I’ve always had long hair. I received a lot of compliments on my hair. I loved my long hair.
I love it so much. I’m willing to shave it all off. Which I did. Many people asked why and honestly I owe nobody an explanation, but I’m going to anyways because I hope it inspires whoever is reading this to do whatever the hell they want.
- I was curious. I wanted to see how fast my hair would grow. I wanted to see how I would look with short hair. I wanted to see how I would emphasize other features since I don’t have my hair to hide behind. I wanted to see how and if people treated me differently since I have an “edgier” look.
- I’ve always wanted to have short hair. But since I’m gonna go short, why not go all the way? All or nothing, right?
- I knew I was planning to relocate to a new city (I moved from Georgia to NYC). The people I meet in this new stage of life won’t even realize I had long hair or know how I looked before. This is the perfect time to try something new.
- I wanted to donate my hair.
- Hair grows back. If I hate it, I know it’ll grow it back. It’ll be okay. (Also there is a study that says Asian/Asian American women grow an average of 8 inches of hair per year.)
Did people try to talk me out of it? Somewhat. But I’m pretty stubborn. I did it. And I’m glad I did.
What I learned:
- People don’t really care what you look like. If you’re a somewhat decent person, if you carry yourself well, and if your personality shines through, you’ll be okay.
- Your family and friends will tease you, but they will love you no less. At least that’s how my fam and friends are haha. Sure, I look different. But I’m the same person, just with a different hairstyle.
- Confidence is key.
Unfortunately, I also experienced some sexist responses. A man I know asked me if I’m going to do it again. I responded with, “Yeah. Probably in like six or seven years.” And he said, “Oh well you’re going to have to ask your husband if he’s okay with that.” I almost lost my shit. I’m not going to “ask my husband” if I can do something with MY HAIR. I’m not gonna ASK ANYONE. And if I did have a husband, that husband will hopefully know me well enough that it’s MY HAIR and he does not have a say. I didn’t lose my shit. But I did respond sternly with, “I don’t have to ask him and I’ll do what I want.”
On the other hand and in a more positive light, even though I didn’t have the most traditional “feminine look”, people still treated me the same. Strangers still addressed me as “Sweetheart, dear, mami, love, etc.” in an endearing way. I know some people don’t like that. But I’m not gonna like, I love it. (NOTE: To clarify, I love it when it’s ENDEARING and not in a patronizing, fetish-y, or catcalling way)
And with this little side project and with me taking literally multiple of selfies with my DSLR everyday (totaling 6,750), I was able to see the change. Yes, my hair grew over the year. That’s obvious. But this past year, I’ve changed and grown a lot as a person too. So many things have happened in the past 365 days and I’m sure so many things will happen in the upcoming 365 days.
I can’t gather statistical or visual data for my growth as a person, but it’s nice to have a little time-lapse of my hair growth.
Maybe I’m too in over my head. Maybe I’m too self-absorbed. Maybe I’m just dramatizing it more than I should. But shaving my head was one of the best and life-changing journeys I’ve had so far in this lifetime.