Should I buzz my head?
January 10, 2019 5:21 PM   Subscribe

Women: Have you shaved / buzzed your head? Are you glad you did it? If you have grown out your hair since, was the growing out period worth it?

I am a mid-30s queer woman. I am not super femme but I’m on the more femme side - I enjoy wearing makeup and don’t generally wear masculine or androgynous clothing styles.

I have slightly longer than shoulder length hair, and I am tired of dealing with it. I hate having hair in my face so I wear it up 99% of the time. I don’t spend significant time styling it, but it does take a little bit of time and effort to get it to look the way I like. I am considering getting a buzz cut so that I literally can’t do anything with it and I don’t have to deal with it. And so it will stay out of my face no matter what.

I’m hesitating partially because I don’t think I’ll want to have super short hair forever, and short-ish hair takes more effort to style than hair you can just put in a ponytail. I’m also worried that I’ll hate how I look and immediately regret it.

I am mostly interested in hearing from people who identify as women about their experiences with shaved / buzzed heads, especially past college age.

I’ve read this related thread. It was helpful, especially in terms of logistics (hat in the winter, sunscreen in the summer!) but I’m more interested in personal perspectives and whether you have had regrets about shaving your head.
posted by insectosaurus to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (37 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I’m an early-30s queer woman. I buzzed my head from 24-25 and I loved every minute of it. I went just regular short for a while afterwards, then wore a faux-hawk for years and loved that too. No regrets. I got bored and grew it out again in the last two years, and now it’s down to my shoulder blades and I’m happy with that too. The in-between time was a little annoying but not too bad, especially once it got long enough to put in teeny-tiny pigtails. I got some use out of tasteful barrettes, too.

Doooo ittttt, it’s great!
posted by Illuminated Clocks at 5:28 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I did it, intending to have a buzzcut just for a bit as I was tired of dying my hair and didn't think I could do a long transition to gray hair. Ended up keeping a buzzcut in some variation of length for about 2 years. It was so, so, so nice in so many ways. I still kind of want one but am trying to grow it back out right now. If I could magically transition between a buzzcut and nape of my neck length hair quickly, I'd do it so happily. I know I'll miss it when it's warm enough to swim again.

Really, taking care of a buzz is no problem at all. It's the growing out that can be a pain, though it may depend on what type of hair you have. I found out that my in-between length hair has a lot of volume and none of its old wave and right now it can look like a mushroom cloud on top which is not great, but that too will pass.

I say go for it. You sound like you're ready for it!
posted by not that mimi at 5:39 PM on January 10


I cut my own hair with clippers using different length guards, and if you don't want to buzz it completely, you can definitely pick some in-betweens. Right now I use a number 12 on my sides and back, then scale down to about number 5 for the back and clean it up my neck as best I can without a guard. I can send pictures of what my hair currently looks like if you PM me.

I'm a gay woman in my mid-twenties and made the decision to go to short hair between high school and college. Never regretted it. It doesn't get in the way when I do sports, and a little bit of forming cream neatens it up.

That said, I tend to present in an androgynous manner (button-up shirts and jeans or chinos) and have occasionally been misgendered, so you might want to go for a full buzz instead, since some people consider that more feminine because it accentuates a woman's skull shape.
posted by Iron Carbide at 5:42 PM on January 10


I didn’t do it by choice (cancer) but I was bald and/or had buzz-cut length hair for a year or so and I’ve gotta say, it wasn’t the worst thing in the world, and I’m a straight white cis lady with a corporate office job who’d had long long hair virtually my whole life. Not having to worry about styling hair is very nice. Showers are so fast!

