EDIT: I've made a choice. Going to go pixie and then buzz it afterward. Thanks all for the support and the good decision making advice!
When I had crazy long hair, I always dreamed of just shaving it right off. Now I have this awesome asymmetry thing going on - which I love and adore. (Actually, I'm getting a little attached to it - can I just keep it like this forever?!)
At some point, I will almost definitely even out the length and let it grow again. A straight pixie cut has been in my future for some time, and it will almost definitely still be there at some point.
But... should I go dramatic? Should I buzz it all off? It can be such a dramatic statement, and it works well for a lot of fine art nude models. It's so tempting, and so ....
Nov 20 12 01:19 am Link
Brighton, England, United Kingdom
(Unless of course you're a pro model and you think being bald might impact your earning potential).
Nov 20 12 02:00 am Link
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
I shaved my head in May this year to raise money for cancer research. Before that, my hair was down to the middle of my back, and a lovely purpley colour... :-)
I absolutely LOVED having a shaved head. I wasn't bald to the skin, but it was the shortest setting on the clippers, so 1mm or 1/8 of an inch...so almost there. I'm not overly "alternative" in my day to day life, so I was unsure how others would react - not that it should matter - but the response was a resoundingly positive one!
I thought it brought the attention away from my hair and back to my face, makeup, jewellery etc, I felt more "pretty" and feminine, and photographically it opened some previously unconsidered doors. In my opinion, it made me a more visually interesting person. (I honestly thought that it made me a more interesting person overall - random people were just chatting to me for no reason, maybe people weren't noticing me with long hair?)
On a side note, my significant other hated it, and that affected intimacy. Maybe TMI, but something to consider if you're in a relationship. It's starting to grow back now, he loves it, I HATE it, and I'm trying to decide what to do with it - whilst I loved it shaved, I really loved my long hair too. It's a bit over an inch long now, in that horrible in-between stage.
Overall though, I think everyone should shave their head at least once in their lifetime, it's liberating, feels fantastic, you may be able to help out a good cause, and you get to see a new side of you. I have no regrets about doing it at all!
Nov 20 12 02:58 am Link
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
I loved having a shaved head, it felt great. But I was shaving my head after having dreads... it brought a whole new meaning to the word "pleasure" to scratch my scalp.
Nov 20 12 04:26 am Link
Atlanta, Georgia, US
do it! if you don't like it you can always buy a wig and wait for it to grow back.
personally i'm excited for the day I shave my head. I think it'll be for my 30th birthday cuz I definitely want a full decade of dreadlocks
Nov 20 12 08:11 am Link
Modena, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
intense puppy wrote:
Actually, it's the fact that I'm NOT a pro model and I do have a day job that holds me even from thinking about shaving my head.
Nov 20 12 08:21 am Link
Clearwater, Florida, US
I have been shaving my head for years - LOVE it!
What I don't love is the assumption many jump to when they comment in the supermarket checkout line... "oh you poor dear, what kind of cancer do you have?"
It is nice on the Metro though, someone always gives me a seat
As an aside, I am a cancer survivor, x3 - uterine, cervical and ovarian - and I never lost my hair during the radiation or chemo treatments for any of those
Nov 20 12 02:27 pm Link
Seattle, Washington, US
My wife lost all of her hair during her first chemo. As it started falling out in clumps she wanted her head shaved instead.
It was a little strange at first, being a guy with more hair than my wife but I got used to it. She never wore a wig but would wear a scarf for dress occasions but went "natural" the rest of the time.
I lost her about six years ago, really miss that shaved head.
Nov 20 12 02:36 pm Link
Raleigh, North Carolina, US
I think the way your hair is now is sexy!
Nov 20 12 02:40 pm Link
Go for it!
I used to have super-long hair (18+), but for a few reasons decided to shave it off. It definitely changed my personality- I couldn't hide behind my hair, I became more relaxed.
Any change to your appearance will change what type of work you can and can not do; but for me, it was a good change.
Nov 20 12 02:44 pm Link
David Reams Photography wrote:
I'm so sorry for your loss.
Nov 20 12 02:45 pm Link
Dang! Ya'll make me really wanna do it. Bobbie, that's actually part of what I'm afraid of. My lover is totally against it. He just doesn't think it will look good. I might have to try on a bald cap, talk to some professional, make up type people. I really want to do it! I'm just a little nervous about if I don't like it. I know that I can work with wigs, but I am a pro model, doing this full time, and wigs just don't always make the cut...
Plus I'm so attached to my hair right now! Well. I suppose I can always keep it as a future plan. I definitely think I'll have to do it at least once.
Nov 20 12 02:48 pm Link
Muncie, Indiana, US
I would go for the pixie cut first. I have a terrible bumpy head and bald would be a major mistake for me. You can always go bald AFTER the pixie cut.
Nov 20 12 06:02 pm Link
Portland, Oregon, US
If you are going to do it, now is a good time. You will have enough for the awesome pixie cut by the springs shooting season!
Nov 22 12 01:41 pm Link
Minneapolis, Minnesota, US
I'd second this.
