Pakistani Women Shared Why The Aren't Allowed To Get Short Haircuts And I'm Seriously Pissed At The Reason

By Rameeza Ahmad | 2 Jul, 2019

Do you see a lot of women with pixie haircuts in Pakistan? 

From February 2018 to now, I have dyed my hair multiple times and the finale was getting a very short haircut. And whenever I met friends during one of these many transformations, some of them would say to me how they wished they could do the same thing.

Source; @rameezay via

But for a lot of Pakistani women, certain things remain wishes and rarely ever manifest into reality – even something as simple as getting your hair dyed to a color of your choice or cut to your chosen length.

Even I got in trouble when I first got my hair dyed to bright pink, even though I was a 23-year-old adult at the time. But I knew I could get away with doing what I did, a lot of women aren’t as lucky as me.

And the reason for that is largely how women in our part of the world barely have any autonomy over their own bodies. Our families dictate what we wear, what we say, where we go and what we can do to ourselves. I know a lot of women who are adults but can’t wear the clothes they want, get piercings or get certain haircuts because they aren’t ‘allowed’ to, and if they dare disobey, the consequences could be serious.


I talked to some women who weren’t allowed to get their hair cut short, something which seems so simple but is such a big deal for Pakistani women. They told me it’s because their families think they wouldn’t look ‘appealing’.

A friend said about the matter, “I cannot cut my hair too short, because it’s not feminine enough; and although I am supposed to stay miles away from the other gender, I am also supposed to keep presenting myself in the most appealing way, i.e. pretty hair, clothes and a fresh face, so that the very same forbidden gender doesn’t have a problem in examining me”.

That speaks volumes about how parents constantly keep in mind the preference of others over the preference of their own daughters.

Another woman told me her mother thinks with short hair, she would seem less attractive to men.

Source: Hair To Help/Facebook

And of course, this causes a lot of resentment; knowing you can’t even make a decision as personal as getting a haircut without considering the will and wishes of everyone in your family can be exhausting. Constantly living your life in a way that would make your family happy isn’t ideal. for many. After all, where is your own agency?

Even if you finally take the step after months of being told not to do it, the aftermath is insane. A friend told me how her father refused to talk to her for weeks after she had her hair cut to shoulder length, “I remember coming home, my dad giving me a silent look and then shrugging. That’s his disapproving shrug.”

Another friend talked about how her mother thought she would now be a ‘bad kid’.

Source: Showcase Productions

And that’s where this makes sense; getting your hair cut and dyed the way you want it is a sort of rebellion. And most Pakistani parents, unfortunately, cannot have their daughters displaying any kind of behavior which would showcase them taking control of their own lives and making their own decisions.

Getting a haircut of your choice seems to be a sort of a first step towards having a little freedom – knowing you can make your own decisions and have control over your own body. It’s crazy how even something which seems as inconsequential as a haircut is an act of rebellion for some women and makes one realize that privilege comes in all shapes and sizes.

What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments.


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