I've Never Felt More Badass Than When I Shaved My Head: Here's What I Learned
I Shaved My Head!
On September 23rd, 2017, I did something bold, daring, scary, BRAVE
I did something most women would never consider doing in their lifetime, given the choice.
I shaved my head. Yes, all my hair is gone. Gone!
All those voluptuous curls......buzzed!
You may ask.....What would possess me to shave my head?
I have a couple of reasons:
- I have always wanted to shave my head.
- I did it to raise funds for the St. Baldricks Childhood Cancer Research.
There is no hiding your face or your eyes when you don’t have hair.
Skepticism and Anxiety
I remember feeling very anxious initially when I signed the contract for St. Baldricks Brave The Shave event. Although I had always wanted to shave my head, my signature for the event cemented my decision. There was no backing out now!
When I told several of my friends, my decision was met with some skepticism. "There is no way you're going to shave off all that hair!" said one friend.
I will say this....it was a terrifying thought.....but aren't all fun things terrifying at first? The highest roller-coaster that you're going on for the first time? Your first blind date?
I took the plunge, as you can tell from the photograph.
How do I feel?
- capable of great things
The first person with a shaved head who I was ever intrigued by was Grace Jones in Conan, the Destroyer.
Some of my favorite actresses have since then braved the buzz:
- Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables
- Charlize Theron on Mad Max
- Angelina Jolie in Gia
- Sigourney Weaver in the Alien saga
- Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta
Charlize Theron on Shaving Her Head for 'Mad Max': 'I Can't Imagine Doing It Any Other Way'
Liberating and Empowering
Being bald, I experienced not just my head and neck, but my whole body differently. I even started to wear tighter fitting jeans. I did my make-up a little more boldly. I felt like a whole new person, except I was just missing my hair.
I experienced freedom from my hair. It was a very liberating experience.
Sometimes I look in the mirror in disbelief that I actually shaved my head. Sometimes I actually forget that I HAVE shaved my head, and reach for that curl that I sometimes played with, only to find it gone.
But I did it! What’s done is done.
Three Weeks After Braving The Shave
I am more than my hair.
Hair is hair.
It’s merely an accessory, but we give it so much power. Between styling, cutting, dying, and everything else, it takes a lot of time.
And that is fine. But for me, being bald even now gives me an indescribable sense of freedom because so many other things are more important.I know I am not alone in my belief that our hair holds so much of our identity. What was created for keeping our scalps warm has become an identity definer that many of us use as a mask.
I Am No Longer In Need of Items Like These, Although I Really Didn't Use These Much.
If You Decide to Shave Your Head, You Have to Let Go of What the Beauty Industry Says is Beautiful.
You have to:
- let go of hair styles etc.
- let go of ideas of beauty
- embrace funny shaped.head, and all its lumps and bumps
- accept that your ears are small/big/odd-shaped or stick out.
Don’t be told what is beautiful. You are beautiful.
Cara Delevingne's response to haters when she shaved her head for a movie role
It's exhausting to be told what beauty should look like. I am tired of society defining beauty for us. Strip away the clothes, Wipe Off the make up, cut off the hair. Remove all the material possessions. Who are we? How are we defining beauty? What do we see as beautiful?
Rocking the Bald
Making One Daring Decision is Giving Me Courage to Make Others
Being bald exposes you. You cannot be a shy person when you have a shaved head.
I feel extremely vulnerable.There is no more hiding behind my hair.
It's all about the face. Having a bald head exudes confidence. It demonstrates that I am self-assured.
While I shaved my head for some very specific reasons, the lessons it continues to bring me each day has been unexpected.
I no longer have hair to hide behind.
Every day brings forth a new lesson with this shaved head, lessons on how I can move through life with more ease, more love, more joy. Funny how a lack of hair can do that!
College Photo Showing My Long Curls.
Have You Ever Shaved Your Head?
Have you ever shaved your head?
Having fun with your hair is not anything to be afraid of.
I Am Having Fun With This Fund-Raising Act
There are no so many new style icons available to me, not just Grace Jones, Alek Wek, Sinead O’Connor or Anne Hathaway. What about Mahatma Gandhi or Bruce Willis?
A shaved head started out as just a fundraising act , but it's been turning into a little bit more. It's still not a huge statement. I'm not particularly trying to say anything beyond, "Having fun with your hair is not anything to be afraid of."
My Youngest Son and I on the Day We Shaved Our Heads To Raise Funds For Childhood Cancer Research
Strong Stigmas Attached to Female Baldness Still Exist in Most Societies.
