So you accidentally shaved your head? 10 tips for coping

After reading about my infamous razor mishap, a reader named Thomas left the following comment:


Did the same thing today :( Stupid me… Decided to go cut my own hair with a buzzer. Almost done, trimming the edges with the combless buzzer, I noticed a wisp of long hair and without even thinking, swoozz….bald spot!!! I have never felt so stupid. And senior year in high school has just begun… Do you have any good advice coping with newly acquired baldness?? Cause I could really use some cheering up


You poor dude! What a rotten time to lose all your hair. Hang in there, mister. Here’s what worked for me:

Ms. Jaunty’s Advice to the Newly Bald

1) Don’t slink around feeling embarrassed. Stand up straight and walk with confidence. You still have all the virtues, vices, and fascinating quirks you had before. All that’s changed is a little hair

2) Wear your favorite clothes. This will help you feel more like yourself. From the scalp down, you’re still rolling in style options

3) Don’t worry about what strangers think. Few of them are thinking about you, whether or not you have hair.

4) Unless you’re planning to stay bald, don’t try to get a scalp tan. In a pathetic attempt to speed-tan my pasty dome, I sunburned the crown of my head. Not an improvement. Hair grows faster than scalps heal, and skin cancer’s far more bother than baldness

5) In case you were wondering, putting makeup on your scalp won’t work. Your head isn’t nearly smooth enough. Besides, have you ever tried evenly applying makeup (or self-tanner, for that matter) to the back and sides of your head?

6) Try to keep your sense of humor, like this guy:

Doesn’t he seem like fun?

7) When all else fails, wear a hat. This won’t fly at school or work, but it’ll get you through the mall or grocery store

8) This is obvious, but recently traumatized folks need reminding: hair grows back. A week from today, you will have noticeable hair. In three or four weeks, you’ll have the haircut you initially wanted. Two months from now, you may be cutting your hair again— very, very carefully

9) In the meantime, maybe you could use this haircut to jump-start other changes. When you look different, it can feel easier to behave differently; why not experiment? Take a different route home from work and see what you find? Stand up to that jerk ? Make a new friend?

10) Look at the bright side(s). Getting ready in the morning will be a breeze. Attractive peers may wish to stroke your head. You COULD have made a careless mistake with a lawnmower or a chainsaw, not a mere razor.


Do you have any advice for Thomas or other razor victims? How have you managed terrible haircuts?


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  1. Mr jaunty says:

    Can’t emphasize point 10 enough (“Look on the bright side”). Every time I start to romanticize the idea of hair, I remember what a pain it is to deal with, and I’m then grateful for the advent of razors and buzzers.


  2. Sage advice, Ms. Jaunty. I’m pretty sure you should be named Patron Saint of the Accidentally Bald.


  3. Yeah I guess i just have to look on the bright side.. Even though right now i dread going to school on monday. But hey, its only hair and when you think about it, it’s actually hilarious.

    Thanks for the great advice :) it comforts to know that i’m not only one going bald by mistake. Thumps up to you for being so cool. I will
    definitely keep you up to date on how my new “bald” life turns out:D


  4. Thomas, when we had a buzz-cut-gone-awry incident with JauntyDame’s younger brother all the little 8th grade girls wanted to feel his shiny scalp.

    You may be on the verge of an unexpected increase in Hotness!


  5. Excellent advice Rebekah. I’m going to write to you when I have my next aesthetic accident. When I read about Thomas’ situation I immediately thought of an essay I read recently by Julien Smith. Here’s the link
    Hope this helps!


  6. I wasn’t accidentally bald, but it was a spur of the moment decision to do Shave For a Cure (a charity where people shave their heads or colour them to raise money for cancer).
    Fortunately I loved it. But people’s reactions to a bald women were either 1) she has cancer and therefore must be treated with kid gloves or 2) she’s a lesbian so feel free to heckle and ask her lewd questions.

    But the best advice I can give someone is ‘own it’.
    If other people give a fuck, that’s there problem.
    And for those days when you can’t own it, invest in cute hats.


  7. Mr. Jaunty – Same here.

    Audi – Say, that’d make a good tattoo!

    Thomas – Thanks for coming back, Thomas. Keep your chin up, and please let us know if anything novel happens due to your brave new look!

    mum – Couldn’t we all do with an unexpected increase in Hotness?

