My buzzcut was perfect!
At the end of December 2015, I decided to shave my head. I mean well, I already had a shortcut so it's not like I cut 30 inches of hair off; I was really used to having short hair. I remember once I even went from one to having both the sides shaved. For me, it wasn't a big change really, and yet lots of people in my life were very skeptical or maybe downright negative about the idea of me going full on buzzcut. Since I'm the kind of person who has always hated being told what to do, this honestly just made me want to do it a little more than I did.
I actually had the time of my life shaving my head and I've been enjoying the amount of freedom having no hair had to offer for the past year. But my shaved head really proved some comments that were asked for, however. I've received some lovely compliments from both friends, family and strangers, but I've also had to go through awkward questions and comments that I found were quite rude. Sometimes they were full of good intention and sometimes not, but either way, I'm sure most girls my age or any other age with shaved heads will agree that hearing these things over and over again gets pretty tiring.
1. "Why did you get your head shaved?"
OK, this is a reasonable question and I'm usually almost happy to answer it whether it's coming from a friend or a total stranger. That being said, my answer will vary depending on how the person asks the question. If someone's genuinely curious and polite, I'll save them for listening to my entire thought process behind it and just keep it light-hearted and brief: "It's great for this tropical weather". It's nice and cool and easy, "or" I just thought it would be a fun change. "
However, sometimes someone will say it in a tone drooling with judgement: "Why would YOU DO that?" For those I keep my answer even more brief: "Because I WANTED to, maybe."
2. "But, Did you donate it?"
Considering I only had a few short inches of hair on the top part of my head before I shaved it off, no, I did not donate any hair. I know some people shave their heads to support cancer awareness and research, and that's awesome, but it wasn't even an option for me.
In my case, this was solely a personal style choice. I'm not going to waste time feeling guilty or shallow about this, so let's move on from this question, please.
3. "Hey, can I touch it?"
The first time someone outside of my social circle went into touch my freshly shaved head, I thought this is weird. It was as awkward as it sounds.
For the most part, though, I don't mind this question too much. Shaved heads feel nice! Sometimes they're soft and fuzzy, sometimes they're smooth, and sometimes they're sort of prickly. So I won't deny (as long as they're not a total stranger). You absolutely should ask first though. Do I even need to say that?
4. "What did your family say?"
The first time I got my head shaved, my family thought I went crazy! But that's beside the point. I really wish people wouldn't ask this question so often. My family might be the guardian of my hair and every hair cut I needed to get an approval. But I thought myself as a grown woman who does not need approval for my appearance.
Of course, they're entitled to their opinion but their opinion isn't the first thing I think of when I cut my hair, nor should it be the first thing people think of when they see my hair. (sorry family!)
5. "What if you have a job interview G?"
I can see how this might be a valid concern for people who work in more conservative places (such as teachers, lawyers, bankers …). However, not only do look to work in a creative industry. Personally I think everyone is entitled to freedom of expression when it comes to their appearance, even in the workplace. If an interviewer refuses to hire me simply because I don't happen to have hair right now, I wouldn't want to work in that sort of environment anyway.
Plus, I mean, isn't there a bit of inherent sexism behind this particular question? No person is going to lose on a job because of how short their hair is, I mean really.
6. "What if people think you have cancer G?"
I was really surprised at how many people brought this up as a concern, like they were worried that I was misleading people. If anyone comes right out and asks me if I have cancer, I'll explain that no, I just wanted to shave my head.
Of course I can't control what other people think to themselves, but I do think alternative hairstyles are common enough now that most people would be reasonable enough not to immediately assume that I am ill. It's like assuming someone is pregnant based on their appearance: never a good idea.
And remember: If a stranger does make an assumption about you based on your appearance, that's on them, not you.
7. "That's a boy haircut. Girls should have long hair."
Frankly, that's illogical. There's no reason why a woman can't have short hair or a shaved head. Did you know that woman can also wear pants now?
8. "I'd want my girlfriend to hair longer than mine."
I would most certainly take this as joke but, good thing I'm not your girlfriend.
9. "You're so brave; I could never do that."
So many women have said this to me. It's well-intentioned most of the time (although sometimes there is definitely some shade behind it). The truth is, I'm not brave and you can do it. It's just hair and it grows back. Sure, I was a little nervous to see what it would look like and if I would like it, but I knew even if I hated it, it was temporary.
If you don't want a shaved head, that's fine. You can say that and I won't be insulted. It's not for everyone. If you do want to try it though, then just do it. You'll probably realize that it's a lot of fun. No bravery needed. Well … Maybe a little bravery to put up with some of the silly comments you'll get.
By Ghada Banaga