why long hair doesn’t equal beauty

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Throughout my whole life I’ve been raised in a society with the idea that having long hair makes you beautiful. It’s seen as feminine, and therefore overall makes you prettier and more attractive as a woman. Long hair is for girls, short hair is for boys – you know what I’m talking about. Obviously, it’s 2018 now – times have changed. Boys have long hair and girls have short hair, it’s not a big deal, so personally, why do I still feel like it is?

I’ve had long hair all my life, not because I felt any pressure to keep it that way (as such, I’ll get onto that in a minute) but just because I liked it. It made me feel pretty. Of course, there have been occasions in my life where I’ve thought, screw this, and then chopped all of my hair off, and whilst at the time it felt like the most freeing thing in the world, I’d quickly grow to regret it a week or so afterwards.

I cut all of my hair off once when I was around 13, and up until that point I’d always had long hair (minus the flattering ‘bob’ cuts you have to endure when you’re a baby of course). I literally did it because I was bored of having long hair and wanted to see what short felt like for the first time, and of course, it was only hair…it was going to grow back. No big deal. It didn’t really bother me once I’d cut it all off because at that age, even though I was in high school and beauty standards and stereotypes were obviously a thing, I was still too young to be bothered by it personally – yes I cared about what I looked like, but at 13 I just wanted to change my hair and see how it felt. Once I’d done it I just knew I was eventually going to grow it out and go back to long hair again and that was that.

So let’s skip to being 16, after 3 years of hell due to unforeseen circumstances and mental illness, I’d had enough…of everything. As you get older you begin to care about your appearance more and I loved my long hair, and so did everyone else. It wasn’t that I was known for it or anything – I wasn’t like a real life Rapunzel, but I had long hair all the same and used to take so much pride in it, I’d have it in long beautiful curls or nice and straight with lots of volume, it was part of my look. After I left school, (2014) I was just so done with everything, mentally I was so exhausted and now that I’d left school I just wanted to get away from everything, to cut ties with everyone and kind of reinvent myself. I wanted to be someone new.

So I cut my hair off.

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photo by artist Elesq

This was in 2014, so it was during the time of Kylie Jenner’s short hair and overdrawn lip stint, therefore I was taking inspiration from that. She made short hair look so good and so fun, but of course – it’s Kylie Jenner, she makes everything in her life look good.

Before making the big decision, I’d spent hours on Youtube scrolling through endless videos of people who had took the plunge and gotten rid of their luscious locks. Hours. Can you believe people spend that much time watching other people’s experiences just to decide whether or not they should get a haircut? I know I’m not the only one who does it, those videos have thousands of views for a reason.

After my Youtube binge and staring at Kylie Jenner’s Instagram page for weeks on end, I booked the appointment. As I was going to be getting rid of all my beautiful locks I still wanted to have something quirky about them, so I decided to go for a bit of ombre with the chop (also Kylie inspired). I remember sitting in the chair watching my hair stylist cutting off the first section of hair in the mirror as it fell and scattered in strands across the floor, and I felt nothing. After this, more sections and strands were being cut until I was surrounded in a sea of what used to be my hair suddenly covering the whole floor around me, and the only thing I could think of was how freeing it felt.

After a couple of hours and an ombre later, I left the hairdressers and began my 10 minute walk home, I was beaming. I literally couldn’t stop smiling, I felt so amazing and free, the ends of my hair lightly bouncing and brushing the tops of my shoulders as the wind danced through them. I remember calling my friend and being like this is the best decision I’ve ever made, I can’t believe I haven’t done this sooner.”

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after said chop

My hair was my safety blanket, I’d always used it as something to hide behind, to contribute to part of my beauty because I felt that without it, I wouldn’t have been half as pretty. The feeling of leaving the hairdressers that day was one I’ll never forget, I felt so happy for the first time in a long time, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that free. After losing my best friend, losing myself, depression anxiety, unrequited love, being used and dropped by someone I cared for so dearly at a time when I was so vulnerable – leaving school and realising that most of the people I hung out with weren’t actually real friends, it was kind of like a fuck you world. I’m going to cut all my hair off because I’ve had enough of you and there’s nothing you can do about it. Leaving school meant a new me, and that’s exactly what I was. I wanted to erase the past few years of my life from my mind, and that meant erasing the idea of what everyone knew me as with it.

