1. Think about it. Think about it a lot. This is not the kind of decision you want to make in haste. Take two to three weeks to weigh out all of the pros and cons. Visit a seminary or a meditation retreat.
2. Choose your specialist wisely. Research local studios online. Read their customer reviews. Ask friends where they had their scalping done. Shop around. Set up a consultation appointment. Is your prospective specialist’s HQ the kind of place that gives you the willies? If so, it might be best to avoid it. Are they reluctant to show you before and after documentation of previous procedures? They might be overstating their experience. Remember: as scalping rises in popularity, many inexperienced people are flocking to the trade. Be careful and find someone who is right for you.
3. Make an appointment. Pick a day where you don’t have many other obligations. Make sure you don’t have to work the next day (by far the most popular day to get scalped is Friday — boutique studios tend to book up several weeks in advance). Give yourself plenty of time to rest afterwards.
4. Have a relative or a close friend accompany you to your appointment. Most people who have been scalped rank it among the most memorable events in their lifetime. This is a life altering experience, and a great thing to share with someone special. Don’t drive yourself to the appointment.
5. Choose the right scalp size. Take account of your head shape. If you have a narrow head you may not want more than the very tip of your scalp taken off — too much curvature in the affected area can result in what some call ‘pencil head.’ If you have a flatter head, you may want to ask the specialist to scalp a wider area.
6. Show up to your appointment. A lot of people skip this step! Some 40% of people who set up appointments do not keep them. This is why most shops have begun requesting non-refundable deposits. It sounds simple, but if you wanna get scalped, you gotta show up!
7. Take the needle. While most studios give the option of doing the procedure naturally, we highly recommend accepting anesthetic. The pain involved with getting scalped is truly excruciating — and the fear and anxiety sprung from that pain can cause trembling, convulsions, and vomiting, which can increase the chances of your specialist making a mistake. Again, remember: this is permanent!
8. Allow the specialist to grab you gently by the hair and saw off the top part of your head with a large knife. If you are properly medicated, you will register only a mild tugging around your lower neck. When it is over, the specialist will seal the affected area. The white hot branding unit may be horrifying to imagine upon your bleeding head-top, and the smell is certainly far beyond awful, but remember — this allows for the immediate cessation of blood loss and is basically the beginning of the healing process.
9. You did it! Make sure to book a follow-up appointment before leaving. Your specialist will tell you to keep your head safely dressed in gauze for between three weeks and a month.
10. Get used to wearing a hat for a little while. The healing process can take more time than you may think. Exposing your head while it is still healing can cause scabs, bleeding and at worst infection. Only when your specialist has said it is safe to do so should you plan your unveiling. Don’t rush it.
11. Find a great occasion to reveal your new head to friends, family and coworkers. Take off your hat and watch them gasp at your boldness!