Mental Health, Minimalist Beauty

15 surprising things that happened after shaving my hair

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About a year ago, I finally took the plunge and shaved my hair. What a life-changing decision that was.

I cannot even begin to describe how much shaving my hair has impacted my life since doing it, but I thought I’d try.

And no, I’m not just talking about a “look” thing. It also has to do with learning and practicing self-respect (and self-love) every day. But yeah… shaving my head has had its surprising benefits.

Back to last year. When I was debating whether or not I had what it takes to rock a bald head, there weren’t that many articles on the internet to guide me in my decision. There were a couple (ok, maybe more than that) of YouTube videos here and there of girls filming the process of shaving their head, but that was it.

Still, I’m so grateful for them.

And so, today I thought I would write my own “bald girl review” after shaving my hair, especially as a black woman who shaved her curly hair. I know we struggle a lot with our hair and we grow up with cultural hair bias so ingrained in us, it can be difficult to remain sane while trying to navigate my new baldness.

That’s why I decided to compile a list of 15 surprising benefits (and not so surprising ones) that happened after shaving my head.

If you are wondering if you should shave your head or why is everyone shaving their head, then this post might be just the inspiration you needed to at least consider shaving your head too!

1. My scalp began to heal

About 6 to 8 weeks after shaving my hair, my scalp began to heal. For the past 3-4 years before going bald, my poor scalp had been constantly inflamed, almost unbearably dry and itchy, and my hair had started to fall off.

My scalp looked and felt like this:

Shaving your head for dry scalp
Photo by Mike Erskine on Unsplash

But after about a month, my scalp slowly began to heal. It became less inflamed, less sensitive to touch, and after two months, my bald patches even started to grow back!

Related post: Why I shaved my head after 7 years natural

Shaving my hair made it easier to soothe my scalp by simply keeping it hydrated (i.e., putting water on it) every day. Just doing that made a huge difference in my scalp’s and hair’s health.

2. I grew the balls to start acting on my instincts

I still can’t believe I put myself through so much pain for so long just because I didn’t dare to act on something I instinctively knew I wanted to do for a very long time.

And yet, almost instantly after shaving my hair, the relief I experienced was so incredible! And with each passing day, I was finding new reasons to love my bald head and be happy with my decision.

I’m grateful for this experience because it has taught me to respect my (deepest) desires and intuition more, and ACT on them. Acting on your instincts is one of the first steps in building self-respect, and boy am I glad I finally learned that lesson. It has changed my life.

3. I learned the importance of taking the plunge and not wait

Looking back now, all I see are the years (decades) wasted not daring to make decisions. And I’ve made that same mistake repeatedly.

I used to be the Queen of indecision and delaying. And it has cost me my health, relationships, money, and happiness.

When I finally shaved my head, I had been thinking about it for over 6 years. 6 years! It’s the amount of time it took me to do it, and I only did it out of necessity (arthritis), and despair.

I wasted so much time not taking action on so many things in my life, it almost makes me sick to think about it.

Let me tell you, now when I’m unhappy with something, I think back about that experience of shaving my head, and I no longer delay for years. Now I act, and I act fast.

Related post: How to be ok with your decision? 8 tips to help you make that impossible choice and take action

surprising benefits of shaving my head

4. I gained so much free time I was able to start a business

Perhaps only black women and curly-haired women will truly understand me here (?) but boy! Ever since I got rid of my hair and shaved it all off, I feel like I have time to live again.

I’m pretty sure caring for my curly hair was eating up way more than 25% of my time. And it was driving me insane! I hated having to dedicate so much time (energy, money, attention) to something that, let’s face it, I didn’t care about. Or no longer cared about.

I mean, if you like doing hair stuff, by all means, do hair stuff.

But I hated it and I had come to resent it.

Once I eliminated the “problem”, I had so much free time I almost didn’t know what to do with it:

Whaat? A full weekend to myself without an 8-hour long detangling/pre-pooing/washing/braiding session? Free evenings without having to redo my braids or moisturize?

Turns out, with all that free time I ended up learning a new language, new skills and even started a side-hustle.  

5. My skin has never looked better

I feel like ever since going bald, my skin looks better.

