How To Know If You're Ready To Take The Plunge And Shave Your Head

May 17, 2017

|Maria Suarez


Usually when a female character on a TV show or movie cuts off her hair, it’s seen as a huge symbol of starting over. If she shaves her head or goes for a pixie cut is usually when the plot takes a turn towards terminal illness or depression. I’ve always wondered what was the big deal between a woman getting a buzz cut and man doing the same. But then I got a glimpse of all the things people can imagine.

When I was 17 I had colored my hair in almost every tone of red possible, tried getting Kelly Clarkson chunky highlights that looked as brassy as the trumpet my brother played in the school band, I’d even experimented with getting a perm. Each time I left the salon, I was happy for maybe a minute before I started thinking about how I wasn't feeling like myself. I tried to blend and look like everyone else, but my colorful hair always seemed to look awkward regardless. Then I saw a girl on a magazine who had a very Emo haircut: shaved on the back with chin length strands in the front. I figured I’d give it a try, I’d done pretty much everything else by then.

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When I got to the hairdresser I showed the picture and asked her to dye my hair raven black as well. She was speechless and scared. She went to get her supervisor, the salon owner, who then asked me if I was sure I wanted to do this. I said I was. She then asked if my mom was okay with this. I nodded and chose to not share the part of my mom preferring my hair being black than red or peroxide blonde. A couple hours later I left with a pixie.

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I got comments from family telling me I looked very French, whatever that meant. The interesting reaction came from my school counselor. Apparently she believed that my haircut meant I was coming out about my sexuality or that I’d joined some kind of skinhead group. Other classmates suddenly treated me like I was the cool outsider who smokes in the girls’ bathrooms. I’ll remind you again, my hair was an inch long in the shortest part.

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Since then, my hair has continuously changed. Sometimes it's really short, sometimes not so much. It’s been pink, blue, and its natural medium brown. But I’ve never had a strong reaction as I did back then, which has made me wonder what kind of myth our culture and society has created around women’s hair. It’s not just my experience; I’m even including all the instances when women are told that their hair should be longer so that they look feminine versus masculine. I’ve never understood why this body part is regarded as a vital aspect of determining one’s gender. But let’s get back to the buzz cut.

There’s plenty of pros with getting your whole head shaved. Let’s start with the fact that washing and styling suddenly becomes a no brainer. I personally find it one of the sleekest hairstyles with endless possibilities in terms of fashion. Despite your worries, I think the buzz cut looks like a classy option where you didn’t have to do much to look red-carpet ready. The cons might have more to do with the upkeep because, depending on how fast your hair grows, you might need to keep going back to your stylist for maintenance visits more than you usually would.

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My suggestion would be to take a full jump in the pool and get it all shaved. However, you could try getting an undercut or side cut first to try out a bit of a shave. You could get your buzz cut lightened and colored in some pastel or platinum color. It’s all about experimenting and having fun without worrying about it being some big statement. I mean, it’s not like it’ll never grow back.

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A hairstyle is one of the most temporary things available in life. If you don’t love it, wait a couple months and it’ll grow back. You can take inspiration from celebrities who’ve taken the plunge before, though most of them have done it for a movie role. Angelina Jolie, Demi Moore, and Natalie Portman are the images of women from film who shocked the world for proving that long hair or shaved head didn’t change someone’s sex appeal or femininity. Halsey, Lupita Nyong’o, Amandla Stenberg, Kristen Stewart, and Cara Delevingne are the most recent celebrities to show how elegant and fashion-forward this hairstyle can truly be.

We should all try things we’re curious or afraid of at least once. If this is yours, go for it. You might discover that once you take the big chop, it’s not such a big deal after all.

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Maria Suarez

Maria Suarez

Coordinadora Editorial CC+