Short Hair Changed My Life (PHOTOS)

When Charlize Theron cut off her hair, I told my roommates I was thinking of cutting my own short. Their answers were pretty much all the same: Don't do it.
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When I was a sophomore in college, Charlize Theron cut her hair into a pixie 'do, and I tore the image out of a magazine and stuck it on my wall. I asked my roommates and friends what they thought of her new haircut, and told them that I was thinking of cutting off my standard brown-with-blonde-highlights shoulder-length bob. Their answers were pretty much all the same: Don't do it.

I went to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, a school known for its rigorous academic standards, and not-so-stylish student body. It was safe to say that I stood out with my penchant for platform shoes and Contempo Casuals dresses. The summer before my junior year, I bit the bullet and cut off my hair. I was ready for a change, and was headed to Belgium for my junior year, so no one would know the difference but me.

Lenny Kravitz once described the feeling of liberation when he cut off his famous dreadlocks after a painful breakup with Lisa Bonet. I felt exactly the same way: Liberated from hours of blowdrying, styling and hefty bills from my colorist, I was thrilled. On the advice of my hair stylist, I also dyed my hair red.

I spent the year in Brussels, and kept up the red color, thanks to L'Oreal Feria. The year was difficult emotionally, and I ended up coming home early with a severe case of depression. After a few weeks at my parents' house (and a few trips to the psychiatrist), I cut my hair even shorter, and bleached it blonde. My doctor noticed the next time I went into a session, and he noted that I must have been feeling better. He was right, the transformation felt good, like I was leaving those grey days in Belgium behind me.

Fast forward three years when I had graduated and was living happily in New York City, working in my dream job at Harper's Bazaar. My crop was still short and blonde when, on one random night out with my best friend, I met my husband-to-be. He still says to this day that one of the first things he noticed about me was my short hair. But, like many women, as the wedding day approached I fell prey to that dream of the princess wedding, and grew my hair out (and added extensions) so I could have a Gwyneth Paltrow-like bun for the big day.

The years passed and I continued to grow my hair out, though I'd change the color every so often from blonde, to dark brown, back to blonde. But here's the thing: I'm lazy when it comes to my hair. I hate washing it. And styling it? Forget it. So my hair was forever in a ponytail, and once I had my first child it became apparent that something had to go. Inspired by Victoria Beckham's recent crop, I went in for the "mom chop," and off it all came.

I've haven't grown my hair out since (that was 2007), and I can't imagine I ever will. I get compliments from strangers on the street, and women will tell me wistfully that they wish they could pull off such a short style. Don't get me wrong -- I'm no supermodel, but I do have two things going for me when it comes to my short hairstyle: I have an amazing stylist who comes to my house or my office and manages to make me look (kinda) like Michelle Williams. The other benefit is confidence. I like the way I look with short hair, and I like that it's unique -- not many women are willing to go this boyishly short.

The best part about my short 'do? This style is made for lazy ladies like me: I only wash it once a week.

Short Hair