A/N: This is a story of my personal experience shaving my head. I am a twenty-two year old girl. Enjoy the story!
There were many reasons why I decided to shave my head.
One, I wasn’t taking proper care of my hair. With my severe depression, doing anything was too difficult for me, therefore, showering wasn’t common. I probably shower once or twice a week, and my hair would stay down for a day or two before I would put it back into a high ponytail.
Two, I needed a new start. My depression and anxiety had been weighing me down for years and kept me from going to school and working like other people my age. So many times, I’d heard or read about someone who shaved their head to symbolize almost restarting themselves. After having tried what felt like everything in the book to help with my mental illnesses, it was time to try something else.
Three, I had a fascination with shaving my head. For a while, I had wondered what I would look like bald. Was the shape of my head strange? Would my ears look odd? However, the question I struggled the most with was; would I still look like a girl? Honestly, now, it didn’t matter to me if I didn’t, because, hell, it’s just hair. It would grow back.
Four, shaving my head was one of the things on my bucket list. I always told myself ‘I’ll do it when the time is right’, thinking that maybe in a few years I would do it. Then, I was watching this video of a girl shaving her own head, and she said exactly what I had always thought, “I always said that I would wait for the right time. But, the truth is, there is no ‘right time’. There is always going to be something holding me back.”
I had an epiphany that day. She was right. There was no perfect time to do something that, in the end, I might not like.
Then I was thinking about my current situation and realized; there may not be a perfect time, but where I was right now was pretty damn close.
I wasn’t working or going to school, which eliminated the worry of people asking me why I did or making comments on it. There wasn’t anyone that would know about it except my family and my best friend.
What better time to do it than now?
Today, I was going to shave my head. I had a quick shower to wash my hair as it had been almost a week since it had last been cleaned. Then, I blow dried it, something I hadn’t done to my hair in over six months.
Once it was dry, I stood in front of the mirror in my parents’ bathroom. I decided to use theirs because it was much bigger than the main bathroom that my siblings and I shared. After moving the mats out of the room, I got myself prepared. I brought in a broom, a pair of kitchen shears and a new towel for when I showered after.
It was crazy, all day, I hadn’t even been all that nervous. I figured that I had a lot of adrenaline going through my veins and that I would most likely have a panic attack over my decision later in the day.
When I’d told my family about what I wanted to do, they were all very supportive. My mom and dad were up for anything that might help me even a little bit with my depression and anxiety. My younger sister kept her hair short, pixie style, a lot, and had even shaved her own head a few years before. My younger brother told me that he thought it was a great idea.
My hair reached down to my breasts, died dark red with three inches of my brown roots showing. It was thick and luscious but had breakage from the elastic band when it was almost always in a ponytail. I promised myself that I would take better care of my hair as it grew out again.
My hands were shaking but I didn’t feel any anxiousness yet, only excitement. “Okay,” I said to myself, “Let’s do this.”
Cutting my own hair was something I had always wanted to do but I never did because I didn’t want the questions from the hair stylist when I went to get it fixed. Now, I could do whatever I wanted and I was so excited to play around a bit.
I split my hair in two and laid each section over my shoulders. My one hand held the left bunch at about mid neck level. “Hmm, not that short yet.” I told myself. I moved my hand down some more, until it was just an inch or two below shoulder level.
With a grin, I picked up the scissors and placed them around the section of hair. Though I didn’t feel like I necessarily needed it, I took a deep breath before I closed the shears.
Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
And with that, the hair of five inches in length came away in my hand. I looked at the amount of hair in my hand a had a flashback to a couple years earlier when I had donated my long hair to charity, leaving me with a bob. I hadn’t seen so much hair in my hand like that until now. I dropped it into the garbage bin next to me, but already, a few stray locks of hair were falling to the floor around my feet and sticking to my arms.
As I looked up into the mirror, I was a little shocked. My cut had actually turned out pretty even. Any video that I had ever watched of someone cutting their hair always ended in a very uneven cut.
“Hmm.” I said with a slight shrug. Then, I moved on to gather the other section of hair into my hand. I didn’t measure if it was even with the other side, just kind of eye balled it, because it wasn’t like it mattered anyway. Then, once again, I cut.
Crunch! Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
The bunch came away just as the first had, though this one was a little thicker than the other one. I admired the smoothness of the cut ends, reminding me of a make up brush, before I dropped the hair into the can as well.
