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Shadow Walker
January 25th, 2010, 12:00 AM
I've been having this thought more and more recently, I've even had several dreams of shaving my head again. Part of me wants to because I'm unhappy with myself and want a change, I've felt this way for awhile so I know it's not a spur of the moment impulse. On the one hand, it would be nice to not have to care for long hair (even though in reality it's not too much work, though the worst is spending an hour and a half carefully de-tangling it after a gig). Plus I kind of liked the way I looked with short hair, though I'm undecided if I look better with it long or short. I don't know, I also feel like I was more accepted by people in general with short hair, since long hair on guys is rare around here. It's not always easy being different.

But on the other hand, I'd probably miss it a lot. It's taken me awhile to get to where I'm at, and I feel like it might be a waste if I get rid of it. I don't know, this is still something I'm going to think long and hard over. I'm interested in knowing what those here do when they get it in their minds to chop their hair off. I'm not looking for an ego boost or anything, perhaps just some advice.

jojo
January 25th, 2010, 12:08 AM
What???? come here (((((((hugs)))))))) your hair is so beautiful id hate you to make a decision and regret it, plus cutting your hair will not change any feelings you have about how your life is going. It seems you feel a little out of control with your life at the moment, honey trust me cutting your hair will not make things better, change another area of your life to do this.

Plus if people dont accept you for your beautiful (and i sincerely mean that) hair, hell thats there problem, your still the same lovely person regardless of your length of hair, its just predudice and ignorance, you go let your hair down and be proud of who you are. Long hair shows commitment.

Trust me I have many times cut on a whim or when my life seems ****, but i aways have regretted it, id advise you to stay with your long hair and look at other ways to feel at peace with yourself, exercize, meditation, write a new song but dont cut those lovely locks off! xxx

Natalia
January 25th, 2010, 12:12 AM
Ironically in the last two years where ive made the most progress ive thought about chopping often so your not alone. I just know that since im a slow grower and i havent had hair shorter than BSL since i was like 6 id regret it an hour after i did it. So.... i bought a wig :D. Really satisfied me and i now ive got a cut an color change on command. Only problem is now i want more! I want to be a curly red head and have short purple hair (think kind of mariska season 1 SVU minus the color :p). Occasionally i want to be a APL platinum blonde and of only wigs werent so much! Alright 20 dollors isnt that much but it is when you dont have a job :p

I dont even have a wig cap though i plan to get one this week i can still get my past waist length hair under a bob with some wrapping and pins, im sure you could get something to work out. I agree that its not easy being differnt so sometimes a little temprary conformity lifts your spirits :). Hope you find a solution!

Avalin
January 25th, 2010, 12:15 AM
I say go for it. You are a brave man for even thinking such a thing. I bet you will get a lot of responses from friends and family (good and bad, of course) but--- if you are doing it just for the reaction... I don't know if it will make you happy.

Maybe there is something else you want to change in your life that will hit the spot. I know is sounds weird but I strongly believe in de-cluttering your house and your workspace (if you have one) and your life of things that hold you back or people that aren't supportive of your desires. Start by going through one drawer. Sell or give away the things you don't need. Ask yourself why you need it or if it is really important to you. Stuff can be stressful. It owns you. You use energy and money to take care of it. You feel guilty for spending money on it but later neglecting it. Freeing yourself from having too many objects is as incredible feeling. Getting rid of the junk in your life allows you to focus on what is important, like experiences and relationships.

Also, if you cut your hair you might attract some different women that you didn't before... I don't know if that is what you are after, but hey...

Someday I want to shave my head too... just to... to be spontaneous. My sister wants to do it with me but I think we will wait a few years. I would do it for no good reason. If this is you, and if cutting your hair is not trying to fill some void then just do it!

And if you go for it... post pictures and of course donate the beautiful hair.

Gothic Lolita
January 25th, 2010, 12:23 AM
I say go for it. You are a brave man for even thinking such a thing. I bet you will get a lot of responses from friends and family (good and bad, of course) but--- if you are doing it just for the reaction... I don't know if it will make you happy.

Maybe there is something else you want to change in your life that will hit the spot. I know is sounds weird but I strongly believe in de-cluttering your house and your workspace (if you have one) and your life of things that hold you back or people that aren't supportive of your desires. Start by going through one drawer. Sell or give away the things you don't need. Ask yourself why you need it or if it is really important to you. Stuff can be stressful. It owns you. You use energy and money to take care of it. You feel guilty for spending money on it but later neglecting it. Freeing yourself from having too many objects is as incredible feeling. Getting rid of the junk in your life allows you to focus on what is important, like experiences and relationships.


This.

I sometimes feel really bad about myself and my life, don't want to do anything, barely get out of the house and only when I reall need to.
Then I know that my stuff has owned me again and that I need to spend a day with all my stuff and especially throwing away things I neither look at, need or that a special to me. I ususally feel extremly good after this.

If your wish to cut/ shave your hair comes from you heart and you feel at peace with it, then go for it. But don't do it just so, beacsue you felt you need a change in your life. Life changes don't come with cutting hair (though psychologists agree that long hair can be a sign that you "cling" on to something".

yellowchariot
January 25th, 2010, 12:24 AM
Hey Shadow Walker,

Do what you want to do. Make sure you feel right about it. I've had "long" hair by guy's standards 3 times. This time is my 3rd one. In all honesty, I did miss the length, and my hair was cut to 1 inch. I also missed the females pulling on it, and giving me head massages (those things are rare and priceless :D )

But as the saying goes, in a round about way". . . you don't know what you've got until it is gone. . ."

I wouldn't worry about people, if that is an issue. People will always pick about something regardless if you have hair or not. Usually they are the ones that are dissatisfied about something!

Make sure that it's what YOU want, and there is no outside pressure or force causing this decision.

Nevertheless, if you do decided to cut. I wouldn't cut it all off at one time. Gradually have the length cut off that way your still in your own zone. My hair was about BSL in February of 2009, then I got layers put in it. It was cool for 2 weeks, but that was it! I am JUST NOW starting to get back to where I was almost a year ago!

I hope this helps man! Take it easy!

xoxophelia
January 25th, 2010, 12:26 AM
I don't think you should do it but I am biased. I have a sliiiiiight long hair "fetish" on guys. Haha..

<<

Anyways, your hair is of particular quality and it is really really healthy looking (also good for head banging). That being said, if you really want to shave it go for it. But sometimes feeling like you need a change isn't solved through hair change. After a traumatic relationship I cut my waist length hair up to my shoulders. It was nice for a while, but it takes years to get back and didn't fix anything obviously. I guess just consider if that is really the change you need and then go for it once you decide it is.

Shadow Walker
January 25th, 2010, 12:31 AM
Well, I don't feel that I'd be doing it for attention or anything, but to help reinvent myself. I've been wanting to get more tattoos, buff up over the winter (which hasn't happened, I've lost the motivation to keep working out), and now I've been tossing around this idea of shaving my head. I don't know, I've just been really unhappy with myself and where I'm at in life. I'm sure everyone has moments when they look in the mirror and they're just not happy with what they see anymore. I can't explain it, there isn't an actual instance I can point to that would prompt me to feel like doing this, it's just a feeling.

Kris Dove
January 25th, 2010, 12:38 AM
I've heard a few people here mention the "two week rule"- make an appointment for two weks time to get it cut, and you have that time to change your mind. If you still want to cut, go for it and attend the appointment, and if you have doubts then cancel.

Your hair is lovely, and I think most people suit longer hair better, but you're not here to decorate my world! I've always regretted cutting my hair short and much prefer it long, despite the fact it gets compliments when it's short, but that's just me.

If taking ages brushing after a gig is a nuisance, perhaps braiding it would save time?

GuinevereMay
January 25th, 2010, 01:31 AM
I've heard a few people here mention the "two week rule"- make an appointment for two weks time to get it cut, and you have that time to change your mind. If you still want to cut, go for it and attend the appointment, and if you have doubts then cancel.

Your hair is lovely, and I think most people suit longer hair better, but you're not here to decorate my world! I've always regretted cutting my hair short and much prefer it long, despite the fact it gets compliments when it's short, but that's just me.

If taking ages brushing after a gig is a nuisance, perhaps braiding it would save time?

I do that. I get impulses and urges to cut it all off and be done with it. I give myself two weeks to think about it. If I still feel strongly (and I never have,) I'll cut it. I do that with impulse buys, too.