The negatives for me were mainly 1) being nearly bald is a lot colder than you’d think and 2) it takes a long long time to grow out. So long. Three years at least to get back to your shoulders. Be really sure you want to do it before you dive in.
posted by something something at 5:53 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


Also, I think almost everybody looks good with this hair. Everyone told me all the time how badass I looked. I thought they were humoring me at the time but I’ve since known dozens of women in the same situation and they all look pretty badass too.
posted by something something at 5:56 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I'm a straight, CIS woman in my 40s. Pretty femme. I buzzed my hair in my early 20s, post-college. I had a shorter hair style and was living someplace where I wasn't sure I could get a good short haircut, so my friend buzzed it for me. I was really glad I did it because I had always wondered about doing it. I didn't keep it that short, though. I grew it out. It was ... not painful, but not great fun.

I’m hesitating partially because I don’t think I’ll want to have super short hair forever, and short-ish hair takes more effort to style than hair you can just put in a ponytail.

Okay, I will say this: it was much easier to go from a shorter style to longer hair than to grow out my buzz. Also, short hair is sooooo easy. I had a long hair through my teens, then short hair (think pixie cuts) for all of my early 20s, and I've had medium to long hair since then. Short hair takes more regular cuts, but day to day, it's so much easier. A pony tail seems easy, but there's still all that hair to deal with, especially when it's wet.

A good short hair cut is incredibly low maintenance on a daily basis. You wash your hair, maybe put a dollop of product in, and it's dry before you can get a hair dryer or walk out the door.

I think you should try a good short style first. You'll see if you like it and how damn easy it is. And then you can still buzz it if you want.

My advice: find a great stylist and ask for a low maintenance, hip short hair cut. Then go back six to eight weeks later, and try that for a bit before you buzz.
posted by bluedaisy at 5:58 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I'm a queer lady in my late 30's. I present as very femme, and currently have an undercut, but I've also buzzed my hair a lot over the years. (I'm starting to get itchy to buzz it all off and start over again soon!) I love having very, very short hair, and it's fun re-buzzing my head every couple of weeks. (I have a pair of clippers and a good mirror set-up, and will freshen up my own undercut. It's messy, but satisfying.) I find that having a really queer hairstyle helps me feel good in my body.

The growing-out part is awkward, it's true. I wound up using a lot of hairclips and headbands and just trying to ignore it over the years, but it does pass.

Do it! If you truly hate it, there are wigs, and it does grow to pixie-length very quickly. But it sounds like you'll probably love it.
posted by kalimac at 5:59 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Buzzcut for probably 7 years of my life. Loved it and growing out wasn’t too bad.during the growing out period I probably got a trim every 5 weeks to keep the shape nice. Would totally recommend if you think you’d like it. I only shaved my heals bald once and it wasn’t great. I felt like it made me look to harsh.
posted by MadMadam at 6:07 PM on January 10


Cishet female here -- I've done this a couple times* in the past, and again recently (though not entirely by choice this last time). All-over buzz with #3 guard, easy peasy. Honestly, it's pretty great. I miss my old undercut style but the convenience cannot be undersold; styling/care time is minimal, no bad hair days or timing the product/wash cycle, just rub it dry with a towel and you're good to go. The only slight nuisance for me is that I emphatically insist on continuing to dye my medium-blond hair black, which requires continuing my strict maintenance schedule as there's no hiding roots with this length.

Not sure at the moment if I'm keeping it like this for a while or starting the growback immediately (I'm slightly less happy with it this time than when I buzzed it fully at my own choice), but my regular stylist is excellent and I'm confident that when I choose to do something different he can make the growing-in process as painless and interesting as possible. If that's something you're worried about, it may give you some peace of mind to hunt up a reliable stylist in your area who has experience in this area and can help you with grow-out; even if you decide not to grow it back in, having that option in your back pocket can make the decision and follow-up to do the buzz less fraught.

