So you have been wanting to shave your head forever, but haven’t had the vulva to do it yet. Maybe you, like me, watched Empire Records as a young teen and felt transformed along with Robin Tunney as she shaved her head to melancholy music in the bathroom, sad rebellion in her eyes as her hair fell in clumps into the dirty sink.
Maybe you knew a girl like that in high school, and thought she was the coolest, and wished you were cool enough to make friends with her. Maybe you were that girl in high school, and if so, power to you for being so brave.
I like to answer the question of ‘when is the perfect time to shave my head?’ like this: Never, and Always.
There is Never a time in life that feels 100% comfortable to shave your head, there will Always be many people to talk you out of it because they are attached to your hair even if you aren’t. Shaving your head will Never not be a totally jump off a cliff’s worth of Adrenaline. Shaving your head will Always freak you out up until the moment you actually take the buzzers to your head, even if you know for sure it is what you want. There will Never be a perfect time to shave your head, until, one day, there is.
And then, you will know. You will be scared shitless. And you will just do it. So be sure to have your clippers ready when the moment hits.
My Shaved Head
This is a drawing of me by my friend Maurice Caldwell Jr. that was done a month or so after I shaved my head……The only known visual documentation that it ever happened. (twas before social media.)
I shaved my head on a whim once. I had been feeling like something wasn’t right, like I was outgrowing my own skin. I was restless and bored. I was hungry for something and I didn’t know what.
So, I showed up early for work one day, shaved my head with the help of a friend, and moved on with my life. It was a real learning experience for me to walk through life without hair. I started noticing more subtleties and nuances about how I felt about myself. It was like putting up a mirror that showed me who I truly was, instead of who I thought I wanted to be.
I realized that other people not thinking I was pretty was not actually that upsetting. I realized that I liked the feeling of looking unexpectedly, uniquely like myself for once. I realized that being mistaken for a boy wasn’t a problem for me. I realized that I had a lot of unlearning to do in my personal life and in my career.
I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Marley 2 weeks later. I was bald and pregnant. Life was all the sudden very interesting and colorful. I all of the sudden had real life choices to make, and the budding agency and confidence to make them. I was transforming to a new life M.O. as I realized that I was the one in the drivers seat.
Great Reasons to Shave your Head:
- Because you are drunk and you are in a bar bathroom in Berlin and someone dares you to.
- To show your mom who you really are.
- Because you are going through a breakup.
- Because you find yourself unnecessarily stuck in a cycle of obsession with how you are seen by others and you want to break free.
- Because you are ready to start living life differently.
- Because something hasn’t felt right for a really long time and though you may not understand it, you are ready to move past it.
- Because you just experienced a major shift.
- Because you just lost someone you really love.
- Because you want to atone for energetic karma.
- Because you are on the verge of a major change and you realize that there will never be the right time, so the time has to be now.
- Because you are ready to jump off the hamster wheel of harsh chemical hair treatments and start fresh.
- Because you are going to lose your hair to Chemo
- No reason at all, but because something besides reason tells you to just fucking do it.
This last one is important to me personally, because I have had the honor of working with many women who are embarking on their Chemo Journey, and It is such a powerful experience to take control of the destiny of your hair in a time when so much is happening to your body that feels out of control. The Chemo head shave is a deeply transformative ritual that begins the process of loving, honoring and healing the body throughout the experience of Cancer Treatment. It also just makes it easier to emotionally deal with quick hair-loss to just remove the hair first and move on.
DIY Head Shave
I am in favor of the DIY head shave, because it is a little more personal when you do it yourself, and it is nearly impossible to mess up. All you need is a whim, some music, a dry head of hair, a 3 way mirror, clippers and a #3 guard.
You can also ask a friend to be on hand to clean you up around the edges as-needed.
Before you start shaving, think about what you are letting go of by removing your hair. Give yourself a big hug for making the conscious choice to let go and move on. Get ready to greet yourself with love and celebration on the other side.
Our next several blog posts will document women in times of transformation, shaving their heads and celebrating with color.