Why are you Bald? It was by accident. One Thanksgiving, me trying to give myself a shape up to my fro. I took off the guard to clean the clippers, failed to put it back on and the rest is history.
How has being BALD made an impact on your life?
I feel being bald has brought my confidence level to 10. Although every look or comment isn't always positive, I am noticed. Being noticed gives me even more confidence. I'm no longer blending in with the crowd.
What words of encouragement would you share with someone who isn't confident with their Bald head? Whether by chance or by choice, your baldness should be embraced. I've learned to accessorize with earrings, makeup and scarves. Find something you like about you and play it up.
Why are you Bald? I have alopecia areata
How has being BALD made an impact on your life? At first I felt like a freak of nature. I hid for years behind wigs, scarfs or hats. With in the last few months, after taking off the wig in public for the first time on Mother's Day; I've unearthed a confidence that I never knew I had and for once I felt real.
What words of encouragement would you share with someone who isn't confident with their Bald head? The confidence comes from the inside out and not from the outside in. Your life has purpose that only can be fulfilled as you are;bald, embrace it.
Why are you Bald? I am bald by choice..I have always wondered what I would look like..how it would feel etc..so one day last Sept I bought a pair of clippers and shaved my head with no guard..then I lathered up my head and shaved it smooth!! It was sooo liberating!! I truly think I look better with no hair!! :) It feels soo amazing..I have been buzzing it ever since..
How has being BALD made an impact on your life? At first I realized I would get stares when out in public,but I just smile at them and I am more confident than I have ever been! I actually get comments all the time from both men and women..mostly positive. I don't know if I will ever grow out my hair again!
What words of encouragement would you share with someone who isn't confident with their Bald head? Simply take a deep breath and shave your head..it took very little getting used to.. not to mention the time you save in the morning not having to fuss with your hair!!
Why are you Bald? Hello there! I'm bald because I was diagnosed with a rare cancer and had chemo from May to August. I got pregnant, but, instead of a fetus, I developed abnormal cells that traveled from my uterus to my lungs in 10 different spots. Because it was such a rare condition (going from pregnancy to cancer), I have created a space where I share my whole experience and my goal is to show people one can go through this and keep a smile on their faces!
How has being BALD made an impact on your life? After I was diagnosed with cancer, one of my main concerns was exactly being bald. It was hard for me to buzz my hair, so I did it little by little (well, my awesome husband did it). With time, I noticed this was actually my LEAST concern. This was NOTHING, as long as I was alive, I could live with our without hair. The main lesson/ impact/ epiphany I had was: as long as you are a beautiful person inside, the outside will automatically reflect that. It's so simple!
What words of encouragement would you share with someone who isn't confident with their Bald head? At first I wouldn't leave my house without a scarf or a hat, at all. I thought it could be disrespectul to people (hard to explain why) or I didn't want people staring at me. With time, I guess with all that I had been through and learned, I noticed it didn't really matter other people's opinion. What REALLY matter is how I felt. I let me tell you something: I have the impression that most people are sympathetic to me and they look at me in a positive way. This picture I shared was when I turned 30 and had a get-together in Brazil (where I'm from and hadn't been in over a year). It was the first time my family and friends saw me bald. It was WONDERFUL!
I am a 46 year old grandmother of 10 grandkids, I suffered from depression from losing my hair to Alopecia. My husband & I have custody of our 8 year old granddaughter & I've struggled to find my purpose in this world. I believe that women pay way too much attention on they outer appearance rather than their "inner" beauty. I am teaching my granddaughter that it's not what's on the outside that matters but rather what's on the inside. Hair is like a hat...sometimes it comes off & that's ok too!! I'm soooo much more than my "hair"!!
Why are you Bald? I am bald because I have trichotillomania. I pull from everywhere, but my head is the main place. I have no idea why I pull, nor do I see myself ever fully "recovering". I just try to take every day as it comes.
What challenges have you faced as a BALD woman? On the odd occasion I do leave the house with my head uncovered, I have had children ask why a girl has boy hair and had people mistake me for a boy. Wearing headscarves is more comfortable, but then people ask the same question I get when I don't wear a wig - do you have cancer. So I generally feel as though I have to wear wigs. Uncomfortable itchy horrible wigs.
What words of encouragement would you share with someone who may not be confident with their Bald head? Keep your head held high. Unfortunately it isn't something that will change over night.
First off I want to say that I LOVE following The Bald Movement's Instagram page. It is my favorite account! I saw you post about wanting people to share their story about how they used to be bald but may not be anymore. Well that is me! About 4 ½ months ago I shaved my head and it has been one of the best experiences ever. When I first told all my friends and family that I was going to do it, no one believed me. I have a huge heart for missions trips and I had gone to Guatemala through Students International for the past two summers and had wanted to go again. I decided to fundraise by telling everyone that if I met my goal (of $1680) then I would shave my head. Of course, I also donated my hair to Locks of Love (25 inches to be exact). Everyone thought I was crazy but I was determined to go. God definitely planned on me going because I was able to raise over $2000! People donated because they loved the cause.
