I can’t remember a moment more life-changing than when my hairstylist Ken turned my chin-length bob into an asymmetrical pixie with a closely-shaved undercut at the back two years ago. I had lusted over Rihanna’s stylish short crop and admired the way Victoria Beckham’s gamine do showed off her slender neck. But it was the spunky short hair of a platinum blonde in a Gap ad that made my heart beat faster. She looked like she didn’t have a care in the world – because she had perfect hair.
Clutching the ad, I instructed Ken, "I want to look like her. I want to be her. I want my hair this short." I swear Ken had a glint in his eye when I told him to take me to the land of close-cropped cool. I could tell he was bored of maintaining my bob for close to two years. That day, Ken spent more than an hour cutting my hair lovingly – he never took more than half-an-hour when he trimmed my bob.
The result was fantastic. I looked fresh and stylish, and immediately felt on top of the world. Although I had looming deadlines and countless bills to pay, I felt like that nothing could get me down because I had perfect hair. I remember thinking how great it was that I no longer had to bother about having my hair in my face, wondering if it was too flat, if I should tuck it behind my ear or tie it up. A blow dry and some wax and I’m done in one-minute flat.
The women around me loved my new hairstyle too. I received countless compliments and random strangers stopped me to ask where I cut my hair. But it was a different story with the men.
As if to warn me, a dating agency owner I met at a press conference felt obliged to recount an incident where a man walked out on his date in the middle of a movie – "because she had short hair and he wanted a girlfriend with long hair". That pretty much sums up the level of sexual appeal I had after I cut my hair – zilch. That also pretty much sums up how shallow men are.
When my boyfriend kisses me, he has to close his eyes because if not "it’d feel like I’m kissing a boy". He begs me to grow my hair every time I announce that I’m going for a trim. On more than one occasion, I caught him stare longingly at women with silky long hair – it didn’t matter that when she turned around, she had a face like a trainwreck. I don’t blame him; because when he tries to be affectionate and run his fingers through my hair, they get caught in a three-inch long matted tangle.
But there were benefits to suddenly being reduced to a creature with spiky hair that men don’t bother looking twice at. I can walk past a construction site without being stared at. I look more convincing when I try to put on a don’t-mess-with-me face. I can also wear skimpy outfits without looking trashy. In other words, it’s actually liberating to have a short crop.
So who cares if the men hate my three-inch locks as long as I love it?