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This was a great time for me because I loved my new hair, yes there were a few times when I missed my old locks but that’s natural, I’m pretty sure everyone has those thoughts / feelings after making such a drastic change to their appearance. I was in love with my new do and again, staring at Kylie Jenner’s Instagram photos became a part of my daily routine, she kept chopping her hair more and more and I thought you know what? I wanna do that too. I had my ombre cut for around 2 months before booking another appointment at the hairdressers to have a couple more inches chopped off.

Though this is where it all went wrong, and I think this is where my fear comes from.

I’d basically wanted my hair exactly like Kylie’s, but I’d miscalculated how short her hair actually was. It was the same length as mine currently, but because of the way she was styling it in her photos, it looked shorter. At this point she just had short black hair instead of the ombre and I was like yeah that looks cool, I think I’ll do that. The hairdresser that had done my ombre had literally put an inch of it at the bottom of my hair and so I knew that if I was going to have anymore cut off, it was going to get rid of all the blonde parts, but I liked the look of Kylie’s short and dark style and thought whatever, let’s go for that (my hair is naturally dark anyway so there were no problems there). My hairdresser was chopping bits off at a time and asking if it was enough and I kept saying no, I think we should go a little shorter. Before I knew I’d taken off about 2 and a half inches inches and my hair was now above shoulder length, but because I was still sat in the salon chair at this point I don’t really feel like it sank in, I was like oh it’ll be okay once I get home and wash it and style it myself, no big deal.

WRONG.

It was hideous, and I mean hideous. Or to me it was anyway. I hated it. I remember getting home and my mum just looking at me like……is that what the style is these days? I reassured her that I liked my new do though on the inside I was freaking out like what the fuck have I done. I remember I had to go to work the next day and nothing I was doing was making it look any better, absolutely nothing. It was so short that I couldn’t even shove it in a ponytail without it all falling out and having to put 100 hair grips in it. It was awful. I remember standing in the kitchen before I was about to leave for my shift and just crying. I cried and cried and cried. My first pay cheque I spent on hair extensions (not human hair ones) and for the next year of my life every day was a living nightmare because I had this horrible bob cut that didn’t blend into these plastic hair extensions, though I refused to let anyone see me without them in. It sounds funny now but at the time it was traumatic, I remember going for a sleepover at my best friend’s house and only taking my extensions out once all of the lights were off and we were about to go to bed, and waking up early to put them back in again before she woke up and would see me.

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the haircut that ruined EVERYTHING. don’t be fooled, this selfie was one of about 100 that I’d taken that day, after having a mental breakdown over it first of course

After that, I vowed never to cut my hair again, and I haven’t. My hair is back to its pre cut length now (about 20 inches) and it’s been about 3 years since that traumatic incident, those memories will haunt me forever. They’ve pretty much scarred me for life and I can’t get past the barrier that is – if I hadn’t gone for that second haircut, I would’ve never had this problem because the initial haircut was the best thing I ever did. I’m 20 now, and the urge to chop my hair off again is slowly but surely creeping back into me, I feel like it’s just something I need to do. The problem with me is that I suit and look prettier with long hair, but I feel better with short hair, and which one is worth more? Like I said, my hair is my safety blanket, I know I look more beautiful and feminine with long hair, I know I look prettier. I have a naturally round face so short hairstyles aren’t always the best thing for me looks wise but I feel more myself with short hair, I feel like that’s me.

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full credit to this artist – please tell me if you know who drew this!

I am very much a girl that runs with the wolves rather than dances with the fairies, I am messy and free and chaotic and I wear band shirts with jeans more than high heels and dresses. Short hair gives me the feeling of being my true authentic self, but when I look in the mirror I wouldn’t see my true authentic self because my long hair would be gone and I’d think wow, I look ugly as hell and therefore feel like shit right now, (and so on until my hair grew back). It’s stupid. It’s dumb and it’s ridiculous, I know it is. I know you’re all thinking it too and I wish more than anything that I could just snap out of it, but I can’t. All I can think of is why would I purposefully make myself look uglier, when I have the option to look prettier? Why would I do that? And it’s not true, I know it isn’t, but it’s the way I see myself and I don’t think this way about anyone else, I don’t have these views or opinions on anyone else apart from myself. So why can I not practice what I preach? Why can I give all of these uplifting, encouraging words to everyone else but not take my own advice and use them on myself?

