There are a million ways to look and feel great with a buzz cut, regardless of your size, shape, age, or creed. Still, before you fire up that electric razor, here are…
9 Things to Consider Before Shaving Your Head
- How do you feel about your face? Removing your hair draws a startling amount of attention to your face. More than you expect. Prepare to see your face in a new way, for better or worse.
I definitely don’t mean “are you pretty enough for a buzz cut?” Don’t let the scare tactics of conventional-beauty-peddlers make decisions for you. It’s your hair, your life.
- How do you feel about your hair? Not your current haircut, but your hair’s natural texture and color. If you love your hair and it contributes greatly to your cultural acceptability, shaving it off could feel like a real loss. My hair is less crowning glory and more the final straw, so off it goes.
- Would a shaved head attract negative attention at your job or make you less marketable in your chosen field? While sticking it to the man may sound like fun, we’ve all gotta eat. Could your hairstyle blind employers to your skills or distract from your performance? Calculate your risks.
- Are you in love with glamorous images of sexy bald celebrities? Fair enough, but remember to look for photos of everyday people with shaved heads. Can you live with realistic, less-retouched results? Speaking of which…
- Your head may have dents, moles, scars, rolls, or be a shape you don’t like. Your named scalp is probably much paler than your face. These traits are all completely normal and not worth crying over, but having a realistic sense of how you’ll look with a buzz cut greatly increases your chances of satisfaction.
Consider photoshopping a photo of yourself to get a vague idea of how you might look without hair. A RECENT photo, mind you.Bald caps are smooth and even-toned; shaved heads are not. Even if you shave your head to the skin, it will be prickly and stubbly by day three. It’s surprisingly difficult to pull on a shirt when your head is that rough. The more you know!
- Don’t expect a buzz cut to come with a new personality; every time I ponder shaving my head again, I tell myself “if I didn’t have hair, I’d wear a bike helmet or hats more consistently/ exercise daily/ improve in every conceivable way.” Alas, no haircut has ever made me superhuman.
- Shortened styling time vs. more frequent haircuts. When your hair is a mere fraction of an inch long, getting ready in the morning is a breeze. If it’s short enough, it won’t be crushed by sleeping. When it’s a little longer, you can wash it and style it just by rubbing your head with wet hands. So easy! However, you’ll probably need to re-shave it every two weeks, which gets tedious.
Be forewarned that once you’ve experienced the ease of a shaved head, every other styling option will feel like heavy labor. Carrying a comb, needing conditioner, having to wake up earlier— agony!
- A professional buzz cut will likely look better and grow out more gracefully than a DIY job. Shaving your hair to one length all over may look make you look like a hedgehog. Any barber or stylist can give you a more elegant shapely cut, but who wants to pay a pro twice a month? With patience and confidence, you can theoretically learn to use different clipper combs to get the results you want. You could probably recruit a friend or partner to help occasionally, but twice a month is asking a lot.
In truth, I had two terrible experiences with those taper attachments for trimming around one’s ears, then gave up and went back to one length all over: 3/8″ looks best on my head, but 1/4″ buys more time between trims.
- Are you hankering for a big change? This could be exactly the shake-up you need, though you could try any other change in the world; meet new people, learn a new subject, experiment with different clothes, etc… That said, taking a bold step of any kind can give you a nudge toward making bigger life changes, and a getting a clipper cut always feels like a fresh start.
You may now fire up your clippers. Enjoy your newfound freedom and slightly chilly ears.
Editor’s note: Sorry about the gigantic paragraph breaks, I’m having terrible formatting problems today.