Posted in Personal Blogging

Things I learnt After I Shaved My Head

If you’re new here, this is what I look like now:

Yeah, my hair grows ridiculously fast, I know. You can see the difference, and if I had put up a picture of what I looked like the first day you’d get a better idea… but I’m lazy and I already posted one.

I shaved my hair (a buzz cut) the first week of November, now we’re in December and I have like 1 1/2 fingers of length (I don’t know how you measure hair, so that’ll have to do).

I already shared some of my reasons to shave my head (like the fact that I had been thinking about it for a while) and how I felt after I did it. This post is a sort of update on the how-I-look kind of post, but instead of a trip down memory lane, I’m going to tell you a couple of things I’ve learnt or been made aware of due to my new hair style.

1. People will try to measure your femininity through the length of your hair.

It’s ridiculous, I know but it will happen.

When I first cut my hair off the first comments my family made were: “Oh, but you are so pretty!”, “I guess we’re going to miss your Instagram selfies.”, “Did you lose a bet?”, “Oh, you want to look like a boy.” and my personal favorite “Are you sure, because you’ll look ugly.”

Now, not all of those comments were exactly targeted toward my femininity, but they were all supposed to make me reconsider. Like I am pretty because of my hair kind of deal, and I was having none of that.

One time, a man leaned toward my face on the street to speak directly to my nose  “Is this a girl or a boy? I can’t tell.”

I mean, I was wearing a dress but little make up so…. I don’t know, I still found it incredibly disgusting and aggressive.

Oh, someone also asked me whether shaving my head was my way to come out as a lesbian (implying that lesbians are not feminine, which is bullshit…. also I’ve been out as a pansexual girl for a while now).

2.- Suddenly, the only thing you can wear are dresses and flowy things to remind the world that “holy shit you’re a girl!”

Okay, so this is not really a new thing in my family but it got more annoying with time.

I am usually told that I “look pretty in dresses” and that my aunts prefer it when I wear pretty clothes rather than jeans and plaid shirts.

I have been told before (by the asshole uncle Dean) that I dress like a raped boy, which, you know, kind of just makes you hate Dean even more than before. He also calls me a faggot sometimes… but you know, he’s just joking, right?! (fuck him).

Now if I wear anything remotely “not for girls” it’s like everyone loses their shit because “people will think you’re a boy!” and I honestly don’t give a shit? I can wear both, I can wear whatever makes me comfortable.

3.- People expect you to wear more make up to make up for you lack of hair, which is stupid.

Sometimes I wear make up, sometimes I don’t wear make up… sometimes I just wear lipstick or a bit of BB-cream. And that’s fine! make up is not for everyone. Wearing it doesn’t make you prettier or better than anyone. Not wearing it doesn’t make you prettier or better than anyone.

Make up is just make up, you know.

You do you.

A nice comment I got was from Bee who told me that now I had an excuse to do really dramatic eye makeup. Which, yeah… but there’s one problem Bee didn’t take into account… I can’t actually do my make up…. I suck at it.

Foundation + concealer + lipstick is pretty much all I do.

Do I look like a ghost? Hell, yeah I do.

Should I contour, maybe? Probably.

Do my eyes get lost and my eyelashes look weird? Pretty much, yes.

But that is how I live my life.

Disclaimer: I do sometimes attempt to do a more elaborated thing… and I fail.

4.- The “I shaved my head because the weather was too hot” thing, is a lie.

A filthy lie.

I got heatstroke from going outside on a super sunny day, without a hat.

You never know how much your scalp can burn under the sun (and this is coming from someone who actually burnt her scalp during Lollapalooza) until you have a shaved head and no one informed you that you need to wear hats. It’s not about accessorizing y’all. The pain is real.

So if someone ever tells you they shaved their head because of that, well yeah, their neck is a lot less hot, but now they gotta vampire their way around the world.

Not nice.

5.- Hats don’t slide off or slowly move from their position now.

The tiny, tiny sharp hairs in your very vulnerable scalp hold onto everything.

That means that if you’re like me (meaning that you push your hats/headbands to the weirdest positions so that they’ll slowly slide to the part of your head where you actually want them) you will end up wearing shit the wrong way.

Hats? pushed all the way to the end.

Hairbands? Uncomfortably close to your gigantic forehead and constantly colliding with all glasses.

6.- Playing with your tiny spikes stops being fun after a couple of days, a week tops (for me).

All I mean by this is that when you first shave your head, the spikes in you head are very stiff and it feels nice to pet your own head?

Oh, and other people pet your head too.

It’s nice… but also annoying after a while.

7.- I’m super vain.

Yeah, remember that person saying  I wouldn’t post more selfies on Instagram.

They were wrong.

I have a lot of feelings and thoughts about selfies and selfie culture and being shamed for it. I have decided that, fuck it, I’m gonna do whatever makes me happy and if anyone has a problem with that… well, sucks to be them.

I have sooooo many pictures of my face. 2014 me would grimace at the sheer amount of silly/ugly pictures I take from time to time.

But you know what? I like it.

I like my face.

And maybe some people would think this is weird of maybe they’ll try to shame me for it, but I spent a big part of my life not liking myself. So I’m just going to enjoy it now.

7.- My hair is so stiff and straight it won’t settle.

So, apparently my dad has a similar problem (whyyyy did I only get the bad stuff from him ie. mental hair, horrible dad jokes, and oily skin) and according to him, until I have longer hair (like two fingers of length) it just won’t lie down.

I don’t really mind it. But it does make me look weird.

8.- I will constantly miss all the versions I’ve been.

Now, this is not only about shaving my head. This was still true when I died it red and then did the ombre thing, then when I cut it off, bleached it, dyed it brown, bleached it again, etc.

Strangely, I don’t really miss my brown hair. I don’t think it’s because it’s a boring color (I love my brown hair and eyes) but because I don’t associate good times to that color. I wa still very shy when I had brown hair. Dyeing it red was the most adventurous thing I’d done and it felt amazing.

Then the next time I dyed it brown coincided with the program that killed everything I am (but taught me many things about myself), so I couldn’t really look back to those days fondly.

As I said, at the beginning of the year I would look at old pictures of myself and see how happy I looked and I’d feel like shit.

Now I can see that I didn’t look happy at all in pictures of that time. But I still miss that version of myself. I wish I had been kinder to her.

I just feel a lot of nostalgia.

I guess it’s because I am so used to holding onto things (ideas, jewelry, papers, you name it) that whenever I change something about myself it feels like the end of an era, like I will never, ever be that person again. It might be ridiculous, but in a way it helps me from time to time.

Bleaching my hair the second time around (more carefully this time) meant that I was done with the Teaching Program and I could just leave all of that behind. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

And now, when I shaved my head it was even more than that because I was doing something I had wanted to do for ages but had lacked the courage to do. I guess it mean that I was finally ready to step away from things I had been lugging with me for years. I could accept myself and just move forward into the unknown.

Or, I’m just over-analyzing this like usual. Who know.

-L.

 

 

 

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Author:

23-year-old writer from Chile. Currently reading, writing, and trying not to lose my mind.

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