Nov 22 12 01:54 pm Link
Columbus, Ohio, US
You will likely gain work because of it, but your gain would be likely less than you would lose because of it.
So if income is a factor......pause for some thought.
Nov 22 12 02:31 pm Link
Port Townsend, Washington, US
check out my port, then decide.
Nov 22 12 02:35 pm Link
Cambridge, England, United Kingdom
I shaved my lovely wife Jess' head Christmas two years ago:
She went from from this:
We have a lot of fun with her "head"..=*^)
I shave a design in the back - right now she has a heart. When Apple introduces a new product we do an Apple logo. Keep changing it every 6 weeks or so. But she always keeps the mohawk.
Pretty much all of Cambridge knows who she is by now. People often stop her asking to see the latest design..=*^)
The only thing is you gotta shave her every two days or so or she turns into a pretty rough sandpaper - and with an intricate design it takes time - and curves are tough to do well..
Nov 22 12 02:40 pm Link
San Francisco, California, US
I cast my vote for NO!
Your current hair style is unique and absolutely beautiful! While I am sure you would look amazing bald, I think the novelty would wear off rather quickly. Your hair, like your fantastic figure, has always been one of your trademarks and I personally would hate to see that part of your awesomeness removed!
Nov 22 12 02:51 pm Link
Costa Mesa, California, US
Nov 22 12 03:01 pm Link
Tampa, Florida, US
OK, so the therapist side of me would ask what you have going on in your life that you feel is out of your control?
Usually such a drastic change is done when there are other things going on in our personal lives. Often it's a relationship and a way to act out or rebel against a partner, job, parents...subconsciously. It's usually a reaction to some event (or series of events) and/or a way of getting back that control and making a statement that your life is your life...not others.
Only you know that answer and maybe it's completely off base.
The non-therapist side of me says "no" for different reasons. Personally, I think you looked amazing with long hair. I like your hair the way it is now but it seems like it was a "gateway" for you...not long/not fully committing to short or shaved.
I also think you would look great with a pixie cut. Shaved would indeed limit your marketability, no?
Edit: Here's how the informal poll goes. Males say NO! Females say DO IT because it's a rebellious, liberating action. lol
Nov 22 12 03:02 pm Link
No real therapeutic reasons for wanting to cut it right now, actually. When I cut my hair initially, it definitely had a huge psychological impact. I had wanted to cut it for a long time. I toyed with the idea, back and forth, but there was never an opportunity. Then, BAM, afro of doom. I was tired of my hair being so dominant in my llamaing. It also got so much abuse from hairstylists and hair flips, and whatever else. When I cut it, my personality came out. Posing became more about me and less about my hair. It was amazing. I gained a lot of confidence, my llamaing became vastly stronger, and I've been absolutely delighted.
Hence, part of the reason I'm inclined to shave it.
Oh, and it so was not a gateway. It actually turned out that way because of the practicalities of how I cut it. (It was the only part of the afro that I actually brushed out.) Then it turned into something so dramatic, different, edgy, and unique that I just fell in love. It was also something that was purely my own creation. No one told me to do it. I just did it. 100% NYMPH
About income: Yes, that's a huge factor. Wigs do work. And I am primarily a fine art nude llama. Most llamas with shaved heads are either fine art or alternative. I think it could provide some wonderful opportunities. There are quite a few wonderful llamas, like Anomaly, who thrive without hair.
One of the great things about it, is that it will grow out quickly. My hair grows pretty fast, so I could easily have an inch of hair within a month. It could be a pixie cut very quickly.
As of right now, I think I'm going to keep it the way it is. At least until after my big NYC trip. Even a pixie cut would be a big change, and I don't think I want to go through the hassle of contacting all my clients, forwarning potential employers, etc.
After that, I might do a pixie cut first. It seems like a logical step. The thrill of a dramatic shave is already kind of diluted, since I already chopped off so much of my luxurious locks. So, since I already had that tremendous, freeing experience, I can take my next few steps more slowly.
NYK: Your port is increeeedible! It's exactly because of strong women like V that I want to try it.
It's definitely not about being rebellious. I think women without hair are gorgeous, ethereal creatures, and it's such a powerful statement, that I would like to try my hand at it.
EDIT: Wow! Sorry for all the wordiness. That was a lot of me thinking out my own decision process via typing. Teehe.
Nov 22 12 03:19 pm Link
Boston, Massachusetts, US
You will mostly only get negative responses from men, because men are often threatened by women with short (or no) hair.
Having long hair is sometimes associated with being more delicate, or submissive.
I went from having waist-length hair that I dyed red in summer of 2011, to getting a pixie cut in September 2011, to having a short fauxhawk in December of last year. Some of the comments people made, regarding my hair (specifically men), were very rude - especially during the ultra short stage.
Nov 22 12 05:40 pm Link
Colorado Springs, Colorado, US
It's just hair... but I sure do miss mine!