I do love your hair, though. It kind of reminds me of Pete Steele (which is good in my book.)

Qadupae
January 25th, 2010, 01:47 AM
This might be kind of a random suggestion, but do you wear your hair loose when you do gigs? Maybe oiling it and putting it into some radical braiding system and tying stuff into the braids would still keep it interesting for gigs and yet not get all tangled too. I do think your hair is fabulous, but at the same time I understand that desire for change. Also, if you think the long hair might interfere with your trying to get buff, then that also might be a deciding factor.

CrisDee
January 25th, 2010, 03:00 AM
This is so interesting to hear this from a guy - I thought it was only women who had the tendency to chop off all their hair when they're unhappy with themselves or their lives! Don't know your personal situation, but as someone who's recently chopped off BSL hair I'd had for 20 years only because I'm unhappy with myself and my life, I say don't do it. Your life situation won't change, and you won't have your hair, so you'll feel even worse about yourself for hacking off what took you so long to obtain. Just personal experience talking, this may not apply to you :)

Chrissy
January 25th, 2010, 03:48 AM
OK here's my gut reaction when I first read your post.......NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

Sorry but yes that was it. First and foremost it is your hair so you can do with it as you like. It personally would make me very sad because.....you fought so long against other people's crap to keep it long. I think (if I'm not mistaken) that you really wanted it long but many times you were just sick of the people at works crap. Am I remembering right?

I like the idea someone had for gigs braid it or do something to keep it from getting into a tangled mess. I'm really wondering if you are wanting to do all these changes because people are getting to you. Please tell me if I'm wrong.

I am just someone on line who visits your posts occasionally. But I have to say you have the most gorgeous hair. It is amazing. I will also say that if you are unhappy with it it is your choice what to do about that.

Please note I am not analyzing you but it sounds to me like you have a self esteem problem. If I'm totally off base please forgive me. I just think that you should not let what other people say get to you so much. Is this it or is there some other reason you want to do a radical change?

I know as long as you've been on here you appear to be a very nice guy. Nice guys are awesome!! I'm rambling now. I do hope you really think about the reasons you are thinking about this. Is it really because you don't want to deal with your hair or is it because other people (whoever they are) are giving you grief.

I hope you can come to embrace who you really are and not let anyone else dictate your life.
I don't know what else to say. You have worked so hard to get to where you are with your hair. It seemed to me you loved your hair and was very happy with all your growth milestones.

Whatever you decide I hope you do it for YOU and not anyone else. I wish you the best.

FrannyG
January 25th, 2010, 03:48 AM
Please give this not the two, but the four week rule, Shadow Walker. :pray:

First of all, you can certainly reinvent yourself with the tattoos and buffing up, while keeping the long hair. If the hair is a concern for working out, there are plenty of ways to get your hair out of the way that take less than 60 seconds.

So many musicians are sporting punk cuts with their tattoos, (Travis Barker springs to mind). Other musicians go with a kind of emo cut, while still others shave their head (I'll never get why Billy Corgan did it, though :ponder:). However, you have your own identity. You can make your own personal look.

I can understand that having long hair makes you "different" from most of the people around you. Is that such a bad thing? Maybe yes, maybe no. Only you can really answer that, but please do look at all sides of it.

What "image" do you think that the long hair projects? With your looks, it's certainly masculine and I know that it looks great in action (I recall your action shots :)). You could also experiment with easy-to-do ponytails or knots. (I'm sure some of the guys would have suggestions).

What image you think you'll be projecting if you shave your head? Will it really be all that different? After all you are you, as unique as a fingerprint.

I think that the buff, tattooed, long hair thing could really work, and be just a bit different from a lot of musicians out there. :agree:

You've said yourself that your hair isn't really all that much work, so I'm thinking that really isn't the issue. Most of us women have also felt the need for a huge change, and in your years here at LHC, you've heard many of us come crying here, regretting it. Cutting our hair simply doesn't make everything different. That's why I suggest the FOUR WEEK RULE for you. :thumbsup:

There simply aren't a lot of men around who have hair that looks as amazing as yours. Yes, it makes you different, but is that a bad thing, really? Clearly you have a lot to think about.

Having said that, I want you to be happy with your hair and yourself, so I'll be here supporting whatever you decide, trying to keep my chin up. :wail:

Wicked Princess
January 25th, 2010, 04:20 AM
I think quite a few people have already voiced much of what I was thinking. :D So, instead, I'll ask:

Out of curiosity, have you considered cutting several inches, as opposed shaving your head? From your length, to a shaved head is quite drastic and hard to undo if you end up being unhappy with it.

Also...what about a change in color? Lighten it a tad? Black dye? Color streaks?! Would any of these appeal to you, or help with the self reinventing?

I second FrannyG's suggestion for doing a four-week-rule, as opposed to a two-week rule! Good luck, and please update us with whatever you decide! :flower:

RavennaNight
January 25th, 2010, 04:54 AM
It's your hair, do whatever makes you happy. But I have to say you have one of the best heads of well taken care if hair I've ever seen on a dude. Just consider how much you have put into it. I definitely agree about the 4 week rule, and I've enjoyed watching your progress here. Just make sure you are true to yourself and do whatever you are going to do for YOU, not your friends family, dare I say even LHC.

share801
January 25th, 2010, 06:06 AM
I could understand wanting to cut if it was unhealthy or "too much" work. I know most here will tell u long hair is not more work but the vacuums I have killed say differently. It doesn't really sound like you are unahppy with your hair itself so I don't think it is time to cut. I suppose men have less options for wearing it "up" but I would do that for a bit a test drive so to speak and see if you miss it.

myrrhmaiden
January 25th, 2010, 06:13 AM
If you must reinvent yourself, (I totally get it) maybe try a mid-length cut first, just so it's not all gone? You can always go shorter. A change doesn't have to be 180. Of course we'll all tell you to keep it because it's gorgeous and it looks great on you.

cmnt831
January 25th, 2010, 06:40 AM
On seeing your hair for the very first time, I have to say it's just beautiful :). I know many guys (my husband included) who would love to have that head of hair, but jobs and social mores have convinced them to keep it short. My husband finally said, "enough, I'm going to do what I need to do for myself" and he has grown his hair out to collarbone length, despite the pressure from his boss at work. But my husband is a strong guy and has decided his life needs to be lived as he sees fit and not how others want him to live it.

You need to live your life as you see fit and if shorter hair is the way you want to go, then that's your decision. Definitely give it some time to really think it over and figure out what what you need to do. I would also advocate the stance some others have expressed in not shaving it, but just shortening it a bit if you really need to. Again, I have to say you've got seriously beautiful hair.

rach
January 25th, 2010, 06:52 AM
give your self some time to think about that is what you 100&#37; want go for it.
It's your hair and you should feel happy with it :)

Addy
January 25th, 2010, 06:55 AM
I have not read any replies, as to not skew my opinion so here goes...

Take the two week rule and turn it into a month rule. Your hair is very long, it would take years to grow back if you shave it off. Once the month passes, and you still have the urge, wait another two weeks and then do what you want. :D

I just wouldn't want you to regret shaving your head a month or two afterward.:(

eresh
January 25th, 2010, 07:01 AM
My first reaction: Oh no! Please don't!
Your hair is so special and handsome looking.

I know those times of wanting a change, feeling like needing to reinvent myself.
One time I went radical and chopped off my hair.
It was great! For a week or two, three.....
Then I spent the last 17 years growing it back because I liked my old self better after all ;)

Make the 2 week rule into 4 weeks, don't decide before that.

eadwine
January 25th, 2010, 07:02 AM
When it is THAT long.. wait longer.

It will be chopped off in a minute, but growing it back to where it is NOW.. yeah.. I agree with Eresh!

Pixna
January 25th, 2010, 07:16 AM
Shadow Walker, I'm so sorry to hear that you've been plagued with thoughts of shaving your head! :blueeek: When I was down on myself, wanted a change, and wanted to reinvent myself (as well as a multitude of other "reasons"), I chopped my hair to a one-inch pixie. What happened next? Instant regret!!! And there was nothing I could do -- nothing. I couldn't paste it back on, I couldn't get (and didn't want) extensions. I was stuck ... for the next umpteen years ... waiting for it to grown back and enduring the pain, awkwardness, and unattractiveness of each and every stage along the way.

