I shaved my head, and I feel beautiful

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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.

Your appearance is there to have fun with. And it’s okay to have fun, dammit.

Comments on I shaved my head, and I feel beautiful

  1. I shaved my head in August! I have a nonprofit organization and I did it as part of a fundraiser, as well as to get rid of my blue hair before I had to go back to my school (where non-natural colors are not within dress code), as well as because it sounded like fun. I got a lot of mixed reactions. I had a blast. And now my hair is long enough that people think it’s just short and stylish. I probably wouldn’t do it again, but I’m happy I did!

  2. Not that you need me to tell you but you look beautiful!

    A couple of years ago I almost shaved my head. I mean, I buzzed it really close but didn’t do clean to the skin like you did (I chickened out at the last minute, more from the anxiety I was creating around me – the hairdresser was freaking out, my husband was freaking out, being highly sensitive I just absorbed it all).

    I loved the feeling of not having any hair. Weird, right? I liked it at first. But after the comments I started to not like how I looked. My dad commented that I had a bullet head. I won’t even mention the looks I got. In my ultra-liberal town I got looks of disgust and one guy looked at me as if he wanted to punch me but in the conservative town that has a Marine base I got a lot of supportive looks and comments (not about my hair) and people being UBER nice. Almost as if they thought I was a Marine or something.

    But now I’m looking at my picture now from the week after the buzz. My eyes are huge LOL. Cheekbones more prominent too. And I look happy. I think I felt really brave because no one else was doing it. I always go for dramatic hair cuts. I am always telling the hairdressers to go shorter. They always say, are you sure? I’m like, give me the buzzers I’ll do it myself. I live in Florida. It’s hot.

    But my hair is long now. Well, long for me. Just past my shoulders. I love it and find it annoying at the same time. I’m always putting it into a pony tail (which, in the past has always made me just cut it all off, what’s the point of long hair if you keep putting into a pony tail?), the wind blows it into my eyes, I have a huge forehead and I need bangs…

    But I think I’ll stick with it for awhile.

    Regardless, I think it’s awesome that you shaved your head (and for a costume no less!). I think you look fabulous. I think there is this weird societal thing about women and their hair. I guess guys get it too. My husband had the most beautiful long hair but had to cut it all off for a job so he would look more professional. sigh His hair wouldn’t have kept him from doing a great job.

  3. I love this, and you look incredible! I have been dying to shave my head for years. I have trichotillomania (a disorder where I pull out my hair) and the idea of having no hair at all to pull or worry about seems incredibly freeing. I’ve really been toying with the idea of getting a wig over the last year or so. I did purchase one but it ended up not matching my natural color (a coppery reddish orange), and I’d like to get one that matches as much as possible so I don’t have to deal with any questions or drama at work (my department gets a lot of visibility from the higher-ups, who all tend to be on the conservative side, and I’m still new enough that I don’t want to risk being “shunned”). But ideally I’d love to shave my head completely bald, wear the wig at work and just go bare the rest of the time! 🙂

    I think your post–and the recurring dreams about shaving my head that I’ve been having over the last few weeks 😛 –are making me reconsider this as a possibility!

  4. I first cut my hair thisclosetoshaved about 20 years ago, after a lifetime of struggling with my mother (who has VERY defined ideas of how a girl should dress/act/have her hair/etc.). It was SO amazingly freeing. (The only reason I didn’t razor-shave it is because I was afraid my tightly coiled hair would cause razor bumps – UGH!) Nowadays, I alternate between super-short hair and locs – whatever I’m least tired of and is easiest to take care of at the time. For many people their hair is a political statement, but to me it’s always been about what makes me happy at the time. (I have to add, it also taught me that African-Americans CAN sunburn – and one of the most PAINFUL places to burn is the scalp!)

  5. Awesome read!
    I had short hair from the time I was 15ish until I was about 21 when I started to grow it out. Had always wanted to shave my head but never had the guts to do it.
    In 2012 however, I ended up having brain surgery and I asked my doctor to just take off all my long hair once he put me out rather than just shaving the front half of my head. I awoke from surgery alive and well and without any hair! I spent the first few weeks after wearing hats and scarves just because I still had a yucky looking incision site but once my hair started growing in enough to cover it up, I went without.
    What amazed me was the amount of compliment I got from people on the VERY short hair I had. So many women came up to me and told me how wonderful my hair looked and how much they loved it. I have since grown my hair out and keep it shoulder length or longer. But even when my long hair looks fantastic, I still don’t get the compliments I did when I had my super short, almost shaved head.

  6. Chris, given that this was posted a year ago, and I only just read it, you probably won’t ever see this comment. But I just wanted to say that, as someone who also shaved her head for voluntary reasons (in my case, a purification ceremony when trying to slough off some very bad times) and actually felt the most gorgeous I ever have, once I saw how enormous my eyes were with nothing to obscure them, I get it. I even get how knowing you’re doing something completely for you, regardless of how much it polarises others, can feel incredibly empowering and so that now you not only feel beautiful, but strong and resilient, too.
    It’s been three years, now, since I last used my clippers, and in the meantime, my hair’s grown past my shoulderblades and is white as snow, is lionised by friends and mesmerises strangers in the street, but I still miss my bald head, and how beautiful, and strong, and somehow soldierly it made me feel.
    Rock on with the chrome-dome, pretty lady. 🙂

  7. i love my shaved head. only .25″ long. not skin, butt still short enough to bother family. XD did it at first to clear bad dye i didn’t like. but enjoyed it alot. so did it again to my mothers dismay. (my husbands favorite part of cutting my hair short is upsetting my mom.) my dad was very huggy and affectionate after i shaved my head the first time too. it was really weird. my mother didn’t let me cut my hair till i was 16 then i was not allowed to have it shorter than my chin. so any chance i get i go short. i enjoy it so much.

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