I don’t know if it’s because I have so much more time now to take care of my skin since my hair is not sucking up all my attention (?) But, I doubt it. My skincare routine is pretty minimal. Consistent, but minimal.

surprising benefits of shaving my head

Or perhaps it has to do with no longer having all sorts of hair products running down my face?

I mean, think about it. You put tons of leave-ins, oils, creams, gels on your hair while wet for hours, and then you sweat and it all inevitably runs down on your forehead and your face (curly haired women and black/mixed ladies will understand me). Just because you don’t see it does not mean it’s not happening.

Anyway, whatever the reason, now my face looks ten times better, clear and glowy, and I barely spend money on beauty products.

I’m not complaining, I’m just noting.

Related post: How I keep naturally glowing skin all year long

6. I learned the value of enhancing what I have vs hiding “imperfections”

When you have big, voluminous hair, it’s easy to use it as a shield you can hide behind.

But when you shave your hair off and no longer have that shield, everything is now out in the open. Flaws and all.

Shaving my hair has led me to (re)discover my face (and my body) with all its features, and I learned to love them.

I no longer try to hide what I don’t like (I can’t, really). But rather I try to focus on what I do like, and try to “nurture” it. For example, I take better care of my health in general, of my scalp, of my skin, I do honey-sugar lip scrubs and wear colored lip balms, etc.

Related article: How to be more attractive [without wearing more make-up]?

I find that this behavior has had a much more positive impact on my self-esteem and self-confidence.

benefits of shaving head

7. I look and feel “sexier” or more “feminine” with a shaved head than I did with hair

This is just my humble opinion of course and other people might disagree.

I always thought I looked like a “child”. Well, I don’t necessarily think it, but some people seem to find it necessary to let me know that it’s what they think of my appearance every time they see me. (Ugh, FU Marie-Pierre!).

Aaanyway. I was afraid that shaving my head would make me look even younger or child-like. Perhaps even boyish?

Related post: How to make a buzz cut look good? (It’s not with a wig)

And you too might worry that shaving your head will make you look “less” feminine.

Well, turns out, for me anyway, it was quite the opposite, and I have to say that all the pictures of videos of women going bald I’ve seen or watched before taking the plunge, helped reinforce this belief.

Related post: Do this before shaving your head for the first time.

Shaving my hair off didn’t make me less feminine. On the contrary, it’s as if I suddenly felt more like a woman once I got rid of my hair.

It’s hard to explain, but know that with or without hair, you are a woman.

benefits of shaving head

8. Men like it, a lot

That was one of my biggest surprises.

I kind of assumed that once I shaved my hair I would never be noticed by or appeal to anyone. I kind of expected negative feedback (or weird stares) and thought I would never find a date.

Yeah, you think about those things when you are a single woman thinking about buzzing your hair off.

To be honest, I was okay with that. BUT… that’s not what happened.

Ever since shaving my hair, I get tons of “subtle stares” and compliments from men. Like a lot, and not necessarily in a weird or creepy way. And I don’t consider myself particularly pretty, so I kinda get the feeling that they like it (?)

And even though it had nothing to do with my decision to shave my hair, I have to admit that, as a single woman, I’m definitely not sad to know that some people find me attractive, even without hair.

9. I’m saving tons of money

How much money do you spend each quarter on beauty products, creams, lotions, sprays, hairdresser appointments, haircuts, relaxers, perms, keratin treatments, braids? etc.

I don’t know about you, but for me, it was too much.

Well, after shaving my head, I filled up a travel-size bottle with shampoo and a small Mason jar with conditioner, all for less than $ 5 at my local bulk/beauty store, and off I went.

Turns out, I was set for the next 3 months.

Gosh. The freedom! The time and money saved!

No joke, these were reason enough for me to be happy 24/7 for 6 months.

10. I discovered scalp heaven

Shaving your head for the first time is THE. BEST. FEELING. EVER.  

It’s literal scalp orgasm.

Seriously. For the first few days/weeks after shaving my hair for the first time, I just could not stop touching my scalp. It felt freakin amaaaaazing. It was as if 100 tons of (crap?) had been lifted off my head, and my scalp was breathing for the first time.

