View Full Version : Need Advice from those who have ever shaved their heads

February 5th, 2011, 07:10 PM
My hair is a lost cause right now. I am at the point where I am going to take it all off and start with virgin hair. I was wondering if there was anyone else on here who has done this. If you have done this, how short did you go, how long did it take to grow to a manageable length, and, more importantly, how did you deal with comments from friends/family. I know more than a few people will think me shaving my head is wierd (including my hubby, hereafter referenced as SM, or soulmate). I think I may buy a wig to wear for the first few months. Any suggestions?

February 5th, 2011, 07:22 PM
I've had a shaved head and very short hair as well. Shaving your head can result in permanent thinning or loss of hair. It can accelerate male pattern baldness.
I think that it is more prudent to cut it back to 3" long and maintain there until it is virgin and healthy.

February 5th, 2011, 07:24 PM
I'm a woman, so thankfully male pattern baldness is not a problem :)

I saw a pixie cut I really like and I was thinking of doing that also, because it would get rid of all my damaged hair.

February 5th, 2011, 07:28 PM
I imagined a feathery pixie.

February 5th, 2011, 07:28 PM
I've had a shaved head and very short hair as well. Shaving your head can result in permanent thinning or loss of hair. It can accelerate male pattern baldness.
I think that it is more prudent to cut it back to 3" long and maintain there until it is virgin and healthy.

Oh, I have read the opposite of that! I think in Igor's thread where she talked about growing her hair from being shaved?? A few people said they believed shaving actually possibly thickened it.

To be fair, I've never shaved my head, my shortest was probably 2" on the top to 1/4" at the back... But I would be skeptical that shaving your head could result in hair loss or hair thinning.

I imagine that guys who are going bald and then keep shaving will notice their mail pattern baldness increasing, not cause they're shaving...but because they're balding anyway! If they left their hair alone, they'd probably be just as bald at the end.

February 5th, 2011, 07:33 PM
I've heard that, too, but my trichologist told me that it shocks your body and can have those results. I don't remember his full explanation, though.
Experts often disagree, it's interesting.

Tennessee Rose
February 5th, 2011, 07:34 PM
I shaved cause I wanted and I had my hair waist lenght when I did that. Actually it got damaged when it was shaved (though I left some hair remaining) because I dyed it and the thing I did was to wait and trim the ends regularly (once a month).

I don't thing you need to shave it off, I did not. Maybe cut it short to be comfortable with all this you have said. I don't even thing about a pixie, just a bob. The damage will disapear quickly since a bob is short but not as extreme as a shaved head and you won't have to deal with all that trouble you just mentioned.

Be concious about shaving, if this is what you want to do. Think carefully and be completely sure, then you won't suffer.

February 5th, 2011, 07:35 PM
I've done it before. It was probably about a quarter inch all over. It took a little less than a year to grow out to an even bob, and I didn't hate it at any point in between. As far as people thinking it's weird - some probably did when it was super short, but it didn't stay super short for long at all.

When it was super short, I liked to dress it up with some big girly earrings. I never tried doing the wig thing though. HTH.

February 5th, 2011, 07:40 PM
here is a pic for reference, you can kinda see the coloring at the ends, I have no idea what made it do that. Also I have split ends everywhere....


February 5th, 2011, 07:42 PM
Since you don't have any statistics up, could you tell us how long your hair is and how much virgin length you have?

If you want long hair, shaving it is obviously not usually very helpful towards that because for how long it takes to grow out to an even length to start from. There are many other start points that will not be as difficult.

I've never shaved my head, nor needed to, but I've seen lots of people make mistakes with their hair and regret it. Depending on where you are and where you want to be, I don't want you be another one :flower:

Ah-ha! Cross posting. If that dye is all the damage, then a bob will be far easier to grow from. Shaving your head could be a fun journey but doesn't look neccessary to me by a long shot.

