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Why I Cut My Hair Off

Jul 08, 2013

Three months after I left my husband, I chopped all my hair off. I went from a real life Barbie doll to looking way too similar to my twin brother in a matter of seconds.   Did I really have to?  The answer is yes.  Yes, yes, yes!
When I told my hair dresser of 10 years, the amazing Karen Lambert, that I wanted to chop it all off, she sensibly made me wait a while, just to check. She also told me the secret to telling if short hair will suit you or not – it’s all in the schnoz. Yes people, your nose is the key. If you have a little cute nose (ahem, like me, if I do say so myself!), you can pull it off.  If not, stay away from the crew cuts, ladies. I’m not sure many hairdressers would get such an extreme image change so spot on but she totally nailed it, thank god!
Why did I do it? Simple, I am a cliché.  It was an act of rebellion. I’d just left my husband and I was seeing my first girlfriend. Against her wishes, I cut it all off! What did it feel like? Freedom!  I was suddenly light and different, as if my hair has really weighed a tonne and now I was free from it.  Seeing it cut off like that, the hair looked like it never belonged to me.

The before picture with some luscious locks.

It’s taken a while to adjust. At first, looking in the mirror was difficult because I could really see what I would look like if I were a boy. That freaked me out, seeing a boyish face reflected back to me when my whole life I’d been used to the exact opposite. But seeing it in reality somehow helped me to embrace and get in touch with the more dominant and masculine sides of my personality.
I was so used to playing up my femininity, that I never really considered I had a counter balance. It turns out I do and it’s really fun exploring that. It sounds mad, but I do feel more confident, perhaps even a little more powerful?  Something has shifted physically in myself that I know wouldn’t have if I’d kept my hair long. I feel safer, and, in some weird way, less vulnerable. There are so many things that have been ignited by this simple change.
I used to wonder why a lot of lesbians have short hair.  Now, I think I get it.

Jana is a “learning lesbian” who recently came out. A documentary enthusiast, writer, presenter and vlogger who’s had a bit of a chequered past. Find more at An Alternative Un-Natural Blonde or tweet @janadowling

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