They say that when someone cuts their hair it’s because they’re about to make a big change in their life, because they’re cutting off all of the dead things weighing them down. That’s the reason I cut my hair off when I was 16, but now I want to do it because I want to feel like me. Long hair makes me look more attractive, but short hair makes me feel like myself. I know which one I want to choose, I just can’t quite bring myself to push past the barrier. Do I want to feel like my true authentic self at the cost of looking in the mirror every day regretting what I’ve done and feeling like I’ve hindered myself for it, or keep my long hair and look in the mirror every day knowing that if all else fails, at least I can still make myself look and feel a bit prettier?

I know that long hair doesn’t equal beauty, I know all of that’s bullshit. I don’t believe it in general and I don’t believe it for anyone else either – I don’t believe that you reading this will be any less feminine or attractive or beautiful if you shave your head tomorrow. I don’t believe that the girl I work with will be any less beautiful if she suddenly decides to chop her waist length hair off into a pixie cut. Society teaches you that as a female, having long, luscious hair makes you sexier, more attractive, more feminine, more beautiful – more desirable. But to who? The consumer. The customer. The audience. Not to yourself. It’s all bullshit.

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by artist Rora Blue

I know and believe all of this, yet I can’t seem to apply it to myself. I can’t overcome the fear that I’ll be less beautiful if I cut my hair off, even though I’ve done it before and loved it.

I’m not really sure where I was going with this post apart from to remove the idea that long hair equals beauty, because reality check – it doesn’t. I just needed somewhere to put my thoughts. I’m sorry that I’ve written so much here but as you guys know – I always have a lot to say!

Hair does not equal beauty, and as Millie Bobby Brown so recently said (which is freaky, because she posted it as I was writing this post) – “The day I shaved my head was the most empowering moment of my whole life. The last strand of hair cut off was the moment my whole face was on show and I couldn’t hide behind my hair like I used to. The only image I had in my head about what I could possibly look like is Charlize Theron in Madmax. As I looked at myself and couldn’t see my old self, I realized that now; I have a job to do and that is to inspire other girls that your image or exterior part is not what I think is important. What I find important is caring, loving and inspiring other girls.”

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All my love,

Chloe .xx

57 thoughts on “why long hair doesn’t equal beauty

  1. Kaitlyn says:

    Chloe, I don’t know how I am only just seeing this, but wow! Your writing, your genuine nature, your originality; it’s all amazing! Hair is a funny thing, and although the saying that “it’s just hair, it grows back” is true, it can still make a real impact on how we feel. I hope you can figure out what you truly want to do with your hair, and for what it’s worth you are so gorgeous gal!! Hope today is treating you well, and thank-you for sharing this amazing piece 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. seaofwordsx says:

    I love this post so much. I love your hair. I think every haircut would look perfect om you. You are so beautiful 💜

    I also thought about this a lot.
    Why does we always need to do what society tells us to do? I’ve long hair all my life. It’s my safe blanket like you said too. Maybe, one day I will cut it in a bobhaircut but I’m so afraid and I know that at the end I prefer my long hair. It’s just so difficult to choose. I also watched a lor of vidros on YouTube. At the end we should do what feels good to us 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you so much angel 💜 I agree, we should do whatever feels right for us personally and not whatever society tries to force upon us, because there is no right or wrong answer even though it feels like everyone is constantly trying to tell us who we should and shouldn’t be xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. apollo says:

    i’ve been thinking about the same things recently. the last time i got my hair cut short was in elementary school, so it feels like it’s time for a change.

    short hair looks amazing on you, even if you don’t think so. i hope you come to a decision soon and are happy about it. 🙂

    xo apollo

    Liked by 1 person

  4. savagebutterflies says:

    Awww yes I struggle with this too! I think it’s the problem of comparison in women in general! We are all so so so uniquely different beyond hair length. I say wear what makes you feel the best from the inside out! You will always look beautiful then. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. theworldoffritters says:

    Oh my gosh, short hair suits you really really well!! 💕
    I absolutely agree with you, cutting your hair short(er) makes you really happy and makes you feel like a new person!
    I cut my hair to shoulder-length about two weeks ago and I am very happy with it! Sometimes I would like to get my hair cut even more but as I have curly hair it gets shorter than I actually want it to be and I’m a bit afraid that I wouldn’t like it that way.
    Anyway, I really love your post, as always you share your amazing thoughts with us!! 💕 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you my angel! 💕 I’m sure you look BEAUTIFUL with your new hair, I’m so glad you’re happy with it! It’s all one big experiment isn’t it, I think I’m just going to mess around with different lengths and see how I feel! Thank you for being so lovely as always xxxx

