Twice in my life, I’ve endeavored to unceremoniously chop off all of my hair. The first was in seventh grade, when I traveled to the local Super Cuts where some stylist-in-training inflicted upon me what I declared my “Huckleberry Finn haircut” – and not in a good way. The second was in 2008, after a nervous breakdown led me to booking a hair job, largely on account of my walking into the casting, blonde hair tumbling down my back, and announcing “Screw it. Do whatever you want.” And do, they did. I left with brown hair and an asymmetrical bob.
On both occasions, I cried.
And then, after a few weeks, I bounced back, empowered by my unwillingness to be a slave to beauty norms. Short hair left me feeling empowered, masculine, in charge. Eventually, however, the pendulum would swing, leaving me craving obvious femininity and, dare I say it, preciousness. My faux testosterone depleted, I’d resign to be girly.
2013 has marked a new dawn for “The Chop.” Models everywhere are getting sheared: Karlie Kloss, Aline Weber, Cat McNeil, Jessica Stam. Fashion darlings Hanneli Mustaparta and Elin Kling recently joined Alexa Chung in sporting shorter ‘dos. Everywhere you look, women are trading sexy, beachy waves for a stronger, boyish look. The floodgates are open, waiting to sweep everyone away with a chopping craze akin to “The Rachel” of the early ‘90s.
Perhaps something’s in the air. All I know is I’ve spent five long years growing my hair out, and I’m finally considering lobbing it off all over again, leaving the salon floor strewn with the evidence of hair-dye abuse, teasing tragedies, broken ends and breakups, trips to Paris and a move to New York.
The pendulum has started its heavy swing. I just hope I don’t cry when I reach the other end.–Jenny Bahn