Related posts:

Why I shaved my head after 7 years natural

Best scalp moisturizers for black hair: easy, cheap and homemade

I was discovering a whole new world of sensations and I liked it. Especially after years of rocking big, suuuuper dry curly/kinky hair as I did. I just could not stop touching my head.

And the feeling of cold water on my scalp, or the wind when I stepped outside??

Oh my effing God.

Honestly, if you are scared you might hate how you look with a shaved head, these sensations alone make the process worth it.

11. I have much better posture

You simply cannot make a buzz cut look good while hunching your shoulders, looking like a poor, old, tired-ass, miserable woman.

Sorry. But it’s true.

Because guess what? There is no more hair to hide your forward head posture. You know… nerd neck?

And so, once I got my first buzz cut, I started minding my posture way, way more, and as a result, was able to significantly improve my posture in 3-4 months.

Remember: when you stand out (because of your bold choice of hair style, for example), you must carry yourself like a Queen (or King), not hide!

12. I became more comfortable in my own skin

I thought shaving my hair meant I would always be self-conscious. And perhaps that was the case for the first week. Or maybe the first 3 days.

But after that, I surprisingly became much more comfortable in my skin. When I think back on how self-conscious and uncomfortable I was before, I still find it hard to believe.

It’s as if, once I got rid of my big hair, there was nowhere to hide anymore so, I might as well be okay with who I am for real.

No more hiding behind hair, or pretending. No artifice. Just plain old me.

That was liberating.

13. I finally “found my style” for the first time in my life

If you’ve always felt like something is “off” or doesn’t quite fit, don’t be afraid to experiment. Shaving your hair could be a way to do just that.

I had spent the last 10 years uncomfortable with how I looked, but I didn’t know why. All I knew was that I was in a perpetual battle with my hair, and things were never quite… right.

But after shaving my hair, it’s as if suddenly, I was finally looking the way I was supposed to. As if the outside (my appearance) and the inside (my heart and personality) were finally “aligned”.  

Also, when you no longer spend so much time and attention on your hair, it gives you the freedom to worry about other things, like being more creative with your style.

Yes, I know, we are not talking about World Peace here, sorry.

I guess shaving my hair gave me enough space to be more creative with my style, and experiment with different looks. And I loved it!

benefits of shaving head

14. Traveling is now a breeze

If you are a woman with curly or natural hair, you will know that “traveling light” is an unattainable myth that you hear about in books and movies. Unless maybe you braid your hair (?)

For example, I could never just buy a cheap airplane ticket. I always had to pay extra anyway for a checked suitcase, and that’s because the 100 ml format required for beauty products for in-cabin luggage is ridiculous for someone with hair like mine! And you are not guaranteed to find hair products suitable for your hair type in your destination.

Ugh.

I’ve dreamed of traveling light my entire life because, you know, I’m a simple gal. But because of my hair, traveling light was the equivalent of fishing for mermaids.

Well, now, OMG. Totally different story. I’m in carry-on heaven.

I don’t need anything! Maybe my clipper if I plan on doing touch-ups? Or perhaps some lotion to keep my scalp moisturized, but I use the same oil for everything so I don’t even need to worry about that.

God, just this alone made shaving my hair all worth it.

15. I haven’t missed my hair once since shaving it

Not once.

And don’t get me wrong, I love big curly hair. Or hair in general. On those occasional “good days”, I thought my hair was gorgeous, and I absolutely believed it was my “best asset” (in terms of looks).

I never, ever thought I would like not having hair. Not in a million years. But I completely fell in love with the buzzed look, and that in itself made this experience that much more powerful.

Imagine believing you cared strongly about something, only to find out it didn’t matter at all.

This experience gave me so much perspective, this post doesn’t even begin to cover it all.

Edit: When I first wrote this post, I had been rocking a buzz cut for almost a year and had, in fact, never regretted shaving my hair. But it did eventually happen though (life ain’t perfect peeps). At one point, I had a really cute pixie/curly cut that looked pretty cool, but I still went ahead and shaved it all again (because it was too much work for my taste). And for a few days/weeks… I regretted shaving my head and really didn’t like it. But now I love my bald head again!

Related post: I hate my buzzcut! What do I do now?

Final thoughts

So, there.

I know, taking a big leap is always scary. And shaving your head is a big leap.