      Liked by 1 person

  6. nicoleslife96 says:

    Absolutely amazing. I didn’t even know I needed to read this post until the end when it really resonated with me. I am sure whether your hair is long, short, or shaved that it would look lovely. Keep smiling love xo

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Veronica M. says:

    This post made so.much.sense. Things like cutting your hair can be regretful(or happy) decisions, but one thing is they always seem to be freeing. Even though you hated how it turned out, I admire you for cutting it. I’ll admit I hide a bit behind my long hair but I do love it long, messy and as free spirited as I am. I like it long, but not bc society says as a girl I should wear it long. I do it for myself. Anyways sorry for such a long comment. This post was incredible xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • hell0chloe says:

      I do hide behind my hair a lot more than I’d like to admit – like I said, it’s my safety blanket! I’m still experimenting and figuring out what I like…maybe somewhere in between. I’m so glad you enjoyed this! Thank you so much, and never be sorry for a long comment – I love reading them! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Abi Babbles says:

    I honestly believe we are clones of each other. I cut my hair short in 2014 and at first I was like oh god what have I done, then I began to love it and felt more myself with short hair. Then I felt pressure from certain people to grow my hair long again because it was more ‘feminine’, and annoyingly I kind of believe that. Like you’ve said, I think I look more attractive with long hair but I just really want my short hair back!! Decisions decisions ay xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      I hate the views society forces upon us and it’s such a difficult thing to train your subconscious not to think that way, but I’m trying so hard to ignore me ego and just do what I feel is best for me, at the end of the day – it’s hair and it grows back! I wish you could just click your fingers and have your hair at any length you felt like on that day hahah! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Shewrites170 says:

    I can relate to it so much Chloe. And you are beautiful like a real doll. I have been wanting to cut my hair into a lob or long Bob, but never had the courage to chop it off that much. Short hair make the personality stand out. Long hair makes it look general. I keep it long and layered for I feel it makes me look slimmer and feminine. My hair texture is good and we should accentuate our better features. You are pretty young feel free to experiment. Once you find what appeals more to you, you can stick to it. I recently got front fringes and angled layering near to new year after watching lot of you tube videos and Pinterest images and make overs. Watching your hair getting short in front of your eyes is stressful Indeed and my bangs don’t stay pinned in place now. It’s annoying and I will have to wait till they grow out upto ear length or regular length. Don’t consider society and what guys like. Do what you want and make as many friends as you want to in your twenties rather than spending with one single guy who might not stick around for like forever and ever. If a guy likes long hairs then gift him a comb, oil, shampoo, conditioner, hair masks and ask him to grow his own hairs and love them … LOL
    I am turning 31 next month. Have seen one decade extra than you, when life turns tough, you got only your back to fall to and your hands to wipe your tears mostly so why bother about the society in the first place. Make yourself your priority !!
    Have fun 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Wow this made me smile so much, you are WAY too kind. Thank you ❤️! You sound like you have a lot of knowledge behind you and I’ll definitely take your advice !! It’s something I’m working on all the time (making myself a priority) because like you said, at the end of the day we will only ever have ourselves! Totally agree with you on the boy part – if they like long hair, they can grow their own right!? xx

      Like

      • Shewrites170 says:

        I am glad it made you smile 😃. You are welcome Chloe 💕. I hope I do.. LOL. True. You don’t have to be in shit to learn everything, you can act smarter and learn from others who have cleaned theirs. Get dressed for yourself alone, the way it makes you happy. Men don’t do makeup or hair styles by hair frying in straighter, curler or velcro rollers, they don’t wear heels to walk on sticks. They can go to date wearing sweatshirt and jeans and yet be cute and all so why go through all the grill to impress them. Impress yourself and have fun 😎

        Liked by 1 person

  10. whatismaria says:

    This is such an interesting topic! Funnily enough, I actually got my hair cut off and shaved back at the end of 2015, as well as dying it purple – it was REALLY short, and like you (although that picture still looks stunning) I hated it despite telling myself for a while that it looked cool and quirky. Now, over two years later, it has grown a substantial amount and I feel so much more like myself because my extreme hairstyle coincided with my ‘heavy makeup’ phase and a general attempt to do what everyone around me was doing. Anyway (sorry for the ramble lol), regardless of what you choose to do with your hair, we will support your decision and if you think that getting it cut will make you feel more like your authentic self – do exactly that, regardless of societal expectations. You will be beautiful inside and out in either case xox

