On Rocking a Low Cut Hairstyle: Stories & Tips From 4 Amazing Women
Lately, I've been thinking of cutting my hair off and rocking a low cut. I'm super keen to do something entirely different, wear a new look and if I'm being honest - free myself from the stress of hair maintenance for a bit. I mean it's just hair right?
And I don't think it's just me. I feel like much more women are doing this or very seriously considering and talking about it. I reached out to four amazing women who live the cut life. So from Dami who likes her cut as a "guy cut", to Lola who has alopecia but loves the confidence that comes with this style - despite people's unkind interference. Stephanie's grandma believes that a woman's hair is her crown and Femi actually conducted a survey to see if men think she's less likely to get a man because of the cut!
This one is full of inspiration, laughter, so much good advice and bomb photos. It could also probably leave you making an appointment with a barber!
I decided to cut my hair in 2015 because I did not want to take my braids out. I was a new mom of 2, with no help and could not even think of the time it would take to take them out. I woke up one morning and just went to the barber. No serious thought around it. I just needed something low maintenance - and I haven't looked back ever since.
I knew I wanted it like a "guy's cut." So I always have a part and that makes it fun. It is well received. I get lots of compliments. I don't think I want my hair any other way. No complaints here at all. But if I couldn't have it this way, then I'd go for braids. I wore braids a lot prior to cutting my hair and it was so painful to install and first couple of days were often tough!
I don't like fuss and I am not good at keeping up with all things beauty - hair, make up, etc. So although I normally don't wear make up or earrings, I now wear statement earrings most of the time cause my head is too bare and I dabble in a bit of make up.
Best part of the cut? It is cheap to maintain. My haircut is about 10 to 12 bucks (USD). I go to my barber once a month, sit on a chair for about 20 mins and I am good to go. No torture. Not much to do during the week except brush and grease, and I wear a hat a lot of the time.
If I had to re-do my wedding, I would absofreakinglutely rock my hair like this! But you know I am only a year and a half away from our 10 year vow renewal. So, go figure!
If you're considering a low cut, so it! It is hair. If you hate it that is fine too. It will grow back.
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- Low cut life since 2018
So the thing is I have alopecia. Central Centrifugal cicatricial alopecia to be exact. I’ve known for a while but thought I could deal with it. However after all the treatments and recipes, I decided I might as well chop off all my hair and let it grow all over again. So in January 2018, I did just that.
I’m no stranger to having short hair, as I've had it at different times in school and university, but I covered it up all the time with wigs and braid. Now tackling my alopecia I plan to rock it as it is - no hiding.
I’ll be honest and say it was hard because I was almost bald and because of how alopecia is, I had patches in different parts so I looked odd I guess. Also my type of alopecia affects the middle of my hair so everyone could see my balding clearly. It was a very vulnerable feeling.
After a while I got used to it and honestly it helped my confidence. But living in Nigeria means people interfere a whole lot! So the reactions were varied. I got questions like ‘why did you cut your hair’ ‘hair is the crown and beauty of a woman’, ‘where’s your hair? You look strange’ and so much more. However I also had positive reactions. Some said it suited me, some said it was a new look and maybe I should stick with it. Everyone will have an opinion, you just have to know why you did what you did.
It is very special when I meet people who can relate. So sometimes when I tell of my alopecia. and someone responds ‘omg, I have that too.’ - it was heartwarming in a strange way. You see alopecia isn’t something that is spoken about often. Women tend to hide it. So that in some way I could start a conversation about it among a few people and even meet people who were struggling with it made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I just want to say that alopecia affects a lot of people and honestly once you get back the shock and rude awakening, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
ps: did you know that just recently a contestant on America’s next top model yanked her weave off and spoke about her alopecia - which was a win.
I love that I do not have to bother about styling it. I literally just brush/comb my hair and head out. Sometimes though, I have a look I’m going for or attending an event and I feel the short hair wouldn't fit in - then I wish for my long locks.
I still dress the same way. I think sometimes my low cut makes me look fiercer. I only use lipstick, eyeliner and a brow pencil - that didn’t change. People tell me I'd have to use a lot more make up so I don’t look like a guy but I couldn’t be bothered.
My male colleague at work once asked ‘what happened to your hair’. I tell him "I cut it" and for a minute he’s stuck. He then replies saying "yes I know, but why"? And I tell him "because it’s my hair and I can". That shut him up for a while. I later realized people don’t expect you to have an answer to those questions.
But my significant other likes it! He’s been wanting me to rock a bald look (think Amber Rose/Michael Jordan) for the longest time - he still asks me when I’m going to shave it off. But if not low cut, it'd likely be a big ol' afro. For most of my life I’ve had unrelaxed hair so that’s what I’ll be going back to.
If you're considering it, be sure you really want it. Ask yourself why and if you can come up with a good enough reason, do it. Once you go for it, don’t let anyone bring you down about doing it. You really are not your hair. Oh, don't forget to moisturise often - it's easy for it to get dry as it’s always out
I cut my hair in October 2013. I had been feeling the itch to do it and I knew it would suit me judging from when I did shorter weave style. Since cutting it, I’ve never worn a wig. Sometime in 2015 I did braids for like a week (family pressure). But I cut it off - I really didn’t feel like me.
