“Are you sure?,” she asked nervously.
I did my best to reassure her. When she was finally convinced that I wasn’t joking, she called the other hairstylists over and told them excitedly that I was about to donate ALL of my hair. One girl gasped and said, “I’ve always wanted to see someone do this!”
The stylist laid out a piece of white tissue paper and an envelope for the hair that would be sent to Wigs for Kids. Then she divided my hair into five tiny braids and asked me again if I was sure I wanted to do this. As she cut each braid and laid them carefully on the tissue paper, I realized that there was no turning back.
She buzzed the remaining hair from my scalp and watched my face nervously, afraid I was going to cry. But I smiled as I ran my fingers over my bald head. It was surprisingly soft.
I found that strength and so much more when I gave away my hair. While I’d recommend shaving your head in the summer (I learned this lesson the hard way), I haven’t regretted my decision one bit. In fact, I think every woman should go bald at least once in their lifetime. Here are a few reasons why:
1. You'll gain confidence and mental strength.
Get used to hearing, “I wish I had the balls to do that!” This is probably the most common reaction I got from other women when they learned that I was bald on purpose. What I didn’t expect? Even now that my hair has grown back, I’m still that girl that had the balls to shave her head. Baldness may be temporary, but the confidence and self-respect you’ll gain from going hairless lasts forever.
2. You'll learn a lot about other people just from their reactions.
My first day back at work after shaving my head was a real eye-opener. A couple of my coworkers were disgusted (I was equally disgusted with them at this point, so I didn’t really care). But overall, the responses I received were overwhelmingly positive. Some of the employees that I oversaw actually told me that they respected me more as a leader. A few people who had either survived cancer themselves or lost loved ones to the disease just hugged me with tears in their eyes. No words needed.
When I spoke with another incredibly strong woman who had shaved her head in the past, I felt as though I was now a part of some exclusive society of gutsy women who shared a special bond. My baldness wasn’t just an excuse to wear cute hats; it was a conversation starter, an unspoken understanding, a badge of honor.
3. You'll save time getting ready in the morning.
This is just a practical benefit and a time-saving life hack. No hair = no hassle!
4. You'll gain a new perspective on people and their appearances.
Being bald gave me a deeper understanding of the struggles that many people face on a daily basis – not just because they’ve lost their hair for any number of reasons, but as a result of any physical difference that may elicit stares from strangers. The first time I went out for a nice dinner with my boyfriend as a bald girl, I was understandably self-conscious. I was more aware of the people around me and their reactions to my bald head. Not being able to blend in easily was a foreign feeling to me, but it was a healthy reminder that many people don’t have the luxury of “blending in.”
5. You'll realize there are other things in your life that you think you need but really don't.
If you don’t really need your hair, what other things that you consider “necessary” are actually just weighing you down? Donating your hair can inspire you to donate or purge other things that aren’t really making your life any better and might actually be more of a hassle than anything else. Maybe you won’t become a full-blown minimalist, but you’ll put more thought into the things you take for granted every day.
If I’ve convinced you to donate your hair, visit the Wigs for Kids website, where you can learn more about the process. Wigs for Kids provides hairpieces for children free of cost and they make it easy to donate!