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UNF Spinnaker

‘Darlin’, don’t you go and cut your hair’

The pixie, shag, finger wave, bob, bowl cut and the Twiggy. The list of minimalistic hairdos stretches long beyond the abbreviated hairlines they describe.

Within the past year, many women have swapped their Rapunzel-like tresses for an edgier — and more manageable — look.

Some attribute this change of direction to celebrity influences a la Emma Watson, Victoria Beckham and Ginnifer Goodwin.

Yasha Albright, a UNF health administration junior, swapped her long weave for a short mushroom cut with short sides to mirror one of her favorite celebrities, Rihanna.

Not only is the edgier cut easier for Albright to maintain, but she said the new look has done a lot for her confidence.

“You have to have confidence to wear short hair,” she said. “You can’t hide behind long hair or anything like that. People with short hair, you notice their great bone structure or something else that really stands out about their face. You want to look closely at them.”

Emily Gilger, a UNF computer science senior, agreed a shorter ‘do is much more practical in Jacksonville’s changing and humid climate.

“I don’t need any product,” Gilger said. “I just get out of the shower and go.”

Alexis Mire, a UNF photography sophomore, said she spontaneously decided on a short style to adjust her self-image.

“I was testing my confidence,” Mire said. “You have to feel more comfortable with your face and how you look. I think it makes you adjust to feeling comfortable with yourself.”

Gilger said not only does it make her more comfortable, but a feisty attitude is necessary to properly pull off a short coif.

“You have to have a spunky personality,” she said. “But anyone can make it work, if they want to. You just have to rock it with confidence.”

This spunky attitude is translating to a new feminism by way of a haircut.

“Women are finally realizing they shouldn’t get their hair cut for men,” said Danielle Foster, a hair stylist at Supercuts at the St. Johns Town Center. “It’s something that sets them free. They feel like they’ve earned it after so many years of magazines telling them how to wear their hair.”

With well-known women’s magazines printing stories such as “Short Hairstyles: Do Haircuts Affect Your Love Life?” women may be feeling the pressure.

But Karla Day, a hair stylist at Salon Cielo in the St. Johns Town Center, said they shouldn’t worry about it.

“Shorter hair shows that a girl has a stronger personality,” Day said. “She’s a little more independent. She can rock the short hair and still be as feminine.”

In “Coco Before Chanel,” Étienne Balsan said: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.”

Foster agrees. As such, she treats her involvement in a dramatic haircut as an honor.

To ensure the ‘do goes off as planned, she said she asks her clients to be very specific about what they want.

“It’s really important to have them visualize it for me,” Foster said. “Anything they can use from magazines, portfolio pictures, even referencing their smartphones or the Internet is really helpful, so I know exactly what they’re looking for.”

Day said seeing women with short hair is a fashion-forward breath of fresh air.

“It really is liberating. Let go of that security blanket. Embrace change,” Day said.

Email Katie Gile at [email protected].

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