Bold + Bald (March 2017-18)

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. I wanted to donate my hair.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.