We decided together. I was a junior in college. We dared each other to shave our heads. To ensure that one of us would not chicken out, we took the electric razor down the middle of each of our scalps. A good insurance policy so that one of us would not walk out of the bathroom with no hair and the other a full head of hair left.
Guess what? I actually enjoyed having a shaved head. I got tons of comments and it was fun to have no hair for a few years, but mostly I liked it because I did not have to get my hair cut each month. I was paying my way through school and that was one less expense. My only expenditure was to purchase a Wahl clipper set so each month I could continue to keep my head shaved. So easy. I no longer had to find a ride into town to get my hair cut. I just walked into the bathroom, shaved, showered and was done for the month. I kept it for about 2 years until I was working professionally and felt I should try to grow it out. That was the least fun part about the whole experience. Growing your hair out from a shaved head as a woman is an awkward time. I consulted with a hair stylist quite often so she could trim and sculpt a bit to make it look normal and not the oddly and strange-looking fro that was mine during the grow out process.
What I learned during those few years of no hair is that we can hide behind our hair. Hair can be a part of what we think encapsulates our beauty. We either love or hate our hair. The grass is always greener on the other side, right? If you have curly hair you want straight, and vice versa. If you have thin hair you want thick hair. I never enjoyed my hair growing up. It has always been thick and a bit unwieldy. A bit of a horse mane. Without the right hair stylist it is a thick fro regardless of the length. When I had a shaved head I never worried about what I looked like, or if the humidity that day would make my hair look nothing like it did in the morning. I did not think about if I needed a haircut, or if so what style I wanted when I got to the salon. I did not think about whether I could pull off the style once I got home (often I was not so savvy to duplicate what the stylist had done to my hair).
It has been almost 15 years since I have had a shaved head, and there are definitely days when I miss it. I try not to hide behind my hair, or spend too much time on it. Today my hair is the longest it has ever been in my life, and I love it. However, that does not mean I have not been tempted to pull out the Wahl and start shaving.