How can I change this very short butch haircut?
October 8, 2017 2:13 PM   Subscribe

I am a woman with short hair who just had a miscommunication with a hairdresser and now have an unflattering “fashy” type haircut — shaved on sides, three inches on top. I would like to change it before going to visit elderly relatives next week. Additional complication: I need to get a scalp biopsy this week too. Am I hosed?

I’m not concerned about people thinking I’m a fascist, because I suspect fascist women have long hair, but this haircut is much butcher than I would choose before going to see family, and it is also unflattering in its accentuation of my long face. I feel miserable and need a change.

I was thinking maybe if I cut the top shorter and bleached it, it might soften the harshness a bit and read more “pixie”. Here is a pic of the kind of haircut I’m thinking of, although I’m not sure if my hair is currently shorter on the sides than hers.

I also have to get a punch biopsy on my left temple at the dermatologist’s this week and they said it might need a stitch.

Will bleaching my hair irritate the skin in advance of the biopsy? (I assume it’s inadvisable after.)

The family I’m visiting live in a warm area, so no hats. I have seriously considered a wig but don’t know anything about wigs beyond the $15 Halloween bob kind.

Any ideas would be appreciated.
posted by sockkitude to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
IME, adding texture to the top can help a cut look less severe and more delicate.

If you don't want to bleach or color all your hair, some well-placed streaks of highlighting or color might also make the cut seem more playful and femme, and would also be easier to grow out.
posted by Lexica at 2:20 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]

How many days do you have until your trip? A shaved look grows out super fast; if you have at least 7 days, you might be OK.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:21 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]

Yes, decreasing the length difference between the top and the sides will soften your look a bit and make your haircut look less extreme... until you go overboard and end up with a crew cut. (Which may look great on you, I don't know you.)
I'm not sure what purpose the bleaching would serve here. Ask your dermatologist whether it would be a problem.

If you want to look more feminine, wear cute earrings, and use girly/sweet looking makeup if you like that kind of thing.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:22 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]

As a guy, I've always liked the look of unruly curly hair on top with short sides. Something like this, although your top probably isn't that long. Your natural color is probably fine; I rarely think bleached hair looks good.
posted by kevinbelt at 2:26 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]

If you have concerns about bleaching, you can skip it and still look more feminine by getting more texture into the top of your hair and having it blended immaculately with the sides. Jean Seberg and Audrey Hepburn were very feminine without going platinum.

If you do makeup, now's the time to do it up. A red lip with a pixie cut can look amazing.
posted by sculpin at 2:28 PM on October 8

Growing it out after this might be a pain, but very short all-one-length hair reads (to me) as significantly more femme than similarly short haircuts with different length sections. (I am a butch woman and I cut my own hair. I never do it all exactly one length, even though it would be much easier, because it feels too feminine.)
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:26 PM on October 8 [2 favorites]

You could also try styling it differently. I have a long face and a similar cut and often style it like this, which makes me feel really feminine. I use volumizing powder to give it height.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 3:31 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]

If you still have length on the top, you could also do a Rosie-the-Riveter style bandanna/handkerchief like this (youtube video). That's not super out of place in hot weather.
posted by needs more cowbell at 3:33 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]

Sooooooo, can you wear a bandana or hat?? (This is how I usually wear my bandanas but you can also tuck in the tails like this .)

This is how I tie them. You just need a smaller square scarf of any kind. Cotton works best and won't slip.

Beanie hats work really well on short hair.

Otherwise cute hairclips or headbands soften this look.

To "fix" it I would just get it faded in a bit more. I would wait on bleaching until after your doctor's appointment. Don't mess with your scalp before a procedure. ETA: The good news is the buzzed sides will soften greatly in about 4 weeks. Don't panic! I have an undercut and have had super short hair.
posted by Crystalinne at 3:35 PM on October 8

Depending on hair texture try applying some volumizing product and then doing a scrunch or curl to the longer hair. Divide it into three sections front to back, and sweep the front section to one side, the middle section forwards and to the other side (so it overlaps the front section and creates a lot of movement between the layers) and the back section gets gently tousled and integrated into the shorter sides. This will make it look a lot softer. If you have really fine hair it can be a hassle to keep up, though.

You might be surprised at how fast the sides grow out. Try a bunch of different styles this week and next week see how long the sides have gotten and visit a different stylist - I think your idea about a messy pixie is spot-on, but I wouldn't mess with what length you have right now until you've got a bit of something on the sides to work with too, just so you aren't asking a stylist to deal with hypotheticals.

For accessories try to find a thin headband and experiment with placement. A headband can pretty much instantly femme up any haircut.
posted by Mizu at 4:12 PM on October 8 [3 favorites]

The headband idea is genius!
posted by defreckled at 4:26 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]

A headband and dangly earrings will femme up just about any cut. And interestingly, in my experience, NOT styling your hair (accessories notwithstanding) but leaving it messy reads more feminine, too. Tousled and relaxed short cut reads tomboy at most, sleek and combed through with product reads butch.

Just leave it alone and accessorize, it'll grow out fast. If your family has stupid questions about it and your biopsy isn't a secret, just tell them you needed something short and manageable while you're dealing with your scalp thing.
posted by phunniemee at 5:37 PM on October 8 [4 favorites]

I think your haircut is adorable, but I keep mine cut in a pixie all the time. Red lipstick and pearl earrings make it less butch looking. I often run out to the store or for errands with red lipstick and sunglasses, and it seems to work.
posted by chocolatetiara at 5:45 PM on October 8

Your short sides will at least double in length in the next week. I say wait as long as possible, then take that pixie pic to your (new?) hair cutter.
posted by rhizome at 5:58 PM on October 8

I’m pro-bleaching! Super easy to do. Also pretty easy to maintain.

And it’ll femme up a very short cut. I love colored pixies! (mine is currently navy blue. It was platinum for a couple hours, but all I could see was the bags under my eyes. They weren’t there five years ago when I was platinum.)

posted by crankyrogalsky at 7:44 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]

If you just want to hide it while visiting family, just wear a wig. There isn't much to know. Just go to the beauty supply store and ask them to help you. Tell them you need an inexpensive wig that is close to your hair colour as possible and ask for help picking one out. Also get a wig cap to wear underneath. Don't let them sell you a lace front or lace wig, it is too much trouble. You can also get a half wig and hide your leave out with a headband. Synthetic hair is fine, you're only going to wear it a couple of times.
posted by windykites at 8:05 PM on October 8

How are Your locks/sideburns/whatever you call the hair in front of your ears? I wear my hair short and what brought it from cute butch to "this is a dudes haircut" was that they squared off my locks, you want them pointier, like star-trek :D in a few weeks they (and your nape if they squared that a lot, should have grown enough to get a bit less harsh.
posted by Iteki at 10:32 PM on October 8 [1 favorite]

I have this haircut and find that a headband femmes it up a bunch. So does swooping it to the side and using a barrette (a teeny French braid or twist across the front, held in place with a barrette, may work better depending on your hair.) If the sides were completely shaved down, I also agree that it should soften up pretty quick.
posted by tchemgrrl at 3:52 AM on October 9

If it were me I’d just tell my relatives the hair was because of the biopsy.
posted by girlgenius at 11:05 AM on October 9 [2 favorites]

I know nothing about hair but this question reminded me of this question on reddit. If your hair looks like her before, and you are interested in her after, maybe the question and its update post would help you? Not sure how the biopsy would affect things, though.
posted by perplexion at 1:18 PM on October 9

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