Sometimes the urge to shave our head (or cut our hair really short) is more of an expression of disappointment in ourselves (thus the desire to "reinvent" who we are) or anger at ourselves or the world for our lives not being exactly what we want, hope for, or believe we deserve. I don't know if any of that applies to you. However, I do know that we can't really reinvent ourselves -- ever. All we can do is change the packaging a little. But who we are stays with us -- like a shadow (like your name here!) -- wherever we go and whatever we do, regardless of how we adjust our appearance.

Longer hair makes me feel more like myself. It's unique. It also gives me lots of options (well, it will once it gets as long as yours!). You will lose those options if you shave your head. You will have NO options then -- just one look, unless you decide to grow your hair long again, and then you'll have a lot of really awkward looks for a long, long time.

If you want to change your appearance, you can learn some cool, masculine updos. The possibilities are truly endless. A shaved head, on the other hand, is common ... and boring (sorry, but that's how I feel).

I think long hair is incredibly masculine, and long, healthy hair even more so. If you want to "reinvent" yourself, aim for being healthier and more "buff." Muscled, long-haired guys are HOT. And, sure, being different may not always be easy. But why be ordinary? It takes someone special to be extraordinary, and if you feel it's overwhelming at times, you always have a HUGE community of support right here!!! :grouphug:

Well, good luck with your decision. I'm totally in agreement with the FOUR WEEK rule for you. It's easy to do something in a flash that we can regret for many years to come, so please think long and hard before doing anything rash.

bumblebums
January 25th, 2010, 08:14 AM
Of course most people in this community will tell you not to cut it.

I actually agree with the non-attachment philosophy. If you think long hair isn't serving you well right now (you don't like how people react to you, for example), then why not cut it off. It grows back. I think both shaved heads and super-long hair represent a kind of asceticism that you might find spiritually suitable, and it's certainly a striking transformation.

Keep in mind, though, that a shaved head does require regular maintenance. Have you ever had your head shaved? Some people are surprised by the shape of their head, and it's not always a pleasant surprise... (Again, the good news is that if you don't like it, you will only suffer for a couple of weeks before it grows back to a buzz cut.)

Elenna
January 25th, 2010, 08:22 AM
Your hair is gorgeous. This is not something I usually say to males. I do hope that you keep your hair. If you asked every female on this board, I bet that most of them would say the same thing.

I don't know what your life is like now. It does seem more like a desire for change. But changing your hair really doesn't change anything. Have you considered changing your location? Sometimes changing where you reside and getting into new hobbies or such can remake your life.

Xandergrammy
January 25th, 2010, 08:25 AM
Another fan of the 4 week rule here. It would be a shame for you to shave your head and immediately regret it.

JamieLeigh
January 25th, 2010, 08:31 AM
If you're so undecided on the point of cutting or shaving off your hair, try to make a big change in another department instead. Try out a new activity or sign up for a class (if you have the time, which I doubt because you sound as though you probably have a full schedule already), find something that you're not already doing that interests you. See if that slakes your wanderlust a little. Changing your appearance in such a big way is like starting a new life sometimes, but sometimes you regret it. Other times, you don't. And IMHO acceptance based on appearance is very shallow and not something I've ever been concerned with, although I know it's tougher for men than for women. With women, it's called empowerment. With men, I'm not sure what the term would be but it would probably be negative. :( And that isn't fair. This world has a LOT of growing up to do, the US specifically.......but don't get me started on that. :o

Really, the choice is yours....but you know that. Do what makes YOU happy. You deserve to smile at yourself in the mirror. ;)

Stacy_E
January 25th, 2010, 08:47 AM
My first thought when I read your thread was my husband, who grew his own hair for 2 years, then had me put dreadlocks in, which he kept for 8 months, then had me cut them all off and shave his head to 1/8" long. He enjoyed all those recent explorations with his hair, after many many years of the same short hairstyle. But I have to say, he loves his super-short buzz cut, for ease of care. And he looks good that way too, and has received compliments.

I think you would look good either way, but as others have said, best to wait before cutting to be sure. You've invested quite a bit of time and motivational energy growing your long beautiful hair. My understanding is, you get pleasure during your gigs swinging your hair around? Would you miss that?

maskedrose
January 25th, 2010, 08:48 AM
Hey you. I'm sorry to hear that you're going through a rough patch. Everyone else has pretty much summed up what I was going to say, so I won't repeat it. I do think waiting for a month would be the best route. Since you are looking to do a little bit of reinventing, why not put your nose to the grindstone and get back into regular workouts and even go for that next tattoo? Have a look at your life and see if you can tie up any loose ends and finish half-completed projects. I've done that before when I've been feeling dissatisfied with myself and my life and it really does help tremendously.

Hope things get better :flower:

ale
January 25th, 2010, 08:54 AM
I don't know how you usually wear your hair, but I'd suggest trying new styles, buns, braids and so on, in this way you can change your appearance without cutting an inch. Then, as someone else said, try to improve the other things you don't like in your life (I'm not saying it's easy!), before deciding the wrong one is your hair; hit the gym, get buff (three months cam make miracles, I've been there!), and in the end, if that's really what you want, chop it all off.
Just think to all the effort and time you put in growing your hair before taking drastic decision. Then, of course it's up to you, you may end up being the happiest man on earth with a shaved head!

Teakafrog
January 25th, 2010, 09:05 AM
As someone who's been to the point of "I need to change something, so why not chop my hair off" and then regretted it, I'd say definitely at least wait. And I'd have to add, it would be a shame, cause your hair is absolutely gorgeous, and distinctive the way it is. Not many guys have beautiful long hair like you do, a LOT of guys have shaved heads.

Nightshade
January 25th, 2010, 09:10 AM
Well, I don't feel that I'd be doing it for attention or anything, but to help reinvent myself. I've been wanting to get more tattoos, buff up over the winter (which hasn't happened, I've lost the motivation to keep working out), and now I've been tossing around this idea of shaving my head. I don't know, I've just been really unhappy with myself and where I'm at in life. I'm sure everyone has moments when they look in the mirror and they're just not happy with what they see anymore. I can't explain it, there isn't an actual instance I can point to that would prompt me to feel like doing this, it's just a feeling.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but it seems to me you're looking for an easy change.

It's WORK getting buff. Tattoos require a hefty investment of both money and time.

Cutting of your hair is cheap, easy and fast.

All I'm saying is make sure you're looking at what is the BEST decision, and not what is the EASY decision. :blossom:

Babyfine
January 25th, 2010, 09:19 AM
Hey Shadow Walker,



I wouldn't worry about people, if that is an issue. People will always pick about something regardless if you have hair or not. Usually they are the ones that are dissatisfied about something!


Boy, is THAT ever the truth!

Shadow Walker, look at it this way- every guy can have a shaved head if he wants.
But not every guy can have long thick shiney, healthy hair like yours. My younger brother, who is losing his hair(at age 44 big bald spot) has had to cut his curly hair short, when he used to have mid back length hair. I wouldn't do anything you might regret later. But having said that-if you really decide you want to, I'm sure it would looke great on you.

david
January 25th, 2010, 09:20 AM
I have to agree with the people who have said about maybe not going the full 180 of shaving your head but changing it up in other ways. How about experimenting with different cuts, layers, fringe/bangs, colour or a little shorter. But you may regret chopping all your hair off in one go. Different styles are also a good way of changing it up also, experimenting with braids etc...

So my advice would be to try different cuts/styling options rather than doing a complete 180 that you may regret once you have done it.

Maelyssa
January 25th, 2010, 09:27 AM
Honestly, you hair is enviable to say the least.
BUT life isn't about what other people feel it's about YOU and what you want.

Sometimes we need a drastic change to kind of hit the reset button for ourselves & motivate ourselves to go in a different direction.
I can see that your hair is in extremely good condition so your desire to chop doesn't come from a place of frustration in dealing with it but rather something deeper & perhaps more profound.
Maybe cutting it would help lift a weight deep within you that's been holding you back from doing other things in your world. Maybe you'd feel like a whole new, happier man.

If this is the case then go for it.
Or why not compromise & instead of a full shave try a shoulder length cut with some sharp, edgy angles cut into it...it'd definitely help keep up the sexy, rocker image.
I also encourage the cleaning out your closets & even home as previously listed. You may find astonishing results.
After having done that myself I've come up with an analogy that life is like a closet & if you have a bunch of stuff already in it that you're hanging on to then where will the new stuff go & if you manage to fit it in an already packed closet how long will it look good?

