What it Feels Like to Shave Your Head as a Woman

Last week, I shaved my head and donated my hair to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, which helps children with cancer by creating wigs for them. Along with that, a policeman donated an extra $50 after I decided to go through with it. I am a Promotions Assistant at Hubbard Radio, and our team attended this event to support the foundation. I walked in like any other event I do for the station, be nice, professional, and engaging with everyone you meet, and don’t participate in the event unless you are allowed to. I watched many people come in and donate their hair, each time someone did, I felt more compelled to do the same. So, by the time we had to leave, I found myself signing the donation paper and waiting for the cut to begin.The experience was exciting yet terrifying. When they cut off the first ponytail, I couldn't believe it was happening, my mind could barely comprehend what I decided to do. The longer I was sitting there, the more nervous I got, so I started to cry. They were happy tears because what I was doing was for a great cause, but scared tears because I don’t know what will happen afterward. What will people think? What will I think? Will everything be O.K.?

It’s only been a week since I shaved my head, but I have learned a lot about it already. There are many pros and cons to it, so if you are considering shaving your head, know what you are getting yourself into.

Before you even commit to shaving your head,  a lot of people that will try to convince you to do otherwise. You will get many reasons as to why not to do it, such as, What about your job (ask your boss beforehand if you are worried)? Aren't you trying to find a significant other (if they truly liked you, having a shaved head won’t matter)? Your head might look weird (doesn’t matter, wear a hat or wigs if you really hate it). At the end of the day, it is your decision. If you want to do it, then do it. Even if you aren’t donating to charity, it’s your choice. You don’t need others’ permission for what you do to your body.

After it’s done, you will get a lot of comments on it. Though the majority of them positive, you will still get a lot. Since it is such a big change, people feel the need to reassure you that it looks good, just in case you were feeling bad about it. You will get a lot of compliments, which to be honest, feels really good and helps your self-esteem. People will be genuine, if they like it, they’ll tell you, if they don’t, they won’t say anything. On the flip side, there will be negative comments as well. People will feel the need to start assuming what your personal life is about. Someone asked me if I am a lesbian now since I’ve shaved my head. I don’t know about you, but I know for a fact that hair length has nothing to do with sexuality. If someone says something negative about you, it shows what kind of person they truly are, so don’t take it too personally. Overall, you have to be prepared for mixed reactions by everyone, friends, family, and strangers.

You will have doubts. The first couple days you will look in the mirror in disbelief that all of your hair is gone. You will realize that it takes a long time for it to grow back and you won’t be able to braid it, or put it in a ponytail, or curl it. It will get to a weird length where you don’t know if you should cut it again or keep growing it out. Your head gets cold faster than before, and extremely warm when you put on a hat. You might think that those who told you not to shave it was right. That your head does look weird, or you won’t be able to find a significant other with short hair. You might think that you don’t look feminine enough and feel the need to wear more makeup or jewelry. You might think that you are not as attractive as before, and you realize that you cannot hide behind your hair. You might have a lot of doubts, and if you do, don’t worry. It happens to everyone, even if they didn’t shave their head. We all have insecurities and worries, but it may feel heightened after you shave your head. You will be ok either way.

On the plus side, it is extremely easy to manage. Shower time is cut down, your hair dries extremely fast, the cost for hair products is now almost nothing, and you don’t have to style your hair in the morning! You can rub your head and your hair won’t be messed up (plus it feels really nice)! Hair won’t get in your lip-gloss or food. You won’t find clumps of hair in your shower drain or on your clothes. If your hair falls out easily like mine did, you will no longer find hair on everything you own! You don’t have to bring a hair tie with you just in case you get too hot. You can accessorize with cute headbands or hats, and earrings look way better now that everyone can see them. You get to show off your beautiful features without worrying about how your hair frames your face. If you dyed your hair a lot or it has heat damage, this is a perfect way for a fresh start. It is liberating and freeing, it feels like you can do anything now.

Shaving your head is not for everyone. If you want to do it, seriously think about it before you commit. It took me three years before I actually went through with it. It’s important to know what happens if you do. Ultimately it is your decision, your body, your hair. To learn more about St. Baldrick’s Foundation, click here.