I had short hair from the age of 6 or 7 until I was about 12. I hated the fuss of long hair and I hated when people mistook me for a girly girl. I loved my short hair.
But then middle school happened and I was mistaken for a boy daily. Mostly I didn’t care but I got sick of it. Then in middle school I was talking with a girl in my class who asked me to grow it out and then later said she would kill me if I cut my hair again. Though I still didn’t want to have to do anything with my hair, I was touched that she cared enough.
So I did. I grew my hair out. Once or twice I even let it grow down to mid back, mostly it was just past shoulder length.
After 7 years as a soldier I’ve been annoyed by my hair, not for having to do something with it everyday but because of its constant attention. Male soldiers who have zero hair take it upon themselves to constantly nag after a females hair. After a full day of putting Kevlar (helmets) on and taking them off, after sweating in obstacle courses, or pt, my hair just refuses to be contained. And these guys stop everything to point my imperfections out to me.
And it fucking pisses me off!
I’ve tried gel, hairspray, the sock method, bobby pins, and nothing has worked (and been comfortable).
Finally the other day I messaged with my girlfriend about maybe chopping it all off. There is this one E-7 who spends his free time nit-picking me and he’d said something about my bun being messy. (And I wanted to throw something at his shaved head.)
She was all for it.
Of course, I’ve avoided cutting my hair for a few reasons. The biggest is I don’t want to be the stereotype. The short haired lesbian who you know is gay the second she walks into the room. And a short haircut is one of the first warning signs. I also think women with longer hair are more attractive.
But with a year in the desert looming, I had it done.
I kinda love it, but I still have this near panic to grow it out almost immediately. My girlfriend loves so much she wants me to keep it short so she can enjoy it when I get home. That sounds fun! But seriously I want to grow it back now.
Between not having a bun to smooth down or glasses to push back up on my nose with the correction of my eyesight, I’ve lost both of my biggest nervous habits.
I also feel like I look very different.
How did the other soldiers react you ask??
One who had been flirting with me all MOB suddenly stopped. I got about 20 rubberneckers. My one and only female friend said it looked good on me. And my first line supervisor said “well that was bold”.