My advice, do a hard core home clean out/throw away/let go session, get the hair cut & go out & get a new tattoo to celebrate the occasion. If you decide that you want longer hair again you can simply grow it back out again. Sometimes drastic change does amazing things.

And if you should decide not to cut more power to you. You look really awesome with the long hair. If you feel the long hair is your truest expression of who you are than don't dare touch it but if not then go for a change, you may be pleasantly surprised. :D

Shadow Walker
January 25th, 2010, 09:32 AM
Everyone has been real helpful, but this post I feel really hits the spot.



Sometimes the urge to shave our head (or cut our hair really short) is more of an expression of disappointment in ourselves (thus the desire to "reinvent" who we are) or anger at ourselves or the world for our lives not being exactly what we want, hope for, or believe we deserve.

That's exactly how I feel, and why I've had the desire to change as much of myself as I can. But now I'm conflicted, because I've been thinking long and hard, trying to picture how I would feel if I did chop it all off. It might make me happier, but then again it might make me feel even worse, and that's something I don't want to imagine.

Pixna
January 25th, 2010, 10:02 AM
Hi, Shadow Walker! Thank you for clarifying how you feel and letting me know my comment hit the nail on the head. When I did The Great Hair Massacre (of 2007), I think I wanted to feel as much pain in my body as I was feeling in my heart. But cutting my hair only made me feel, well, oddly psychotic, especially right after it happened. I realized that releasing/expressing my emotions by doing something physical but harmless (to myself or anyone else) would have been such a smarter route to go.

I don't want you to feel worse, either. I've been there, done that. I offer this advice from my own experience (your mileage may vary): Try doing something really good for yourself that takes some physical exertion, like working out, running, doing yoga, etc. Don't tell anyone about it (except for us here, of course) -- keep it as your own secret and just enjoy the benefits. Also try something new (like meditation), or creative, like singing (you're not a singer in your band are you?), writing, drawing, painting, photography, knitting (yes, there are some tough, cool guys who actually sew, knit, and crochet!), or even cooking (I wouldn't want to tangle with those iron chefs on TV!). Physical activity (I know you're physical in your work, but I'm talking about doing something just for you with positive health benefits), as well as having a new creative outlet can work miracles in elevating self-esteem and seeing the world in a new light.

These are things that have worked for me, at least. Perhaps if you refocus your life and mindset, you'll realize that your hair is one valuable part of who you are that makes you unique, special, handsome, and, yes, uber cool.

trolleypup
January 25th, 2010, 10:12 AM
That's exactly how I feel, and why I've had the desire to change as much of myself as I can. But now I'm conflicted, because I've been thinking long and hard, trying to picture how I would feel if I did chop it all off. It might make me happier, but then again it might make me feel even worse, and that's something I don't want to imagine.
First: your hair, your decision.

On the very rare occasions when I think about cutting my hair...I try to figure out why I want to (discounting the gross/matted/dipped in toilet/food/paint situations)...and it is almost always something else I am unhappy about that I want to change. And usually something that would be way way more work to do than cutting hair. Or it is something like external stress and pressure.

So, either it is something else I need to work on, or I can use some of my other stock coping mechanisms[1]. I know I would regret a major cut...and very quickly.

Granted, I am speaking from the point of view of where I live, but buff, tattooed, and longhaired is quite a impressive style (which I've seen on men running the whole gamut of cultures and lifestyles from conventional to unconventional)...and the guys who pull it off the best are obviously doing it for themselves, to the fullest.

Or...whatever personal style works for you...so you can be yourself inside...and show that on the outside.

:rolleyes: OK...enough of the philosophical dreams...

[1] Go have sushi, go hiking, visit the hot springs, do volunteer trailwork[2]. Granted, I live where I can indulge myself in these within relatively short time spans. The first three a good for dissipating immediate stress, the last is good for the worst kinds of frustration.

[2] Sometimes, the sensible thing is to get the anger and frustration out on something besides the actual object! Swinging a striking tool on the trail helps and the energy pays back with real changes.

trolleypup
January 25th, 2010, 10:15 AM
Try doing something really good for yourself that takes some physical exertion, ... but I'm talking about doing something just for you with positive health benefits), as well as having a new creative outlet can work miracles in elevating self-esteem and seeing the world in a new light.
Yup yup yup!

xoxophelia
January 25th, 2010, 10:21 AM
If you do shave it off, is there some charity where you can donate it and your hair will actually go to helping a cancer patient or somebody who lost their hair?

You do have extremely lovely hair. Then if you decide to shave it, you won't feel as though it was just wasted.

redwoman
January 25th, 2010, 12:05 PM
You will still be you when the hair comes off. Think long and hard before you chop. It will take years to get it back.

little_acorn
January 25th, 2010, 12:34 PM
Please don't cut off all your lovely hair.

Tattoos and buff is good though :D

Amoretti
January 25th, 2010, 01:35 PM
OK, I'm going to be very opinionated here: Don't shave it! You'll still have the same issues IRL if and when you shave your hair.

Take it from me. I was one of those women who did drastic hair stuff when she was feeling unhappy. It never made me feel any better when I cut/dyed/shaved/permed, etc my hair.

I'd advise you to work on the real life issues and leave your hair alone for now. If you decide you still need a change after some time, then only cut it off bit by bit. Shaving hip length hair off is very drastic!!!! It'll take YEARS to grow back.

I'm saying this because I care and I've been there too. :grouphug:

cleanbug
January 25th, 2010, 01:43 PM
Of course most people in this community will tell you not to cut it.

I actually agree with the non-attachment philosophy. If you think long hair isn't serving you well right now (you don't like how people react to you, for example), then why not cut it off. It grows back. I think both shaved heads and super-long hair represent a kind of asceticism that you might find spiritually suitable, and it's certainly a striking transformation.

Keep in mind, though, that a shaved head does require regular maintenance. Have you ever had your head shaved? Some people are surprised by the shape of their head, and it's not always a pleasant surprise... (Again, the good news is that if you don't like it, you will only suffer for a couple of weeks before it grows back to a buzz cut.)
I agree...I always loved cutting my hair. I wait until I am really tired of it or found a picture of a hairstyle that I really like & then book an appointment for a few weeks down the road.
If I still feel the same way once the appointment comes, I jump in with both feet.
I have had every hairstyle under the sun & enjoyed them all.
I am growing my hair now as I had it short for about 5 years & I am ready for long hair.
In your case, remember it will grow back but I would try cutting it to jaw length or shoulder length before shaving it off. JMO.
Let us all know what you decide.
Cheers

ohiofritty
January 25th, 2010, 02:12 PM
If you do shave it off, is there some charity where you can donate it and your hair will actually go to helping a cancer patient or somebody who lost their hair?


I donated my hair to these folks (http://www.locksoflove.org/) last chop, I'm sure they'd looooove to get a hold of Shadow Walker's hair!

bumblebums
January 25th, 2010, 02:18 PM
I donated my hair to these folks (http://www.locksoflove.org/) last chop, I'm sure they'd looooove to get a hold of Shadow Walker's hair!

Locks of Love is an extremely unpopular organization among longhairs. They fail to use many of the donations they receive, and they do not make wigs for young cancer patients, either. There is a NYT article about this, and multiple posts on this forum.

FrannyG
January 25th, 2010, 02:19 PM
I just wanted to pop back in and say that the time between mid-January to mid-March is often the worst time to make drastic decisions, at least up here in the Northern Hemisphere.

The phrase "February blahs" exists for a reason. Many people feel the need to make a drastic change at this time of year, because it can be somewhat depressing.

Again, I just hope that you make this as a calculated decision based on logic and not on emotion.

Bottom line, your hair, your decision. But I'd hate to see you have regrets.

Unofficial_Rose
January 25th, 2010, 02:32 PM
Everyone has been real helpful, but this post I feel really hits the spot.



That's exactly how I feel, and why I've had the desire to change as much of myself as I can. But now I'm conflicted, because I've been thinking long and hard, trying to picture how I would feel if I did chop it all off. It might make me happier, but then again it might make me feel even worse, and that's something I don't want to imagine.

Could it be some kind of Winter blues thing? A lot of people get that, and feel down at this time of year (including me). In fact, one doctor I heard saying he has a bunch of patients he has to put on Prozac every Winter.

If you still want to do it in Spring, when the sun is shining and plants are growing, then go for it.