Nov 23 12 09:11 am Link
Nashville, Tennessee, US
David Reams Photography wrote:
Your reply here is so very touching. Thank you for posting. I love how you wrote your last line...stopped me in my clicking through the replies mode.
Nov 23 12 09:29 am Link
Glendora, California, US
You're young. Your hair will grow back. You're very attractive.
DO IT. Shave it off. You'll love it for a time, maybe so much you'll keep it bald for six months or more.
In art nudes, hair has a way of ruining composition if not treated properly, or put up in a bun behind the head. It's often missed, because the photographer doesn't have an art director there to tell them to move the hair to the side, or what not. Shave it off, problem solved.
It's also a stark contrast to the norm. You've got a face that will pull it off brilliantly.
Not sure why people are mentioning psychological health. It's just hair.
Please post results. I can't wait to see.
Nov 23 12 10:03 am Link
Olivet, Michigan, US
Personally, I'd see it as a negative in a model. One that might be able to be overcome, depending on other factors, but definitely a negative. It just limits options.
Nov 23 12 10:09 am Link
I'll add more:
Last year I think I notified people 9 months in advance that I was going to cut my hair off and shave it, and OH BOY it was interesting. A lot of people were supportive, but so many came out of the woodwork to say "You're making a horrible decision, you will ruin your career", I was convinced I would have to retire as an art model.
On the contrary, I booked a lot more life modeling gigs, since my hair was no longer an obstruction. I could model for cranial studies. Students were more likely to focus on overall lines of the figure and not draw chicken scratch for the body and very intricate hair.
I find I am a much better model for it. I can't "hide" behind my hair, my face is always visible from straight-on, and I just... am different. I can't explain it.
The type of work I have now vs. before is different, but I'm still a working model. I'm one of a handful of bald models in the area on MM, so I get contacted specifically for that trait often; I guess I could be defined as more of a specialty model.
The worst that can happen is that you discover your head isn't suited to being bald, and you grow it out for a few months. I think you could pull it off, but then again I have no idea what your head looks like underneath.
No matter what people say, do whatever you want with your hair and your body- whether you decide to shave it, cut it, grow it out, or dye it flaming red. As long as you're comfortable with the fact that any change in appearance will change the type and possibly amount of work you get, that can be a positive change or negative change.
If I ever decide to grow my hair out again, as I get older, if I put on/lose weight, the amount and type of work I am appropriate for will change. This is true of any model. I don't see that as such a bad thing, just a reality.
Nov 23 12 10:29 am Link
Valdese, North Carolina, US
There's no better feeling in the world.
Nov 24 12 02:34 pm Link
Olivet, Michigan, US
Interesting. It would never occur to me to find the absence of hair threatening. Given how little I have, I guess that should make me pretty .
Nov 24 12 02:58 pm Link
Austin, Texas, US
Hair grows back. And there are wigs. Do it. Or don't. It's your choice.
Nov 24 12 02:59 pm Link
Atlanta, Georgia, US
Nov 24 12 03:22 pm Link
Carlos Occidental wrote:
Thank you so so much. This is actually slightly more of a concern for me. Hence, why I am in favor of going for a short pixie and then bald, just so I can get a better idea of my head shape, any strange lumps, etc.
Nov 24 12 06:53 pm Link
Martinez, California, US
can it happen in my living room with a MUA and a bunch of studio lights around you?
Nov 24 12 08:07 pm Link
New York, New York, US
dont think you have the face or head shape for a shaved look.
Nov 24 12 11:46 pm Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
CJ Standish wrote:
Um, the most requests to shoot I got were when I was bald.
Nov 28 12 05:07 am Link
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Art of the nude wrote:
Why are you taking this so personally? If it doesn't concern you, let it go.
Nov 28 12 05:09 am Link
Jamaica, New York, US
I shaved the back of my head a few months before I started llamaing. I had extremely long hair. I'll jump on the it's liberating and you will get nasty comments especially from men banwagon. The most common thing I heard was " Is this your way of saying you're a dyke?"
Nov 29 12 10:13 pm Link
I've dealt with my fair share of snide comments already in my life. I've been walking to the beat of my own drummer for quite some time, and I've developed a pretty thick skin. Part of that was all the ballet training. I also live in one of the more accepting and open minded areas of the country. I also have zero interest in the average straight America male and their opinions. I care much more about photographers, females, artists, and people of a generally open minded ilk. All things considered, I think I can handle the comments and hate.
There are quite a few strong, beautiful, bald women (in this thread and throughout the site) who thrive in their careers. Yeah, playboy might pass on me, and I might not be doing any mansion glamour group shoots for a few months, but that's not really my forte anymore. When I look at the portfolios of these bald beauties, and I look at my own work, I can see a direction that I would like to explore, develop, and excel.
While I appreciate the concerns voiced by the photographers in this thread, I don't think a shaved head will be detrimental to my career or self image. Granted, I will still probably opt for a pixie cut first.
Nov 29 12 10:24 pm Link
Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom
Firstly if you can get someone to photoshop an image of you to see what you would look like bald, if you like it then you can go from there..
Nov 29 12 11:01 pm Link