If you follow this blog closely, you’ll know that I’ve been progressively letting go of my egoic attachment to hair. Earlier this year I did a big chop — with a pair of scissors, that resulted in 2/3 of my hair ending up on my bathroom floor.
Going short felt liberating. But something in me wanted to go all the way. It was not so much a question of if, as when. While visiting Thich Nhat Hanh’s Blue Cliff Monastery a few months ago, I spent some time with a few Buddhist nuns — women who deeply impressed me, not only with their wisdom and spiritual strength but also with their bald heads.
I’ve loved my shorter hair – so much so that I’ve documented the transformation with an endless stream of selfies that I periodically post on twitter. But all good things must come to an end.
As we’ve moved ever more deeply into the bowels of
global warming the hottest summer ever, my fro, even in its diminished form, has just felt like too much to bear. It’s been really fucking hot on the East Coast this week. We’re talking day after day of 95+ with intense humidity. Even with just 1/3 of my hair on my head, my curly fro was a heat magnet. Yes, it was low maintenance — shower ‘n go — but I had to deal with all that heat stuck up in my head . . . and I’d wake up looking like Don King. Not that there’s anything wrong with Don King, but it really just wasn’t the “good morning” I was looking for.
Anywho, last night it occurred to me: If I’m tired of my hair, why am I still wearing it? What is keeping me from the big shave? In a flurry of excitement, I decided that I would go to the barber first thing in the morning. I almost attempted to shave it myself but, with five inches of hair on my head, and no barber skills whatsoever, reason won over enthusiasm.
It didn’t really feel like a decision so much as it felt like a calling. I was simply compelled to do it. If I have to come up with reasons, we could say it was personal, weather related and spiritual. For sure, it is a way of sacrificing a little more vanity (though I still have wellsprings where that came from) and practicing even more non-attachment to my pre-conceived notions of what beauty and femininity are all about. But really, there was no one reason. It just finally felt right.
So, here it is. My new look – and my first time being bald since I was a fetus. I was born with hair so this is literally the only time post-womb that I have moved about on Earth with an unencumbered scalp. It’s like meeting myself for the first time. I love it — and I love me, for having the courage to experience this freedom.