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It’s Been a Year Since I Shaved My Head, Here Are The Phases I Went Through

Keep in mind, I was very intentional when I cut my hair. I had contemplated it for a long time, and the beginning of COVID was sort of a signal that it was now or never. I think shaving my head during COVID was also really helpful in comparison to other women who’ve cut their hair off in the fact that it wasn’t seen by everyone and I could maintain a certain level of privacy. If I truly intended to, the option was there. I didn’t have to do some of the social engagements that I normally would, and this was something I should note when it comes to being secure in how I looked with a head that I shaved by myself at home.

For women, at least within society’s constructs, hair is a very important aspect of “femininity” (which is a whole other rabbit hole to go down). Probably so much so that generally, if a woman decides to cut all of her hair off, we think she’s having a mental breakdown or she’s gone insane. Because why on earth would you want to cut off a symbol of your femininity? You’ve heard that saying that goes, “if a woman cuts her hair she’s about to change her life”? That’s exactly how this past year has been: transformative. For many women and myself included, cutting our hair can be an incredibly liberating experience, a new start. In a lot of ways it was. For me, watching my hair grow reminded me of watching my plants grow. You look at them one day and they’ve gotten so big and you think back to when it was this little thing and how it took cultivation and nourishment to get it to where it’s at today. There are various stages I went through while learning to love my new self and I think a lot of other women who’ve done this could say the same. There are so many ways in which I’m learning to love my hair in all of its forms.

These have no particular order because it varies for everyone.

The Baddie Phase

“Today, I woke up and I ATE. None of you guys can step the way I am stepping on you all right now.” I’m convinced this phase was like a form of adrenaline metamorphosed into the utmost confidence. You experience nothing but the positive emotions that you did this and looked so damn good as you did it. Nothing matters but that feeling, like a camera’s focus, it’s there but not tangible.

The “I Should Have Never Cut My Hair” Phase

Sometimes this phase only lasts like a week or so, to be honest. But I think for women who were intentional in cutting their hair and embarking on a journey of growth, this phase doesn’t last as long. If your intent is to grow your hair back healthier then this phase will probably strike intermittently.

The “I Don’t Know What to do With Myself” Phase

You feel like nothing you can do with your hair works nor is it working out with your outfit. I mean NOTHING is working. “Don’t tell me to try something because it WON’T. WORK. If I try this and it doesn’t work I will literally punch you in the face.” You can become a pretty dramatic person in this phase. I think a large part of this phase for me was tuning out the noise of what people thought. One day, you’ll love your new look and then somebody tells you that you “looked better with long hair.” As much as we would like it not to get to us, you do have to think about it for a second and you’re either upset because “Who asked for their input?” Or you actually question yourself, “Did I really make a bad decision?” But eventually, you realize that your voice is the only one that matters.

The Wishy-Washy Phase

This phase is just phases number one and three over a prolonged period of time, alternations serving as the breaks amidst them. There is no in-between; you either feel like phase one or three but they feel like they’re incessantly wrestling each other.

The Acceptance Phase

Eventually, you’ll begin to realize that there is something you can do to your hair and that you can change it up if you want to. If you’re like me, you may decide that you want to maintain having short hair after going through the motions of all the above stages.

For me personally, I am not the same person as the girl who cut her hair in March of 2020. I know as time passes, change is generally inevitable but growth always isn’t. And so the point in which I cut my hair acts as a marker that separates events in my timeline. I have learned to love myself in new ways and I’m forever grateful for this journey and I never regretted any aspect of it.

Stephanie Sika

CU Boulder '24

Stephanie Dzidzor Sika is a Ghanaian-American first generation college student at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her hobbies include dancing, cooking, and writing. Stephanie is currently working actively towards informing, sharing, and loving by way of her work as much as she can.
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