February 5th, 2011, 07:44 PM
That's kinda my problem. It's not dye. I have no idea what made my hair turn colors. The only thing I can think of that might have done it is swimming in the pool (it has waay too much chlorine in it), or using the straightening iron too much.

I sort of have my heart set on a cut kind of like the one Emma Watson got when she was done filming the Harry Potter movies. It's super cute and I would have my length back in a year (my hair grows fast)

February 5th, 2011, 07:49 PM
I would say the loss of color is probably damage (loss of protein, for example, or sun exposure /dryness, etc.)

but like it has been said, I think if you trimm 1/2 or 1 inch per month for less that 6 months, you'll see a HUGE difference in a few months :)

I don't think your hair is so destroyed you have to shave it ! mine was much much MUCH worse, and I only cut 4 inches of my BSL hair. Made a world of a difference, trust me :flower:

February 5th, 2011, 07:49 PM
How weird! I thought it was dye that maybe went a funky colour on you over time. Hmm. It's odd that it's only right at the ends, because sun bleach etc wouldn't be so well placed; it really looks like growing out dye! That's really odd.

February 5th, 2011, 07:50 PM
If your hair grows fast, and you like the idea of short hair, then go for it and get a pixie cut!

I guess most of us here come from the perspective of trying to grow our hair, so many will suggest ways you can cut it without going too short (a bob for example, or just a couple of the worst inches off), but if you're keen on short hair there's no reason why you shouldn't!

February 5th, 2011, 07:53 PM
I'm definitely trying to grow it long...I just need to get rid of the bad parts first. I'm actually relieved that my hair is not so far gone that I need to shave it alll off.

February 5th, 2011, 08:04 PM
I'm definitely trying to grow it long...I just need to get rid of the bad parts first. I'm actually relieved that my hair is not so far gone that I need to shave it alll off.

In that case try a bob, because you won't have uneven layers to grow out again afterwards! It should also remove the majority of the damage, if not all of it.

February 5th, 2011, 08:11 PM
I've grown from pixie... it's a long road, mostly because of the awkward layers. If I had it to do over again, I wouldn't go shorter than a bob... even if it was an ear/jaw length bob it would be easier to grow out than a pixie.

A year of growth for me: http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b66/Elena1282/Fullscreencapture34201071140PM.jpg

(pixie was about two years ago for me)

February 5th, 2011, 08:17 PM
My ends are like that, too. It's always been like. It's like that now, even though when I was growing my hair I wore a scarf whenever I went outside (I still do most of the time).

I personally don't think your hair looks bad enough that you have to shave it, but your ends might still look like that naturally.

February 5th, 2011, 08:24 PM
My ends are like that, too. It's always been like.

How often do you timm your ends ?

February 5th, 2011, 09:06 PM
Hi, Z!
I had a stroke, and my hair fell out from anxiety. So, I shaved. I was told that it would never grow back, but now I get compliments all the time :)
Looking at the pic, I don't think it's bad enough to warrant a shave. For me, I looked like a chemo patient!

If I were you, just cut it short.
Shaving your hair STRENGTHENS it, but wearing a wig is not a good idea as the roots will not be getting oxygen.
My advice: cut it short, throw away the blow-fryer and never dye it again.
When washing, finish with a cold rinse.
My photo is quite old, I will update it. It's long, thick & healthy!

February 5th, 2011, 09:24 PM
Hey! :)

I shaved my hair off a few months back! I had no choice though, I bleached it so much it just fell out to 1" - 3" lengths and I just completely shaved it. I was upset at the time and angry at myself but I don't have any regrets now. Having very short VERY healthy hair to me is better than having to grow out patchy, damaged hair!. I wore a wig for the first month, but my hair had a spurt right after I shaved it so after the month it was already a short pixie, now I just wear it with huge headbands. If you truly think you need to do it then go for it. A fresh start feels good.

