Shave Off My Hair Now
The fairytale Rapunzel, centered around the secret love between a young woman and her prince, Rapunzel was held captive in a tower with no doors by a powerful evil enchantress. Rapunzel, Rapunzel let down your hair called the prince, she did and the prince climbed up her hair and into the tower of his love, they made plans to runaway together. The powerful evil enchantress was lower than happy to find the young lady’s new found love and plans. She punished Rapunzel by cutting off all of her hair before banishing her to the desert, for those who forget how the story goes it was a good one, don’t be concerned it has a cheerful ending,
What if the story took a different turn What if the powerful and evil enchantress let her keep her hair, and kept her within the tower and killed her beloved price instead Well for one thing you wouldn’t get the happy ending we’ve all grown to love and we may have seen Rapunzel escape the best way she planned only to run screaming to her hairstylist demanding a shave off or perhaps she would have saved herself the trip, popped open some wine and taken the scissors to her hair herself.
Shave it off NOW!
I have shaved my head myself and on a few other occasions cut most of my hair off myself at different times in my life. A friend of mine had started to first cut the sides then a bit here and a bit there without any particular form or structure until it was a little bit of a large number. I’ve had clients do the identical and I have had to “fix” it, sometimes with a shorter more even hair cut and sometimes with extensions. I had a client with cancer that wanted me to shave her head. She said she wanted to be the one which decided to go bald; it was not the cancer’s decision. I shaved the beautiful blond locks that I had seen every eight weeks right off. Her eyes filled with tears along with my own, but we both smiled because it was her decision, she also decided in that moment to live and fight the cancer. She felt like a warrior together with her new hairless statement, and she lived.
I have had many mostly female clients admit to a hair chopping or two. A number of the more passive ones will are available and ask to have their long blonde hair cut to their chin and colored brown, My comment is mostly “So how is life treating you” Nine times out of ten it’s a break up, a death, the husband cheated, or on one occasion my client’s cat died and the subsequent thing I knew her hair was gone. Recently a famously troubled pop star did it too, off along with her hair! So why does this happen Is it serious Is it a form of independence and freedom or is it a clue to an impending nervous break down Perhaps it’s a technique to release a painful part of your life and begin new. I’ve found that it is usually women that do this when they are in a state of stress. Should this be checked out as a mental health issue in women To truly form an opinion I believe we must first look on the history of the act itself. Head shaving.
For centuries the cutting of hair and the act of shaving one’s head has been an act of punishment, creed and a visible distinction between the wealthy and the poor. The earliest example of head shaving was in ancient Egypt and Greece. If one had long beautiful hair it was a symbol of wealth and power, for those who were lower class, a worker or a slave chances are your head was shaved. Within the 1700’s hair was worn with many wigs, attachment, extensions and adornments, the bigger and more elaborate the hair the finer and wealthier gentleman or lady you should be.
If you happen to look carefully you will notice that head shaving is part of the Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Jain and Hindu traditions. Buddhist and Christian monks generally undergo some type of head shaving during their ordination. When a prince that became the Buddha left the castle to hunt a way beyond aging sickness and eventual death considered one of the first things he did was shave his head and beard off that is why Buddhist monks completely shave their heads and beards, to indicate their commitment for their beliefs. In some religions you shave your head when your father or loved one dies. The concept behind shaving one’s head is an emblem of renunciation, hair is a logo of attachment and to shed it’s to shed your life of worldly attachment. So on one hand it can be a noble thing to have it shorn off on your religious values, for ordination and ritual, in the dark ages it was not uncommon for a wife to chop off her braid and give it to her husband that was forging in to battle for good luck and to guard him on his journey. In the 1800’s people wore lockets that encased locks of their loved ones hair. We still even today keep locks of hair as keep sake; our child’s first hair clipping is usually saved and kept as a memento. However it can be a logo of punishment, disgrace, humiliation and degradation.
Prisoners, the insane and the ww2 concentration camps all practiced head shaving as a part of punishment and for hygienic reasons this act prevented the spread of lice. As of the 2006, several countries such because the United States, Russia and Libya still shaved the heads of prison inmates as a punishment as well as the boot camps for juvenile delinquents. The practice of shaving heads has been used within the military, mostly for brand new recruits. And any hair they’re allowed needs to be military standard which is just about 4cm of hair on the highest.
Many women over the centuries have had this kind of punishment bestowed upon them for a lot of reasons, it was common for men to shave a women’s head for the act of adultery, prosutution even disobedience. A textile mill in England in 1849 used to house male and female workers most of them were young children and teens. They were forced to work 10-14 hours per day and those that had a house outside the mill would have to walk and hour there and back, they needed to earn enough for food as families were large in that day and if you were able you worked. There was physical abuse used within the mills (flogging, the strap, and other beatings) for being late, not working fast enough and talking back, however the worst and most feared punishments of all was if you disobeyed, tried to flee or lied you bought your head shaved. The girls were proud of their hair and hoped it that it might help them to get a husband and out of the horrible conditions of the mill in the future.
During ww2 in France from 1943 -1946 about 20,000 women of all ages and professions were accused of sexual, economical and over all collaborating with the occupying Germans. Most often it was the men who carried out the punishment of shaving the accused head sometimes in the town square among a cheering crowd to humiliate, degrade and make an example of their betrayal and sometimes it was a matter that was carried out within the house at the hands of the accused woman’s father or husband. The act of shaving their heads was in it self was a punishment but also a reminder of the offence to the accused because it grew out and to the public that would throw things at these women because the passed by wearing a scarf in the event that they were allowed, to cover the shame.
In the late 70’s early 80’s shaved heads and British inspired punk rock became a no hold barred approach to rebel against parents, authority and everything that you thought was oppressing you, people shaved their heads to declare their independence over their own identities and abandoned ideas and actions that were expected. The skinhead was born. And what in regards to the athletes like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley that made the bald head the in thing and tons of young men throughout were imitating the cool new athletic look, However when a women goes a shave her head people look but has the look really been copied What about Sigourney Weaver in hair to hair extensions Aliens, Demi Moore in GI. Jane, or Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta, I do recall when Sinead O’Connor was popular seeing some people pulling off the look but it surely did not cause our scissors to wish constant sharpening like the “Rachael” did in the 90’s.
How we help others by “chopping”our hair
Donating our natural, 10-12 inches worth of hair to organizations that assist in making wigs for children with cancer is a method to help. I have had clients do this, one particularly unselfish young lady all of 10 years old wanted to donate her hair to the Locks of Love Foundation. She cut her waist length hair to her chin to help another child feel a bit better while fighting for his or her life. I was truly inspired by her generosity. In August of 2006 thousands of prisoners had been shaving their heads and chests to donate hair to help mop up the Philippines’ worst oil spill. The gathering was in response to a nationwide drive. Tons of hair and feathers were used to absorb more than 200,000 liters of industrial fuel that leaked from a tanker when it sank off the central island of Guimara 15,000 inmates at a maximum security prison in southern Manila, including 1,000 on death row, began donating hair. Combine the hair with the oil and your going to get the biggest clog in history and also you thought it was gross when you had to unclog your shower drain. About 500 hair salons in Manila have joined the “Stop the Oil Spill” drive by collecting hair clippings from their shops.
So depending on when and why you shaved your head or if you probably did it at all or you might be just interested by doing it, There are some common traits that seem to appear regardless of the particular reason, 1) control, whether eager to be in control or emotionally out of control, 2) usually some form of life marker, event, call to action or sometimes even a traumatic life experience. What ever the reason it’s an experience that one ever forgets.
©Roxanne Muir of Karma Kollective Hair Studio. All rights reserved.
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