April 9, 2015
Today marks one year that I decided to shave my entire head:
This wasn’t the first time I’d chopped my hair off (I’d been natural for two years prior), but this was definitely the most drastic thing I’d ever done. For this story’s sake, I’ll paint a picture.
Around this time last spring, I was a college senior getting ready to graduate. I was on my way to finishing up my undergraduate career when suddenly, I fell ill. I’d become victim to a month-long spell of vertigo that turned my world upside-down (literally). I could barely walk; the task itself required the assistance of a wall or another person. I felt like I was completely inebriated 24/7, incapable of carrying myself, minus the liquor.
So for a month, I didn’t attend classes (doctor’s orders). Blood test after blood test, MRIs, neurological consultations, and watching reruns of Saved by the Bell characterized my days. I was told that my kidney function was slightly off, and that I had become severely dehydrated. Ensure® and vitamin water® became my new best friends.
My parents were scheduled for a trip to New York. And being the concerned, loving pair that they are, decided that either they weren’t going or they were bringing me along with them. I chose the latter.
Though terribly weak, I felt much better while on the trip. I began eating more and the dizziness had subsided. Most of my family lives in New York, so it was nice to see them outside of weddings, funerals, or other larger-scaled family gatherings.
Great picture, huh? Now, you’re probably wondering how shaving my head fits into all this.
As a result of not being able to attend my classes (doctor’s orders), I failed three out of five of them. How fortunate was I to be enrolled in courses where each professor conveniently promised an “F” if you missed five or more of their classes. It didn’t matter that I provided documentation from a number of specialists stating that rest was more important than anything. Hell, they didn’t care that I couldn’t physically get to any of my classes.
But there was one considerate professor who allowed me to receive an “I” instead, and later virtually make up the four weeks I’d missed from his course. To him, I am forever grateful. I ended up with an “A,” by the way.
Upon arriving to the Big Apple, I had my mind set on shaving my head. One day, while out with my dad, I came across a barbershop (you can kind of guess what happened next). I wanted this to symbolize a new beginning, especially with the stresses that came with spring of 2014. The stresses that came from guys, finances, poor health, and of course, school. No longer would I graduate with the majority of my high school classmates. Instead, I would graduate on time, exactly four years after I’d started.
I dropped the locks because I wanted change, a chance to start over. Something great was on the horizon—I wanted to be ready for it. With each stroke of the razor against my head, I felt completely free! Sure, I received tons of stares, both commending and judgmental, but I never worried too much about what others thought. (Hey, if you ever want to train yourself to be more confident, shave your head! It’s a great way to force being comfortable in your most natural state.)
Shaving my head took a huge weight off my shoulders. I loved everything about the style, from the way it brought out my features to the upkeep. Four words: just brush and go. I experimented with color once my hair grew long enough that it mattered.
I have a full ‘fro of healthier hair now; I still can’t believe how much and how quickly it has grown! And yes, by now I have graduated. I’ve been (mostly) healthy since in all three areas: mind, body, and spirit.
Who knows, maybe I’ll give shaving another go in the future. I can never predict what I’ll do next.
I do miss that free scalp message I received every morning in the shower though. Guys have it good.
© Scappiamo, 2015