"I Don't Feel Like I'm Hiding"
The Pysch Counsel: Alexandra has become very attached to her extraordinarily long hair. "From the time we're young girls, long hair is something that garners positive reactions," says Freedman. "That makes it difficult to give up"—even when the hair length has gone from a little exotic to downright eccentric. But when a woman seriously considers why she's reluctant to cut her hair, it can become clear that the devotion has nothing to do with versatility (the oft-cited reason among long-hair lovers) and a lot more to do with acceptance and attention.
The Beauty Counsel: Melville braided Alexandra's hair before cutting it so she could donate the 12 inches to Locks of Love (for more information, go to LocksofLove.org). Then he set to work fine-tuning her new long bob. "An A-length silhouette—a bit longer in the front than the back—will help bring out the natural wave in Alexandra's hair," explains Melville. And while the new cut certainly doesn't provide the same cape effect as her old style, the layers around her face allow her to hide a little if she needs to. The final look is proof that a shorter cut can still be dramatic—and inspire positive attention.
Alexandra's Reaction: "I love my new cut! I was so afraid about losing versatility, but I can still wear my hair curly, and even pull it back on top. And I'm ready to buy some new clothes to go with my new hair. I've had a very relaxed, bohemian style these past few years, but now I'm attracted to styles that are more colorful and a little less modest. I don't feel like hiding as much as I used to."
Dress, Alberto Makali; $630; eDressMe.com. Ring, Marcia Moran; $138; Shop-MarciaMoran.com.