I once read an article about a famous pixie-haired woman who claimed to have cut her hair for
‘an unworthy man who liked his women to wear short hair to serve as a memorial for a woman
who was once special to him’. Seriously? How twisted is that?
Hair can be a woman’s biggest investment; financially, serving an emotional purpose and the honorable mention: the tons of physical effort that goes into it. I for one had natural hair for the longest time before I recently
opted to cut it, it would take me about an hour to detangle alone, nevertheless, that was
something I was willing to tolerate because of my love for natural hair. Most short-haired women
alike share the same sentiments and believe; that short hair defines their
standards of beauty and so does every other preferred hairstyle for the modern woman.
However, over the years, short hair has been deemed less flattering for women with
standards, a mindset that has been fed to us for decades growing up. This is undoubtedly heavily influenced
by patriarchal preferences as most men wear their hair short and fancy women wearing long
To add, a man with long hair or dreadlocks for instance is deemed more feminine, on account of his hair alone. In favor of long flipping ponytails, women have gone to lengths such as wearing synthetics as well as ‘dead matter’ alias human hair to ensure they meet the societal standards of beauty. Others struggle with unhealthy damaged hair with receding hairlines because they won’t cut their hair and let it grow fresh; a situation that the hair and cosmetic industry is making a killing on.
Few women know how it feels not having hair to fall back on, no matter how unattractive one might feel on a given day and have hair to fall back on.
From what I’ve seen, women shave their hair mostly when they are going through a quarter-life crisis; as with the adage: ‘a woman who is ready to shave her hair, is ready to change her life . This is when women are ready to challenge the notion of what it truly means to be a lady-and what it means to be pretty, or not pretty as the case may be. Here’s my opinion, I think short hair is bold, sexy, daring, flattering, sophisticated, and becoming even with the ‘’I like the short hair but I miss the long hair’’ comments which should in fact be interpreted as “I’ve grown up
surrounded by images that equate long hair with beauty, but damn if there isn’t a part of me that
knows what I really like.”
If men prefer long hair, it’s often because it’s hard not to prefer what we’ve been told is
attractive, much the same way I think women prefer tall men but have gone out with enough
short ones to know that when it comes down to it, we don’t actually care. Unless we consciously
recognize that we have a preference that deviates from the standard-hairy men, say, or
gap-toothed women—we’re likely to go with the flow. I’m sure there are plenty of men who truly,
inherently prefer long hair on women. But in my experience, the bulk of straight men default
to liking long hair on women just like women themselves prefer.
By Sheila Kariuki.