new decade, no hair
how to care for, maintain, and love your buzzcut
a lot of people in my life definitely thought i went insane when i came home with a freshly shaved head for thanksgiving in 2018. and i don't blame them!
truth was, i had colored my hair with henna (which subsequently ruined both my hair and life) two years prior and after a lengthy bleach session, my hair had fallen out. in my hands. i had been dyeing and frying my hair long before i went to beauty school and telling myself "it's nothing a little olaplex can't fix!", but yeah, there are some things even olaplex can't fix.
most of what i heard from strangers and even some coworkers/classmates could either fall under "omg are you sick??" or "i love this for you, i want to go bald too." i love attention so even though the first option always took me by surprise, i never knew how to say, "no this is for fashion" without sounding rude. but hey, if you're asking someone you barely know if they have cancer, you're probably not the best at the whole "manners" thing anyway.
but i digress.
even though the circumstances of shaving my head initially weren't....great, i shaved my head about 6 more times afterwards and stayed bald well into february of 2019. now i have a full head donned by a strong, thick mullet that just keeps growing? i have never had healthy hair ever in life?? help???
going bald was liberating in some ways, but forced growth in others. (i'm sorry the pun was not intentional. please don't hate me.) for example, it was great to not spend 20 minutes every morning trying to get hair with the consistency of microwave ramen to cooperate with me. but, i knew that in order for my hair to grow in healthily, i had to invest in oils, masques, shampoos, and other products that would prompt strong new growth.
that was one of the things no one told me when i shaved my head: you still have to take care of your hair. of course, if you plan on buzzing your hair til the day you die, this need not apply. if you're thinking of doing the Big Chop in 2020 but not for eternity, i wish you luck and patience. the hardest thing to avoid is coloring, processing, and/or heat styling your hair in that awkward "growing out" phase. i personally couldn't bear to look in the mirror for a solid 3 months and wore the same two wigs until they were holding on by a thread. shaving your head to wipe the slate clean means keeping that slate clean, even when when you look like a 12 year old boy. the moment i considered playing fortnite i knew i had to buy a third wig.
if you do choose to invest in a wig, i love that journey for you! i recommend going to someone local and in your community, not on amazon or aliexpress so you can get a quality wig fitted that won't constrict bloodflow and circulation to your scalp. not only will that hinder growth but it sucks and is itchy. also, by buying from someone local, you're helping members of your community and not giving any of your hard earned coins to jeff bezos!
some products i recommend for growth is mane and tail shampoo. i've spoken extensively about this product but i don't know why it works so well, and i'm a little afraid to ask. i saw not only growth, but an improvement of the porosity and shine of my hair which is hard to find in a non-salon brand shampoo. i also recommend a lil scalp massage with jamaican black castor oil every night. i saw all the pinterest girlies using this on their eyebrows and lashes and thought i would give it a go. i had to say, my expectations were very high and somehow they were exceeded. my hair grew 2 full inches in one month. on average, your hair grows 1/2 inch in a month. please don't ask me the science behind this, i'm in hair school and not real school for a reason.
when your hair is grown out, lush and healthy, remember to use heat protectant products and see a stylist to do any colorations or permanent styling. fortunately, you will have virgin hair which is generally a little nicer when it comes to bleaching/lightening as opposed to previously colored hair. but again, let's not bleach our hair til we have 3 strands left and then pick up a bunch of olaplex. because then we're right back at square one. at that point it's time to get those clippers out, babe.
i know a lot of us hesitate before any regular haircut, but there seems to be serious cold feet around the Big Chop, even from people who have been dying to try it. the biggest things i've heard are "my head is shaped weird," to which i'll tell you not only is my head shaped weird but i have a giant mole on the side of my head that is disturbingly noticeable. but i survived! i also hear "my boyfriend/partner/husband would hate it," to which i'll tell you that if he wants to leave you over a haircut, 1. ew and 2. dump him. lastly i hear "what if i hate it?" and if you hate it, you'll love to hear this: hair grows! and it grows so fast!
i understand the cold feet. i was scared to let go of my hair, even as it was literally falling out in my hands. very poetic, i think.
anyone can rock a buzz, though. it's genderless, it's timeless, it's sexy, it's effortless, it's chic, it's universal. having a buzzcut allowed me to look like a freak icon with winged eyeliner to my temples and glitter on my cheeks, but it also allowed me to redefine how i looked, or how i wanted to be perceived. it allowed me to play with identity and makeup and my role and relationship with my hair. if you're waiting for that sign, i'd say this is it. but if you're not impulsive and need more research done before you can decide, i suggest talking to a stylist in your area who does clipper cuts. speak about your goals for the buzz, how you want it to grow out (if you want it to grow out), how to care properly for it, etc. once a stylist sees your texture, growth patterns, and hair history they can work with you on a plan for your buzz.
buzzing/going bald is scary on many levels. you don't have the security blanket that hair provides. i can still remember when that first clump hit the salon tile, though. i cried for a lot of reasons in that chair, but that first clump to go was the mark of a new relationship with my hair and scalp health, one that continues everyday i wake up and decide to wash, straighten, or blow dry my hair. i love this hair now, which i probably wouldn't be able to say in 2017.
in summation, thank god for clippers.