*First time was when I lived in Transilvania, and this is a not-uncommon style for ethnic Hungarian women in that area, so it was NBD from a sociocultural perspective as well as a welcome relief in the hot summer months. The second was during an extended period of backpacking travel; not having to worry about haircare or maintenance only improved the functional travelling experience, but I was not prepared for the YUUUGE amount of unwelcome male attention a 'bald' white woman attracts in Muslim countries. Invested in a headscarf pretty quickly.
posted by myotahapea at 6:13 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


I'm a cishet not-femme woman in my early 30s. I've buzzed my hair several times in the last couple years, totally bald or down to #2. It's always been great and I love it and would recommend anyone feeling like maybe they'd like to buzz their hair to just go and do it. Not having to deal with hair is so nice. And if you don't like it it grows back.

I have really thick straight hair so for me the most awkward grow out phase is until it's about an inch+ all over because until then it just sticks straight out of my head. But that doesn't last long and also idgaf.

You can look at my Instagram (link in profile) to see pics of me from now on back through May, which is the last time I shaved my head, if you want to get an idea of how it goes. Haven't cut my hair since.
posted by phunniemee at 6:20 PM on January 10


Queer NB person. I started shaving my head in my 20s and frankly the first time I did it I felt powerful as I was at the time a baby queer and all into casting off anything men might like. I still shave it now and then. No longer down to bald but a severe buzz. I mostly do it in summer and when the growing out period gets too frustrating. It really saves energy that I have little spoons for as I can get up and go. Maybe every 6 weeks buzz it down again. I love how soft it is when buzzed and at least in the 90's met many queer friends as women couldn't stop petting my head. Now that i'm older i'm embracing the grey in my buzz and still delight in shaving it off as soon as a man tells me I'd look good with long hair.

Now you may not be as petty as me but I think it is something every woman should try at least once if they have any interest in it. A lot of feelings can be attached to hair and I still get a tiny boost of this is for me empowerment when I do.

I present as butch but find femmes with shaved hair quite common and quite attractive. Not that that matters to you but just in case that is a factor in that you are worried you will lose some of your femme identity.

There's a point when growing it out that I look like an idiot but that's cause my hair grows in weird ways but I don't think that should stop you if you are worried about it. My vote is try it.
posted by kanata at 6:33 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


I'm a cishet woman in my mid thirties. I shaved my head clean down to the scalp when I was in my late twenties. To be honest, it wasn't always a positive experience when it came to other people and their assumptions. Am I militant? Do I have cancer? Do I want to know what their cousin in law did to grow their hair back really fast because I'm never going to get a husband running around bald?

Some of that was no doubt informed by the fact that I'm a woman of color but I know a lot of women of different backgrounds who had similar experiences. There's just something about femininity and hair that is very... fraught.

That wouldn't stop me from doing it again, but I actually didn't like how I looked. It took me a while to get used to my own facial features being so... in focus?... and the novelty of how awesome a shaved head feels (pet me pet me pet me) wears off until the next fresh cut. Trying to style it in a way that I felt was attractive was a challenge. Growing it out was awkward.

I wear my hair up in a bun about 75% of the time and I'm happier with that than I was with short hair. It's not something I regret but not something I'd repeat.

So there's my mileage varying pretty far from the rest of the responses.
posted by sm1tten at 6:37 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Hi! This is me. I shaved it, and I'm so, so happy I did. First, because it did exactly what I wanted it to do, in terms of being an outward expression of my grief. Second, because it's just so easy to deal with. I've gotten a million compliments from all sorts of people -- older, younger, etc. (I'm a 51yo straight female.)

I started with a #3 buzz (because I couldn't find the #2) and I am in the process of trying to grow it into a short pixie, where I think I'll stay for a while. Yeah, it's gonna take time. But I'm 100% happy with it. GO FOR IT!
posted by BlahLaLa at 6:39 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I've shaved my head down to a #1 twice in my 20s and loved it both times. I present as very femme and I enjoyed messing with that expectation quite a bit. I've grown it out both times to very long (down to waist), and while buzz to pixie is great, pixie to longer can be a bit annoying (that mullet look is not my friend) but still pretty easy to maintain, with a couple of bobby pins and cute headbands, if that's your thing.

