By: India Slodki
It was cold in the garage, and I was almost certain that my toes would turn black and crack right off. Hair was floating to the ground, clippers buzzed against my scalp. My mom was cringing and my dad was laughing his head off. I will not lie, I was questioning my decision my entire time. When it was over, I couldn’t help running my hands through my buzzed scalp. I was officially an Eminem impersonator.
The ultimate goal was not to look like Slim Shady, although that has been an unexpected plus. It wasn’t really for ease and convenience either—I do, however, anticipate saving a fortune on shampoo and conditioners. I shaved my head because, well, I just wanted to. And I’m not alone.
“Shaving my head was mostly just something I wanted to do, and I did it. It’s nice to be reminded that you can do what you want” said Emily Gross, an employee at Sparrow Bakery in Northwest Crossing.
Every day it seems that someone else has made the big chop. All over the country, clippers are coming out and hair is coming off. From older, more practical people, to adventurous young teenagers, people are shaving their heads, and the the numbers of those who do seem to be rising exponentially.
There are many factors contributing to this trend. There are a finite number of Netflix originals to binge, only so many walks you can take, and I promise that you will get tired of making pasta or bread or some other carb-heavy baked good. Social distancing has forced people of all kinds to entertain themselves, a huge part of this is doing things that you have always wanted to, because, hey, you have the time.
Margot Franceschina is a veteran when it comes to self experimentation. Not only does she regularly die and cut her hair and pierce, but she had previously buzzed her hair when she was in fifth grade, and recently revived the mid-apocalyptic look for the pandemic.
“While in quarantine I ran out of places in my ears to pierce so I did this [shaved her head], it’s all just impulse trying to have something to do. Something new,” said Franceschina.
Autumn Young dons the alter ego of Tree Lady at Camp Tamarack. Outside of camp, however, she is adventurous and bold, similar to Franceschina.
“I’ve always used my hair as a way to value myself, whether that be beauty, likeableness, or even culture,” said Young. “Before quarantine even started, for months I would mention wanting to shave my head. I think quarantine just made it a little easier to transition.”
With the arrival of social distancing, people are finding the freedom to be themselves, without judgement from the peanut gallery.
“It’s definitely been nice being able to grow it out in isolation and not worry about it at all,” said Gross.
Shaving your head can and is probably one of the most nerve-wracking things that you can do. There is no going back, and it takes a long time to revert back to normal. Because of this, it’s understandable that people are hesitant to take the plunge. The general consensus is that once it happens, people find themselves much more confident than before.
“Personally, I felt like I lost a layer of myself. Like a shield was taken down, whether it be good or bad,” said Young “Hair is hair. It grows and grows with you. I want to put that same freeing feeling on other things I constantly worry about.”
Ultimately, shaving your head is only a decision you can make for yourself.
People can and most definitely will contribute opinions, however, it’s up to you to decide to listen to them or not.
“There were a few people (including my family) who told me not to or weren’t that stoked once I did. I didn’t really let it bother me and it wasn’t much of a conversation,” said Gross.