February 5th, 2011, 09:32 PM
I think you hair looks nice, the color just adds to it in my opinion but to your question I buzz cut mine to just stub's it was a very freeing thing for me, but mine was falling out (chemo) so shaving it kept me from going completely bald, once I was done with my treatments it started growing back very quickly...I went from a buzz cut to a boys cut in a few months, my hair was like new, soft like a baby's lol!
The thing is you have to be sure this is really what you want, the hair at the top of your head is new hair why go with a shave when a short cut will take away the parts that are making you unhappy? I wish you well, good luck

February 5th, 2011, 11:41 PM
Going from a shaved head to a bob is roughly a year's growth. It's also a tremendous shock, followed by an adjustment period. If you feel up to it, go for it - but like others have said, it's by no means necessary. :)

February 6th, 2011, 12:48 AM
Maybe instead of shaving your head, you could try getting a really short pixie cut(super adorable!). That way it will still be feminine and you can still grow your virgin hair. I've done that before and it's taken me so far 3 years to get about to my waist. Well mine was more of a mohawk.. But I'm sure you might not want to do that.

February 6th, 2011, 01:41 AM
I didn't shave my head but went to a unisex hair salon where I got a buzz cut. This is pretty mucha s close to shaving as you can go. I looked like a patient recovering from chemo and got lots of stares despite me wearing a bandana. My hubby didn't like it one bit.

If you want virgin hair you can go for a short pixie (a la Emma Watson) without going for the "big chop".

February 6th, 2011, 01:48 AM
If i were to shave my head, I would cut off the length for charity, then get bangs, layers and go crazy with dye and stuff
then shave it off.

that is a bit more fun!

Purdy Bear
February 6th, 2011, 03:22 AM
I would have a word with your hairdresser and get their advice on what is 'damaged hair' and what isnt.

I would go with a regular 6 week cut to get rid of the damaged hair, and then extend to a couple of trims per year or just 'search and destroys' (sd) for split ends.

People dont discuss how traumatic it can be going from having hair to bald, and believe me it is a shock to the emotions if not everything else. Igor's article on hair growth from bald is tremendously helpful:


By the way women can get male pattern baldness I think its called Alopecia Androgenetica and I think is caused by too much Testosterone.

February 6th, 2011, 10:26 AM
How often do you timm your ends ?

I haven't trimmed my ends in over six months.

February 6th, 2011, 11:50 AM
I had my head shaved for about 10 years. I loved it, and didn't care what people thought, although I would wear hats and scarves on the subway, just to minimize the inevitable comments. I found that many men were into it, just as many as were put off by it.

It grows out to a pixie really quickly, so I say, if you want to do it, and are curious about it, just do it. It isn't the end of the world.

It doesn't look necessary, though, based on your picture.

Also, my hair grew back in a totally different texture. Much wavier and frizzier. It's hard to say how much of that was due to shaving and how much to hormonal changes due to age.

February 6th, 2011, 12:19 PM
I don't think your hair looks that damaged from the pic so I would just have it cut off to a bob length. If you do want to grow it long it will be an easier place to start from than a pixie cut as the length of time to get the layers out seems to take ages! I totally get where you are coming from about wanting virgin hair, Ive decided to stop highlighting most of mine and I know I'll get to a half way growing out point and want to cut all coloured bits off! Its very appealing the idea of starting from scratch!

February 6th, 2011, 12:29 PM
Can I just say your hair looks really nice. You might have splits, but from your picture nothing a little TLC and trimming couldn't fix. I chopped my hair to a very short pixie, the back was shaved. It's taken a very long time to grow to my chin, and the uneven-ness has really bothered me. Also, this is the first time in a long time I finally have all natural hair, and I have a ton of colors in there I didn't know about! I have all sorts of orangy-gold-blond strands that make nice highlights in the sun. I think your light parts are pretty! IMHO your hair looks quite nice and if length is your ultimate goal I might trim a bit, but wouldn't even go chin length cuz it looks like it's healthy.

wearing a wig is not a good idea as the roots will not be getting oxygen.

