The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
If you’re looking for a sign, this is it!
I shaved off all my long hair last June. This was a decision I had casually thought about doing for years, but the decision to actually do so was sudden. After lightly considering it on and off for a while, I just pulled the trigger one day. And as I consider the last seven months since then, I am so glad I did it. Through the experience of shaving my head, I have encountered both things I expected and things I didn’t. Here are some factors to add to your list of considerations.
Saving time and money
I expected to save some time in my daily routine after chopping off all my hair, but the reality was more drastic than I’d expected. I suppose the extent to which your routine would be altered would be somewhat dependent on your hair before. In my case, I have naturally curly but fine hair. What this combination means for me is that my curls require a LOT of research, time, and money to be at their best. My curly hair routine is, frankly, a lot. On a wash day, I would shampoo, condition, and apply leave-in conditioner, mousse, usually two different gels, before plopping my hair in a t-shirt for an hour and then diffusing for a while until my hair was completely dry, at which point I could scrunch my curls and position them to my liking. Non-wash days were different but almost equally as involved. This routine was one that I chose to do because I saw actual results for my curls, but it was also very taxing after a while. I was too deep to stop investing the time and money it took to make curls look their best, so cutting back on the routine wasn’t an option for me.
Post-buzz, my hair routine was nonexistent. I have saved so much money that would have gone towards products for my hair. I save so much time getting ready each day. In fact, when I first cut my hair, I found myself showering three times a day because I could! Suddenly a five-minute shower was just that! Before, even my quickest showers resulted in me dealing with wet hair for hours following. My shaved hairstyle cost me $0. Sure, the actual haircut may be a source of spending, but in my experience, enough people in the world have clippers that are free to borrow, resulting in no money in maintenance.
Donating your hair
Hair donation was something I had always considered (like shaving my head) but never done. I was afraid of having a short blunt cut with my curly hair. I was unsure how much hair to give away without losing too much. All these concerns disappeared after I had committed to going almost bald anyway. Donating my hair after cutting it all off was completely free to me, and it was able to benefit a kid in need of a wig. For me, I can rest assured that my hair will always grow back. For other people, however, this is not the case. I was able to give something I no longer had any use for to someone who could benefit from it. After researching different options, I decided to donate my hair to wigsforkids.org. The donation process was super easy; I would recommend it!
BONDING WITH OTHER PEOPLE
Having a buzzcut as a 20-year-old woman is something that set me apart from most other women my age. However, to some people, it is a guaranteed conversation starter. Many people noticed the change to my appearance, such as customers at my workplace, and everyone was kind and encouraging about it. Beyond small talk with strangers who simply noticed something different, I have had many great conversations with other people who have shaved their heads for several reasons. Now, 7 months post-buzz, I still have people compliment me and identify my hair as being grown out from being shaven, and it is so fun to meet other individuals who have this shared experience and chat with them about this commonality between us.
Something I had never expected because of shaving my head was the confidence that came along with it. Many people tend to hide behind their hair, or at least hold to it as a pillar of their identity. Of course, having much less hair is an aspect of my identity now, but so is a whole lot of self-confidence I did not foresee. Without my hair, my appearance is a lot more focused on my actual face, or at least my perception of it is. There is no checking my hair in the mirror because it’s not there! Rather, what I see in the mirror is simply my face. Before shaving my head, I was not very comfortable taking pictures that highlighted only my face, but now, that’s what any selfie is, and I’ve grown to love that! I am more comfortable with and confident about my naturally occurring facial features than ever before.
I understand that going from long hair to a buzzcut overnight is not for everyone. For me, I’m so glad I did it, and I can’t believe it took me this long to do so. It’s an experience that I absolutely recommend.