The cooler north-east of this country is far better for me and my spirits than the sizzling south. While I enjoyed the summer-like conditions during the northern winter, now that summer is here I have to flee north, away from the intense and relentless heat.
West Virginia is a beautiful state, full of amazing scenery and, unfortunately, scars on those wondrous mountains from the vested mining interests stripping away the future of West Virginia in an orgy of dollar hunting and immediate wealth. I, as a tourist, despair at what will be left to come to in a few more years. Sustainability of the land is all that stands between us and oblivion. For West Virginia, they will lose any or all of the massive eco-travel market as they strip-mine in an effort to drain the soil of saleable material. Some of their mountains are now as bald as I am, but my hair will grow back quickly, those mountain eco-systems are gone forever.
Among the people of West Virginia I found a great many men sporting bald heads and severe military style haircuts, but few women. Other than myself I saw no other bald women at all. However something interesting was said to me and it really got me thinking.
A curious gentleman in a restaurant near my motel asked if he could have his picture taken with me. I asked why and he said, “Because I ain’t never seen no baldie broad before what wasn’t sick. Dahlin’ you ain’t sick are ya?” As he wasn’t appearing to be unkind I said that I wasn’t sick and that being bald was a choice I had made a while ago, and I’d really rather not have a photo taken with him. He looked over at his friends, two other men sitting in a booth, then turned back to me.
He asked why I shaved my head. I responded that I liked it, I felt feminine and I enjoyed it. His response was, “Well, I ain’t never heard of a woman doin’ that without her man makin’ her!” I instantly looked at him and knew what he was implying. Women were objects, to be told what to do, to be nurtured like a child, and treated like a second class citizen. I asked if he thought I was ugly. He looked down and shuffled his feet and was very uncomfortable, then said, “No, I don’t think that, I just thought to see a woman who done that to herself voluntary like, well it just don’t seem natural.” I told him I felt natural and that doing what I liked with my hair and my life were for me to get on with and was really no-one else’s business. I also told him that women, to the contrary, do like to shave their heads, that many more would love to but the pressure socially would be everything from hostility to humiliation so they didn’t. It was alright for a man to do it, but not a woman and that the standards were too ingrained to be changed unless every woman simultaneously shaved her head.
I then reversed the tables and asked him how he would feel if someone came over to him and asked to have a picture taken because of his beard being intriguing. He just got up and wished me good-bye and went back to his friends. I was not trying to be unkind, but that is the sort of thing that happens when a woman steps out of her perceived role, a role we were put into by men with their stronger physical abilities to control. One of my meetings had been with a young lass who hadn’t really thought much about shaving her head. She did it because that is what her boyfriend wanted. I asked her if she would do anything her boyfriend wanted, and her reaction was the same as the encounter at the restaurant. She looked to the ground and shuffled her feet.
I don’t want this to become a women’s issue, but we like doing human things too. We like hiking, making love, shaving our heads, fast motorbikes, sad movies and all the range of human things that any other human likes. I know we, in this internet area, are all turned on by head shaving, that is why we are on these sites. However that does not make any of us one-dimensional, it makes us truly human. Our dimensions are just as diverse, as are our interests, hobbies and lifestyles. In any walk of life there are those who love doing it and those who love having it done. We all have our quirks and that, unless it hurts us or someone else, is just a small piece of the interesting part of this particular fetish. Others are hidden. Ours is out there for all the world to see unless you wear a wig at all times. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
Last week, and this was what prompted the restaurant encounter, I had gone to a local barber before leaving Alabama and had him shave me bald again. Granted, my hair was only about 2 inches long all over, but the same thrill was there as it was the first time.
Initially he was reluctant and he actually told me he had never shaved a woman completely bald before. So now I was asking him to do something he didn’t want to do. The more he didn’t want to, the more I wanted him to. Everyone should know it is no different than shaving a man bald. Bald is bald and it looks good on both sexes. I told him that if women were permitted socially to be bald like men, then you would see the same ratio of bald and military style shaves and cuts on women as we see on men. They are just permitted to do it and we are not. With that he got down to business.
His clippers were really quite old, not the new and fast ones. They were big, black and very noisy. As I had asked him to leave a small section in front as bangs, he began at the back. He was intrigued that I had been shaving my head for the past few months and we discussed it during the haircut. Those big clippers sheared off my hair like a hot knife through butter. He was careful and the vibrations were something I had not experienced before. He did not work fast and it seemed to me that he was being extra careful not to make me uncomfortable. There were a couple of teenagers who were whispering and giggling as they watched, but that was the extent of the audience.
The clippers went over my head and he made three passes from nape to the front of my ears rendering the top hairless as well as the back. Next he moved to the sides and ran them up to meet the bald area and around the ears. After that he carefully put on shaving cream, no hot towel at all, and then he did strop the razor. The two teens were now silent and watching intently. My head actually resembled a furry peach after he finished with the clippers, they left about a quarter inch. This he denuded with the straight razor. That is a delightful feeling. Finally he turned his attention to the 2 inches that was now the bangs. He scissored them down to a half inch and cleaned up the hairline. The little bangs really only consist of about two rows of hairs framing the forehead. I liked the look on Marina (earlier story) and thought I would try it too.
What he did next, no-one else had done. He made sure there was no hair anywhere except where I wanted it and when he was certain, he actually polished my head with an aloe gel that soothed and eased the tight feeling that always comes after the shave. He gave me a jar of it and said to use that, and sunscreen, every day. The gel is lovely. Now I know how you guys get that great shine. It was obviously this that attracted the attention in the diner and I had the awkward conversation with the gentleman. He and his friends were so curious about a woman with her freshly shaved and polished head that one of them had to come and talk to me.
I am hoping that all women who want to do this will just turn around and do it. Yes, some people will laugh, some will make fun, others will be embarrassed and others will turn away. Then there will be those who accept it and so, eventually will the rest of the friends and family as they see you are comfortable with who you are. It has been a few days since my head shave and this morning I got into the shower, lathered up and gave myself my first do-it-yourself shave. I lingered over the bangs, but decided that I want to be totally bald for as long as possible so I shaved them off too. I want to resist those social forces that say a woman should have hair to be feminine. I have yet to decide about returning home, but for now, I continue on, bald and proud of it.
Bald and Proud