Jenna, I know that you are not one of those women - choosing to lose your hair. But there actually are many, many women who do. And I thought that those people probably have very deliberate reasons for doing so.
So I posed the question on facebook: Why did you choose to shave your head and what did you get out of doing that?
Below are the responses received. Two women were even inspired to write an entire blog post to share their experience.
I hope that these stories offer a perspective of what can be found when you lose your hair.
I’ll start with my story. I was at a festival once and saw a man who was shaving heads with elaborate designs. Without even thinking too much about it, I plopped down in his chair and told him I wanted just the underneath shaved with a really cool design - whatever he felt inspired to create! In the moment, it was all about something that just looks cool. Like a new shirt. Wearing pretty earrings. But just as he was about to start, he told me to think about all the things I wanted to let go of...put it all in that hair...take a deep breath in...and then exhale to release it all. As I exhaled, he shaved the under part of my hair. I immediately felt release. I immediately felt AIR. It was like my head was breathing fresh air for the first time. Weight had been lifted. I couldn’t stop smiling and laughing. For months, I basked in the feeling of air on my skin there. I even got it reshaved 3 more times after that because I loved it so much. I would massage my head everyday. I loved feeling the chills of a breeze touching there. I truly did feel freedom. And that was just a fourth of my hair. It also was the first time I connected with Chris in a way where we both recognized each other in a soul connection way. Just sayin'.
Here are what others shared….
Azul Abeja i shaved my head about 15 years ago during a spiritual crisis. my hair was also always my favorite attribute ( i had a lion's mane) i went through phases of empowerment and grief~ i felt like a bad ass one day and naked the next... because i'm really flat chested i also got mistaken for a man quite a bit... also illuminating!!! women and our hair... ay! powerful stuff. envisioning your sister in full recovery and health.
Marj Bates I lost all my hair three times; What I learned from my experience is how much time I wasted worrying about my bad hair days. I mean this in all sincerity. I would cancel dates if I thought my hair was not right. I could fill pages with hair stories. It owned me. It was completely irrational. I am free now. Your sister Jenna is gorgeous with or without hair - inside and out. I am preaching to the choir bc you know this already. When Jenna is enjoying a full recovery it won't matter a bit what her hair is or isn't. You are a terrific sister!
Desirae Holliday I shaved my head in July 2014. It was incredibly liberating. I was so attached to my hair and the societal ties between hair and femininity. By shaving my head, I was forced to recreate what my femininity means to me— without society’s input. It is a practice in non attachment, which I learned later in my life, is a key aspect to letting go of fear. (Read: I dabbled in Buddhist readings which I integrate as best as I can)
Vanessa Bruns Mahoney I really wanted to shave my head after my divorce 10 years ago but didn’t have the strength or courage. There was a list of things I wanted to do, but I was broken. I did a lot of healing since then and started checking things off the list. Two years ago I shaved 15 inches off. It was probably the longest my hair had even been. It was empowering and spirit shaking. I had to really see myself and how I defined myself as a woman. I started wearing makeup (especially eyeliner) every day, and I began dressing more feminine. It really made me explore who I was as a woman and what made me a woman. I began following the moon cycle closely and reading about the energy of each full and new moons. I reconnected with the feminine energy. I didn’t fully love myself before shaving my head, but the process helped me reconnect with my spirit and begin the process to love myself unconditionally.
I hope that your sister can use this opportunity to learn more about her beauty and feminine energy. I know it’s not her choice and having breast cancer is an attack on the essence of being a woman, but how she meets the attack is in her power. I hope she finds much courage and strength through her battle.
Zephyr Twyla Watson I shaved my head when I turned 18 as a renewal and fresh start. I had hair long past my waist. Long hair defined me my whole life up until that point. It was a symbolic release.
Morgan Denette Faiella Hey cuz! My aunt felt the same way too when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and lost her hair. She LOVED her hair and just like Jenna, she had a beautiful head of hair. Someone told her she could cut her hair off and have a wig made out of it and so she did. She really liked knowing it was her actual hair on the wig and so maybe that is something that would bring comfort to Jenna! Love you both.
Dörte Stanek Shaving my head was one of the most empowering things I have done for myself and the woman I choose to grow into. I didnt recognize myself for about two weeks when looking into the mirror or reflections of windows. Its definitely not just hair. It felt like I had lost my sense of femininity over night. But I got approached by a lot of women inquiring about my hair. Shaving my head was a path of self love...deeply falling in love with myself regardless of societal constructions. Id do it again! Much love for your sister!!!
Hira Hosèn This is me about 13 years ago, I shaved my head from long hair all the way down my back, to cut with the root poisons of attachment, aversion and ignorance when I became a buddhist zen nun. All suffering comes from identification with the self as opposed to or separated from the other, from duality. I’m not shaving my head anymore like my husband does since 15 years, but I will always remember those days, the way my whole head felt so open, so free, so easy to connect to the universe as a whole. I wish you and your family much strength.
Mariah Rossel Based on your question, I wrote a blog
Kristin Luce I did, and I mostly loved it. Letting go of the image was a bit hard, but I loved when the wind blew and, well, nothing happened. I had nothing to maintain, nothing that blew into my face, and whatever image I had associated with it was no longer anything to deal with. This is what I was and there was no way to hide it, and there was freedom in that. I wish your sister well!
Also, feel free to reach out to any of these women to hear their story of choosing to shave their head.
I love what you said today in your facebook post as you are about to get your hari cut off: "I am changing the F word FEAR of this chop, to FREED.
Makes me wonder if this is why the bald eagle is a symbol of freedom.