Got lots of opposition from family and weird intrusive questions from strangers about why. I personally found it very liberating - there's too much heteronormative femininity bullshit tied into long hair on women and it was great to have periods where I could reject that.

The first time I did it, I noticed I leaned more heavily into stereo-typically feminine looks - like dresses and wearing make-up as if to compensate but the second time I just continued to dress as me and it was also no problem. I miss the pixie and shorter hair so much, but I don't really want to go through the regrowth again (I hate bob length hair on myself), so I probably won't.
posted by liquorice at 6:47 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


It me! I’ve had a buzz cut for about 2 years now. I FUCKING LOVE IT. It makes me feel like a badass like someone mentioned earlier.

I also get a lot of “why” questions, which piss me off, so I usually respond with something like “why do you keep your hair long when it’s so annoying to take care of?” 🙄

I bought a trimmer made specifically for head shaving on amazon for like $30 and I re-shave my head every couple weeks. I love not paying for haircuts!!!

GO FOR IT! If you don’t like it, it will grow back!
posted by a strong female character at 7:26 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


I buzzed about half of my head as part of an asymmetrical haircut. It looked really awesome and I was super happy with it. I wore dangly earrings on the buzzed side of my head to play up the feminine look, and had fun with different hats/styles that accentuated the cut. I will say that the regrowth took for-ev-er and I wasn't into the transitory short-but-not-buzzed length that I had for probably a year and a half... maybe more. I'm currently relishing being able to put my hair in a ponytail again. So maybe before you pull the trigger, look at hairstyles of short-but-not-buzzed hair in your hair texture and think about whether you'd like that look, because that's what you're going to have for a long period if you decide not to stick with the buzz cut. Overall though I have no regrets, I'm glad I tried it and hair grows back!
posted by rogerroger at 8:29 PM on January 10


Also, upon revisiting the title of your post, YES. This random lady on the internet gives you full permission to buzz your head!
posted by rogerroger at 8:30 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Did it in mid twenties, itching to do it again now as more middle aged. It’s real easy to grow out if you’re chill with shorter cuts and aren’t racing to long. Just keep buzzing back and sides as you grow out top to some length, then let back and sides come I. Tillyou have whatever short style you resting in, then whatever. It’s lobely, and as others have stated makes me feel super queer and powerful, the same way even a good fresh short/butch cut will, but like times more.
posted by Iteki at 10:07 PM on January 10


Ok I'm a dude bald by biology but just wanted to throw this out there: you know the expression on a dog's face when they stick their heads out of the window of a moving car? Like it's pure doggie bliss sensory overload?

The human equivalent of this is shaving your head and immediately going for a bike ride on a nice day. I recommend everyone try this at least once in their life.

PS: sunscreen and ACAB (always carry a beanie)
posted by bradbane at 10:52 PM on January 10 [6 favorites]


pure doggie bliss sensory overload?

The human equivalent of this is shaving your head and immediately going for a bike ride on a nice day.


I've gone the full shave, and the thing I really disliked about it was the unexpected lack of sensitivity to wind and water. To me, a totally hairless scalp feels like I'm wearing one of those rubber bathing caps. Much better with a bit of fuzz left on.

Going from habitually long to very short hair also makes the world sound weird, like it's being recorded through an outdoor mic that's missing its fluffy wind noise shield.
posted by flabdablet at 11:16 PM on January 10


See my profile pic for me in the hairdresser's just after having a #1 all over (reasons why in my question history). I had always had long hair until that point, but had often wondered what short hair would be like. I have kept it short since that pic, although not #1 short, and have found it really comfortable. No hair in the face, quick washing time, shampoo bars last longer, less conditioner (so cheaper), cooler in the summer. So on a practical level, much more user friendly. I have also gone a bit wild with the colour, as it doesn't take long for it to grow out and I can change it on a whim.

I found initially it took a long time to grow out but that was over summer, so didn't really matter. I would be happy to go really short again, but not as short as it was in the first instance, because I really liked the "being able to run my hands over the short fuzz" stage and I didn't get that until it had grown out for a few months.

