Shaving your head does not only have to be for religious or cultural purposes anymore. These days, womxn are taking control and shaving their heads, for who? Themselves!
Before we get further into this article, it would be helpful to know why I replaced “women” with “womxn”. Not only does the word “womxn” knockdown patriarchy, but it also provides inclusivity of all women. Olivia Romero, co-founder of the womxn’s rights organisation, Pikes Peak Womxn for Liberation, says, “The spelling of womxn is meant to show inclusion of trans, nonbinary, womxn of colour, womxn with disabilities and all other marginalised genders.”
For a long time, having long flowing hair equated to femininity. “Boys won’t like you if you cut your hair” is something that was quite often said – and is still being said – to little girls. This needs to stop. Society needs to realise that we no longer need to conform to Western beauty standards, but instead realise that we can march to the beat of our own drum.
There are several reasons why womxn part ways with their hair. Immediately thinking that a womxn is having a mental breakdown is NOT the number one reason for this visible change.
Let’s look at pop icon Britney Spears.
After she left a rehabilitation clinic in 2007, she went straight to a hair salon to shave her head. Why did she do it? Could it be because her ex-husband Kevin Federline refused her access to her two sons? Could it be that she was trying to take control of her own life? Was this her cry for help knowing that the music executives had complete control over her public image? Or could the reason be the misogynistic thought of a womxn going “crazy”? There are so many possible options; however, we’d be foolish to assume the latter (and you mos know what they say about assuming!)
We need to keep in mind that some reasons for chopping the locks off include awareness and donation (both selfless acts!), maintenance (sometimes luscious locks can be a las, am I right?), hair regrowth (those dead ends and dryness have no place on your head…buh-bye!), empowerment (nothing is more satisfying than this!), and even trying out something new.
No more ponytail parades
It’s clear that traditional femininity (pertaining to hair) is becoming a thing of the past. Womxn no longer need to parade their ponytails to fit society’s definition of beauty.
I asked a few young womxn why they took the big step to shave their head as well as impart some advice to those looking to do the same. Here is what they had to say…
Twenty two year old Micaela Siljeur described herself as being extremely shy, socially anxious and always in the shadows as a child. “I was near[ing] the end of my school career and I was tired of living this unhappy life in the background…I didn’t want to carry that over into the ‘adult world.”, said Micaela. “So, as uncomfortable and as unprepared as I was, I shaved my head. Once I did that, I was no longer able to hide from people and I was forced to socialise and be confident.”
Micaela imparted some advice too, saying, “A shaved head comes with a lot of lessons and experiences; good and bad. But, it’s lessons that are needed for personal growth.” She continued to say, “When you live to please other people, you’re setting yourself up for failure and an unhappy life.”
When I asked Bronwyn Lee Rondganger why she decided to shave her head, she shared with me her belief: our spiritual and emotional experiences attaches itself to our hair and grows with it. “I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past and wanted change, and that led me to shave off my hair.” , said the 23-year-old. “I guess what I’m trying to say is [that] I wanted a fresh start.”
Bronwyn also had advice for womxn who are looking to shave their head. “Just do it. Don’t overthink it and don’t worry about what friends, family or society has to say. Everybody will always have their opinions, however, don’t let it define who you are or how you see yourself. You are beautiful and going through this process unlocks a different version of yourself – embrace it!”
Finally, I spoke to 24-year-old Claire Jacobs, who said that trips to the hairdresser to get her hair relaxed damaged her hair so badly that it led to her hair being unable to curl. “It just became too much for me, and the only possible solution would be to shave my head”, said Claire.
Apart from sharing her experience, the Operations Specialist – who still embraces her shaved head – also advised those considering the buzzcut look to stay true to themselves. “If it’s something you’ve been wanting to do for a while, then go ahead and do it! Change is good, and I promise you, it is one of the most liberating feelings ever!”
There are several reasons to shave your head. Bravely shaving your head is not just reserved for religious or spiritual commitments, regrowth (for either your hair or soul) or fashion statements anymore. So, my wonderful womxn, if you are thinking of shaving your head, just remember that you are not doing it for anyone but yourself and that such a change does NOT change you as a person. After all, dis maa net hare!
*These are the opinions of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Vannie Kaap News.