Serendipity, I have a question. I wear a lot of hats because I like to cover my hair when I am out during the day. They are all knitted with soft yarn, so there is a level of breathability (I am assuming). Do you think this could possibly prevent my roots from getting oxygen??

February 6th, 2011, 12:35 PM
Judging by your picture, I am puzzled as to why you'd want to do anything so drastic! Your hair hasn't turned green / been fried with bleach / whatever. I'd say just do a trim!

February 6th, 2011, 12:38 PM
I shaved my head back in 2007. I thought it was awesome; it's very easy-care, though what everybody was saying about sunscreen and comments from strangers in the street* is absolutely true.

It can take forever to grow out, and there are a bunch of awkward stages between pixie-length and a bob. I had a baby mullet for about two months, and there wasn't a lot I could do about it without chopping off the back.

I don't see how the OP's hair is so damaged that she needs to shave it all off. A bob will be much faster to grow out, and will probably take care of all the damaged bits. Only shave your head if you want a shaved head.

*Depending on where you live and who you interact with, people's reactions can range from intrigued, to confused, to aggressive. I had elderly women ask to pet my head, small children who were confused about my gender, and one incident where a man followed me through town screaming slurs at me because I was bald. Oh, and people also enjoyed calling me "Sinead" all the time.
It's an important thing to consider. Being bald is just a hairstyle, but at the same time it means a lot of things to a lot of people. It's not a good choice if you really don't like unsolicited attention.

February 6th, 2011, 12:42 PM
As far as wearing a wig keeping oxygen from getting to the roots - that person does not know what they are talking about. My head was shaved due to chemotherapy and while I am growing it out, I have wore a wig all along and it protects my hair from the elements. Wigs are awesome thought you will pay a couple hundred dollars for something that looks natural. My hair is a whopping 3 1/2 inches long and still sticks straight up - not long enough for me to go without my wig. May I will probably lose the wig as it will be too warm to wear it over the summer.

The OP's hair looks fine, I see no reason to shave! A pixie, if that is what she truly wants but her hair looks great in the photo I saw. I would trade mine in a heartbeat!

February 6th, 2011, 12:43 PM
I have buzzed my head down to 1/4" twice in my life, both times to get a 'fresh start' after chemically destroying my hair. The last time I did it in stages, first doing a mohawk of synthetic dreads, enjoying that for a few weeks, then shaving down the rest of the way. I didn't get a lot of negative attention, surprisingly, but then again most of my close friends and family are used to my eccentric ways and after a quick head-rub they were over their shock. I was interviewing for higher-level customer service jobs when I shaved my head and I never felt that my appearance swayed my interviewers one way or the other, and when you factor in my weight and my stretched ears I definitely didn't look like your run-of-the-mill applicant.

It took me a good year and a half to get from shaved to your generic stacked bob, and another year past that to grow to shoulder-length with haircuts every 6 weeks. My hair doesn't grow terribly fast and I was heat-styling daily to get it to look decent at those lengths. For me the most difficult part of the growout was when my hair was longer than your classic 'pixie' but not long enough to be a 'bob' yet - I abhor even the hint of mulletiness and there's not much you can do during that stage to avoid it. I ended up wearing synthetic dreads to get me through that 6 month stage, and it worked wonderfully for me.

February 6th, 2011, 12:50 PM
I have shaved, and it was no big deal, really. The shaved look really doesn't last long. Even a week makes a visible difference when the hair is really short. Until my hair was a longish bob, I took frequent trips to a stylist so that I always had a semblance of a hairstyle.

I did not wear a wig, or even a scarf but simply tried to make the best out of every stage. Then, one day my hair was long enough to be put up.

I got only few comments, both positive and negative. And yes, men still found me attractive. Even my long hair loving DH whom I met at the time my head was shaved :D .

February 7th, 2011, 06:58 AM
As far as wearing a wig keeping oxygen from getting to the roots - that person does not know what they are talking about.

