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, and boy, am I 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:
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 envies 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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?
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.