I think you should go for it as it's fun and if you don't like it, it'll grow out soon enough.
posted by Martha My Dear Prudence at 1:43 AM on January 11


I did it and I loved it. Did it myself with clippers. Um, there's lots of pleasure in the feel of a buzzed head, its like soft warm suede. Since it grows out very quickly, as with any actual style there's upkeep involved, which some people (me) might find tedious. One thing that happened though since I had lost weight at the same time was that people did ask me if my health was ok.
posted by glasseyes at 3:10 AM on January 11


As to the growing out I started dreds so I haven't cut my hair since I finished with the buzzcut. Black woman, mid 50s at the time, the dreds didn't start obviously consolidating till about a year and a half in so I needed high tolerance for looking untidy, which I have. I found it quite gratifying to look like a mad professor for a while. Just to add another data point to growing out issues.
posted by glasseyes at 3:30 AM on January 11


Another cishet not-super-femme woman here, currently mid-50s. I shaved my head almost 20 years ago during cancer treatment. I loved the ease and feel of it, but it was very disconcerting to see Erich von Stroheim in the mirror each morning. As a result I concur with the above advice to try a short pixie first to see how you like your face with less hair around it; if the look pleases you and you want to push on to full baldness, it’s a short step from there. If you happen to like flashy earrings or cool hats, so much the better. And for sports there really is no comparison — it’s awesome — but you’ll want to invest in bandannas or sweatbands.
posted by GrammarMoses at 3:30 AM on January 11


I keep my hair relatively short, but the cut before my last I decided to experiment with an extremely short pixie. I wasn't bald, but it was close. I HATED it and felt completely exposed (which I think is why some people love it) but my hair seems to be a lot healthier now that it grew in so there is that at least.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:10 AM on January 11


My cishet wife had a nearly-bald shaved head through much of her forties (technically *I* did the shaving for her) and she liked it, and every so often she mentions she's thinking about buzzing it again. Her current hairstyle is a "Macklemore" dyed purple, so nonstandard hairstyles are sort of her vibe.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:20 AM on January 11


I forgot to add I’m in my early 30s and I’m an IT professional. I don’t think it’s affected how people at work view me (actually I have gotten a lot of compliments). Here’s a pic of me with buzz cut!
posted by a strong female character at 7:02 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Androgynous dyke here. I shaved my whole head in high school and it was awesome. I also had a lot of fun punk haircuts, which made growing it back a little relatively easy. The one caution I would mention is that your hair holds in heat, so if you're in the northern hemisphere you may not want to do it in the middle of winter. I did mine in early march in Minnesota, and I didn't get to enjoy it as much as I might have because I had to wear a hat all the time to stay warm.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:21 AM on January 11


I buzzed my head in my mid 30s as part of one of those St. Baldrick's Foundation fundraisers. They use clippers but no guard, so it was really short. My hair had always been at least chin length, and at the point of shaving it was nearly bra strap length.

At first it was really jarring. Looking in the mirror the next morning was a shock - I think mostly because i have brown hair and seeing my bright white skull was a surprise. I got used to it pretty quickly, hated it when it was at the fuzz ball 1/2"-1" all over stage, but loved it once it was long enough to get a super short pixie style. I ended up keeping my hair pretty short for several years. The eventual growout took forever because I did it REALLY gradually, letting the top slowly get longer while I kept the back and sides tight, always with a deliberate style by a stylist who was an expert with short womens' haircuts. This meant I never looked shaggy or had a mullet, but combined with how slow my hair grows it took years.

Buzzed hair is great in terms of upkeep, but any longer than that wasn't completely no-maintenance. I found short hair to be persnickety in terms of bedhead/cowlicks. With my current long hair I can skip shampooing/styling for a day or two and don't need to use product, but with short hair I had to re-do my style every day. And the monthly cuts get expensive.

