How It Feels To Shave Your Head

To cut a long story short…

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There’s a buzz going on at the moment. Literally. Sitting front row at Milan Fashion Week, you’d be forgiven for thinking someone got a little clipper happy backstage. Models, Kris Gottschalk, Ruth Bell, Yana Dobrolyubova and Venturini twins, Guilia and Camilla, all stole the spotlight with their shorn heads and it got me thinking, could it be time to revisit?

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A photo posted by Ruth Bell (@ruthnotmay) on

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About 6 years ago I shaved all of mine off. I didn’t have a Britney moment or anything. There were no umbrellas involved. I simply plugged my dad’s clippers into the electricity socket, adjusted the blade to a number three (3/8 inch) and ran it through my hair several times.

The decision wasn't entirely impulsive. I was 22, married with 2 kids and felt like I'd ticked all the boxes in life. I wanted to be taken out of my comfort zone. Funny thing is, I've never felt more, me, than standing in that bathroom with all of my hair on the floor. I think it was a reaction; being a young mum, a lot of the time I worried about how I was perceived in public and now, clearly I just didn't give a shit. This was my way of saying, yeah I don't conform to the 'norm'. So what?

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Once it was done, I stared in the mirror, turning from side to side, evaluating the damage while repeating expletives under my breath. The tips of my ears stuck out more than I'd previously noticed and my brows sort of got lost on my big forehead. But I felt elated. I felt confident and strong, like Demi Moore in G.I Jane. I felt free from everything attached to hair: straighteners, salon visits, hours of being a slave to it. 

As expected, I walked downstairs to a family of shocked faces (generally how every fresh encounter went over the next few weeks), but within seconds, being the loving supportive family they are, they were used to it. My husband, somewhat surprisingly found it "hot," my son was excited I had "become a boy", and my mum was happy I had my hair off my face.  

 

During my teens, I'd had every hairstyle you could think of; jet black, peroxide blonde, bobbed, down to my hips and although I knew this was next level kind of stuff, I didn't expect it to have such a big impact.

It changed the fickle things, like how much make-up I wore on my eyes (they become major players when you hardly have hair) and my wardrobe (after being mistaken for a boy one too many times, I resorted to dresses and skirts) but it also changed how people reacted to me. At parties, strangers were like a moth to a flame, assuming I was a wild child. New girls I met became flirty, assuming I was into them and during discussions people turned to me assuming I had strong opinions about everything. Never in my life had a haircut had so many connotations.

For a good year I kept my head shorn, until I started missing ponytails and top knots and braids, so I happily embraced what can only be described as the most awkward hair stages of my life and grew it long again. 

In, I’ll Never Write My Memoirs, Grace Jones divulged that shaving her head led directly to her first orgasm and while my experience wasn’t nearly as, ahem, mind- blowing, I would say it was satisfying. But that chapter of my life is done, so I think I'll leave it to the supermodels of this world.