About a year ago, I woke up one morning with a surprisingly urgent thought: “I want to shave my head.”
Now, before I delve any further into this tale of impulsive behavior, let me say that my hair has always been a defining feature of mine — long, thick and nearly unmanageable. In fact, when six-year old me would stubbornly go days without letting my mom work through my tangles, entire hours would be dedicated to me sitting in a chair, my determined aunt using all of her skills as a hairdresser to tackle what she deemed, “the caveman comb-out.”
Despite the pain and frustration that sometimes accompanied my luscious locks, I have always loved my hair. It has been a source of comfort and having hair down to my butt made for a multitude of creative styling advantages and memorable looks for Crazy Hair Days.
After all these years of loving my long hair, however, it was time for a change.
Now, my intention to buzz all my hair off was not a vendetta against my hair, or surprisingly, against my parents or the system. Rather, the idea was so ridiculous, so absolutely absurd and unexpected, it seemed irresistible.
But when I talked with my friends about about shaving my head, it turned out they were more attached to my hair than I was, to the point that it sometimes seemed they were more attached to my hair than to me!
And a lot of people wanted to find a deeper meaning than I had to offer about my impulse to voluntarily go bald.
So, I didn’t go through with it — then. But a month ago, I went over to a friend’s house with no particular plan, only to find myself an hour later leaning over a towel, with my friends taking turns giving me a buzz cut at level 2, that is, a ¼ inch setting on the buzz cutter. Since then, my hair has grown by about an inch.
The buzz cut has been one of the most liberating feelings I have ever experienced. For the most part, others’ reactions have been positive, even if I am frequently mistaken for Bobby from King of the Hill. I have no regrets. This is a spur of the moment decision that has turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever made.
Lani Tunzi is in the 11th grade at Eagle Rock High School.