I expected to want to wear bigger earrings and more makeup and stuff when I was buzzed, but I actually found it looked jarring, almost garish on me without hair to balance it out. Part of that may have been feeling exposed.

I did enjoy having short hair, and in fact I'm thinking about doing St. Baldrick's again in a year or two. I have fine, straight hair so long hair is actually easier for me in many ways, but short hair is FUN and it's nice to not constantly have it in your face.

Your shower drain will thank you.
posted by misskaz at 7:33 AM on January 11


i did it every summer from 32-37. it was great. got compliments in philly, got negging in white suburban michigan. fat, white, bi female.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 7:53 AM on January 11


I had very short hair when I was younger. It worked on a young face with nothing to hide. In my 40s, a pixie felt more brutal and revealing. Your face changes in strange ways - a line here, a relaxed muscle there - sometimes from day to day (because one bad sleep all of a sudden has an *impact*, bloating and sagging and puffing...). There are things you might want to hide or soften, and there’s nothing to work with.

Short hair is usually more manageable on a daily basis, not actually so on a weekly or monthly basis. You need to either buzz yourself routinely or pay for cuts if you’re going a little longer. There is no escaping maintenance no matter what you do. (FWIW, I’ve a well-cut bob to be *the* lowest maintenance do. If a stylist knows your hair texture, they can cut it so daily styling isn’t a nightmare, and so you can go a little longer between cuts. You have more options in terms of styling, as well, it’s not Groundhog Day. Bun, braid, blowout, air dried, whatever you want. YMMV obviously.)

I got a pixie 3 years ago, and it’s taken that long to grow it out. Painfully. It’s been a three-year-long bad hair day, basically. Because the shapes that emerge on the way out can be a challenge - your hair grows a little, and all of a sudden this is out of balance, that facial feature takes a focus, you have to rejig the one style that actually worked for that phase, not that you were always thrilled with it because it was the same damn thing every day... (A close crop is cute. A Ringo Starr or early Bieber, in my opinion, is not. At least on me and the thousands of women each year who post about the trials and tribulations of growing out a pixie.)

In your 20s, you can more easily wear cute headbands, scarves, and hats to make bad hair days bearable. Those options aren’t super professional later on. (I at least felt ridiculous the few times I tried.)

I found short hair empowering in my 20s and a totally regrettable and not-cheap drag in my 40s. Wouldn’t do it again.
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:51 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


Late 30s, cut my neck-length extremely curly hair off a couple years ago. Every few times I go back for a cut I end up cutting it shorter, and the last two have been a #4 buzz cut. I'm considering getting my own clippers now that I'm not doing two slightly different lengths, but am nervous about doing it wrong or not being able to figure out how to trim the edges. Every time I wait too long to get a haircut, I regret it, and I've got to do it a lot more often than when I had longer curly hair. (But at least I don't have the hassle of getting curly specialty cuts, since randos never understood that I was not going to be blowing my hair straight and would try to cut my hair wet.)

I love it and don't anticipate growing it out anytime soon, though I do sort of miss the obviously-curly identity. I figure wearing dresses most days is enough in the way of feminine gender performance, and I nearly always wear earrings out. If I don't cut it for too long, it goes from fun and modern to matronly poof, which is annoying.
posted by asperity at 10:50 AM on January 11


Mid 40s queer woman. I've been buzzing my hair off and on since my mid-20s (I have done all the hairs, from long to short), most recently last spring. I love love love my buzzed hair and the lack of maintenance and the comfort. Something I wasn't prepared for was once it grows out even the littlest bit, you'll get bedhead - who knew you could get bedhead off 1/4 an inch of hair - but two minutes and some water in the morning fixes that even if you're an evening shower-er. The growing out stage isn't too bad, especially if you find a good barber/stylist to help you trim it up as it grows and you have an idea of how you want to grow it out. I have done both super femme and super butch presentations with my shaved hair and it always looks great.