I actually get complimented a lot about my hair. My fiancé was definitely intrigued. I would say, it’s certainly gotten me more attention - but I think it’s not the hair as much as the confidence from feeling and being myself.
On the flip side my Grandma has never been a fan, as she believes a woman’s hair is her crown. Also I have that aunty who asks whether I’m mourning my husband with this my short hair (so inappropriate *rolls eyes*). So I’ve considered growing it just a tiny bit, but I don’t think I can hack going long.
I get comments about me wearing a weave on my wedding day which is a bit irritating because my fiancé met me with short hair so why should I look different on a day as special as my wedding day? In fact I would rock this low cut a million times over on that day.
With a low cut, my morning grooming routine time has been reduced by over half. It’s just plug and go. I’m not pedantic about my hair. When I wash it, I gel it and use those hole-y sponges to get my coils in. When it feels dry, I spray water on it and add oils.
Over the years, I’ve learnt how to find a balance in my personal style – knowing how to switch it up and experiment when I feel like. At first though, I felt I always had to makeup but now I’m good with or without.
If I wasn't wearing my hair like this, I'd probably have grown out my natural hair #wakandaforever. For anyone considering, I think it’s a decision you make when you’re ready. Ease yourself into it and allow yourself adjust to your hair’s personality.
I first cut my hair about 16 years ago and it was most likely because I got tired of scalp burns every time I got a perm. I had to use extra strength relaxers because I have very thick hair, but I also have a pretty sensitive scalp. Over the years I alternated between wigs, weaves, braids and short cuts depending on my mood and then finally decided to grow out my natural hair.
In 2014 (about a year after I started growing my natural hair), I was in the middle of a wash day. I had already spent hours doing my deep conditioning, finger detangling, washing, t-shirt patting/drying, the works. At this point I was pretty exhausted, my shoulders and neck hurt like crazy.
I stood in front of my bathroom mirror to try to comb my hair, and the comb broke. That was my moment of clarity. I put what was left of the comb down, got dressed and went straight to the barber shop to get a haircut. I have worn my hair consistently short since then (no extensions). This is definitely the look I feel most comfortable in.
Some people give me “the hair is the glory of the woman” speech, some commend me for being bold and confident, others couldn’t care less. I’m not particularly fazed by the reactions. Oh, apart from when a guy I met said he thought I was a lesbian because of my hair - I told him I wasn’t!
This low cut life is uber convenient! I don’t have to sit down for hours to get my hair done, my hair is never itchy (and even if it were I wouldn’t need a pen to scratch it), I don’t have to worry about my wig falling off (this has happened to me at work). I can wash my hair daily, swim whenever I feel like it, colour my hair as many times as I wish without worrying about breakage, I could go on and on. It’s just a great fit for my personality and my current lifestyle. Plus I have not had to make any adjustments to my style and makeup.
Of course there are a few "buts". Sometimes, I feel like having long jumbo braids - I love that look! But then I think of how long I have to sit down to get them done, the scalp bumps over the first few days, the itchiness after a few weeks... and the feeling passes.
So, some people think that my short hair limits my options with average Nigerian men. The rationale was that with a low cut, I am likely to be perceived as a strong feminist who is independently minded and basically not the kind of girl a typical Nigerian man would want to take home to his parents. My look could potentially scare guys away (personally I think I look angelic but hey...).
I asked 11 of my Nigerian male friends aged 30 - 37 if having short hair made a woman less desirable to them. All 11 said absolutely not, it all came down to how good she looked in it. 2 of them did say it could potentially be an issue with more traditional guys. This confirmed my thoughts - having short hair is just like being tall/short or light/dark or having an athletic/curvy figure. Some guys will like it, and others won’t and that’s totally okay! I can’t say I’ve noticed any difference in being approached compared to when I had longer hair. Also when I go out with friends with longer hair I don’t feel like I’m approached any more or less than they are. What I can say for sure is that more often than not, my hair is a source of interest and tends to be a conversation starter. I’m still single though, so take from that what you will!
If I ever changed my mind about this style, I’d grow my natural hair and either find a more manageable hair care routine. As much as I like weaves and wigs on people, I feel I look odd in them, so I doubt I’d ever go back to wearing those. I’d probably braid my hair every now and then for protective styling.
Top tip? Find a barber you like and trust. Getting a bomb haircut is just like getting your hair done, and goes a long way in making you feel like a million bucks. I tend to go every other week.
Also find a routine that works for you and do you. Mine is very simple - I wash my hair daily with my shower gel. I use shampoo/conditioner when I’m feeling fancy. I moisturize with whatever oil I have, usually coconut oil.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with your hair in terms of cut styles and colours. There’s lots of inspiration online/on Instagram. Whatever you do, don’t texturize your hair after a colour. I once did this and all my hair fell off. But hey, I discovered I quite like the bald look! I ended up wearing my hair like that for a few months. I’d probably never have tried it if my hair hadn’t fallen off in the first place.
If you're considering it at all, just do it. If you hate it, wear a wig while you grow it back. Never let people’s negative comments get to you. Remember it’s your own hair and head, you can do what you want with it. Have fun!
What did you guys think? Would you consider or do you currently rock a low cut? Share your experience and feelings!