But you know what? We often make things so much bigger in our minds, and by doing this, we stop ourselves from living incredible, transformative experiences. We close ourselves up to a world of possibilities we cannot even imagine.

I’m not saying that you should or shouldn’t shave your head. I’m saying, sometimes fear stops you from ever knowing what’s on the other side of the fence.

And no one is more surprised than me when I say that shaving my head has transformed my life.

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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 →

30 thoughts on “15 surprising things that happened after shaving my hair

  1. I love this post. Thank you so much for sharing. I agree resonate and agree with everything you’ve shared as I too this past May shaved my head for the first time. And I love it! For all the reasons you stated 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Jennifer for leaving a comment 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed this post and took the time to let me know.
      It encourages me to keep sharing!

  2. I wear my head shaved and love it. and yes I feel sexy with this cut. When I grew my hair out I didn’t feel like this. And I get a lot of complements from men and women. but I do get those stares as if their wondering why, but I’m sure those are the women who are all about hair and the men who feel women should have hair. And that’s fine too. Yes I love my buzzcut

    1. Ah! The stares! It’s sooo much easier to handle all the attention you receive from others when you already know that YOU love your buzzcut. Then the rest matters a little less. I kinda struggled in the beginning when people asked me all the time: “but, why??”. As if I had to justify myself, in some way. Then it got easier. I’m so glad you are happy with your decision 😉 Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

  3. Yes, thank you for your story. I can relate most of it. I just shaved my head again for the 5th time. It’s like a fresh start and new beginning after a very hard few years. More women should read your story and others to know it’s not wrong to shave your hair bald.

    1. Thank you for commenting Alyse, it’s interesting to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way 🙂

  4. I’ve always had short hair not real short, but short. I used different products to grow my hair. I wanted at least shoulder length. I always made it to what they call “the ugly stage” so I either had to cut it into a style or look crazy. I always opt to cut it. Until I had no choice but to cut it all off instead of watching it fall slowly out from cancer. Moving forward it took me a while to embrace the new look but each time I looked at myself in the mirror I began to like what I seen; the bald look. I got so many compliments from men and woman I loved it; it helped my esteem. My hair began to grow and I thought again this time it will grow how I want, but to no avail it still didn’t. Now l keep my sides shaved with a little on the top. I haven’t came to grips of cutting it all off yet. I’m not ready for the questions or curious stare “did your cancer come back? Right now there’s NO MORE STRESS, money and time being saved and I’m happy????

    1. Hey Sabrina, I apologize for the delayed answer! I’m not sure how, but I seem to have missed your comment, sorry! :/
      Thank you for sharing your story. I do hope you are feeling better now and recovering well (?) You sound like you have such a positive attitude and strong spirit. It is truly inspiring, thank you!

      On an another note, I too, spent about 3-4 years in “the ugly stage” (curly hair grows oh so slowly!), until I finally shaved it. So you had me laughing there 🙂
      Stay happy, and take care of yourself.

  5. This post was exactly what the doctor ordered!!!! I love the honest and the simplicity of this post! It resonated with me on all aspects of my life.

  6. I believe you. From number one to fifteen i can relate! Going Bald is like uncovering, discovering this beauty in you that only a few can realize and relate to. It feels soo good and refreshing cutting it, cleaning it, moisturizing it, touching it, letting it be And keeping it warm. ????

    There’s a huge huge shift inside out, And it’s so amazing!

  7. Yes I’m too a Bald Chick and I absolutely love it!!!!! Good skin healthy scalp always cute and clean cut !!! Oh and hubby love’s it too !!!!! Never growing my hair back!!!

    1. That’s awesome! My SO had to get used to it… :/ I’m glad I still kept it short regardless, because he eventually started to like it too. It does make life easier when your hubby likes your hair 🙂

  8. Shaving my head gave me a passion of Clarity. I had a Brain Tumor Removed in 2018 which left me with a long scar and somewhat of a deep cut where the surgery was performed. Iam very comfortable with the scars bec it lets other women know that there is a beauty inside that you are not afraid to deny. Sort of like my new Birth Mark. Iam soooo happy I did. Iam Truly Free.

