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Why I Chopped Off All My Hair

Why I Chopped Off All My Hair

By Kristen Chase

I spent the entire day after getting my hair lopped off thinking of how to explain the decision to people.

I just don’t have time to do my hair every morning!

I love pixie cuts!

Lice! 

Because I did it on my weekend without kids, which I chose to spend alone in downtown Philly where no one had ever seen me before, I had time to wander the streets as the “new me” while I figured out how to answer the inevitable questions I’d face when coming home to where the “old me” existed.

I’d told no one beforehand, though I’d been planning the haircut for weeks — my hesitance, my two cancellations — all because I didn’t want to have to tell people the real reason.

And I get it. Why would a pretty girl with pretty hair who’s had it short a couple of times and knows it isn’t necessarily her best look chop it off?

But that’s exactly why I did.

I don’t really want to feel pretty right now.

Look, I know girls look gorgeous with short hair. Take Ginnifer Goodwin, Charlize Theron, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway.

But for me, it’s different.

I’ve spent most of my life feeling accepted and wanted solely based on my appearance, which isn’t hard when you’re a tall half-Asian (so exotic!) girl with long legs and a slender frame. Also not hard when that seems to be the only way you’re getting approval.

It’s old nonsense that haunts me when I stare in the mirror and decide I need to fit into a particular size pants even though there’s vanity sizing and no one really cares (or knows) if you’re in an 8 or a 10 except you.

All my energy for all these years has gone outside of me, yes on my looks but also in often times dysfunctional caring for others (my kids excluded because duh, they’re my kids).

And so over these past few weeks, as I remove myself from relationships and delete all the dating apps off my phone, I’ve made a decision to take care of my own business for once. To draw my energy in for now.

My hair, my looks, well, they give me a confidence that has, at times, bordered on unhealthy, and somehow altering it gives me a chance to breathe.

There are dentist visits and doctors appointments. There are cars that need tires rotated. There are budgets that need to be made and followed. There are a myriad other things in my own life that I need to tend to right now, not even including my four children and their health and well-being and livelihood, that in chopping off my hair I feel as though I’m able to force myself to focus on.

And really, I want to feel sexy and beautiful and hot and amazing and confident because of everything about me.

That’s not to say I haven’t had (and don’t still do) have relationships that are based on more than just my appearance. I know people have loved (and do love) me for who I am.

But the love for myself has been too tied up in what I show to the world, in both how I look and how I act.

This is how I’m choosing to start harnessing that energy for someone who really needs it before it’s too late.

And that person is me.

Kristen Chase
About the Author

Kristen Chase

Kristen Chase is a writer, author, and a single mom of four. It’s as exhausting as it sounds (at least the mom part). Also, awesome.

Kristen is also co-founder of

Kristen Chase is a writer, author, and a single mom of four. It’s as exhausting as it sounds (at least the mom part). Also, awesome.

Kristen is also co-founder of Cool Mom Picks and author of The Mominatrix’s Guide to Sex.

 

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Comments

  • Liz

    I totally relate. By age 12 I had 36D bra size, long, curly blonde hair and green eyes.  I could not deal with all of the attention and it really warped my coming of age experience. At 15 I started dying my hair brown and black, dressing in large, frumpy men’s clothes, and stopped shaving body hair. I just wanted to be invisible.  And guess what, I still managed to find men who liked me just the same, and had plenty of boyfriends. By age 28 I was able to come back to femininity and explored makeup and flattering clothes. I was better able to handle any objectification. Now I’m just able to be myself, and I guess I am old enough that I don’t get a ton of attention anyway! Sad that age is liberating.

    • I know, Liz! If only we could take what we know now and apply it to when we were younger. Maybe my daughters will listen to me?! Thanks for commenting.

  • Quite a revelation.

    Your beauty isn’t something that rests in a single trait. Wishing you clarity and peace as you grow new confidence. xo

  • Bethany West

    Picture pinned for my hair dresser; inspiration to go ahead and chop off my beautiful hair already has been instilled.
    I’m tired of making my appearance about someone else.
    Thank you!

    • Go Bethany! If you’d like links to photos I took, let me know. I was a bit limited due to my blunt bangs, but I’m really happy with the result. xo

      • Bethany West

        Ooh, yes to more photos please! 

  • Elizabeth

    I chopped my hair off 6 months ago and until now I couldn’t explain to myself why, as I didn’t understand myself. To others, I always went with the “it’s much easier this way” option. I love your lice version though, it is far more creative!

    Anyways, thanks for figuring it out and sharing!