I’d always been a girl with long ass hair. Burned from the days of a truly terrifying childhood bowl cut, from ages 10 and up, I refused to cut my hair. I would cry, throw a fit or run away from the poor minimum-wage worker at Great Clips to avoid losing any of my precious length.
As I grew older, I started to style it and began to cut it for health reasons, but I refused to ever have more than an inch removed at a time. My mother would whine that my shower drain could be used to supplement the hoover dam. I’ve had friends and acquaintances, with IQs ranging from extremely low to shockingly high, refer to my tresses as “mermaid hair,” despite knowing full well that the phrase mermaid should never be used to describe anyone over the age of twelve.
But here’s the thing about long hair. It’s gross. God forbid you try to dye, and the cost of maintaining any semblance of “a look” will literally bankrupt. It traps your heat, it sticks to everything and there is just more room for things to go wrong. It will end up looking stringy, frizzy, greasy, or a strange combination of all three. Something had to give.
So I antagonized. I struggled. I went back and forth, back and forth, not sure if I could really do it. I would dial my salon and then immediately hang up, too much of a pussy to cancel the appointment and way too scared to speak to someone knowledge about hair. I googled my face shape, tried to pin my hair up to see what it would be like, and eventually gave up and went it.
“Cut it off.” I said to my hairdresser as I sat in the chair, feeling squeamish. “Give me a lob. Now, before I realize this is a mistake.”
I closed my eyes and let my mind wander while the girl got to work massaging my head. Would I look like a troll doll? Would my hair still frizz up and just climb upward instead of out? Would I suddenly revert back to the unidentifiable childhood night terror that I was at nine? I tried to block out the sound of scissors removing over ten inches of hair. Then it was over.
I’m not going to explain the embarrassing array of emotions I went through, because damn, did I look good. If long hair is mermaid-esque, then short hair is a warrior princess gut-punching a man in face. My cheekbones could cut glass. My eyes seemed to dare anyone to fuck with me. My square jawline, the bane of my existence, screamed at people to get out of my way.
There is something magical about the lob. The length is the whole message: short enough to let people know that people know not to fuck with you, but also flirty enough so people know you’ll slam them against a door and tongue punch them into oblivion, if that’s your prerogative. It’s hardcore enough to let everyone know that you don’t have time to listen to them whine about how that guy didn’t call them back again even though he promised he would, but long enough that you can still go out and get plastered. Lobs are the quintessential power bitch look for a reason. A lob can hug you because you managed to sell all the tickets to your philanthropy, but also turn around and cut you to pieces because you fucked up rush rotation and left the obvious choice bid with a shitty group. You want to hate them, but you always want to be them.
Since cutting my hair, I don’t feel the need to fake laugh in pictures or apologize for things that aren’t my fault. If I’m late to chapter, it’s not because I had to straighten or dry or curl my hair. Instead, I’ll straight face it because I don’t want to be there, kick out a paper on my phone, and still hike my ass to the bar before happy hour is even over.
I lobbed my hair, and I can do pretty much anything. .