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you !! You are wonderful as always, I definitely think it’s more important to feel like yourself over anything else (I guess I just answered my own question) but I’m glad you feel more like yourself now than you did back then – at least you tried it though right?! If we never try, we’ll never know xxx

      Like

  11. don't give a jam says:

    ugh, love millie bobby brown. your hair looks so cool short & if that makes you feel more like yourself, screw it! who cares if ‘boys like long hair’ lol. I feel like hair is such a personal thing, but everyone sees & comments on it, so it can definitely be hard! glad you got your thoughts out 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Thank you! Personally I couldn’t give a shit about what boys think in regards to their opinion on physical appearance, but it’s still such a factor in a lot of choices people make. I love Millie too, she’s amazing!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. purrpale says:

    I love this post so much! I feel like you should just go for short hair! How you feel is more important than beauty standards! I have my hair quite short, I cut it early December after I was done moping over a boy and honestly what you’ve said about how it lifts dead weight is definitely true! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lee says:

    I chopped all of my hair off last summer actually. Not just a few inches but all of it besides a couple of inches literally. Near baldness. I did it because I was ready for a change in my life, to leave behind all the negativity going on, and I wanted my hair to grow natural. When it was gone I felt the same way. Like weights were lifted from my shoulders and I was free, I was new. I can’t say I really regret the decision, but sometimes I definitely miss when my hair was longer. I find that I like taking pictures with longer hair. But You’re beautiful and you probably hear it a lot but don’t always feel it, happens to the best of us. I agree that whatever makes you feel like your authentic self is the best route but whatever decision you decide, make sure it’s best for you and not what the world likes best. ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Wowie, if only I was brave enough to do something like that – I’ve thought about it a lot!! I too prefer to take pictures with longer hair, I feel like I have something more to work with and therefore end up with a photo that I’m satisfied with, because I’m so picky when it comes to photos of myself (though I really wish I wasn’t). Thank you for your lovely words! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. questionsfromateenager says:

    Such originality in this post. Trying to keep up with societal trends is pointless in my opinion. Go for whatever makes you feel happy and good about yourself. And you look gorgeous with short hair Chloe, seriously, wow. I once chopped of my hair when I was around 14 because I wanted a huge change. What I quickly realized is that I didn’t feel like myself with short hair. It felt like a part of my identity was gone. But I’m glad I tried it out because I would have never known otherwise! I think it’s important for everyone to try new things once in a while and if you don’t like it, don’t regret it, be thankful for the experience and fuck what everyone else thinks! (easier said than done, I know, but babysteps, u know)
    I am so in love with all of your posts, can’t wait to see what’s coming up next! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • hell0chloe says:

      Wow, thank you so much 💜 At the end of the day, appearance is a shallow thing to base someone off (and you don’t want people like that in your life anyway). I’m definitely trying to work on overcoming the pressure to look and be a certain way, I feel like something so simple (yet also complicated) as cutting my hair could kick start that! Even though I regret the second time when I cut my hair shorter, I’m still glad I did it because if I hadn’t, I’d still be sitting here basically not knowing if I’d feel more like myself or not – it’s all a big learning experience! You are so lovely and thank you for your wonderful words as always! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  15. With The Dying Daisy says:

    Okay, honestly, you’re so beautiful, any hair length would make you look gorgeous. However, I read this post and now I know that you’re beautiful INSIDE OUT, as well.
    I’m sorry for everything you’ve been through, and I get that one’s public image holds a lot of importance, but I also believe that your image of your own self sort of rules the way everybody looks at you, you know? It’s not the hair or the absence of it that matters. In my opinion, what matters is whether you remember that you have an endlessly beautiful mind at times when everybody makes you feel like you don’t.
    Have a nice day! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. crystalsandcurls says:

    I love this. I love this so damn much. (Also, you’re insanely beautiful.) Personally, I’d go for what makes you feel like your authentic self.

    We have slightly opposite problems – I look better with shorter hair, but what feels like the real me is actually really well described in that sketch you included – the long hair with the flowers in it. A hippy fairy lying in a field with daisies sprouting out of her curls. So I keep my hair long! Because who cares about beauty standards (all of us. annoying but true) when you look in the mirror and think “I might look pretty but I don’t look like ME”? ME is more important xxx

    Liked by 4 people

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