5 Women Tell Us Why They Shaved Their Heads

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5 Women Tell Us Why They Shaved Their Heads

Bella Nani-Why I Shaved My Head

There are many reasons a woman might shave her head.  Most recognized is going through cancer treatment (chemo) and the hair just falls out so she beats the drug to the punch and shaves her head.  Others just want to discover the freedom that is living without hair.  We find these women to be truly fearless women and we wanted to dive deeper into why women may shave their heads.  So we came across an article that describes 5 different women and their reasons why they shaved their heads.  We hope you find this as fascination as we did!

My hair is a solid 6. Worn straight or wavy, the shoulder-length dark brown situation hangs around my face unobtrusively leaving no impression whatsoever. It’s so forgettable that sometimes (usually after an underwhelming blowout) I Google “Demi Moore G.I. Jane” and imagine what bald life would be like.

“Women are fascinated by my baldie and always tell me they wish they could do it,” says on-air personality Dana Johnson, who first shaved her head in 2012. For Johnson, cutting off her hair signaled the start of a radical self-acceptance journey. It wasn’t easy, but “I was going to keep this haircut until I loved me in my stripped-down form.” Here, five women open up about what it’s really like to shave your head.

Dana Johnson

I cut my hair in February 2012 in Salvador Bahia, Brazil. I was in Brazil for two weeks visiting Rio, Bahia, and taking in Carnival. I was also emerging from a very unhealthy relationship. I woke up one morning, looked at my friend who was traveling with me, and told her that I needed to cut my hair. She thought this would happen once we got back to Brooklyn, but I had to do it that morning. So we did. The barber looked at us like we were aliens. My hair was straight and about three inches long in a pixie cut. People tend to act like the jump from three inches to a baldie is no big deal. That’s like saying there is no difference between wearing a swimsuit and being completely naked.

I was fine the rest of the day. We were dancing in the street and enjoying the parades. And drinks. LOTS OF DRINKS! The next morning I woke up and went to the bathroom, ready for my regular morning potty, hygiene, and primp routine. I saw myself and freaked out. I all of a sudden remembered what I did, and I cried. I then got myself together because I could not admit I made a mistake.

When I got back to New York City, I visited my first barbershop and cut the rest of my processed ends off.

Then it was just me, bare and looking like I was about to enter basic training. I cried a lot. I hated the way I looked. I would stare at myself in the mirror for hours. I picked myself apart: My eyes were too big, skin too bad, I never really noticed my left ear but it was funky looking now too. One day I realized that I was doing to myself what he used to do to me. I said enough. I was going to love every inch of me. I was going to keep this haircut until I loved me in my stripped-down form.

Five years later, I can’t picture myself any other way.

Women are fascinated by my baldie and always tell me they wish they could do it. Men are very complimentary for the most part. One guy at a bar in Fort Greene told me “I am sure you used to be pretty.” I looked at him and said “I am sure you use to be skinny.” Wearing a haircut that so many feel is severe has toughened my skin. I love me. You will not pick on me because of your insecurities. When you are bald, you are automatically labeled as bold and confident. So you have to be prepared to receive everyone’s unsolicited opinions.

Believe it or not, strangers try to rub my head all the time. I now know how pregnant women feel when strangers just start to rub their belly. I ran the New Orleans Marathon February of this year and at the medic tent on mile 23 a stranger asked to rub my head. Like, “Sir, I have a cramp and it’s hot AF. Are you serious?” And when you tell people no, they get offended. This is part of my body.

I am also asked a lot if I “did this to myself by choice.” I can now handle such questions with grace and often engage those bold enough to ask me in conversation about beauty.

When Cara Delevingne shaved her head for a role, I thought, “good for her. I wonder what will happen after the role is done filming.” Will she feel pressure to grow it back? Are people treating her differently? To be quite honest, people are probably more accepting of her for doing it because they can understand her reasoning. I often find the people that I encounter do not understand why I would “do this to myself.”

I get urges from time to time to grow it back just for a change. But in a weird way, I am not sure if I would feel like me anymore with bangs.

Marie-Paule Bamage

I shaved my hair last year in June after about half a year thinking about it. I just didn’t feel happy about my hair for a very long time and projected this feeling onto my whole appearance. I noticed how my levels of self-esteem often depended on how my hair was looking that day—and good hair days were rare (people with curly hair will know what I mean). So I figured the only way to regain a healthy relationship to my hair and myself was to cut it all off and start new.

Of course [I had reservations]. About the shape of my head, those nasty transition phases etc. But at some point I got so annoyed at myself carrying this idea around without realizing it that I just said screw it.

I got the sweetest compliments even from people I would have never thought of—folks at work, strangers, people I hadn’t talked to in years. My dad took a few days to process the initial shock of his little girl “looking like a man now,” but starting accepting and then liking it.

I do get more attention than before I guess. We all know that a girl gets stared at on the street every once in a while, and I noticed how the manner of the stare changed after the cut. The expression in the eyes became less intrusive and somewhat more distant and respectful.

I don’t really plan that far ahead, fully growing my hair out would take a decade, it’s ridiculous. I’m letting it grow at the moment just to try out a different look but I might as well cut it off again soon, we’ll see. That’s what I like about having short hair, you get way more flexible.

Alana Derksen

My hair before was naturally very blonde and super-thin. I couldn’t do much with it and mostly just wore it up. Honestly this is the best look I’ve ever had. Hair just doesn’t work for me.

I shaved my head because my twin brother and I got in a heated argument and it was a very impulsive and cathartic reaction. Honestly it was kind of a “fuck you” gesture to my very straight-laced upbringing. I didn’t get a second opinion before I did it, that’s not something I think I ever do.

People reacted pretty well. My hair was kind of underwhelming before so this look really suits me best. I love when old women compliment my hair. There’s something really endearing about approval from the elderly to me. They’re usually pretty brutally honest. Being compared to young Angelina with a shaved head or Sinéad is cool, too.

I don’t really give a damn what guys think about me and my hair to be honest. I’ve always called the shots, not the other way around. Some dudes clearly think it’s a real novelty or like fetishize it but I couldn’t be bothered to give them the time of day. 

I literally do nothing. I don’t even own shampoo or a brush. I cut my own hair about every two weeks. Very low maintenance. I was never good at hair anyway. One less thing to do in the morning.

For the rest of this article please go to elle.com.  

 

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