Are you thinking of shaving your hair for the first time?
Or maybe you have decided to shave it all off. Congratulations! At the risk of sounding superficial, shaving my head was one of the best decisions of my life. It marked the beginning of a series of bold decisions that have resulted in my life taking a completely different course from what I had expected.
That being said, shaving your hair for the first time is a drastic change, and you should think about it carefully before taking the plunge. But keep in mind that you will never be able to fully anticipate how you will feel in the future; the only way to know is to do it.
Related post: 13 surprising things that happened after shaving my hair
Besides, it’s just hair; it grows back. And if you absolutely hate it, you can always wear wigs.
Now, there are a few things you can do to make the process of shaving your head easier and perhaps even more fun!
Here are a few tips to guide you when giving yourself your first buzzcut, and help you survive your first few days as a baldie!
1. Check out other women with a shaved heads
Shaved is beautiful! Seriously!
But I never knew that, because 1) I never took the time to look for women with shaved heads, and 2) I had never met any woman with a shaved head, except maybe once or twice.
So I just didn’t know!
I just stupidly thought that shaving your head is the sort of thing only a few women did, out of dispair, or lack of choice.
That is until one day, as I sat crying for the 10 000th time frustrated at my hair and my wrists (I suffer from chronic pain in my wrists and joints because of rheumatoid arthritis), I started frantically searching for women with bald heads on the internet.
What a revelation! They were so beautiful!
The more I looked at pictures or watched videos of women shaving their heads, the more I thought they looked even more beautiful without hair than they did with hair.
Was that even possible?
It’s as if,somehow, once their hair was gone, I could see them, the real them, and it was beautiful.
And yet, up until that point, I had been certain that shaving my hair would be ugly and that I would look like a boy. There was absolutely no nuance. Maybe that was partly due to my upbringing in a country that values long straight hair as the ultimate symbol of beauty?
I’m not sure.
But the more I looked at women with shaved head, the more I was able to see their beauty.
And eventually, it gave me the courage to take the plunge. And I haven’t regretted it once ever since.
If you have been thinking about shaving your head for a long time but are scared to do it, perhaps your first step could be to question the beliefs you carry about beauty.
Related post: How to make a buzz cut look good? (It’s not with a wig)
2. Don’t go straight for the clipper. Separate and cut your hair in sections first, and then shave it
This is especially true for women with natural, or thick, curly hair.
We’ve all seen that scene in the movies where the woman dramatically grabs a clipper and just starts shaving all her hair off.
Well, unless you already have very sort hair, don’t do that.
What they don’t show you in the movies scene is that, if your hair is too long, it will tangle and get stuck in your clipper’s comb and/or blades. You will also have to go over each section a thousand times to remove all the hair.
Imagine you, dramatically deciding to shave your hair off fort the first time; then imagine you, having to fight for 5 minutes with your clipper, just to get rid of that very first strand of hair; then, repeat that with your whole head.
Not only will it take you a lot more time to shave your whole head, but it will make the whole process of you giving yourself your first buzzcut even harder emotionally.
I believe that when you are doing something difficult or painful, it’s better to do it quickly and swiftly and not prolong the torture in vain.
My recommendation: separate your hair into 4 sections (or more) with an elastic band and cut as close to the band as possible, using scissors. Then shave.
3. Don’t shave your head for the first time when drunk
I did that. That was not the best idea.
The thing is, when you do something drunk, you have to deal with the consequences of your action when sober.
It can be quite a shock.
If you decide to shave your head, just do it. Decide, take a deep breath, then do it. Preferably, sober.
That way you cannot blame shaving your hair on you ‘not being yourself’. Your only option is to own your decision, and that, in my opinion, makes the whole process of shaving your head easier to handle.
Related post: I hate my buzzcut! what do I do now?
And if you must drink, (girl, I get you!), drink after you’ve done it.