It’s the 21st century, but
- the world still hasn’t adjusted to the sight of a woman with a shaved head
- strong stigmas are still attached to female baldness
According to popular opinion, the only reasons a woman would shave her head are
- that she’s joined a cult
- she’s on drugs
- she’s endured some kind of Britney Spears–style mental breakdown
- she's got cancer
Simplicity is a Very Beautiful Thing!
Having a shaved head is so practical.
Prior to the shave, I spent quite a bit of time in the shower, shampooing and conditioning my hair. Clearing out my hair was another chore.
Now, I love being able to jump in and out of the shower and being ready to go in no time flat.
In the past weeks, I’ve been going through stuff....again....to get rid of things that I don't need anymore or want. It's amazing what shaving your head can do to help with minimizing.
I even have more time to spend on my projects.
I was always curious to know if I had any scars on my scalp from childhood experiences. I have a couple, but nothing major. I think one of them was received when I fell (actually I was pushed) down a well.
It’s fun to see my childhood scars and question how they happened.
If a person judges you, it’s often because that they haven’t lived up to their own self-expectations.
Some days I Feel a Bit Like a Sci-Fi Futuristic Fembot
Some people judge everyone and everything in their path. Let them. Unless you care more about validation from others than actualizing your own principles, hopes and dreams, you should be focusing on making yourself proud and being true to your own ideals.
I Got Looks! Lots of looks!
After being bald for a couple of months I have stopped noticing it, but in the beginning it was like being center stage at some freak show.
- Side glances and questioning looks.
- Sudden look of sadness when they see me, assuming that I was sick.
- Look of pure shock. What would possess me to remove my hair?
Don't worry. I am completely sane.
I Own the Bald Look.
Having a shaved head forces me
- to own it
- to stand strong in my powerful presence
Having a shaved head reminds me
- to stand strong in my own truth every single minute of the day
- to not to care about what others think of me on a whole new level
I am exposed.
This is me, all of me, take it or leave it.
Apparently, shaving your head is something you do for that one moment, and not a look you are going to keep.
Once you have done the deed, your hair is gone and people are over the shock, they will expect you to grow your hair back. If you continue to shave it, they will be as confused as they were about your initial decision.
Still Bald at Christmas 2017
I Became Hyper Aware of the Temperature
Can someone say chilly?
- I started to wear knitted hats to keep my head warm.
- My pillow is suddenly colder when I lay down at night.
- I've started to wear sunscreen on my head. I don't want sunburn on my scalp.
- My lone hoodie has become my new best friend during the winter months of Florida.
Fundraising Act That I Am Having Fun Wth
There’s something immensely empowering about being your own person. You will gain respect for yourself, and people will ultimately respect you more as well.
Being Bald Is Like Being In A Secret Club For Bald People
I have become more conscious of other bald people.
Now every person I see rocking the bald is suddenly my new best friend!
What is a bad hair day? I wouldn’t know!
People’s Stares are Rooted More in Genuine Curiosity Rather Than Judgment.
Most women will go their entire life without knowing what their scalp looks like, or what it feels like to have the breeze blow or cold water droplets tingle against their naked head. Who’d want to miss that? And why? Because man-made cultural traditions say that as a woman, you must have hair to be sexy, feminine, attractive?
Gina, Why Would You Shave Your Head?
Occasionally, I would get comments like, “Gina, why would you shave your head? I loved your hair before.”
This comment would always catch me off-guard. I get where it’s coming from, but I didn’t do it because I’ve always fantasized about looking like Sinead O’Connor. It wasn’t about fashion or appearance.
“Am I going to pull off this look?” is a fun question, but totally meaningless in the grand scheme of things. For example, if you have cancer, you’re probably not going to give two shits whether you look sexy bald. What matters are the vital questions, and of course, survival. If you’re doing it out of solidarity, what matters is the act of love, and that you’re showing a loved one that you will be fully present during the most vital time.
People Stare......and Then You Get Over It!!
I Have Been Wearing A Little More Make-up Than I Usually Do.
I often didn’t bother with makeup but these days I rarely leave the house without some makeup. It’s still rare that I actually bother with the whole foundation, powder, blusher, eye shadow, but I usually do mascara, lipstick , and I have to do the brows.
My brows are quite thin, so I have to do some definition. Thank goodness my daughter taught me before she headed off to college. With no hair, having defined eyebrows help to define my face and overall look.
You don’t have to shave your head like I did, but I hope my adventures and lessons with no hair inspires you to be bold, to be present, to embrace change, to stand tall in your power, to be honest, to own your life, to live authentically, and most of all, to be grateful for all that you have right now.
© 2018 Gina Welds Hulse