    1. Oh Lynn, your comment is truly inspiring. I have nothing to add to this, only : thank you for sharing ???? I hope you are still well and strong.

  9. Stella says .
    December25 2022 .Buzzed my hair two weeks ago .Wore turbans because everyone wanted to know if I had cancer .I. Look different .Why do I worry what people think ?

    1. Hi Stella. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s normal to care what people think. How could you not? It’s just that, ideally, we want to care more about what WE think than what others think. But I mean, it’s never FUN to always have to deal with other people’s comments. However, one thing I’ve learned is that, in most uncomfortable situations, the discomfort only lasts a while in the beginning and then fades once you face it. This means, that if you face other people’s comments about your hair, it will be uncomfortable at first, but then, gradually you get used to it, and you learn how to address the comments (with humour, or sass). Wish you the best, and thank you for commenting 😉

  10. I love this post!! Thank you for listing everything so perfectly. I buzzed my hair almost three years ago, during Covid, because my short hair was driving me crazy and I couldn’t get a haircut. I had always wanted to buzz my hair but never had the nerve, and now, I have never looked back!

    I can really relate to everything you said, including feeling more confident and feminine. I never liked having hair and just put up with it because I felt like society expected me to have hair. I never felt special or cool enough to rock a shaved head but I was able to break free of that and just be myself. Of course, a few people stared, and one person at my job asked “why did you cut your hair so short!?” So I decided to just be honest. “Because I don’t like having hair on my head.” It was freeing to just say that! She was like, huh. Like she never thought everyone might not feel the same way as she did. Lol.

    The best part, besides all the great things you listed, is how many elderly women come up to me and say, you look great, I would LOVE to do that to my hair! I honestly hear that twice a week at least. And how many elderly men give me compliments. And how many little kids talk to me about it. One girl even said, “I’d love to do that to my hair, but my mom won’t let me.” Made me sad. But I told her when she was older she could do whatever she wanted with her hair.

    Anyway, your post made my day. Thanks!! Oh, and I have just recently been trying to work on my posture. Any tips? Thanks!!

    1. Hi Betsy, I’m so sorry for my late reply. I love your comment, thank you! I sent you a private email. Hope it will reach you.
      Take care!

  11. 2 days ago, I shave my head. I took a picture and posted my complete bald head on social media. I was met with cautious questions – I even got asked if am well. Tonight, I could’nt sleep because in the morning am going to the office. Am glad I came across your article – you understand the African mindset about hair. You have given me courage. Am hoing to ROCK my baldy! ✊????????

    1. Hey Lucy! Thank you so much for posting your comment. You know, the same thing happened to me. The first few people I told about it, their reaction was, humm…. It’s as if it was THEIR hair that had been shaved! It made me feel so insecure. I started doubting myself. But then again, it was covid, I didn’t ‘have’ to see anyone, and I wore a beenie for the occasional work zoom calls. And I stopped telling people I knew about my buzzcut. I just rocked it proudly out in the streets for a few days/weeks, and waited as long as possible before having to face my family and friends. By the time I did, I was so in love with my hair, what they thought didn’t matter anymore.

      And once people see you radiate self-love and confidence, they start envying you deep down. and then they say: “I want to cut my hair too”.

      It’s an amazing feeling. I hope you are still rocking your bady proudly. The BEST way to accessorize a bald head is with ATTITUDE!
      Take care ❤️

  12. I’m an older woman and I’ve been shaving my hair since 1980. It wasn’t the norm back then but now I get plenty of compliments. I let it grow during the winter months but as soon as Spring comes around off with the hair.

    I love it ❤️ ♥️ ???? .

    1. Hi Donna, this is so cool! I like that you still get compliments even decades later. I mean, I can’t be the only one who enjoys feeling attractive once in a while :). Thank you for stopping by and sharing!

  13. After cutting my hair very very short tonight, I came across your article. I love how you buzz cut your hair. Hair does not define a person. I just cut my hair very very short because my hair has been falling out leaving bald patches. Don’t know why. But cutting it very short, I feel that my scalp can breathe. I’m 69 and I love the very short cut. ????