Going to the gym, getting a tattoo - these may be better options, esp. the gym as the endorphins will make you feel better (even in the Winter :)).

Edit: Oh b*lls, sorry - didn't realise I was posting same thing as FrannyG:o

jera
January 25th, 2010, 02:47 PM
I just wanted to pop back in and say that the time between mid-January to mid-March is often the worst time to make drastic decisions, at least up here in the Northern Hemisphere.

The phrase "February blahs" exists for a reason. Many people feel the need to make a drastic change at this time of year, because it can be somewhat depressing.

That's interesting because I always used to cut mine in the summer. Too much time on my hands from vacation? :rolleyes:

It would take so long to grow back I quit.

seedge
January 25th, 2010, 02:51 PM
Wisconsin... cold, dark and snowy this time of year.

Have you thought you might be suffering from seasonal affect disorder? I wonder if depression is seeping in from a lack of light. As a musician most of your work is done at night and in dark clubs.

My sister becomes almost suicidal without light in her life. She ultimately moved to Arizona and still uses the special full specturm light bulbs and has one 'light lamp' she uses for reading at night. It was a total change for her.

Is that all that's wrong? Probably not. Problems will always be there. Judgements from others that sap our self esteem will always be... Dissatisfaction in ourselves and disappointment in life and our choices are part of life. But just a part and only one side of the coin.

What's on the other side of your coin? Are you giving life to the negative things because you are focusing on the things you are unhappy about? How much life and voice are you giving to the things that are unbelievably wonderful and happening to you right now?

When I find myself unhappy within, I want to make changes on the outside because it's easier--- go shopping for a new bauble, rearrange the furniture, find a new way to fix my hair. I wish I were more beautiful, richer, more successful, more popular, had more... of everything.

That's when I take a step back and think, "Whoa! The way you are talking to yourself you would never talk to your best friend that way and use those words." I take a deep breath and and look at who I really am and what is really and truly important to me. Underneath it all, I do like who I am, my heart, my mind and where I am in my life and am accepting of the decisions I have made as being necessary.

Cut your hair, but do so knowing it is an external change. Will it be the impetus you are seeking to drive change deeper within? Only you know. Be honest with yourself and know how you've reacted in the past to such changes. Did it work? Great! Do it again and chop off your hair.

BUT

If it didn't work... why do you think it will this time?

Do what works for you... only you... and for you. You are the center of your life. Be happy. Oh, and look into those fancy lightbulbs. :)

Little_Bird
January 25th, 2010, 03:03 PM
Shadow Walker, your hair is so beautyfull... it makes you a special person. Having the will to take care of it builds your sensitive and carefull side, I mean...

Why did you grow it in the first place? If it was so you could be part of the rock fellas then my opinion is that it has no meaning really... If you grew it to take care of it, feel special, respect the nature of your body beauty (hair is just this magnificent asset of the human body) then it's full of meaning and passion and care and health...

It's very well taken after anyways, and yes, getting here must have taken you not a while, but a good 4 years at least...

I vote not cutting, but I think noone wants to see you doing that. It's your ultimate decision tough... But please, don't even consider the fact the it is difficult to be diferent and that people find it hard to accept you because of your hair, those people are simply undeserving of your toughts and respect. Just ignore them.

Look into your own self and into your heart and see if long hair has a spot on it. If it does, keep your lovely hair... It's just very perfect in my opinion...

:) Hope I helped in some way!

birthmarkie
January 25th, 2010, 03:13 PM
Another selfish "please, don't shave your head :flower:" post here. Your hair is so inspirational...

You should really try bunning it or some sort of braid/updo, perhaps put it all under a hat. When my hair is all the way back, I look like I have super-short hair and I bet you would too. It helps a lot to have that crutch when I feel overshadowed by my hair.

Hang in there, it's not the happiest time of year anyway, but we'll all get through it.

LisaButz2001
January 25th, 2010, 03:23 PM
I think it would be a shame if you cut it all off, after what you went through to have it (evil coworker antics/comments) I, personally like it a lot too. Get the tattoos. Similar cost, same tangible change of appearance, same uniqueness, less regret (since you already have a tattoo or more) If you do get a new tattoo, I'd like to see that.

Anje
January 25th, 2010, 03:26 PM
Well, I don't feel that I'd be doing it for attention or anything, but to help reinvent myself. I've been wanting to get more tattoos, buff up over the winter (which hasn't happened, I've lost the motivation to keep working out), and now I've been tossing around this idea of shaving my head. I don't know, I've just been really unhappy with myself and where I'm at in life. ....
You know, I see people saying this a lot near the time when they do something radical with their hair. Some regret it, some don't. I do know that changing your hair won't change that general personal dissatisfaction, though. That seems to require a change in behavior rather than appearance, in my observation.

Take a good long look at what you do with your time. Are you doing enough for your body? Are you doing enough for your intellectual, social, and/or spiritual needs? Are you doing enough for others? Do you need to talk to a counselor about nagging issues, self-destructive thinking, etc? I suspect that making the necessary changes in these areas will go a lot farther toward making you feel better about life than changing your appearance alone.

didrash
January 25th, 2010, 03:38 PM
I've done that... Felt unhappy with myself and chopped off my hair just to feel better, to feel different. It did not help me. The day after I felt even worse, like I had betrayed myself. And yet I did it so many times. But who knows, maybe it will work for you. You have gorgeous hair, one of the prettiest heads of hear I have seen on a man, but it is your to do what you like with it. I just hope - with or without the cut - that you regain your confidence and feel better.

birthmarkie
January 25th, 2010, 03:39 PM
re: working out...it is difficult to keep motivated to work out. try to do something active that seems fun or interesting or new rather than confining yourself to a strict routine. you have to start with what you're comfortable with. try stretching out to tv or a brisk walk to clear your head. keep moving and eventually when you're ready you'll know and kick things up a notch...but that can't happen immediately. changes do not happen over night and falling back or losing motivation isn't going to derail you if you have a goal. also, changes always come from the inside. or try a healthy shake or fresh fruit and veggies if you feel you can't move but want to stay in good shape.

FrannyG
January 25th, 2010, 04:15 PM
That's exactly how I feel, and why I've had the desire to change as much of myself as I can. But now I'm conflicted, because I've been thinking long and hard, trying to picture how I would feel if I did chop it all off. It might make me happier, but then again it might make me feel even worse, and that's something I don't want to imagine.

This is exactly what my concern is for you. Clearly you're not in a happy place right now. Cutting your hair could potentially make things worse, and that would be a nightmare.

I know that in the past I've cut my hair to subconsciously "punish" myself (and possibly others), although it took me many years to figure that out. I didn't know I was punishing myself as such; I just thought at the time that I was making a change. :rolleyes: I remember the pain and regret that I felt for making a decision that actually made my personal situation feel worse.

No matter what you decide about your hair, I hope you take some real steps toward feeling better emotionally. And believe me, whether your hair is long or short, you'll still have to deal with that.

If you could even start by making it a point to work out the way you want to, it will not only be good for your physique, but it's a great way to channel anger, whether it be directed at yourself or others. Eventually after you've worked out for a time, the endorphin rush will begin to kick in.

There are a lot of other helpful things to do to help your emotional state, but a positive physical goal is a good way to start.

One way or another, you need to rediscover what an awesome guy you are. :thumbsup:

Drynwhyl
January 25th, 2010, 04:39 PM
If you feel like this only because you're not happy, I say don't. You already mentioned you could feel even worse.
But if you'd only do it for a change, I say do it. Sure, I'd probably cry because of it if you were my RL friend, but if that's your choice, okay. :)
Actually I want to do this too. I'm not having any issues, but I just feel different about my hair and I think I want to cut it. Either bsl+bigger undercut, or a complete buzz. I'm going to wait at least 'till June untill I make the final decision, so that gives me plenty of time.

Don't rush it. I'm not sure if we here at LHC are going to help you much, this is a thing you must decide for yourself.
Think thoroughly, I really don't want you to regret. Your hair is epic, and I think you're beautiful. (if you don't mind me saying so :flower: )

Fractalsofhair
January 25th, 2010, 04:51 PM
Don't cut your hair! It's lovely! Personally, I'd suggest working out first, and then cutting your hair, and then getting more tattoos(depending on how visible they are) if you're worried about how people will react. Wigs are a good idea as well.

