Four months ago I shaved all of my hair off. Well, technically I went to my uncle who’s a barber to get it done. I had been mulling over the idea about whether or not I would do it for some time. However, it wasn’t until something very mortifying happened to me that I seriously decided that I needed to shave it all off and ditch the wigs that I had come to rely so heavily on. Although I had shaved my head once before, I had immediately turned to wigs. But now, I was finally ready to embrace life as a bald woman. All right. I’m about to share a super embarrassing story with you, internets, but in the spirit of transparency, here goes!
It’s almost two years ago now, but it was right around the time that I graduated with my MBA. One of my classmates had put together a nice day out on the water to celebrate her birthday/ completing our two-year program. It was a perfectly beautiful day and there was laughter and drinks and birds chirping through the air… Ok you get the idea. We were all having a good time … too good a time. After some coaxing, I decided that I would listen to a few of my friends who suggested hopping off of the catamaran that we were on and into the water.
With some liquid courage in my system, this seemed like a great idea. And just as I was getting myself in order to hop into the water, my friend Kendra (the ever-present voice of reason — hey frand!) said, “Don’t do it! This is a bad idea.” You see, I was wearing a wig. Yup. You read that right. A wig. And I was about to hop off a catamaran. Into the water. That was several feet below. As I type this, I’m like GIRLLL what were you thinking?! But at the time, I brushed Kendra off and was like “I got this!”.
Narrator Voice: She did not “got” this.
As you’ve probably already guessed, I jumped into the water. It was exhilarating! Until I landed with a SPLASH and I went one way and my wig went the other. Now, it’s always mortifying to lose a wig in public. There’s literally no way around it. You can brush it off and keep on moving but, inside, a small part of you dies. What made it worse (if you can imagine it being worse) is the fact that I have alopecia. My wig fell off and my head was exposed. When I say exposed, think friar. And I’m only slightly exaggerating. The way my alopecia is set up (lol) the center of my head had a lot of hair missing.
I quickly recovered (after contemplating just letting myself sink to the bottom of the ocean) and after shouting “Ben, grab my wig!” (I’m literally indebted to him for life) I retrieved my hurr . I adjusted it back on to my head as best as I could while sitting on a random flotation device with about a dozen other twenty-somethings. I had lost my wig cap, one of my contact lenses, and MY DIGNITY! I can joke about it now, but when I tell you I felt like my life was over ….
The second after I had decided that I would not let myself sink to the bottom of the ocean (can you imagine going out like that?!), I knew that I couldn’t continue wearing wigs every day of my life. It was one thing to wear a wig because it went with an outfit or because I was having a bad hair day. But I had come to rely on wearing one so heavily that I didn’t realize how self-conscious I really was underneath it. And just as I contemplated this on the too-crowded floatie, I felt myself getting more and more anxious. I couldn’t believe that that had happened! Would I look weird rocking a bald head everyday? Do I have to keep my eyebrows on fleek all the time now?! And then — like an act of God — another party-goer did something right when I was going to slip into major panic mode that helped take all the attention off of me. Trust me, it was equally as embarrassing, but that’s not my story to tell!
There you have it. The catalyst for why I shaved off all of my hair and starting this bald woman journey. It would be over a year before I finally worked up the courage to go to my uncle’s barber shop and tell him to take it all off. Every strand. As each clump of hair landed on the floor, it was like the false exterior that I had set up chip-chip-chipped away. The crazy thing is if that terribly humiliating moment hadn’t happened, I would’ve never fully realized how much of a crutch my wigs were.
So this is me. Bald and beautiful if I do say so myself. But don’t get it twisted — I still love a good wig.