ON BEING BALD
So the other day I half-spontaneously decided to shave my head. I guess I just reached some kind of boiling point where I was sick to death of my hair taking upwards of three hours in order to look presentable enough to leave the house (I have LOTS of incredibly thick, wavy, wiry hair in addition to it having been RUL damaged and too layered to wear wavy — necessitating deep conditioning every other day, air-drying and flat-ironing the ends plus tonnes of argan oil and a whole $$$$$ host of other products). I had been thinking a lot about shaving my head, since I’ve done it two other times before and more recently I’ve seen girls whose beauty I admire walking around with buzzcuts (like Gisela Ramirez or Amber Rose).
But more than aesthetics, I wanted to challenge my reluctance to wear my hair short (even though up until like 2006, with like two exceptions, I ALWAYS wore my hair quite short) because I had this hang up (probably because of an article about “gamine crops” in Vogue or something when I was like 12 that said “short hair is only for the very young and very thin) about being fat and having short hair (“tiny head syndrome”). I also wanted to see what it was like to stop hiding behind my unruly mane, which is something I’ve done since like 2005.
Also, it is pretty weird to see my natural colour for the first time in about five or six years (where I saw it for like three minutes once before the hair dresser dyed it again). My hair is lighter than I thought (I kind of thought it was close to black, but it’s more of a mousey brown/dirty blonde at the temples). And I kind of assumed I had more white hair! I am not going to make any promises, because I’m super fickle, but I’m going to try to live with my colour for a bit before covering it up all over again with dye (and starting the process which invariably ends in me shaving my head or getting a drastic hair cut because it’s so damaged).
I dunno, like now I am all FACE and I really can’t get around looking at and trying to admire my face unless I want to avoid mirrors altogether. Apparently I come off as having lots of confidence, but I don’t at all really!!! So however difficult this is, it’s a good practice in true self-appreciation. And not in the “radical self love” hair extensions, glitter and false eyelash variety so plugged by certain other bloggers (WINK).
It hasn’t been very easy. It’s like taking off a cast. I feel vulnerable and exposed and uncomfortable sometimes, and I won’t lie; I’ve worn some wigs and hats. It’s really hard to not emotionally regress to how it was for me when, like a lamb to slaughter, I first entered middle school as a skater-ish, tomboy competitive swimmer with a very short boyish hair cut, thick eyebrows and a penchant for oversized jeans. It wasn’t long before I pushed my natural inclination towards being a tomboy aside and started practising for my own little femininity performance. I guess I got so into that role that I get kind of uncomfortable and panicky if it seems like my femininity is not immediately apparent to other people. But like I live in one of the most gender-diverse/feminist neighbourhoods in Vancouver. I should get over it!
Anyway, however trivial it might seem to others; this is an important little test for myself. If I can’t be cool without hair, then I’ve got a real problem on my hands.
PS: The irony of promoting self-love through the act of shaving one’s head, while still wearing a full face of makeup, is not lost on me… but you can pry my liquid eyeliner from my cold dead hands.
I’ve had my hair cropped to a #3 for a couple of months now. I hated the maintenance my curly hair demanded, I hated the expensive haircuts and I’d been admiring chicks with shaved heads for years. I love my hair short but it has been interesting.
1. I’ve found that people were really invested in my curls. (I knew that already - being the lone ringlet-ed person out of my friends meant that my curls were often public property (read: people really liked to boing them and, when my hair was longer, stick their hands into my mane and ruffle it up).) A few people have been sad to see them go, which is weird. Some random woman even emailed me to tell me I shouldn’t wear my hair so short and told me that fat girls have a “hair to butt ratio” that should be kept in check. So strange.
2. I don’t feel like my hair is short enough. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got curly hair, but despite shaving it to the same length as Gisela’s, her hair looks much shorter than mine. (Also I have all these weird cow licks that push my hair in silly directions.) It doesn’t looks punk enough. It doesn’t feel like the big challenge that thefullnilson describes. Maybe I should go shorter.
3. People sometimes think I’m a dude. Quite a few times, when I’ve been out with the boyfriend, we’ve been addressed as “boys” or “fellas”. Pre-shave, I did worry (a LOT) that my femininity would be sacrificed with a clippered ‘do… Now that I have been mistaken for a boy numerous times, it’s surprising how little it’s bothered me.