With gigs and such, maybe a bunch of small braids might look good, with maybe some hair in the center left loose. Also, to help detangle hair, put a ton of conditioner in it,dry, and detangle from the bottom down. It works on my hair when I tease it, and well, moshing isn't as well... tangly to hair as teasing it is.

For working out, a single long braid might be good. Or even a bun type thing.

indigonight
January 25th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Your hair is beautiful, please take time to see whether it is not something inside you are externalizing onto your hair and introspect for at least a month until you feel you are in a good mental space before you go for the chop.
Sometimes I think that my changing my outside my inside will change, that never really holds true for me....

30isthenewblack
January 25th, 2010, 05:42 PM
This is so interesting to hear this from a guy - I thought it was only women who had the tendency to chop off all their hair when they're unhappy with themselves or their lives! Don't know your personal situation, but as someone who's recently chopped off BSL hair I'd had for 20 years only because I'm unhappy with myself and my life, I say don't do it. Your life situation won't change, and you won't have your hair, so you'll feel even worse about yourself for hacking off what took you so long to obtain. Just personal experience talking, this may not apply to you :)

This is exactly what I thought when I read this post. I think you're expecting your life to magically change or get better in the same way that people think that losing weight or changing their physical appearance will solve their problems and I think you're going to be very disappointed and you will feel even worse than you do now. I'd suggest trying to change your life situation and making yourself happier and then if you still want to cut your hair, then do it. I think sometimes when people reach their goal, they cut their hair as a form of self sabotage. I don't know if this is true in your case but something for you to think about.

Fiferstone
January 25th, 2010, 05:43 PM
OK, I'm joining the "don't cut" chorus, because from what you've said in reaction to the other folks who've offered their opinions, it sounds to me like the quick-fix change of the shaved head will be a fail in the "transform yourself" department, because it's really not your physical self that you are most dissatisfied with (If you were really dissatisfied in this arena, you'd be working out more regularly :)). I think it's something else, I think the darkest and most dismal part of a midwestern winter may have something to do with it. I went to school in central Ohio and grew up on the shore of Lake Michigan so I know how brutal the midwestern winter can be, especially when you're burdened with stress.

Find some other outlet short-term (even if it's hitting something inanimate repeatedly with something solid. Got any firewood to chop)? Long term, have a good think about what it is about yourself that's really bugging you, and rule out any short-term reaction fixes right from the get-go, they won't help you.

I too love your hair, I wish my own husband's hair still looked like yours (It did, back in the 70s, before he ever laid eyes on me :sigh:), and if you do cut your hair or shave your head (your hair/your body/your decision and all that) you do so for all the right reasons.

If there's a charity in the world that should get hair, my vote would be for A Matter of Concern (google the last one and it should bring up the site). A Matter of Concern uses human hair mats to soak up oil and other toxic spills. Well worthwhile.

renarok
January 25th, 2010, 05:44 PM
I think you need to move here to California. Your long hair will be more fully appreciated here:cheese:I know how much grief you have had to endure where you are....so try the left coast for awhile........

But seriously, you've really got a great head of hair, and I suspect you are one of those lucky individuals that could be one of the 'uber long'.....but that requires sticking it out.

I second the suggestion that you step outside your normal box, try new activities that maybe take you outside your comfort zone. I know you are in a band, but how about taking your band to a preschool and playing for a different crowd, you might have to adjust your repertoire somewhat, but I guarantee you will have fun and feel better.

oh yeah, and don't cut for 8 weeks at least:eyebrows:

Gvnagitlvgei
January 25th, 2010, 06:39 PM
You are a handsome guy with long hair and I'd imagine, just as good-looking shaved. But that's a female train of thought, right? Men don't shave for those reasons, I know. Whichever you do, I wish you well. But if you do, are you going to donate those locs? Shoot, some of here might be asking you donate to us for extensions lolol!

catysue
January 25th, 2010, 06:46 PM
I know it's tempting to make a drastic change in your appearance when you're unhappy with some aspect of your life or self, and right after you make said drastic change it feels REALLY good. But I can tell you that in the long run, it's not worth it. Like everyone else said, cutting your hair won't change other things in your life. I knowwww that itch you get when you have this idea in your head that you want to make a drastic change, and it doesn't go away, and it haunts you and drives you crazy. If nothing else, maybe practice benign neglect for a while? Put your hair up and forget about it. Deal with the issues that are really issues.

In the end, no matter what all of us tell you, you're going to do what you want to do, as you should. But I must tell you that your hair is beautiful and stunning and urge you STRONGLY not to cut it :)

Peter
January 25th, 2010, 06:48 PM
I think a lot of great advice has been offered but I want to echo the suggestion to not chop it all off at once. Maybe go to APL first, or even waist, before going short. That's only my opinion, but if you decide you like your hair long after all, at least you'll be 2 years closer to where you are now. :)

hennared
January 25th, 2010, 10:22 PM
That's exactly how I feel, and why I've had the desire to change as much of myself as I can.

But.. you won't be changing yourself by shaving your hair off. You'll be changing your _hair_.

This from a woman with quite significant hair loss.. who's talked to my SO about shaving the remainder of it all off in total frustration. (he's talked me out of it so far... since it would likely result in my regretting it).

janiejones
January 25th, 2010, 11:50 PM
Meditate, truly meditate. It may solve your problem about whether to cut or not and it may solve countless other things. Who you really are is always there, internally, whether you're aware of it or not.

On a different, non-mystic note (hah), what about using more of a benign neglect method if taking care of your hair in its current routine is more than you want to deal with? I'm fairly into that method and it makes me feel very comfortable and stress free about my hair in addition to feeling very natural, which always makes me feel more at peace.

Gilly
January 26th, 2010, 12:19 AM
I am another joining the "don't shave it off" band, I think your hair is amazing and it inspires me, if you really want a different look why not try colour? Maybe you could have some fun with temporary dyes that won't do damage, of course there is always henna too!
If you really must cut it ,I would suggest no shorter than APL to start with, that would not be too drastic and would not take long to grow back if you decide it was a mistake.
Of course it goes without saying, you will have a lot of support here whatever you decide to do!

motormuffin
January 26th, 2010, 12:25 AM
I think I might be satan here when I say this but...its just hair and it will grow back. I had tail bone length hair and I was over it and needed a change. I cut it to razor short pixie. I loved it and felt liberated. I even went and died it from blond to black. And here I am back to letting it grow. Mostly because I'm tired of taking care to get it died and cut. Its now liberating to let it grow. Do what you feel.
My husband has a shaved head...always has...always will.

hydrangea
January 26th, 2010, 03:27 AM
I would suggest thinking about it for about a month, like others have said. During that time, try to think about why you want that change. Do you really want to just change your physical appearance or is there something else you really want new in your life..? If after a month, you still want to cut it, maybe get some of it taken off, then re-evaluate again. And, of course, it will grow back, which is what makes hair awesome! :-) Taking the time to grow long hair takes patients and persistence. It's hard to let go of something that spent years to accomplish, but there are beginnings and endings to everything, and perhaps letting your hair go would enable you to try new things in your personal life, too. Hair is a metaphor I suppose. But I also believe some people hide behind a component of their physical appearance, not only hair...also clothes, weight, makeup, whatever. If you feel your hair is holding you back, by all means, cut it all off. Just do whatever would make you the happiest.

bte
January 26th, 2010, 06:43 AM
How about a completely different style or (non permanent) colour? That would change your appearance but you could go back to where you are now quite easily.

In some ways, of course, you are asking the wrong people, because in general we are all committed to length and all of us admire (and in may cases envy) the growth you have made in the last few years. I wouldn't even consider cutting my hair if it had grown that long, but then I am me and you are you. However, I do feel you need to think long and hard before making a decision which would take several years to undo.

Pixna
January 26th, 2010, 06:59 AM
One point I neglected to comment on are the dreams you said you've had. From my experience (which you can take or leave, of course), dreams that are about OTHER people can sometimes be prophetic. Dreams that are about OURSELVES are gateways into our subconscious and have little to do with prophesy (in terms of what "should" or "will" come to pass) and everything to do with our emotions. It is best to give these types of dreams little credence, as our subconscious is trying to work out our emotions for us while we are asleep, so we aren't overwhelmed by them when we are awake.

