I totally shaved my head. It has only been a few days, but I already have so much to say about it and there have been more than a few people with questions. So here ya go!
Why did I do it? I wanted to. Really. There is no dramatic story or deeply emotional sentiment behind it, I just wanted to be free of my hair for a while. I kept hearing this over and over in my head, I just want to be freeeeee, and then picturing myself with my arms flung out at my sides twirling in a circle. I wanted to, and I had been obsessing over it for months, so I did it.
This is NOT why I did it. I did NOT shave my head because I am sick. No one has been brave enough to ask that question, but I did not shave my head because of any kind of terminal illness. I also did NOT shave my head because I am depressed. Mild, chronic depression is a part of my life that I try to be honest about—that had nothing to do with this decision. I think when a woman does something as drastic and counter-cultural (yes, even in 2016 it is considered counter-cultural for a woman to not have hair) as shave her head “for no reason” people assume that there is something wrong with her—no healthy, happy, beautiful girl would do that! Finally, I did NOT shave my head to make an aggressive feminist statement. I think doing something like this does make a statement, in fact I hope it does, but that was not what motivated me here. This was about me. It was for me, and the only thing I hope it says is that I can do whatever the frick-frack-paddy-whack I want with my head. My exposed self is not an invitation for anyone to judge or make assumptions, although I know there will be those who can’t help themselves.
What was it like? Awesome. It was awesome. I did not cry, but I was pretty nervous. I didn’t tell anyone, not even John. And even afterwards, I didn’t post about it. I was watching Bring It On and I propped a mirror up on the living room floor. I think I thought the movie would ease the anxiety? Anyway, I put my hair in pig tails, and then I just shaved one of them off. Holding a pony tail full of my hair separated from my head that was when I thought, Oh shit. There is no going back. But I kept my cool, and forged on. When it was all done I got straight up and into the shower which was the BEST decision! Feeling hot water run over my nearly naked scalp was the most amazing feeling! I mean, think about it, when you reach a certain point in life how often do you get the chance to feel a physical pleasure which is completely brand new? Water on my hairless head is something I literally have never experienced. I stood in the shower and talked with God about the things I will miss about my hair (John burying his face in it or running his fingers through it), and the things I am so totally stoked about (No more $200 hair appointments, no more bad hair days, and every time I shower I get to get all the way wet! No more 5-7 day intervals between hair washing!). And from that moment on it was done.
How do I feel now? People want to know so badly how I feel about shaving my head. I feel like it’s not that big of a deal. Physically it feels awesome. I am constantly rubbing my head. Things like water and sunlight and breezy air all feel scary close which is unsettling but cool (I need SPF). But emotionally I just feel, like, it’s done. I wanted to do it, and then I did it, and now it’s done. I kind of don’t care. This was the first time I can think of at all where I made a choice about my appearance that wasn’t at all about what I look like. I mean, shaving my head changes what I look like, but I wasn’t motivated to do it based on what it would look like. I keep telling people, “it’s not my prettiest hair, it’s not even my favorite hair, but that’s not what it was about”. I feel like I know who I am and I am comfortable with that. I guess as soon as it was done the first thing I said to myself was, “I’m not ugly!” So I do feel thankful about that.
It has been helpful for me to think of style as a tool that I can use to take a small bit of control in my life—that is what PrettyRx means. But the truth is that the teenage girl in my heart cares desperately what people think about her, and the good intentions I have when it comes to playing dress up can get out of control. I’ve been making a lot of style choices with other people’s voices in my head, and I needed to shed all of those expectations (actual and perceived) as a gift to myself. I still haven’t cried. And it will grow back.