Thoughts on buzzing my head

Posted on Sep 4, 2016
Thoughts on buzzing my head
This whole buzz-my-head-hope-it-grows-out-really-quick thing has been …interesting, to say the least.

A couple months ago when I took the plunge to buzz I had lots going through my head: I don’t want to keep bleaching it, it’s expensive to get the bleach stripped from my hair, I need a change & hair grows back, right?…
I texted Dylan after I buzzed it and declared “Welp I just buzzed my head! This could be the worst or best thing I could have done.”

It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, taken away the lifelong security blanket of ‘blonde hair don’t care’ and made me think about what my “beauty” means to me after stripping away the “tall blonde” title. I did care, I cared a lot about being blonde. It was comfortable, it was normal, it was part of my identity. I never knew how much it was until I buzzed that part of my ‘identity’ off.

It also started a lot of conversations with the elementary aged girls I work with about confidence and appearance. When I took my hat off at work after the buzz and the kids saw that my hair was pretty much gone there were a lot of gasps and comments like “Ms. Amber why would you do that!” & ” But, you were so pretty!” That last one stung …a lot. Kids are honest and say what is on their mind, they didn’t mean to hurt with that statement, but it hurt a little. I responded by saying “Hey, I’m still the same strong, confident girl I was before. My hair does not define me just like your hair does not define you.”  Now if I’m being honest, I was not so confident and pretty scared about the new do, but I said it without thinking so there had to be some truth in there right?

A week or so later I was comfortable enough to not wear a hat, I was picking the kids up from school and a couple kids, who were not in my program, came out of the school with “Woah! you’re hair is gone!” & “You changed your hair!” but one little boy came out and said “Ewww! Gross! What did you do to your hair?!” to which one of my 4th grade girls got up in his face waving her finger saying “She is still the same strong, confident woman as she was before! Now walk away!” ending with a palm in front of his face.
…I cried a little later that day recounting the story to someone else. Whether she got it or she was simply repeating me, I’m not sure, but it certainly helped my confidence that this ornery little 10 year old  believed in me through a minor but drastic cosmetic decision I made.

The population of students I work with is largely African American, I try to encourage and praise their decisions of natural hair because that is who they are and they are beautiful! I try to encourage them to embrace their heritage. I make attempts to have conversations about what beauty means to them, is it extensions, clothes, that bit of crazy shiny lipgloss they insist is their natural lips. Or, is it perhaps inside of them? It wasn’t until I buzzed my hair that I was forced to continue to put into practice those conversations in my own life.

Now I could go off on how damning our society is when it comes to looks and and how it puts an insane amount of value in these fleeting temporary frivolities, but I will save that for another time. If you’re thinking about pushing yourself, do it! It’s scary but maybe you will just find out a little more about yourself and how amazing (or possibly terrible) the people around you are.  Surround yourself with good and spread good to others.

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Plus: Short hair bed head is amazing! I wish this picture did it justice.
I was a tow head as a child and as I got older my hair grew darker, like dirty dishwater blonde darker. I have been lightening and coloring my hair since high school. I had no clue my hair was this dark and it is really interesting to see that their are some red hints and still blonde around my face. I didn’t know what I was hiding, but I like it.

-A

8 Comments

  1. Grace Buchanan
    September 4, 2016

    These are reasons I started cutting my bangs “ugly” short. It was an experiment and a push for myself and it’s been more fun and liberating, confidence boosting than anything. I am deciding through some other life stuff that I want to go ahead and take my hair short too. To quit letting thoughts of it consume me. However silly it might seem.

    Reply
    • amberZon
      September 4, 2016

      Do it girl!
      Hair is a weird thing when you think about it. Dead stuff growing out of our head like a chia pet. It grows back. It doesn’t define us.
      Hope you are well friend!

      Reply
  2. Stacie
    September 4, 2016

    Wow! Touching post! I really admire you Amber. Those kids are really listening & learning from you, I am sure that little girl believed what you told her & was not simply repeating your words. You are REALLY making a difference in their worlds & your own. AWESOME!

    Reply
    • amberZon
      September 5, 2016

      Thanks Stacie, I appreciate your kind words. Really. You’re sweet.

      Reply
  3. Toni Doran
    September 5, 2016

    I prefer your hair this color over the blonde, that coming from a hair stylist. Hair is an extension of our personalities whether it be buzzed, short, long, blonde, red or brown, curly or straight. Natural is good but it doesn’t let the creativity of our personalities show. I don’t think we need to shave our heads to figure out who’s “terrible” around us. I can tell that by their actions when they are around us. We also shouldn’t judge those who don’t shave their heads and that do not prefer to be all natural. After reading this I feel a clear message that if we aren’t all natural and prefer to put on lip gloss we are damning to society. I strongly disagree. I see both and all kinds in church every Sunday and I’m just happy to be sitting amongst them all no matter what.

    Reply
    • amberZon
      September 5, 2016

      Hey Toni, thanks your kind words and your thoughts.
      It was never my intent to damn anyone for not being natural or not buzzing their head, I think you might have misunderstood me. My post was to share a few of my thoughts and the emotions that were attached to them through this process of change in my life. I would disagree that hair, lip gloss etc. is an extension of one’s personality but rather a means of expression of one’s personality, and hell, I would go as far as to call it an art form in so many cases. Personality is what makes us individuals, it’s what makes us unique, it is character. I did not say those who express themselves in that manner are damning society, I said that society can be so damning when it comes to looks, what we as women should look and act like is just ridiculous and frankly very patriarchal. It is extremely critical of so many things that there is no way we (read women) can keep up with all the demands. I think there are so many kinds of people in this world, not just in church, and everyone is at a different place, growth pattern, faith, etc. that there should be no judgements of whether people have a buzzed head or whatever that life change is in their life. I certainly was not judging others for lack of a shaven head, I was merely sharing a little of my story and my walk in this life and encouraging others that if there is something out there that will push them, for me it was buzzing my head the insecurities that came with that, then to do it. Make yourself uncomfortable and even vulnerable, you learn so much about yourself and sometimes those around you in that process.
      Hope that cleared things up.

      Reply
  4. Carla
    September 5, 2016

    Thanks, Amber; I’m sure your honesty and bravery has spoken louder than words to the kids you influence. From my definition of beauty, you certainly fit it from the inside out.

    Reply
  5. Toni Doran
    September 6, 2016

    I didn’t misunderstand. I understand why you did it. You wanted brown hair. I love that color as well. I still think in my opinion that hair, makeup, clothing etc are what shows our personality so we don’t need to shave our heads for people to see who we truly are. I think that’s “extreme”

    Reply

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