    Christine – That’s one hell of an essay!

    beks – Ahoy, beks! I used to be deliberately bald, and “own it” is damn good advice for many situations.


  8. I vowed to shave my head, as a woman, as a metaphor for myself–I would start taking better care of myself, drop my recently-acquired self-destructive habits, start exercising… It was a starting over, a reinvention of myself, because every time I look in the mirror, I see my promise looking back at me. So far, for a month, it’s worked. Yay! Additionally, yes, I did get a few strange looks, double-takes, and the like. But honestly? All my friends loved it or found it fascinating, daring, brave, and almost everyone commented that it suited the shape of my face very well, so I may well keep it buzzed! Once I explained my reasoning for doing this drastic change, everyone has been wonderfully supportive. It’s not exactly something I would recommend everyone do, because there are certain social stereotypes or expectations of appearance that will affect your life. I felt I could do it because I am not in an office job (I work freelance at home), and because I was surrounded by a supportive environment in terms of friends and family. I am not concerned by perceptions of sexuality, but I know some are. Keeping your head high, standing behind your decision (or your own fumbles) takes strength, but it also gives you strength. The first time you go into the public eye, you will realize that while some people will give you funny looks, the grand majority will either look at you approvingly or not bother to look at you at all (mostly the latter, really). It’s just you, with a little less hair. The people who make shallow judgements about it aren’t worth the effort of pleasing. I’ve found the whole experience exhiliarating, liberating, a fantastic method of fighting my personal issues of depression, in all ways easier in the morning, and most importantly of all, fun. I love the feel of my scalp (oh my, the sensation of warm sunlight on your scalp for the first time in your life…), and my boyfriend loves rubbing his hands all over my fuzz. I love it. I let fear manage too much of my life, and this was a great way to demonstrate to myself that fear can’t control me. I was afraid of what people would say, or think, and it’s all bullshit. I feel better than I’ve felt in years, and anyone who wants to hurt me because of my definition of happiness can fuck right off. The same is true for you, even if it was an accident. Take it in stride, and love yourself anyways.


    Rebekah Reply:

    Sarah, you should have a blog!

    I agree with your boyfriend; head stubble can feel absolutely wonderful.

    Shaving your head (or making another drastic change) is a GREAT way to face fears and practice sticking out, practice being a brave person who doesn’t care what people think.


  9. I’m sorry, but this article makes me want to throw up. I lost my hair [cancer] a few years ago – it was not an accident and damn it, I couldn’t cope.

    Cancer patients may reach your article via Google, and let me tell you that “don’t feel embarrassed”, “keep your sense of humour” and “hair grows back” doesn’t fall into the category of good advice.

    I understand that you’re trying to be humourous, but when I lost my hair I followed every hair link I could find, and I totally would have gone to “so-you-accidentally-shaved-your-head-10-tips-for-coping”. And reading that would have made me even more depressed – not that you job is make cancer patient less depressed or anything, but now I’m too sad to finish my thought process.

    Hell, got anything about losing your teeth? Because that made me REALLY fucking depressed.


    Rebekah Reply:

    anna – Losing your hair to cancer must feel completely different than a mere razor accident, and certainly calls for different coping strategies. Since I’ve only dealt with a razor accident and not cancer, if someone in your life were about to undergo chemotherapy, what advice would you give them? In your searching, have you found any blogs or books that gave you comfort or useful advice?


  10. I’ve had terrible haircuts (only a couple, though, surprisingly) but shaving my head wasn’t one of them. I LOVED having a shaved head. It was so easy to work with (no shampoo, no styling, no fuss) and at the same time the most exciting and transgressive thing I’d ever done with my hair. Win on every front!

    I’m frequently tempted to do it again, but afraid that now (older, somewhat fatter) I won’t be able to pull it off any more.


  11. saulo flores says:

    My hair keeps falling out and now I have an awkward bald spot. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t even wanna walk out the door. Thanks for this.


    Rebekah Reply:

    You are so, so welcome. Good luck, Saulo!


  12. Ballsack-Mgee says:

    I have no bright side and I don’t even wanna look at my self in the mirror.


    Rebekah Reply:

    Man, that sucks. May your hair grow with lightning speed!



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