I didn't set out to be a bald headed girl. It actually started with a series of huge mistakes...
Several years ago I was wearing my hair in a faux-hawk shape and started experimenting with design work on one side. In my mind I could envision these really intricate, beautiful, feminine shapes and designs. Much like what I would doodle like along the side of my journal. I tried barber after barber. Every conversation would go the same way... a lot of me talking and the barber nodding... and I would walk out looking like the outside of a Lisa Frank trapper keeper. I started to joke that at some point I was just going to get a tattoo so they could trace it. That joke turned into google searches of head tattoos, which turned into more jokes until the day came that I was done joking. I was serious.
I went for my last real haircut with my barber... short on time and in a rush... he was booked and I was desperate. Sat down in a man's chair who shall remain nameless... and received the WORST haircut of my life. It looked like a landing strip on the top of my head and to make matters worse he spent a full hour doing it! I came speeding back to the salon... walked straight to my station (with a few giggles from the girls)... pulled out my clippers and started shaving.
I cried myself to sleep that night. I hated it. I looked like a boy. I woke up the next morning and declared that until I had hair again I would wear only dresses and full make-up when I left the house... maybe even in the house. I didn't realize the deep sense of mourning I was in over my hair until I looked back on this time years later.... but WHY? I mean... I do hair for a living. I've been on the other side of the scissors for many a shaved heads and non-traditional cuts for plenty of women. Proudly. Why did I all of a sudden feel so... naked?
Many cultures hold a high level of importance on long hair... and not just women. Native Americans, for example, believe that it holds on to history and tradition. Spiritually and physically connecting them to their ancestors, the earth and the energy around them. Haircuts are reserved for times of great mourning, personal loss, death and separating one's self from old patterns of actions or thoughts.
Maybe all you ladies who chopped your hair the week after the wedding or signing those divorce papers were persuaded by something greater?! I can't say that I ever thought of it that way before but that feeling of freedom I had when I first jumped into short hair after my divorce was so freeing. Subconsciously displaying the shedding of my old life makes total sense now.... HOWEVER... the jump I made into being bald was solely for the purpose of the ink work and it was NOT freeing. I felt ugly.
I immediately moved my tattoo appointment up and couldn't have been more impatient. I chose a henna design that suited my head beautifully. Chose an artist that had done head work before. Then prepared for the most excruciating pain of my life.... just kidding. It actually didn't hurt all that bad. Four hours later I was up and significantly more pleased with my hairless self. As my dark hair grew in the tatt was harder to see... so I bleached it blonde. (Insert every Amber Rose comment you can imagine) The look quickly became a source of joy, starting conversations with strangers, connecting with women who would say "It looks so good on you but I could NEVER." Before I knew it... I was in love with my bald head.
Here is the thing I am most grateful for learning through all of this... YES you can! Any one of you can! I am not my hair and neither are you. I have accepted things about myself, about my body, that I hadn't before I shaved my head. I leave the house without make-up.... because I am beautiful with it... but I'm beautiful without it too.... AND SO ARE YOU! Sure I switch things up all the time. I have fun with wigs. I grow out the top for a while. Then I shave it again. The point is... if you want to grow your hair to respect your culture... do it. If you want to shave your head... do it. Discover who you are and have fun doing it knowing you are beautiful no matter what you choose to put on top of your head. Oh... and find a fabulous stylist to help you out ;)