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hopefullyyours

Do I need to grow out my buzzcut?

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I will be starting an MA program in English in the fall, and I'm wondering whether my current hairstyle is going to be appropriate. I recently buzzed my head, and while I love it, I've heard from a few people that it's not professional enough for grad school. If I don't get it cut this summer, I can have it back to a decent pixie by the time I move. 

I want to keep it short, but I also don't want to look like I don't care about my appearance. As a woman (and one who doesn't wear makeup or dress in particularly feminine clothes) I'm afraid it might work against me. 

My other concern is that I'm moving to Alabama. Am I just listening to stereotypes, or is it really that conservative? Is my haircut going to raise more eyebrows there than it does in southeastern PA, where I live now?

Any advice would be appreciated!

Edited by hopefullyyours

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At least one person in my masters (MPH) cohort had a buzz cut, although she grew it out into a pixie before she started job hunting. I think it’s probably dependent on the department culture. If you have any connections with current students, you could always ask. Also, as someone with a disconnected undercut and fuschia highlights, I’ve found that I’m usually okay if I dress a little more formally than I might otherwise. So instead of jeans and a T-shirt, try jeans and a nice top, jeans and a button up, or jeans and a plain tee with a blazer. Make sure your clothes are clean and un wrinkled, etc.

A buzz cut may stand out more in Alabama, but on a college campus (or in a college town) you’re unlikely to be the only person with a funky haircut. If you’re worried about your safety, contact someone in student services and ask them if you’re likely to get harassed. They should have a good feel for the culture. If there is an office that deals specifically with LGBT issues, they’ll definitely know. (I realize you don’t mention your sexuality in your post, but gender non-conforming queer women and non binary people often have similar concerns so an office of LGBT life or similar may be more attuned to these issues and aware of previous problems.)

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