Hairy Days Are(n’t) Here Again

1 week in

In January of this year, I decided to grow my hair. This might seem like a minor decision if you don’t know me personally, but I’ve been bald, or near bald, for 15 years.

During that time, I’ve been mostly happy with having no hair. However, last fall, I started feeling the weight of expectations of others about how I “should look” at my age, and in my position, and for my sex. So, with that as my underlying motivation, I decided to see about growing my hair.

The decision was rather fraught. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to start what I knew would be a period of funky looking hair. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to let go of my trademark bald head. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to give in to what I felt like I should do, after so long of not doing it. I wasn’t sure if all of that was wrapped up with a useless clinging and refusal to change (abhinivesha), or fear, or vanity. I felt guilty for the amount of time I was spending considering my self in this way (a little asmita, anyone?). I ended up deciding that I would just take it 1 week at a time, record my process with pictures, and see how it went.

5 weeks

After a few weeks, my hair was longer and I was getting less happy about it all. I couldn’t tell if my unhappiness was just because of the awkward stage the hair was in, how slow it seemed to be growing, or that I felt less like me. But, I wasn’t digging it.

An interesting social phenomenon was happening by that time, however. People who had never said a peep about my bald head suddenly had all sorts of questions – and I don’t mean from family and friends that I was deliberately engaging about the process, but people I wasn’t saying a thing to regarding what I was doing – about why I was bald before, what was making me grow my hair, and which option they thought looked better. Some I told about my reasons for baldness and for growing my hair. Some I didn’t. But, by about 10 weeks in, I really really was not interested in discussing my hair with people I don’t know that well on a personal basis. I had had it with explaining myself and was tired of feeling like both my justification for being bald and for growing my hair sounded silly in my own ears. And (AND), I just didn’t understand why everyone cared so much about the whole situation.

Just after week 13 hit, I was trimming the sides to keep them from looking funky when I got too close in one area and created an awkward set of bald patches. I was quite annoyed by this (very very) and complained about it for the whole evening to Mr. VeganAsana and a couple of my friends. The next day, I was even more annoyed, and by noon, I had decided that I was just done.

At the end of that day, I came home and pulled out my trusty clippers. I set them on the lowest setting and started cutting. The very first swipe made me smile. By the time I had my head half done, I was feeling so relieved and much more comfortable in my own skin.

So, now I’m back to being the bald me. Who knows if I’ll ever try again, but it almost certainly won’t be soon. I am comfortable with my bald self. I know that some other people would prefer that I cut it out (see what I did there?) but it’s not my job to make everyone else happy all the time. It is my job to feel ok with who I am. And, right now, who I am doesn’t have hair.

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3 Responses to Hairy Days Are(n’t) Here Again

  1. Karen says:

    Good for you!. For err… obvious reasons. Never let other people define the way you feel about yourself. Plus it’s so danged easy!

  2. Sandi says:

    I have felt like cutting it all off more than once. Glad to know someone strong enough to do it. I am also afraid my head wouldn’t be shaped well enough. I will stick with the short pixie and have people make comments. BTW people comment about how others look no matter what the length of their hair.

  3. olivia says:

    You know, once you get used a certain way or a certain look that goes against the grain; you realize that going with the crowd isn’t all that great because you really can’t be you. This in turn leads to unhappiness or trying to adjust a personality.

    Also, growing out hair can be a pain whether bald or not. I thought about growing out my hair past my shoulder blades and only got as far to the end of my neck. I ended up cutting it shorter because I like coloring my hair in weird funky tones because it is me, this led me to damaging my hair. Am I going to change for the sake of hoping to be like Rapunzel? Hell no, I like haircolor and it suits my personality.

    I guess what I am really trying to say is, we are to wise and mature to allow to think we would fit in like everyone else when it is everyone else who needs to take a look at themselves and be more individual!

    I like you either way but most of all, I like you when you feel like you!



    P.S. Sorry for the long comment.

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