Minimalist Beauty

Do this before shaving your head for the first time

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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!

Shaving my hair for the first time

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.

Umm. Nightmare??

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.

Related post: Is it better to shave your head wet or dry?

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.

girl with a shaved head and beautiful makeup

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.

Related posts:

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.

shaving your hair for the 1st time

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!

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About Steph

I am a personal growth/self-management enthusiast. I was able to completely transform my life using everything I share here. I hope this blog helps you transform yours as well.
View all posts by Steph →

10 thoughts on “Do this before shaving your head for the first time

  1. I’m desperate to get rid of this dead, over processed hair. I have had very short pixie cuts, but I have never gone bald. I want a fresh start but I’m still afraid of my family hating it. Plus I’m nearly 50 lbs over weight , so I will just look older and fatter. I need the release from caring about any of it.

  2. Hey Rebecca! I toootally get that! After 2 years of regular shaves, I still worry about it, sometimes for weeks, before I finally work up the courage to shave it all off again. It’s a process.

    And then there are times when I love it, and there are times when I don’t. (If you haven’t yet) you can check out this other post I wrote on what to do when ou hate your buzzcut (link below).

    There really is no right or wrong answer. If it bothers you and you constantly think about shaving your hair, it might be worth trying it. You may hate it, or you may love it. But I think the magic is in the process of doing it. The process of learning to love yourself truly and for more than your hair or the other things you think make you more desirable…

    I wish you the best of luck figuring it all out! 🙂


  3. Absolutely enjoyed reading this as there were a few points that never crossed my mind, so I really appreciate what you’ve shared!
    I have been wanting to have the buzz cut for a couple of years and of recent (personal experiences) I’ve gained my self confidence back and my self love is truly loved (if that makes sense at all?!)
    I’ve clicked on your link ‘ I hate my buzz cut! What do I do now?’ as that too has crossed my mind and again it’s answered ALL my questions. I’m getting mine after next month, only because I’m going on holidays to a much colder place and am afraid I might fall sick.
    Thank you ❤️

    1. Hey Rona,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! It makes me so happy that you found this useful. Really you have no idea! And guess what, I want to shave my head again too, but it’s January in Canada and, as it is reaaaallyyyyy cold right now, I’ve been hesitating too. But I want to do it so badly, I’m thinking of buying a warmer hat and just go for it again in the next few days. Maybe. Hope I don’t fall sick either 🙂

      I wish you the best of luck for your first buzzcut!
      Take care!

  4. I have been thinking about shaving my head for a couple years now! I currently have quite long, quite thick hair and I’m just not sure I like it. I ALWAYS have it in a messy bun on top of my head and I don’t do anything with it…ever. But I always like the option of being able to if I want, but I never want to… Anyway I had a friend get diagnosed with PLS (similar to ALS but not as life threatening) and my home town in having a fundraiser for her so I think I am going to join in on the fundraiser and shave my head for donations. It’s giving me a push to actually do it, and once I announce it there is no turning back! A little part of me wishes someone would give me a reason not to do it, but everyone seems to think it’s a great idea and super supportive, even my husband. I’m a little scared because I am quite overweight but I have seem some bigger girls with shaved or very short hair and it’s super cute! You just really don’t know what it’s going to look like until you do it, no matter how often I wear my hair up! Anyway your article was helpful because I am really just trying to read all the positive things out there about women with shaved heads and there is a surprising amount! Thanks 🙂

    1. Hey Amanda, I LOVE your story. Honestly, the fact that you have a ‘reason’ to do it (the fundraiser for your friend) will, I think, make shaving your head even more worth it and easier to accept. Even if you don’t love it afterward. Thank you so much for sharing this. If you decide to go through with it, I hope you’ll love it 🙂

  5. I would add that once you shave your head, learn about what shaving routine works best for you so that you continue to have a good experience being bald. It took me about 2-3 weeks to figure out what worked best for me, what tools to use and what skincare routine works for my head. Turns out that I need to shave every 5-6 days. I take it down close with my clippers (no guard) and I use my electric head shaver to take it down to the skin. That leaves me with no razor burns, no ingrown hairs. Just smooth wonderful feeling baldness. I also use witch hazel to refresh my head once it’s shaved. Be patient with your process. If you experience isn’t all that great figure out what will work for you. And remember you are beautiful bald!

    1. That is such a valid point! It took me a couple of weeks to figure out what my scalp needed as well. And the challenge was, my ‘needs’ kept evolving as my hair grew and/or as my scalp started healing. Thank you for pointing it out 🙂

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