This past Halloween, I shaved my head for my costume.
It’s something that I’ve thought of doing for years. A little bit daring, really easy to do, and wouldn’t it be fun to see what my head looked like underneath the hair?
Then Guardians of the Galaxy came out. Nebula was a badass, blue-skinned, bald cyborg, and Karen Gillan played her (who just happens to be one of my favorite Doctor Who companions ever). Suddenly the time was right to check “shaving my head” off of my bucket list.
I’ve been having fun with my hair for several years now. I’ve dyed it a variety of colors, and my cut is always changing. There are indeed necessities and noble purposes for shaving one’s head, but my motivation was none of these things.
I shaved my head because it sounded fun.
My husband shaves his head routinely, so I had no qualms handing him the razor for a quick buzz during the halftime of a college football game. We experimented with varying looks before finally taking it all the way down to the scalp.
I hopped in the shower and lathered my head to get a smooth shave with a new disposable razor. I rubbed some coconut oil all over my head when I noticed the faintest signs of irritation.
I stared at myself in the mirror, perfectly bald and shiny. There was the slightest feeling of nudity even though I was fully clothed. The tiniest thrill of feeling like I did something a little taboo. My eyes looked huge and wide.
I loved it.
The Halloween costume was a success, and I’ve continued to shave my head since, applying coconut oil each time I shave to the scalp. Huge earrings seem to have extra style, my neck looks impossibly long, and the slightest bit of makeup makes my eyes look positively bovine.
I told a friend I feel lovely.
So when people express horror at my shaved head, the most surprised person in the exchange is usually me. “I feel wonderful!” I reply. “I think I look beautiful.” I’ve received reactions that are a mixture of amusement, confusion, and on a few occasions even revulsion. One gentleman responded, “No, you don’t,” when I told him I liked my new haircut.
You know what? I think I’m going to keep it like this for a while yet. Because when my 5-year-old nephew asked me why I cut my hair like this, I absolutely loved being able to say, “It was for a Halloween costume!”
And when the teen girl behind the makeup counter asked, wide-eyed, “Why did you do that?!” I was happy to tell her with a huge smile that it was for fun.
A shaved head started out as just a fine addition to a fantastic costume, 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.”
But it’s something I want my nieces and nephews to know. It’s an important outlook on life that I want to show young people around me.