Shaved heads among women have become increasingly popular throughout the past few years for various reasons. Some do it strictly for appearance, some for religious or spiritual reasons, some do it simply for a fresh start with their hair!
However, when I hear other women with shaved heads talk about why they continue to do it, the overall answer is always similar— “having a shaved head feels freer”.
But what exactly does the word freer mean in this context?
As women, and especially for black women, society conditions us to think that our femininity is connected to our hair. For black women, this connection is often coupled with the emotional weight of the societal stigma that surrounds natural black hair.
In an interview regarding her latest film, Nappily Ever After, actress Sanaa Lathan addresses these stigmas in relation to the movie’s plot—“Black women are told all their life that straight, long hair is the epitome of beauty. You see it through images in the media, fairy tales—even my mother had what you'd call silky, more European hair. I remember always wanting that.” She reflects on opening up to the idea of a shaven head after much hesitation—“Honestly, after 20 years of wearing weaves and wigs, I got tired of them. There's a kind of a freedom that comes with giving them up—and not just a mental freedom but also a physical freedom.”
For many women, shaving their head is a symbol of cutting the metaphorical chain, implemented by society, that connects their hair to their femininity and/or self worth. In turn, this is taking back the control over how they define their own femininity.
In my own personal journey, cutting my hair caused the confidence I always knew I had in me to burst out of the seams—. I felt liberated, my confidence was through the roof… You couldn’t tell me nothing.
I never had a good relationship with my hair. It was thick, unruly, time consuming—and to top it all off, It was becoming expensive.
When I shaved my head for the first time, I cried—but not because I was upset. In fact, it was the exact opposite. I was overwhelmed with the relief that came with it. I wasn’t just free from the shell of what my hair was “supposed” to be—I was just free
After shaving my head and seeing my natural hair, I dyed it and I just rocked it and still do till today
Today, I continue to shave my head for two primary reasons. The first being low maintenance, and the second being both an internal and external symbol of my freedom.
Graduated from Howard University with a concentration in Politics Science. "A digital nomad who loves to travel and learn about new cultures and also Passionate about the environment."