In recent years, celebrities like Scarlett Johansson and Ruby Rose with their trademark cropped cuts have sparked an increase in the number of women supporting daring, statement hairstyles. Although still predominantly occupied by men, more and more women have been straying from the hairdressers to get a little more than a trim down in the barbers. Through the years there have been many theories and prejudices regarding the women who dare to cut their hair short – but recently it has become a lot more common as generations are more accepting and open than before. We spoke to sisters Claudia and Aine Nevin who, a few years ago, decided to make the change from long to short hair, and from going to the hairdressers to going to the barbers.

Cutting your hair short is an unthinkable idea for some girls, what age were you both when you decided to make the decision to ditch the long hair and why?

C: I was fourteen when I first got my hair cut short. I asked for a typical pixie cut because I was just sick of having to spend so long styling my hair. I had thought about cutting my hair for a really long time so I didn’t feel nervous; I was actually really excited! Plus, hair grows back so I knew if I didn’t like it, it wasn’t the end of the world.

A: I got a half ‘v’ cut keeping it long on top when I was sixteen. I did it because I didn’t feel like me with long hair. I had really wanted to cut my hair for two years but was too scared, so I was very nervous.

How did people respond to the dramatic change and have their reactions changed over time?

C: When I first got it done everyone was really supportive. It shocked a few people, but overall it was a good reaction. Three years on, I still get loads of compliments on my hair styles. I often get people asking me where and who does my hair!

A: A few people were shocked when I did it at first, but I received many compliments and I was told that it suited me better than the long hair I used to have! When I get my hair cut now, my family and friends rub my hair and say “it’s so fluffy!” However, sometimes when I go to the barbers I feel unwelcome.

Do you still prefer to go to the barbers over the hairdressers even though you don’t always feel welcome?

A: I still think that the barbers is good because it’s only a percentage of the price of a hairdressers.

C: I prefer it because when I first got my hair cut short in a hairdresser’s they wouldn’t shave it because I’m a girl. I think the hairdresser was afraid of what my reaction would be. When I went to see a barber a week later, he did it exactly how I wanted it! I still go to the same barber today.

What is the best thing about having short hair and have you had any memorable experiences regarding your hair?

C: I really appreciate the fact that I don’t have to worry about getting caught in the rain because it dries in seconds! I went to Dublin Pride Parade and people mistook me for Ruby Rose because of my hair, however when I was fifteen, I tried to dye my hair blonde but I ended up looking like Slim Shady!

A: I agree, washing and drying is only half the work now, but more importantly, as I said before, I feel more like myself.

Ruby Rose has obviously been very influential regarding the increase in girls with shorter hair styles, would she be one of your inspirations?

C: She is probably my biggest hairstyle inspiration, I also get a lot of my ideas from Instagram and Tumblr. My hair now is hard to explain, I have it dyed ginger with a very tight V around the edges and a choppy cut on top. You can see it on my Instagram @lil_nevin.

A: I don’t have any particular hair inspirations, I just do me! My style now is an undercut all around with a one blade, with a long fringe on top.

What advice would you give to girls who want to cut their hair short and do you plan to grow your hair out anytime soon?

C: My advice would be to ask around and find a good barber. You have to know what you want done but don’t worry if it doesn’t look good straight away, it took me a little while to get used to short hair, but I love it now! I would love to have long hair again but whenever I try to grow it out, I find a new short cut that I want and just can’t help myself!

A: I would advise them to do what feels right, when it feels right. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with plenty of products including hairspray! Honestly, I wouldn’t want to have long hair again. I’m very happy with short hair and I feel that I have more opportunities to express myself this way.

Alice Linehan

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