From the Runway

It’s all in the Chop: Shorter hair can emit confidence, professionalism

Ally Moreo | Photo Editor

Natasha Yurek chopped her hair by 14 inches a year ago and said she's felt empowerment because of the change.

Whether it’s a slick cut or a daring color, hair can be a statement, a blanket for insecurities or a way to stand out among a crowd. This season’s latest hair trend is for the risk takers who aren’t afraid of what a pair of scissors can do.

Although the beautiful bombshell commercials for Victoria’s Secret may say long hair equals confidence, this year’s runways and red carpets tell a different story. Short hair is the hair trend that women can’t wait to try, although there often are reservations. But the daring stipulation attached to the hairstyle is also what is resulting in confidence — even for students at Syracuse University.

Natasha Yurek, a sophomore broadcast and digital journalism major, made the decision a year ago to make the bold change to her hairstyle. Having had long hair her entire life, she wanted to try something a little different while also giving back to a cause. Yurek donated her hair to be made into a wig, which she had done so before, but not to the same extreme as this time. She snipped off a full 14 inches. It felt like the best thing to do, Yurek said.

Since making the change, Yurek felt the difference not only in her new light and bouncy hairstyle, but from the people around her. Taking her cut to a shoulder-length style was a confidence booster.

“I definitely felt the empowerment around people who knew me when they would say ‘Whoa, it looks so different,’” Yurek said. “I would think about how I was kind of a different person, even if only in a little way.”

Though the saying, “it’s just hair, it’ll grow back,” still rings true, a change in hairstyle can speak wonders about a personality.

For SU seniors looking for their next steps in academia or the workforce, a short haircut may be the next decision to make after getting a diploma. Rose Weitz, the author of “Rapunzel’s Daughters: What Women’s Hair Tells Us About Women’s Lives,” says short hair gives off the perception of professionalism. As short hair gives off a confident and qualified worker, long hair can give off a perception of youthfulness and sexiness, something not always wanted in the workplace.

“I definitely feel more professional with shorter hair,” Yurek said. “And on the flip side, I’ve attempted edgier looks with it.”

Although it can seem like a little change, just a shorter hairdo can do wonders for changing overall looks and self-confidence. Jammie Sue Irizarry can attest to this hair trend in the industry and sees it with her own clients on a daily basis. As a hairstylist in Utica, she is familiar with taking women through the steps of making the life altering decision to take their hair length to their shoulders.

“If you ask a short-hair woman how she felt the first time she took that leap of making the chop, you can imagine she probably felt scared, hesitant, worried about how it’s going to look,” Irizarry said.

Irizarry said it is completely normal to initially regret going short. But for anyone who has ever sat in a hairstylist’s chair knows, hair is not just hair. Even though it’s is gone, nothing is permanent — unless you end up making the chop and never turning back.

“Regardless, when it’s done, the feeling is mostly likely like, ‘Wow, my hair is gone,’” Irizarry said. “They might love it and even if they it’s too late. It’s gone, deal with it.”


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