So I shaved my head about a week before I went on the missions trip and (of course) I got a lot of weird looks and a lot of questions from the people I came into contact with. Everyone was surprised that I CHOSE to shave my head. The easiest way to explain it to the people in Guatemala was that I shaved my head so that I could buy a plane ticket. That's not exactly what I did, but it was the simplest thing to translate since my spanish isn't 100%. They all thought I was crazy but thanked me for doing it because I got to go down and work with the people of Guatemala.
Even after coming back to the States, I still get a lot of weird looks. The strange thing is that I have also gotten a lot more compliments than I used to. Random people will come up to me and tell me that they love my hair or that they wish they could pull off a shaved head. I feel as though I have more confidence now. Although I am in the process of growing it back out, I can say with confidence that I will shave all my hair off again one day.
Why are you Bald? Becoming bald gave me permission to do what the hell I wanted to do.
To many, and to even myself at some point, being bald means limitations. It means that a woman is no longer able to adorn oneself through hair manipulation and design. However, this assumption is only partially true. Moving from buzz-cut to clean shaven meant that I could explore even more possibilities, not only related to how to express my beauty physically but how to combine healing and creativity in order to inspire self-love.
When women cut their hair off or lose it due to varying types of alopecia, there are all types of question and all types of pity that emerge. That’s not what I need. That’s not what I want. People ask in melodramatic ways, “oh no! What happened to you? Is everything ok?” They’d assume that I am out of my mind - that I’ve dropped my religion & all my senses! In one aspect, these assumptions would be right. Losing my “mind” has meant realizing that everything I’ve been told about beauty and worthiness from a hetero-patriarchal, sexist, racialized misogynistic society is a lie. I’d been taught via media and elsewhere that in order for Black women to be cute or worthy of romantic love, meant that we had to be light, with curly hair, that was preferably long. So yes, I lost and removed myself from a mind that had been conditioned to think that beauty came in a particular package that excluded me from the norm. I lost a mind that had distanced me from my true self! Becoming bald gave me permission to embrace a new mind and nurture it with new messages. Embracing my baldness meant reclaiming and embracing my body for myself. It meant empowerment. It meant my facial features stood out, that my eyes looked darker and deeper, that the apples of my cheeks had a platform to say “hello” whenever they wanted. It meant an un-hiding, which was important given that hiding is linked to shamed. And shame was something I had to desperately move beyond for my own spiritual, emotional, and mental health. Needless to say, my self-acceptance and defiance to the norm allowed me to have a closer relationship not only to myself, but to my family and lovers as well.
I started losing my hair in 2007. After processing my hair twice in one night - “realizing” I rushed and didn’t leave the perming product in long enough, I proceeded to try just one more time before heading out with friends. About two weeks later I noticed a burning sensation all over my scalp and I had no actual explanation for it that I could think. A friend told me to visit the dermatologist, which I didn’t do because I didn’t think it was that serious. It was. That’s the first step anyone should take when they notice hair loss that is small and regrows or that is small but broadens. A lot of people would ask possibly very valid questions: why would she perm at all? Why twice? If she was already at risk of alopecia areata, how come she didn’t make more proactive decisions for the health of her hair? Blah, blah, blah. I would pose the question back: where does your internalized oppression lie? What aspect of yourself do you hinder or deny in order to fit a bit more neatly into this world? How much education do you have on all of the possibly unhealthy decisions you make? My education on scalp health (not hair health) didn’t come until going through the process of hair loss. I didn’t know this was important until it was immediately relevant. I went natural also in 2007 and learned how to cover up any bald spots in cute little natural styles. But still, the hiding was a headache. In December 2009, I grabbed some clippers and cut it all off in my bathroom.
The irony of it all is that my self-love is deeper and stronger than when I had hair hovering over mid-length or thrown up into an afro-puff. Could I love myself naked? Could I love myself with hair and without, especially knowing how that gender component intersects with racism? To be Black, dark-skinned, wide-nosed, and bald? Quite the anti-thesis to the current standard of beauty. Thankfully, a bestfriend/ lover was tremendous support system that aided me into my journey of self-appreciation, teaching me how to shave properly and which products were most useful. This detail is important as I learned my vulnerable places of trauma and shame could be renewed as loving, healing erogenous zones.
So yes, I shave my head every one to two days. It’s a part of my ritual now, along with wing tipped liquid eye liner, mascara, and lipstick. This journey has thrusted me into my personal calling to dismantle systems of oppressions that operate to threaten my sense of authentic wholeness. I’m a community educator, but the education and healing had to first start with me in order to help others.
Mavis Davis is a community educator who focuses on race/ethnicity & gender as they intersect with other identities and healing practices. More of her writings can be found on www.baldgyrlmemoirs.com
Why Are Your Bald? Solidarity! One of my best friends was diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma this summer, and is currently going through chemo. She was really nervous about losing her hair, so I decided to shave mine off with her so she wouldn't be alone!
How has being BALD made an impact on your life? I feel so free! I think sometimes people hide behind their hair, and when you don't have any, you don't have that security blanket. It's scary, but it really lets your personality and inner beauty shine through! Plus, I realized how much time I spent throughout the day fixing or messing with my hair, which now I can spend focusing on other things!
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! It takes real confidence to rock a bald head, no matter the reason, so just OWN IT! Hair is just an accessory, not the essence of your beauty! So be confident in who you are, with or without hair, because who you are inside is what people will see!