Thursday, July 17, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again

So there I was, trimming the short haircut I've been sporting since February, when it hit me: My hair most likely won't be this short again for a long while, so why not do what I've wanted to do for the last 20 years or so and shave my head?

The hardest part was that first cut, which went deep into my bangs. Once I did that, there was no going back, for obvious reasons. That huge hack just begged for the rest of the hair to go, and after some fumbling around with the new buzzer bought at CVS, there I was: a newly shorn Mary Ann, who luckily has a nice-shaped head.

You can't help but stare at yourself a bit after doing something like that. And there's quite a few emotions that complement such an event. During the first few days, I see-sawed between shock and awe, one minute wanting to cry at the vulnerability I felt (I no longer had hair to hide behind), and the next feeling fierce and beautiful in a way I never had before.

I also had to get used to the man-on-the-street reactions. A shaved head, particularly on a woman, seems to bring out the the friendliness in people. While I'm sure there are plenty who hate the look, they keep their feelings to themselves, while those who like it seem eager to tell me so. Curiously, senior citizens seem to get the biggest kick out of it for reasons I can't fathom.

Once folks express their feelings, they inevitably ask how long I'll keep my hair (or lack of it) this way. I know I'll shave my head until the end of the summer, but beyond that, I really don't know.

What I do know is that this ultra-buzz cut puts me squarely in the moment in a way no other haircut ever has. Perhaps one reason is that I'm very conscious about what I wear each day now; I love dressing up a bit as a nice juxtoposition to this boyish head. I also wear big earrings, mascara and red lipstick to round out the look. Just walking out of the house feels like a creative and fun act, yet all I did was take my hair out of the equation.

I can see from the little stubble that's there that my hair has turned quite grey, something I didn't know as I've been coloring it for years. Whether I color it again when it grows out will be my next adventure, I suppose. A shaved head I can take. But grey hair???? Hmmmm....