Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Today I was in the car and I was thinking again about growing my hair back.

I think the thing is, I've learned what I need to learn from shaving my head.

One of those things is that I really think every woman should try it once in her life, just to see what happens.  I know not everyone will - in fact, it will be a rare chick who buzz cuts her hair - but I do recommend it.  I have done a lot of growing.

I think the biggest thing that I've learned has been about who I am and what that means.  I've stopped caring so much about what people think of me.

Before, I could give lip service to it, but now I really GET it.  When someone asks me if I'm a boy (usually a child), I'm no longer offended, I just smile and tell them that I'm a girl, and give them a short list of other ways to tell the gender of a person.  I also explain that I just like the short haircut.  That satisfies every kid I've run up against thus far.

When I get stares from adults, I've learned to just smile back at them.  Either they smile too, or they look away - angry or ashamed.  The thing is, I can probably guess what they're thinking, and none of it is about me personally - they don't know me.  They might never know me beyond an initial thought or judgment, and some people are just looking because it's different and interesting - those are the people who usually smile back.

I've had a lot of interesting comments.  Many of them were that other women were "jealous" of my hair because it's so low maintenance and I don't have to worry about it.  To those women, I say - if you really want to do it, DO IT!  Hair grows back - I promise!  And very quickly too for most of us!

Others were underhanded sort of judgment:  "when will you grow it back?"

I honestly thought that I would never grow my hair back until it went grey, but I think there are other things in store for the hair.

Not sure if I'll be letting it grow out now or shaving it once more or a few more times.  I have no idea what I'll do with it after or even if I'll definitely change it, but I think the growing I had to do with this hair might be just about through.

The biggest lesson has been to live in the moment.  Before, hair held me back.  Go ahead and laugh, but then think about the times you wished you could dance in the rain or jump in the lake or take a shower just before a big event - you thought about your hair.  It annoyed you when it was in your face.  You didn't want to mess it up.  You forgot a hair tie.  Whatever.  Either way, I personally didn't do a lot of things because my hair was in the way.  Now I know that it's dumb.  Forget the hair, LIVE LIFE.  You can brush it later.  And if it's too messed up - well then you can just shave it off.  I don't have to worry about what it would look like anymore, and when I have a bad hair day, I just might do it. light of all of that - if and when I grow my hair back, it won't be because I'm being stared at or ridiculed or because someone else wants me to do it.

It will be because I want it long.  Or pixie.  Or bob.  Or purple.  Or whatever.  Not to please the people around me, but to just be myself.

And finally (this is my third edit on this blog), I have to say, that shaving my head was a huge symbol for me.  I got to physically purge myself of my past in a very tangible way.  In the Old Testament, shaving one's head was a symbol of mourning.  I shaved off that junk from before and I let myself mourn for it, grieve about it, and get over it.  All the pain and stupidity and pleasing others and dirt that I harbored from things people said to me or did to me - hanging onto people and things that are really unimportant, who no longer care about me, or who have moved on so far in their lives that our past together is moot.  That symbolically ended up on the kitchen floor and then several times in the bathtub.  I feel cleansed from all that now.  It's just... gone.

People rip on Britney Spears and others who have shaved their heads, but before you jump to conclusions about them being insane or whatever, know that it really does have an effect on you to get rid of your hair in such a well...violent manner.  It's a CLEAN slate.  A new beginning.  The actualization of a new self. 

Well...  I've written enough disjointed ramblings for now. 



Pete said...

Strangely enough, it's not just the women who have weird issues with hair. I've thought many a time of shaving or buzzing my own, but have weird anxiety about it.

My hair is SO disjointed with odd angles and cowlicks, my forehead is slowly but surely increasing it's dominion, and a haircut costs like $15 if you tip.

Maybe I should just charge up that trimmer and go to town soon. But then I worry I might look funny for a few weeks. Maybe that obsession with appearance is the real reason it should go....

Missy said...


Heather said...

You are beautiful with any type of hair (or lack there of), but if comfort is at all in your thoughts you might wait until later in the summer to start growing it back (if you do grow it back). Hair is hot.

I am always impressed with women who have the courage to go without hair or have very short hair. It takes guts to get out from behind the hair-shield. :)

Sara said...

I have always known you with your head shaved. It would probably be very strange for me if/when you grow it back. Either way you are a fascinating person!

Dawna said...

I've noticed a couple of things since I shaved my head for the play:
Men who shave their head have to know every nuances of their head - the patterns of how the hair grows, the shape,the feel - much more so than a woman who perms/colors her hair every 6 weeks.

It is incredibly freeing to shave your hair - no hassles, no decisions, no color. Nothing added just me.

Question that I've asked myself -
Why all the fuss about hair? It is just strands of stuff growing out of your head. Why is it so important to have color/shape/ style to differentiate ourselves?

In the grand scheme of things when I'm lying on my death bed will my hair/nails/makeup really matter?

Do I really see the person behind the clothes, hair, makeup or do I make snap decisions about them simply by looking at their appearance?

Anonymous said...

Missy and Dawna - you are both so beautiful! You both are brave and amazing and still look so feminine, even with shaved heads.

Danielle said...

I don't really have much to say other than I think this is amazing and I really believe you are a very beautiful person, inside and out, hair or without hair-or with purple hair ;) -purple hair rocks, I miss mine.

Jason said...

Pete, go for it! It'll grow back if you don't like it.

Missy coming from a guy who shaved his head down to Mr. Clean only to find he has a dent in his forehead, I think there's a lot of value in your current hair journey and the journey in which you're looking to embark.

I wish I could say I learned something other than head sunburns hurt. As well as the fact that stubble and Velcro share many commonalities. Fortunately, I gave up caring about others' images of me while I was in high school.

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