I set the scissors down on the bathroom counter and shook my hair so it fell around my head more naturally. Just like the first bunch, I had actually managed to cut it pretty evenly and even the length was almost exactly the same as the other side. I turned around and glanced at the back, seeing that the hair back there fell a bit longer, forming a slight ‘v’ shape.
I also took a look down at the garbage can for the first time since I’d started, and there was almost a full layer of my hair covering the trash underneath.
When I picked up the shears again, I was thinking about the next step, which was a bob. I paused when I remembered that I wanted to try to give myself bangs. The last time I had had bangs was nearly a decade ago, when I was still fresh into high school. I hadn’t liked the bangs then, as they caused more acne to breakout on my forehead and they weren’t even the bangs I had wanted to try. I had wanted a full set of bangs, but my hair stylist had only cut enough hair for what felt like a few strands to lay on my forehead as bangs.
Now, I could give myself the bangs that I had wanted back then.
I combed out the (kind of) proper section for full bangs and brushed them down in front of my face. Then I took them into my hand and bit my lip as I thought of how to cut them. I remembered watching a video where the girl said that you shouldn’t cut them straight across and instead twist the section once and cut that way.
When I grabbed the scissors again, I placed them above my fingers, just below my eyebrows, though I’m pretty sure that you’re supposed to cut under your fingers. But what the hell, it didn’t matter how it looked since it was all coming off anyway.
Snip! Snip! Snip!
I shook my bangs out as I dropped the hair into the can. Then, I set the scissors down again and played with my bangs, trying to flatten them out and away from the middle part I had given myself at the beginning. My hair didn’t really comply to my wishes but it looked a little better.
Then, I took a look at myself in the mirror and admired the cut I currently had. It was a blunt cut, my hair falling just passed my shoulders, and my bangs sitting at a comfortable length just above my eyes. Overall, the cut didn’t look that bad, just like it needed a little shaping. It reminded me a lot of the bob I’d gotten when I’d donated my hair, only this was a little longer.
After a minute, I sighed out loud and began smoothing out the front left section of my hair. As I gripped the shears, I decided that this cut I would do in smaller sections than just one cut on each side. I took a small bunch, maybe an inch or two wide, and moved my hand down the hair, trying to figure out how short I wanted the bob to be.
I decided on a chin length bob, as it was close to what I had had before, but a bit shorter. With another breath in and out, I sliced through the hair.
I couldn’t really tell what the blunt cut would look like until I cut some more so that was exactly what I did. After dropping the four inch hair, I grabbed another section and slipped the scissors into it. It quickly became a cycle of grab, measure (ish), cut, and drop into the bin.
Snip! Snip! Snip! Snip!
And with that, the one side of my head was a chin length bob, while the back and right side was still at its just below the shoulder length.
I smoothed out the right side next and did just as I had before. Grab, measure, cut, drop. Grab, measure, cut, drop.
Snip! Snip! Snip! Snip! Snip!
When I had finished that side as well, I looked up into the mirror. Immediately, I snorted out a short laugh. Though I hadn’t cut the back yet, I could see what the style was shaping up to look like. The blunt cut was not at all even like the first one had been. This one was totally uneven and the bluntness of it reminded me of my kindergarten school picture.
After another short laugh, I gathered the hair in the back into one big chunk in my left hand and felt around for the proper length to cut it at. Once I’d found it, I slipped the scissors in just above my hand.
Crunch! Crunch! Crunch!
Once again, I set the shears down on the counter top and felt at the back to see how the cut had turned out. I obviously couldn’t look in the mirror, but I was sure that that was my worst cut yet. It was longer on one side, while the other was pretty much at my hairline.
I shook my head and played with my short hair a bit more before I was ready for the next step.
This time, I knew I would have to cut it in smaller sections since it was going to be so short. I fiddled with a piece of my bangs before lifting it straight up in the air. With the shears, I cut the hair just an inch from my head.
I lifted my fingers to feel at the newly cut section, but it didn’t really feel all that different. I lifted the next section of my bangs and snipped it off at the same length. Continuing with the rest of my bangs in a similar fashion, I glanced down at the garbage bin once more.
It was nearly overflowing with my hair by now and it was quite surreal to see.
I decided that I wanted to start cutting the bob away at the back of my head, so I felt around for a chunk at the crown of my head, just at the end of my middle part, and held it high in the air. When the scissors snipped through the hair, this time at a little bit longer of a length than my bangs, it didn’t fall back down to my head. Instead, it stood up slightly. I’d never had my hair short enough to do that, so my gaze lingered on it for a moment before I continued on.