5. Shave your head when you’re alone
You might think you need emotional support form a friend or a boyfriend while you are shaving your head fot the first time. And maybe you do.
But I think, at first, what you need is to be alone when you do it so you can figure out what you think about it before you hear what everyone else has to say about it. Because people will have things to say about your hair if you shave it all off.
Everyone will have something to say. Especially the people who know you or see you everyday. And the first time they see you without hair, it can be a shock for them just as it was a shock for you.
But it’s not necessarily a bad thing, trust me. It’s just that it can be easier to face and manage other people’s reactions about your hair when you have already delt with your own initial “shocked phase”.
But hey, I’m not saying you have to shave your head alone. Do whatever you want! If you need moral support and need your friends or a significant other to encourage you, then by all means, do just that. it’s okay too.
6. When shaving your head for the first time, do it when you have a few days off ahead
This is a bit similar to my previous point but if possible, give yourself some time and space after shaving your hair for the first time, to figure out your new style before showing it off to the world.
When you suddenly go bald, it can take a few days to get used to it, not to mention figuring out how to style and care for your new hair. Especially if, like me, you had big, lionesque, curly hair.
Yes, even 3mm-long hair needs some amount of care and styling!
So if you can, take a day or two away from work or other duties, just so you can take it all in, fiddle with your new hair (you will not be able to keep your hands off your scalp during the first few days. It feels A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!), go for a walk in the neighborhood, etc… and see how you feel about it.
7. Don’t let yourself freak out too much in the first few hours of shaving your head. The panic you feel at first will quickly go away
You may freak out a little right after shaving your head for the first time.
I know I did especially on the first night. It took about one or two days to “calm down”, and after that, I got over it and started to really like it.
I mean, with or without hair, it’s still your face. And it’s still you. The same face and the same ‘you’ you’ve been showing to the world every day of your life, pre-shaving. So try not to blow it out of proportion.
And if you really hate it, you can always start experimenting with wigs.
Related post: I hate my buzzcut! what do I do now?
8. It gets cold up there!
Yep. Hair keeps your head warm. Apparently. Guess I never knew that.
To be honest, for the first few weeks of (repeatedly) shaving my head, it felt like I was constantly on the verge of catching a cold. And I’m not someone who gets sick that easily.
I think it just took some getting used to because now, almost 2 years later, I don’t have that problem anymore.
But in the beginning, I had to get into the habit of always carrying a beanie in my purse, just in case I got cold.
9. When your hair starts to grow, experiment with different comb/trimmer lengths
At first, as soon as my hair was growing, I would just shave it back to the original (very short) length: 3-4 mm on the sides and 5-6 mm at the top.
But then I started experimenting with different lengths and styles: shaving the sides, the back, zigzags, etc., and I was able to dicover some killer styles!
Before shaving my head, I never thought that 1/3 of an inch would make such a big difference, but it does! I can go from liking to “less” liking (or even hating) my hairstyle in a matter of 2-3 weeks’ growth!
Now, depending on my mood, I have different go-to styles that I know I like, or that suit my face better.
So let your hair grow back but take notes of the different lengths you like, and have fun!
10. It’s time to have glorious skin!
When you go bald, it finally leaves space for other parts of you to shine through: your eyes, your lips, your skin.
No, don’t be scared! It’s liberating and you will learn a lot about your self, your features, your scalp and your skin in that process.
Do take this opportunity to invest some of the time you used to spend on your hair care, on your skincare routine.
Related post: My 11 selcrets to glowing skin all year long
Clean your face every night, moisturize, use a serum, rose water, aloe vera, bananas, cucumber, oats… whatever works for you! But do it regularly. And if necessary, use a concealer. I personally love this one by Yves Saint-Laurent and have been using it for almost 10 years now.
Ok, I’m all done now! Are you thinking about shaving your head for the first time? What is holding you back? Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment below!
*Please note that there are no affiliate links on these posts. The products I refer to or recommend, are simply ones I truly adore and use!