, I sent a hodge-podge of screenshots to my beauty consultant/life advisor/mom in an attempt to convey my ideas.
“What do you think?” I texted. “Should I do it?”
Anxiously, I awaited her response. I knew she would say yes, because she’s supportive and awesome like that, but I still couldn’t wait for her input. Bzzzzzzz – My phone vibrated the the pocket of my hoodie. Quickly looking to make sure Ms. Miller was engrossed in the lesson, I did the ol’ hide-your-phone-under-the-desk trick that’s so incredibly obvious, but… whatever.
“Yes!!! SO cute!!!” was Mom’s reply.
Alright, I’m doing it.
For the rest of the school day, I couldn’t focus on anything else. I was about to cut all my hair off! This was a big deal. As soon as school ended, I jumped in my mom’s van and we headed to Great Clips. I was eager to get there before I changed my mind.
“How would you like your hair cut today?” the stylist asked, in her thick Bosnian accent, while stroking my long, blond, curly locks.
“I want a pixie cut,” I replied, confidently. Immediately, she looked at my mom in shock, seeking parental approval for my daring decision.
“She wants a pixie cut,” repeated my mom in affirmation. From that point on, it was as if the stylist thought my life would be ruined by my haircut. She was greatly concerned by the ‘amount of curl I have’, what my ‘plans were for styling it’, whether or not I’ve ‘had short hair before’, and on and on and on. To be honest, this was a little off-putting, but I was so determined not to chicken out.
After much conversation and scrolling through the pictures I’d saved on my phone, she finally picked up the scissors.
That first cut felt like the first step off of an airplane to go skydiving, but as soon as those long strands started to fall, an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and relief came over me. The pile of hair on the floor grew bigger, and so did the smile on my face. My eyes kept darting from the mirror to my mom, and the look on her face showed that her excitement matched mine.
As I stepped down from the salon chair, I couldn’t have been more pleased. My haircut was even better than I imagined it to be.
Better than any of those pictures from math class.
None of the images I found online could portray the one in my head, because I was imagining myself all along. I was picturing my hair, my face, and my style, and there wasn’t a single Pinterest post, celebrity, or model that matched it.
My new cut was perfect. Not because of the length, or how the back was cut, or the amount of curl… but because of the way it made me feel: brave, unique, and creative.
Finally, my haircut matches me. Perfectly.
With an “A” in Algebra,
I’m seventeen and a senior at Affton High School. I am the second oldest of four children, an avid rock climber, and a dog lover. I have very short hair. Oh, and by the way, this is my mom’s blog.
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