“Live your life for yourself, not for anyone else. Don’t let fear of being judged, rejected, or disliked stop you from being yourself.” ~Sonya Parker
On August 4th, 2022, I let my long, thick, luscious hair fall out.
I marched down Sandy Boulevard in Portland, Oregon, walked into Take Pride Barbershop, and sat in the baddest barber chair. She calmed my last-minute fears and boldly took clippers to my hair, which was never shorter than her shoulders.
It was an instant release.
After four years of internal debate and the following hauntings, I finally mustered up the courage to do so. “What will people think?” Will people think I’m a man? Will people treat me differently? What if I’m actually ugly and my ugliness is exposed? What if my head looks weird? Do you have to wear a lot of makeup?
My worries and thoughts were clearly steeped in social conditioning regarding beauty and femininity. Long hair is said to be feminine and beautiful. Young women are told not to cut their hair short. Women with short hair are always told to wear makeup and jewelry to look feminine.
But I finally stopped all thinking, freed myself from those norms and just did it. I said, “Take off your hair!”
And now I feel freer, sexier and more beautiful.
I feel more like myself.
It’s as if you’ve shed the layers that hid your true nature. My true nature is adventurous, empathetic and sensual, sometimes soft and gentle, sometimes bold and ferocious. My nature to guard against rules and authority.
It’s almost like shedding layers of your ego. Because, whether I like to admit it or not, my hair has been an important part of my identity as a woman. Hair is a master communicator who can send so many messages with just one glance. Hair conveys gender, sexuality, wealth, age, health, and part of our personality.
Now that I’ve taken off my long hair, I think the only part that comes through my hair is my personality. Because you can no longer look at me and immediately guess my gender, sexuality, wealth, age or health. (I have very toned muscles and glowing skin, so people should be able to guess about my health, but some people think I have cancer just by looking at my short hair).
What I can say boldly is that I live by making my own rules. And if people know anything about me, that’s exactly what I want them to know.
My unkempt hair lends an air of mystery as people wonder about all the other little checkboxes (gender, wealth, age, etc.) that are normally conveyed through hair.
I’ve shed some layers of my ego, but my buzzhead is also making a pretty strong case, and with complete transparency I get a lot of attention. This attention comes in all forms.
In some cases, it can also mean, “Excuse me, teacher… ah!” In other words, ma’am. ”
Some say, “I need to wear lipstick to look more feminine.” (Who said I want to be more feminine?!)
It could be “Oh, you look so beautiful” or “I love your hair.”
Sometimes you get free wak.
I got a lot of smiles from people walking on the sidewalk.
Post offices, coffee shops, and dance floors are often used for lingering.
And while I love being called beautiful (who isn’t?!), I don’t dwell on praise or criticism. Because I am determined to be strong, radiant and beautiful from the inside out. . I no longer care if people see me as masculine or feminine, ugly or beautiful. I don’t care if people in Idaho think I have cancer. I don’t care if people make me look like a skinny boy with no makeup on. (What’s wrong with looking like a skinny boy?!)
This level of not caring and being confident in who you are is the ultimate freedom.
Plus, I know that when people react to something, it’s not really about me and my hair. Their reaction means I have activated something in them. I stimulated their desire to be free, to stop following the rules someone set for them.
At best, I give others a little bit of permission to step into my own audacity. This is one of my favorite parts of buzz life. When women tell me I inspired them to buzz long hair. They were so worried about what people would think, but now they have the courage too, seeing me do it. It’s powerful.
So, while a woman’s hairstyle may seem like a simple and insignificant thing, it actually plays a small but important role in women’s liberation and empowerment.
Because when women have the courage to defy beauty standards, that courage is ignited and the courage grows to choose freedom in other areas of life as well.
For me, it seemed like more sexual freedom, more fun in bed, more boldness in sharing my desires, and more confidence in all aspects of life.
By brushing my hair, I spend less time getting ready and more time living. I no longer spend a ton of time figuring out how to style my hair, when to wash it, whether to add highlights, etc., which gives me more mental space.
It also freed up more money because I no longer spent hundreds of dollars on highlights and cuts. Sometimes I bleach my hair myself because my fiancée plays with my hair at home.
It also allowed freedom of clothing. Sometimes I want to wear clothes to express my femininity. They also dress to express their masculinity. Previously terribly insecure about my tomboyishness and lack of makeup, I proudly reclaimed my masculine side, which is integral to my journey of healing and expansion. It was a good part.
My sensuality also deepened. In the shower the water massages my head more intimately. On summer days, the sun kisses me deeply. In the crisp morning, the wind and I dance gracefully. On the dance floor, the softness of my fiancé’s lips activates my crown chakra. There is less separation between the world and me. I am more integrated. I am more conscious of my oneness with the natural world.
Yes, it’s all because of my unkempt hair!
Therefore, I would like to leave you with some words of wisdom when parting.
1. People will talk and comment on you no matter what, so you better do what you want and be who you want to be.
2. Other people’s opinions of you are actually more relevant to them than they are to you, so take things less personally and be first and foremost concerned with what others think of you.
3. If you want to get your head buzzing, do it. If you don’t like it, it will grow again. But I think you will love it!
Take action to live a freer, wilder, more confident self.