To be honest, I really don’t remember exactly how the idea got into my head. All I know is that it was all I could think about after I half-jokingly asked my friend if I should shave my head, and they said “yes!!” It was mid-April, and I was sick and tired of having to deal with my hair everyday when all I did was move from room to room in my house, thanks to the first covid lockdown. It got to the point where I would tie my hair up in a super tight ponytail so I could see what I would potentially look like if I decided to go through with it (pro tip: it won’t actually look like that).
A few days later, I mustered up the courage to tell my parents what I wanted to do. Keep in mind that as the only child in a traditional latinx household, the possibility of my parents being completely opposed to the idea was a very real one. When I finally asked them, they just laughed and said “sure, why not?” I was astonished to say the least. These were the same parents that didn’t let me experiment with makeup until my senior year of high school, so imagine my surprise when my mom offered to do it for me!
Growing up, I was a huge tomboy, but never in a million years would I have imagined shaving my head, nor did I think I would ever want to. But now here I was, moments away from the most freeing experience I have ever had. I knew it was going to be different, but I don’t think I could’ve ever imagined just how nice it felt to not have to worry about what my hair looked like. It wasn’t until after I shaved my head that I realized just how much of a chore my hair was to me. Without exaggerating too much, with my hair buzzed, I felt like I could do anything.
I didn’t expect this spur-of-the-moment decision to have such an impact on my life. After all, this decision could’ve fully just been a product of quarantine boredom and the knowledge that no one was going to see me in person for at least another few months. Around this same time I had been thinking a lot about gender identity and expression, and how I fit into those abstract concepts. Needless to say that being free of a highly feminine-coded aspect of myself did wonders to helping me figure out where I stand.
And I knew I wasn’t the only one. All over my social media I saw more and more people figuring themselves out and experimenting with how they expressed themselves, whether it be with hair, makeup, clothes or anything else. It felt so good to see other people freeing themselves from societal norms despite being closed away in our homes.
I mean, what more perfect time could there be to change things up? If it doesn’t turn out the way you envisioned it, it’s really no big deal. No one other than your pet and your favorite plant have to see the final product if you don’t want them to. You can always dye your hair back to your original color, donate the clothes you ordered or try a different style of makeup another day. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. And who knows, you might discover your new favorite way of expressing yourself.
So take this newfound freedom and run with it! Try out that haircolor you’ve always wanted to have, give yourself bangs, and use bold colors for your eyeshadow the next time you dress up for no reason. Take it from me, who went from hating mullets to being a proud mullet owner: you never know until you try it!
And remember kids: hair always grows back ;)