Dreaming about having your head shaved can mean a number of things. It could mean you are afraid of losing something that is very close and meaningful to you. It could mean that you want to break free of your present situation. It could mean that you are fearful of having your identity taken away. It could mean that you are tired of hiding who you really feel you are inside. It could mean that you want to sever/cut off a relationship. It could mean so many, many things -- and none of them have anything to do with hair. Instead, they have to do with your feelings about yourself, your life, your self-image, how others see you, your circumstances, your relationships, and much more.

Dreams about yourself are often warnings, and they might contain hidden messages about what you need to pay more attention to. Rarely, if ever, are they what they seem on the surface.

ohiofritty
January 26th, 2010, 07:34 AM
Locks of Love is an extremely unpopular organization among longhairs. They fail to use many of the donations they receive, and they do not make wigs for young cancer patients, either. There is a NYT article about this, and multiple posts on this forum.

Ooof ...I had no idea *goes off to read articles*

[edit] I know I'm a noob here but its really really hard to find posts with "Locks of Love" in them...seems like the boards only want to search for "Locks" "of" "Love" seperately, which finds one billion unrelated posts (I did find one poll about hair donations, but there was again only a note to search for other posts about "Locks of Love" instead of actual info or links :( Not that reading posts here about it are really needed: here (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/fashion/06locks.html) is NYT article, which is indeed pretty damning. Wish I had known, I bet they didn't use my hair at all!
Sorry about the thread derail!

(I vote no shaving!)

enfys
January 26th, 2010, 10:38 AM
Hmm. Everytime I go to post on this Leechblock has kicked me off. I think I'm safe this time...

You have a few changes you want to make, so why not make it do the easiest one is the one you do last? You want more tattoos? Great. While that full sleeve is healing it's be much easier not risking soaking it while you wash your hair. Why not set a goal chest/bicep size or a weight you want to be able to life ten times or whatever, then cut your hair as a reward. Make it positive if you want to do it, and by the time you make the other changes you might not want to cut it after all.

You have had a shaved head, you know if you liked it and if it suited you (I think it did, but not as much as your long hair). It's totally up to you, but if you make it a positive thing you are less likely to regret it, and if you make the other changes you might find your long hair totally suits the new you.

ReadingRenee
January 26th, 2010, 11:32 AM
Its hard to say what the right choice is because the right choice for you is different than the right choice for other people.

I can only offer my own experience.

After I had my baby I had 30 plus pounds extra and I hated the way that I looked. I wanted a change and like Nightshade mentioned, took the easy way to change.

I cut my hair from waist to about the bottom of my cheekbone. When I did it, it felt a lot better and was very liberating. And I enjoyed the change for a few months. But the novelty of having shorter hair wore off and now when I look in the mirror all I see is me.

Still 30 plus pounds heavier than I was and NOW with short hair instead of long. Bummer.

But I know myself well enough to know that I had to do it. Waiting for weeks and months like I did before I made the decision to cut made no difference. It was something I had to do and I don't regret it. I am really missing my long hair right now though. Next time I'm totally taking the advice of a few members here and getting a wig!

GoddesJourney
January 26th, 2010, 11:51 AM
If you want to reinvent yourself and you think this would be a big part of it, who's to say no? It takes awhile but growing it back is obviously not impossible. You have many years to come if you want it long again. However, if you do decide to cut it off, I say follow the "half the damage" rule. Think about how much you'd like to cut off and the cut no more than half of it. Wear that around for a couple of weeks and see how you like it. If you feel like you've made a big mistake, at least you only did half the damage. Actually, cutting off a lot might make you love your hair again if you feel like maybe it's just gotten too long for you. Some people don't like their hair longer than maybe waist length. And, you'll get those thick, luscious blunt ends that you can't resist running your fingers through while cutting down detangling to maybe a half hour. You can do that while watching TV. Just a thought. It sounds like you really want to cut it, so I think it's only a matter of time before you do it. It's obviously making you feel a little restless. When you do cut it, remember my words. I hope you're happy with whatever you do. Shaving it would give you that fuzzy feeling again that you can play with until you get tired of that and grow it back out.

Fireweed
January 26th, 2010, 11:57 AM
I say detox, detox, detox, and as what was said before, meditate, meditate meditate..... change will come.

GoddesJourney
January 26th, 2010, 12:33 PM
I forgot to add, when I feel tired of myself or like I need change, it is often because I've slacked off with something that makes me happy or proud of myself. Often it is that my self discipline starts to go. I get lazier about cleaning, working out, controlling how I talk to people, controlling what facial expressions I'm giving off, not procrastinating so much... There are always things I'm not satisfied with. I just juggle my attributes. When I have more of them in control the way I like them, I'm happier with myself and my abilities. I feel more proud of myself, more confident, people like me better, etc. It makes me feel strong when I have everything going the way I want it. Trimming my hair or something is like a nice thing to do to top it off when I have other things going right. It's like cutting off a discard of my damaged ends.

rootbeerbrown
January 26th, 2010, 01:40 PM
Hooo boy did this ever hit home. I posted in the not too distant past about my frustration coming from the other end of the equation. As someone who feels just precisely as you describe and then does cut.

I've literally spent a decade growing and cutting and treading water. Like everyone else I enjoy it for a minute until the truth that it's still me under that new do after all rears it's nasty head.

I have written myself a letter. Not just a letter but actually an envelope containing a letter to myself, several pictures and poems, a wrapper from my fav chocolate and a few other little sensual/tactile reminders of the quirks of my personality as a whole.

I've noticed that my thinking gets a little 2 dimensional in that headspace.

My letter to myself reminds me of the things I like about myself and how many times I have circled this mountain. It also gives me permission to change things about my ideals and appearance that I TRULY want to change but challenges me to defend the position that it's a change I truly WANT by earning it.

In order to earn it [win the debate with myself] I have to desire the change from a position of strength and happiness not from a place of self doubt, hatred, weakness, or impatience. No arbitrary time limits because negativty does not answer to time as it's master.

If I am happy and content with my life and myself and still want my hair to look different...then cutting just means my ideal changed.

If I am unhappy and am hoping that changing my hair will change my life...then I am indulging a fantasy that not only will not help me, it will cause me to be even more unhappy once the initial high wears off.

You have held out a lot better than I ever did...and I can't help but think that there is a reason why you wanted your hair long despite being criticised for it. Whether you want it to or not it obviously means more to you than just "hair".

Some things to think about anyway.

restourceful
January 26th, 2010, 02:36 PM
Because I don't *know* you IRL, I've looked at your photos of your progress, the picture of your shaved head, the comments you made about your progress, etc. I wanted to get a feel for who you are before I commented. Then reading your comments within the thread gave me just a tad more insight. It seems you have cheered yourself on toward your mini-goals of making waist length and hip length. But you aren't cheering anymore. Why?

I agree with everyone else here that this is your decision. I also agree that you should give yourself time to make sure it is really what you want to do. That said, I am a woman and not a man. I process my internal conflicts and disappointments with myself differently than you because of that. My husband and I process differently. When I feel a need for a change I do what many here have said: I clean out closets and rearrange furniture. But my husband needs different things than a new item in his wardrobe to feel right again. His self esteem boosts come in the form of accomplishment. He may have split a whole cord of fire wood today, or he made the sale he worked so hard on last week, or he got a deer when he went hunting this weekend. It's conquering his foe when he won the sale over his competitor, being a provider for his family when he splits the wood, being a hunter/gatherer, that makes him feel valued and important and respected and capable. None of these things appeal to me in the least. Perhaps more guys could weigh in and give you some suggestions from a male perspective.

If you really want to see how a physical appearance change would affect you without a major long-term commitment how about this? You haven't said anything at all about your facial hair. Would shaving your facial hair be more or less satisfying? It would certainly be a quicker regrow than your wonderful hip length hair if you don't like it or a physical appearance change is not what you really needed. I think the tatts or working out are great, too, but the facial hair might be enough of a change without going so drastic that you might change your mind about your hair. Then again, you may decide shaving your head is exactly what you want. Who knows?

I respect your decision no matter what it is. But just know that your hair does not make you who you are, you are still you if you keep it or shave it. And *you* are important to us! I'll still cheer you on no matter the length of your hair!:cheese:

Sorry this is so long.

curlylocks85
January 26th, 2010, 02:49 PM
I would make a pro and con list. This seems to work when I cannot decide on something. Once I have made the list, I look at it every day for a couple of weeks adding and subtracting as need be. By the end of the specified time, the list that is the longest is the one I choose.