Thanks for this response. I was thinking, ohh am I suffocating my hair! I really like knitted caps so that struck me. Thanks for the clarification. :p

February 7th, 2011, 07:33 AM
I actually think your hair looks fine. However, if you really want to get a cute pixie cut, maybe now is the time to do it! Your hair isn't terribly long yet, so it wouldn't take years and years to grow out. I've been considering and Emma Watson-esque pixie lately too, but then I think about how long it would take to get back to where I am now, and I chicken out!

February 7th, 2011, 08:39 AM
I have looked into this many times just because I have always wanted to shave my head. No other reason. I think it would make me look terrible, and that is the main reason I have not done it. I got some great advice while thinking about it, though. This is all advice that was given to me:

Don't do it in the winter. You will be surprised how much hair keeps your head warm and the abrupt change will make you very uncomfortable. Even with hats.

Shaving your head can change your hair. I think this was already addressed in this thread. There is some disagreement, but it can change the texture, thickness.

The ends of your hair are most susceptible to damage, if you are cutting for damage ONLY cut off just above the damaged part, not shaved (unless that is really what it takes). Otherwise, wherever your new ends wind up, that part will be the most damaged in a year. It is better to cut damage off in stages, leaving your hair workable (especially since you are female) and preserving the actual virgin hair ends as long as possible.

Expect negative attention. You WILL get it. (again, being a female). Some people don't mind, others do.

Here is one of my own advices: I once cut my hair back to almost pixie but it was long on top, almost shaved in back. I had never had it shorter than a longish bob before. I found out I have a huge cowlick in the back of my head and that hair was so unruly for a year or more until it grew long enough that the weight straightened it out. So, if you have never had really short hair, expect surprises like this.

Also, bed hair (to me) is horrible and one of the main reasons I grew my hair out. Until it is APL or longer, I hated having to wet my hair every day to tame the bed kinks. I think shaved to APL takes about 2.5 years.

Also wanted to say I don't think your hair is that unhealthy looking and that it looks like chlorine damage to me.

I have never shaved my head but I still want to. I have no idea why! But I am too chicken.

February 7th, 2011, 08:49 AM
Here's a recent, long thread on this same topic:


I think your hair looks to be in very good shape in that pic, and you do not need to shave it. Trim a couple of inches off if you are really itching for a change, but even that doesn't seem to be necessary.

February 7th, 2011, 08:51 AM
I've heard that, too, but my trichologist told me that it shocks your body and can have those results. I don't remember his full explanation, though.
Experts often disagree, it's interesting.
How can it shock your body?
Once the hair is out of the follicle it is dead, removing it by cutting will not be noticed by your body, immune system or anything else.
I can imagine that you could get a cold head, or a sunburnt head, if you are not careful, and that could annoy your scalp, but your whole body?
If you were to wax it off that would have a bit more drastic effect (ouch) but, as many ladies with furry legs can testify, even waxing is not permanent.

February 7th, 2011, 08:53 AM
Well the biggest cut Ive done recently was from hip/tlb to bsl/waist...about 25/30 cm and bangs...that because my ends were really damaged because of dyeing, straightening and not taking good care of my hair...
that was in december 2009, since then Ive only ct it once, and just the ends, keep dyeing it, but not blow drying nor straightening, its beteen waist and hip length now

February 7th, 2011, 09:06 AM
I don't think your hair looks bad at all! I was expecting to see bleached, fried cotton candy hair (kind of like mine LOL!).

I would just cut it into a bob and grow from there. Or you could trim a tiny bit every month or other month until the lighter ends grow out.

Btw, your curls are very pretty:)

Tennessee Rose
December 14th, 2011, 04:59 AM
here is a pic for reference, you can kinda see the coloring at the ends, I have no idea what made it do that. Also I have split ends everywhere....


Why the picture has turned to a jumper now??????!!!! Do photobucket reuse urls?

December 14th, 2011, 05:20 AM
Tee hee hee= I thought the ends loooked really discoloured in this picture!!