    1. Hi Chan, Thanks for leaving a comment! It must not have been easy to deal with all these changes. You’re right, hair does not define a person but sometimes, when you go through a sudden dramatic physical change, it does feel as if the old “you” has died and getting used to the new “you” is a process. Oh well, I’m so happy you like your new cut! It sure makes things easier to deal with 🙂

  14. Hi Elle,
    I went as far as buzz cut sides and back, I feel like hiding out from the world. I get strange looks, no man ever shows attraction towards me. My husband hates it and just dont comment at all when he used to compliment me daily. Ive gained weight and now just hate life because I feel Im just old and ugly. Im trying to read everything to gain confidence but still feeling depressed. This weekend is my family reunion and Im thinking of just wearing a wig. I dont know what to do to feel pretty again. I joined a dating site but put an old pic as profile and so many men responded, it I put a now pic up I know they will all go away….Im going through a divorce also. Any thing you could suggest? Thank you.

    1. Hi Patricia,

      I’m so sad reading your comment. I wish I could find the right words, the right things to say to help make things better. One thing for sure, I understand what you might be going through. At least, partly. I always found it extremely difficult to figure my own sh**t out while dealing with family’s comments about me, my life or my decisions. It got to a point where it was so unbearable, so suffocating, I constantly felt like hiding. (I kind of was, actually, hiding. From life. From every one. I wasn’t living fully, and I was hiding in every way).

      I finally managed to deal with that, break free from their opinions, comments about me, etc. and finally hear my own voice and figure my sh*t out. I did that (partly) by putting good distance between (most of) them and me for almost a year.

      That also included my (then) boyfriend. We loved eachother very much, but I didn’t feel good about myself when with him. (Sidenote: we weren’t together when I shaved my head but he hated it too. Like, really). 3 years later, we got back together, I do feel good about myself WITH him now, and now he loves my buzz cut.

      The only thing that’s changed between then and now? Me.

      I changed myself first, and that, in turn, helped changed the people around me and their attitude towards me.

      What I’m talking about here is self confidence and self love: building self trust, learning to respect your decisions, your opinions and yourself.

      I mean, why did you shave your hair in the first place?

      Also, maybe this other post might help: https://ofironandvelvet.com/how-can-you-love-your-body-when-you-hate-your-looks/

      Anyway, that story probably doesn’t help you at all… Or maybe it will (?) In the long run.
      In any case, I wanted to share that with you.

      Good luck with your family dinner. If wearing a wig is what it takes for you to catch a break and not have people on your back, then wear a wig! Why not have fun with it and pick someting outrageous, or different? Like fiery red hair, or a bob? I mean, might as well get used to the attention 🙂 Cuz, one thing is certain, a buzz cut will attract attention.

      Let me know how it goes ❤️

      P.S. I’ve written other posts on the topic, did you see them?

      https://ofironandvelvet.com/i-hate-my-buzz-cut-what-should-i-do/
      https://ofironandvelvet.com/make-a-buzz-cut-look-good/
      + the one I mentionned above:
      https://ofironandvelvet.com/how-can-you-love-your-body-when-you-hate-your-looks/

  15. Thank you for writing this article. I ran into it by accident, and I’m glad I did. I love the way you write. I have gone between long and short ( but not totally shaved) hair my whole life. At the age of 5 my mom got her friend to cut it into a pixie after she spent long, grueling sessions detangling my fine curls. My father had been against it but when he saw how hard my hair was to manage, he relented. Her friend was worried I’d hate her for cutting it, so she told mom she would only cut it if mom did a first crop, so she blunt cut it to my shoulders. The freedom! After hair down past my bottom, I felt so free. Then her friend left me with a short pixie and I was liberated. Never hated her for it. I I realize it has been a while that this was posted, and you might not be checking responses, but I wanted to thank you. You touched on a lot of truths about having a buzzed or bald head.

    1. aw, Jackie, Thank you so much for your kind words, and for sharing! 🖤 I love how thoughtful your mom and her friends have been in regards to your feelings. I had a friend back in primary school who went through something similar. Overnight, her mom shaved her head, and she endured nearly two years of misery. However, her hair eventually grew back even more beautiful than before, and everything returned to normal (if anything, everyone in school was now jealous of her hair). It could have been much more dramatic though. Thank goodness it ended well 🙂

      Anyway, this is a lovely story. Thank you for sharing!

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