Snick! Snick! Snick! Snick!
I cut at sections of hair at the back of my head, working my way down to the nape. I couldn’t see what it looked like, but it sure felt strange when I ran my hands through it.
After the back was cut down to one to two inches in length, I began making my way towards the front of my head. The hair that I cut near the top was always longer than I expected, and as I made my way down to the hairline, the bunches of hair to cut got shorter and shorter.
Snick! Snick! Snick! Snick!
Finally, all that was left of the bob were two three inch sections on each side of my head. If I looked at myself in the mirror at the right angle, it looked like the full bob was still there.
With my scissors in hands, I cut away the last two bunches on the right side of my head, and then the right.
When I looked in the mirror again, I burst out laughing this time. It looked absolutely ridiculous, some locks had been cut as long as two inches and others as short as half an inch, and it all stuck straight out from my head, leaving me looking something like a hedgehog.
The shears sat on the counter again and I ran my hands all over my head, feeling the short hair and noticing how it no longer covered my ears as it had before. My ears had never been exposed like this, and it was terrifying and awesome at the same time.
I got tired of looking at the horrible haircut and decided that it was time to do what I had come to do in the first place; shave my head. I was going to try not to feel any part of my head until the shaving was done completely and I could run my hands all over it.
My dad’s clippers sat on the other side of the counter, so I picked them up and plugged them into the outlet close to me.
Surprisingly, I still was feeling any nervousness, but my hands still shook a lot.
When I started up the clippers, the whirring sound startled me in the silence that had overtaken the room. It was vibrating so hard that my hand seemed to shake even more, but I kept my firm grip on the machine.
I took another deep breath in anticipation, and lifted the clippers to the back of my head, deciding to start there. That way I wouldn’t be able to see what my scalp looked like until I began to shave the front.
As I ran the clippers up my nape, the tone of the machine changed as it cut into my hair. I continued to push the clippers up until I reached my crown, and then I set it back to my nape, parallel to where the first pass had been. The feel of the machine vibrating against my head was a strange sensation, but not unwelcome.
When the second pass went up in what was hopefully a straight line, I began to feel the cool air on my scalp for the first time in my life. After another couple passes and making sure the hairline was clipped short, I finished the back of my head. I had managed to fight the urge to touch my head, to see what it felt like.
Next, I decided to cut the hair around my ears. I started with the right side, as it was easier to access. I pressed the vibrating machine just under my sideburns and carefully ran them up and over my ear. I did this a couple more times to make sure that I had gotten all the hair behind my ear before I started on the other side. This side was a harder angle to work at but I did the same thing; started at my sideburns and worked my way around the ear.
I still couldn’t really see how short it was as the hair above covered it enough, so I anticipated how my scalp would look as I got ready to shave the last part of my hair off.
I bit my lip as I rested the clippers against my forehead, right in the middle. Again, when I pushed the machine back into my short locks, the tone changed to something tougher. I kept going until I reached the line I had cut up to the crown before.
My eyes landed on the strip of pale skin and short stubble the clippers had left in their wake. This time, I couldn’t stop myself from running one fingertip along the scalp. It felt sand papery.
Without allowing myself to feel anymore until I was all done, I put the clippers against my forehead once more and made a pass parallel to the first. More of my scalp showed as I continued with the passes.
The last pass of the clippers over my head left it bare, with only the tiniest bit of stubble left to show for any hair that had been there.
When I turned the machine off, the room once again fell into silence. I immediately reached up and ran hands over my bare head. Just as the first touch, it felt very sand paper like on top, but the back of my head, at the nape, felt like soft down.
I looked up at myself in the mirror, seeing myself completely bald for the first time in my life. I was pleasantly surprised that I did not look like a boy, and my head and ears were absolutely perfectly shaped.
As I eyed myself more, I decided that I didn’t look as bad as I had thought I would. I smiled at my reflection and realized, I looked exactly like me, just without any hair. Which, essentially, was what I had done, but still, the realization was calming.
I got to cleaning up the floor of the piles of my hair before I removed my clothing and hopped into the shower to wash away all the tiny bits of hair that had accumulated on my body throughout the haircut and head shave.
As I washed myself up and felt more of my head, I decided that I couldn’t wait to see how my hair would grow out and I certainly couldn’t wait to use the clippers to trim up my hair as it went. Perhaps, one day, I’d even shave my head like this again.