BTW, I think you look sexy with long hair. ;)

elina333
January 26th, 2010, 02:55 PM
I understand how you feel... But I would prob wait for a while before making the decision. You dont seem to be a hundred per cent sure that this is what you want..? So maybe you should wait a little just to see how you feel down the road? Cuz hair doesnt grow that long over night. Isnt there anything else you could do? Having that tattoo, tanning, traveling..?

Take care and good luck! I hope you'll find your way again soon... :pegasus:

Heidi_234
January 26th, 2010, 02:55 PM
I agree with others here, it's not the hair that bothers you, and you said it yourself. Shaving your hair will give you a quick fix in the best case, and probably will leave you regretting after a month or two.

I've witnessed some people making that drastic call of cutting hair from very long to very short, here and IRL too. When they come from a place where it's not all bad in life, but the hair burdens them, cutting it leaves them happier. When they come from a place of being in need of change or dissatisfaction in themselves or their lives, cutting their hair doesn't do any good. Heck, how many time I've messed my hair up because I was endlessly miserable with myself and my life... It really doesn't work. It made me more miserable because all I wanted is long hair and I kept sabotaging my progress.

I remember you've encountered harassment over keeping/growing your hair long, and your family is not supportive either. It's not an easy place to come from, but I think you are the guy to go against the flow and keep it long, and keep it getting longer. It's weird and unacceptable only where you live right now, it's not like that everywhere else. You don't have to comply, it's your hair. Will submitting to the pressure unburden you? Not as much as you would like it to.

I really hope you'll change your mind, for your own good (too). If the hair was the problem, I'd understand and say that you should go for it. But it's something in yourself or your life that bothers you, don't go pick up on your hair, it takes too painfully slow to grow back, and it's amazingly beautiful the way it is right now. I never saw a guy with a better head of hair.

Get a new job, learn to play a new instrument, get in shape, learn to draw, start taking photos, check out new places to hang out, check out music you haven't listened to before, study something, bring something new to your life that would make you appreciate yourself more, don't take away something that already so great about you.

slz
January 26th, 2010, 03:00 PM
I will start by saying I am partial to long hair (on guys or girls) so you take my advice for what it's worth : I'd say be sure not go after the wrong "enemy". I mean, you might be unhappy with yourself / your life / whatever, but are you sure your hair has any importance in that ? If not, after shaving you might end up just as unhappy with yourself / your life / whatever, PLUS unhappy to have lost your hair.
Not sure I'm really clear, hope you understand what I mean.
I will end with saying your hair is one of the most beautiful / healthiest I have ever seen (man or woman).

Beldaran
January 26th, 2010, 03:33 PM
There is obviously enough good advice here, but I just want to comment on this one bit:

It's not always easy being different.
Shaving your head won't make you fit in any better.. :twocents:

Shicurls
January 26th, 2010, 08:40 PM
ShadowWalker, oh man, I feel ya.......I regularly chop my hair when I need "something" to be different.

I would love to say something pithy and different here, but all I can do, like so many others, is share my experiences and heart on the matter. The decision is ultimately yours.

I go through periods where I feel the need to change my image. Sometimes, this need is prompted by a desire to attract attention from the opposite gender. Sometimes, it is a desire to stand out and be recognized as someone worthy. I don't know how else to explain this emotion. Ultimately, trying on different looks helps me to find out the real issue.

I do ultimately regret the choice to chop off my hair, but I find that there is something liberating in the action. BUT, when I do liberate myself of my hair, or I change my makeup/perfume/clothes the real issue comes out. Usually, I find I don't like myself.......and usually this comes from outside forces telling me I'm not good enough. For example, some guy rejected me in some fashion, someone I respected made me feel small because I didn't fit their idea of good/perfect whatever.....

I have learned from chopping my hair, changing my scent/clothes, and moving around that the real problem is that I care what somebody thinks of me. Thankfully, I am loved by a very supportive group of family and friends.......they like me no matter what! All this to say....

You have beautiful hair, and you have a unique draw that is all your own. Don't conform into an image just because others think it might be better (tougher, sexier, whatever). Try to look at yourself objectively and find the unique things about your look. Then love those things and KNOW that they are the things that are tough, masculine, attractive and magnetic about you. That also includes the insides because I do believe that we try to match the outside with the inside......

Anyway, I wish you peace in this decision and joy at the end of this journey.

Emichiee
January 30th, 2010, 08:06 PM
I had the urge to shorten when my hair was a bit shorter, around BSL- Waist length I always felt like I needed a change.

I hear you about being different, I am right there too. And not only because of my hair, every bit of me is different from the average girl.

That makes it hard socializing, but I have long come to the conclusion that I prefer quality over quantity, and many people out there I don't really want to know. They are not for me.

Even though it is tougher finding people, my hair and overall look, personality make it easier finding the right people.

You have great hair, many men don't have long hair because it is difficult for them to grow it.

Sorry not much advice, just a bunch of thoughts.

But think about it long and hard!

Longlocks3
January 30th, 2010, 08:26 PM
If I cut my hair every time I got sick of it, I'd have no hair. :P

I completely understand the urge for change. But I looked at your stats. It says term. It's perfectly okay to change your mind but try to think of why you decided term was your goal when you made that goal. Term is my goal too.

I'll put in a vote for 'do what makes you happy' and another quiet one for 'pleassssssseeee don't cut your hair, it's amazing/awesome/all good things'.

spidermom
January 30th, 2010, 09:49 PM
I remember when you were a newbie around here and posted about how you shaved your head to please a girl, and it ended up not being worth it to you. I don't see many shaved heads around here so my impression is that it wouldn't make you fit in any better, but of course I don't know what men are doing in your area.

It might take a lot more experimenting with your hair and other aspects of your personal "look," but that's o.k. Hair grows back and wardrobe mistakes can be donated.

Demetrue
January 31st, 2010, 01:20 PM
It seems to me that the people who are being negative towards you (at home, work, etc) are going to continue being negative, whether you change your hair or not, because that is what they do. The negativity is coming from inside them, but when you give in to it or own it, then you confirm it. I would suggest going to a good, sympathetic counselor to help you work through the internal changes you would like to make BEFORE resorting to drastic external changes. I would not make any drastic changes when you are feeling like this. I would take "baby steps" towards creating positive and supportive change in your life and just put your hair back in a pony tail for a while and not focus on it too much. I think getting exercise and working out will be extremely helpful because those physical activities raise endorphin levels in the brain and contribute to feeling better about yourself.

Messy Cook
February 2nd, 2010, 08:14 PM
Dear Shadow Walker,

Last year, after visiting this wonderful website for a few months, my hair started to grow again.
I was happy, it seemed I found something I lost a long time ago.

About 6 months ago I cut my hair back to a bob length.
I stopped the LHC visits and felt ashamed almost for what I had done
( came back now, new name.....my apologies for running out on you all).

All it took was one hurtful phone call by a person I had trusted for years.
A person who was not in my life anymore but someone who would always have my back...I thought.
Well, guess I was wrong.

I was so shocked, it devastated me. I felt I was in mourning.
I didn't recognize it at that time what exactly was going on because I thought I needed renewal of some sort ( somehow I was not good enough in whatever way?) and what better than cut your hair? Ha!

It didn't help, it made me feel worse.
Now, I not only felt I had been living a lie in the past but I also looked as someone I was not.

Like many others here say, of course it is your hair, your life, but oftentimes our hair is connected to something deep inside, something that is very much a part of who we are. It is precious.
That is why it is very good to try to identify what the true reason is for such a drastic decision of shaving your head.

This, before you treat a symptom while you can also find the cause?

Good luck!

RavennaNight
February 3rd, 2010, 02:50 AM
Hmmm.... I recently ventured out to a predominantly death metal show (I usually frequent folk and black metal shows). I noticed a shaved cueball head trend in Long Island and don't know if it is a trend by you. Now I am not saying you want to be trendy, but pressure to conform from "your own kind" might be confusing. Is the scene changing out by you because it sure changed in my neck of the woods.

Othala
February 3rd, 2010, 04:23 AM
Do what feels right, man.

ravensinger13
February 16th, 2010, 07:07 PM
I came really close to shaving my head about a month ago, and although I don't think I would have regretted it, I am glad the moment passed, as I can do plenty of other things to reinvent my look (henna). When going through personal changes, my hair is the first sign, or rearranging furniture (depends on the week). Carefully consider, and embrace who you are as a person, whether or not that person happens to have hair.