The only reason it's not buzzed off now is because I'm growing it out to long on the top, undercut underneath, and every time I start to buzz it off, I remind myself that I'm going to love it undercut one it's longer (I've had it undercut/long on top before) and that I've been paying a very nice barber good money this year to patiently shape it up for me.

I'm a little cavalier about it because my hair grows so fast, but I'm very much in the, it's hair, it grows back, if you want to give it a try, do it, camp. :)
posted by joycehealy at 12:43 PM on January 11 [1 favorite]


I had ultra-short (near-buzz) hair for a while in my early 20s. Ended up growing it out mainly because I got tired of having to visit a salon so often (I didn't have any clipper-wielding friends), and ultimately determined that long hair was *easier* for me to deal with than short.

However, during the supershort period, I enjoyed the badass/androgynous look a lot, and it was a lot of fun to just reach up and feel the fuzzies. If you or someone you know can deal with the upkeep regularly, you might very well be happy with it.

Oh and the growing-out period will vary a LOT between individuals. In my case, it was suuuuuper awkward/annoying. At first, it seemed like my hair was conspiring to give me a mullet (back would grow in faster than anything else), and then once it got to chin length, one side wanted to flip under while the other side wanted to flip outward, making it look like I'd been caught in a strong wind or something. But if your hair is curly or stick-straight (not just straightish-with-surprise-waves like mine), it shouldn't be too bad.
posted by aecorwin at 1:43 PM on January 11


Did it once (2 consecutive bad, short haircuts + friend with clippers + alcohol), won't do it quite that short again but it was fun to do once! Now I enjoy letting it grow out for a year or so and going pretty short when I want to go low-maintenance for travel/work. It's a fun way to change up your look that isn't permanent. Have discovered that paying a bit more for the short version haircut results in a much better grow-out process than getting a cheap short haircut.
posted by HaveYouTriedRebooting at 12:51 PM on January 12


41 year old slightly genderqueer bisexual woman here. I'm a beauty consultant from time to time, though I've never liked wearing a lot of makeup - even though I'm really good at it. I've worn a high short fade, #1 on the sides and back, #4 on top, little bit of bangs, on and off for 23 years. I think I'm going to stick with it for a while this time. My physical health makes things like showers really freaking complicated, so not having to deal with hair helps me not lose my mind.

I've also grown it out to waist-length three or four times now. Head bands and hair barettes are your friends if you do this. Or just a bunch of hair mud, or gel, or pomade, or mousse, or stew, or lava, or whatever it is these days.

I live in somewhat rural Kentucky, but I think the funny looks I get are more for the wheelchair and the fact that I intentionally don't match my socks to each other or to my outfit. Or for the running stand-up comedy act my caregiver and I typically have going.

If you hate it, you have a bunch of options. Hats, scarves, dye, costumes, wigs. But I like the glitter approach. Pick up a spray can of hair and body glitter - the only place I can find it is Walgreen's. And spray your hair with it. Every morning, after you wash and dry it, spray it with glitter. Because you can't be mad or sad or hating your hair when it's covered in glitter.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 4:47 PM on January 12 [2 favorites]


Yes, do it!

Cred: when I was 34 I was going through a rough time (and coincidentally had just-past-shoulder-length hair that I wore up 99% of the time, hated styling it, etc) and one afternoon I lost patience with it and with the help of my husband, buzzed it off very close to the scalp. I'm not sure I can describe how great it felt! But the sheer relief was instantaneous.

There were some negatives: I did it a few months before my sister' wedding and had to have the overgrowth cleaned up a bit for her pics (not a big deal). The growing-out loooked terrible (but ultimately was ok. Time passed and the hair grew.) Most surprisingly (probably only to me) teen and college-age boys yelled at me from their cars as I walked to work. I hadn't expected a buzzed head to inspire that--there goes my privilege, I guess? But that was still not enough to make me regret it, just a little eye-opening.

It's all grown out again now, and your question makes me want to do it again! I hope you decide to do it.
posted by pepper bird at 10:14 AM on January 15


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