The Day I Decided To Shave My Head

Let me start out by saying this is something no one like me (me being a 23 year old white girl from North Carolina) would ever do. Not to mention I am a naturally curly redhead, which is one of the most uncommon hair genes.

My whole life I have been identified (and teased) because of my hair. I have gotten everything from Big Read to Carrot Top to Ginger to, the unglamorous, Fire Crotch…and the list goes on. This is how people remember me, refer to me, and, now with a shaved head, I will most likely continue to be defined by my hair (or lack there of).

The past year I have experimented with my hair, which resulted in it getting shorter…and shorter. If you would have asked me a year ago if I would ever consider shaving my head I would have told you “NO! That’s crazy”. It is only in the last two years that I have realized who I really was and who I wanted to be. I realized that, in a lot of ways, my hair was my crux. The attention my hair seemed to get made me very self-conscious. I knew people were constantly noticing my hair and when I didn’t like the way my hair looked, it wasn’t a good day for me…I felt ugly and knew people were noticing since that’s what people always did. As a woman, hair is something you idolize and base beauty off of. The longer, more luxurious, hair you have the prettier you are. I mean that’s what society taught us right?

When I cut my hair short (the first time), I did it for me. I wanted to challenge myself to accept what I look like and quit hiding behind the curls, and the bangs. Nonetheless, I did worry a lot about what others would think. I was wondering if guys would still like me with short hair or if people would think I was a lesbian. These are real things I thought about and when I type this out now, it seems really ridiculous. Now, having had a short hairstyle for a year, I have been able to discover myself and have some fun (in the hair game).

Yesterday, I went in for a trim (with a new hair dresser by the way), and things didn’t go exactly as planned. Now a younger version of me (and I’m sure many other girls in their teenage years) would have cried for days over a bad cut. I mean I have sobbed my eyes out and tried to get away with wearing toboggans to school to hide my hair. This is hilarious to me now because I have accepted who I am and know that hair grows back. In the end it will be ok.
Arriving home last night I took a long look in the mirror, I didn’t like what I was looking at.
So what happens now?

My hair, already being short, didn’t allow for a lot of options to “fix it”. But then, I had an idea.

So this morning I went straight back to the salon and when they asked “What can I do for you today?” I answered, “Take it all off.”

This resulted in a puzzled look, they weren’t sure if I was serious…but I knew this was something I had to do. I did this for me, I did this to raise awareness for people with illnesses who want hair and can’t have it. I did it for a lot of reasons. Hair doesn’t define us and that’s what I want people to understand every time they look at me.

Now I have always been one to do something before thinking, so on my drive home a million things ran through my head…

Will the boy I like still like me? Will people think I have gone crazy and compare me to the Britney fiasco of 2007? Will the world just be disgusted with me and not understand or respect what I have done?

Not to mention, I knew this cut would bring more conversations than I would want. I knew I would have to deal with my family and their reactions, I knew people, whose opinions I care deeply about, would have to see it. I had to go to my job, which is in a corporate office. Most of the time people don’t notice others haircuts and if they do they don’t say much about it. However, something this drastic would be awkward not to address.

But so far so good! I mean literally only 5 people I know have seen me and its been pretty fun seeing their reactions…and their desire to want to feel my head. I know this is just the beginning (I mean my mom has no idea what I have done yet, she will probably read this, Hi Mom!), but let me tell you, I feel more alive than ever, and the feeling of water hitting directly on your scalp is quite the experience. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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