15 things all women with short hair are sick of hearing.

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It can be gloriously liberating parting with those long locks and opting for a short crop, especially when the heat rolls around.

Back in 2010 I decided to transition from a short bob to a Rhianna style pixie cut. I agonised over seven variations of ol’ Rhi-Rhi’s hair before selecting the one.

17 problems only girls with fine hair understand

There’s that moment of no return that is crossed when perched on your hairdresser’s throne, fielding awkward small talk whilst the scissors are brushing against your scalp, when you’re engulfed in a quick succession of thoughts of “what have I done”, “did I make a mistake?”, “welp, it’s too late now”, “I guess it’s happening” and “oh GOD I really hope this suits me”.

It was damn sweet relief at the cut’s conclusion when I anxiously peered into the mirror and didn’t have to express faux enthusiasm.

But what surprised me most was the excessive amount of unsolicited comments I received from friends and strangers alike.

Here are just some examples:

1) “Why?”

Why not? I urge you to come up with a list of other haircuts that anyone is asked to answer for as much as women with short hair. Did ten people ask you why you got a balayage? Or why you got a bob? Were your motives repeatedly questioned when you got blunt bangs? Didn't think so.

2) "It's part of a phase"

There are many ways in which this question presents itself, and they're all equally ridiculous:
"Are you going through an existential crisis?"
"Oh it's just a phase"
"Is this part of your feminist schtick?"
"It's just an experimental phase in your life"
"Is this a political statement?'

It might be surprising to hear that the length of my hair has not affected my ideological leanings, and that my feminism has not informed my hair's temperamental life.

3) "Were you broken up with?"

Sometimes we make conscious decisions to enact change as a reaction to an event, or as part of a desire to signal a new phase. But sometimes we make decisions pertaining to our appearance because we simply want to; no deeper psychoanalytical thoughts required.

4) "What about your boyfriend?"

My least favourite array of questions grinds my gears because they hinge on the partner's feelings, presumptively prioritising their opinion over your own bodily autonomy. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "what does your boyfriend think?", "don't you have a boyfriend though?", "is your boyfriend okay with it?", and "weren't you worried he'd find you less attractive?" I'd have enough cash to fund my emergency-mullet-prevention hair trims for all eternity.

5) Questioning your sexuality

My sexuality is not up for your speculation. It's incredulous how many people will spitefully call you a lesbian as though the word should be an insult, drawing irrelevant conclusions from your new ‘do. Here’s a little PSA: Ellen De Generes jokes and comparisons are entirely unoriginal.


During my three year stint with short hair, I had school friends who I hadn’t seen in years ask mutual friends if I was now a lesbian, seeking salacious tidbits of information. After a ball a few years back, I was dressed to the nines at a bar for the after-party. Two guys and a gal approached me later that night to say, "excuse me, we've been discussing this all night, we can't figure out if you're gay or straight because of your hair".

They all completely miss the point. Am I anything but heterosexual? The answer is a big resounding who cares.

6) People thinking you're a little boy

Slow clap for you for this creative insult. It's not up to you to try and detract from my femininity or cast your judgments as to my gender.

7) "I liked your longer hair better if I'm being honest"

This also comes in "but your hair was so nice!" and "but long hair really suited you!"

Brb, rolling my eyes forever.

8) "I miss your long hair"

Well, it's a good thing you have your own then.

9) "I wouldn't cut it", "I could never cut it like that" or "I could never do it myself"

O ok cool, no one's asking you to.

10) Telling you your hair will grow back


11) "Not many people can pull off short hair"

"...except Emma Watson and Halle Berry. But they could have maggots chilling on their scalp and they'd be just as hot" or some variation on this statement that describes someone's attractiveness as being boundless in spite of their short hair.

12) Asking about when you plan to grow it out

13) "Do you like it?"

Well, aren't you the inquisitive one.

14) "Guys prefer long hair"

'Friends' reinforcing shitty gendered expectations is extremely tiring, when they start to spurt the same misogynistic trite we've been indoctrinated with, from "I don't think guys will like it", to "you'd be even more popular with guys if you grew it out". But it takes the cake when men lecture you about you making/not making the cut.

"I would only date women with long hair so you'd have to grow it out"
"It would look more flattering if it was grown out"
"I rarely like short hair but it suits you so it's ok"

Thanks for letting me know I make the grade, I'm so lucky to win your affections. Bye now.

15) "Do you regret it?"

Yes, the three years I kept it is the definition of regret.

Now that I've temporarily gone back to long hair, I find many friends casually noting they prefer my hair in its current state, as though I realised the error of my ways.

But that doesn’t come close to any of these old chestnuts.

Have you ever worn your hair short? What were the most frustrating reactions you got?

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