More on Hair

by Shaker GoldFishy

[Trigger warning for brief mention of surgical procedures.]

Hi all, Shaker Goldfishy here...

After I commented on Liss's post about my own recent change of hairstyle, and how it required me to overcome some internalized judgements of a different flavor, Liss invited me to open a thread for further discussion based on my experience.

I'm 40 years old, and my hair has been thinning quite noticeably in the last 5-10 years. I've always loved the look of very short hair on men, anyway, and, once it became clear that as time marched on, it was planning to take my hair with it, I wanted to closely cut my hair. (If you know about hair clippers, I've wanted the #1 setting, which is 1/8 inch.) My hair wasn't very long to begin with, but the texture of my hair and the thinning always left me feeling like it was a mess and not very flattering.

But I had one big hesitation: When I was much younger, I had a series of surgeries to remove a birthmark. The birthmark straddled my hairline on my forehead and was of a type that could eventually become malignant. When I was 13, doctors surgically removed the birthmark (then about 2.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches long) and replaced it with a skin graft from my leg. At age 18, I underwent a series of surgeries to "expand" (i.e., stretch) the skin and tissue around the graft so that it could be removed. A small amount of the skin graft remains at the top of my forehead and the final surgery left scars around the "crown" of my head. I was worried that if I cut my hair too short that I'd draw unwanted attention to them. The scarring includes a couple "bumps" that to my fingers feel HUGE but I think in appearance are all but invisible. I don't think I look awful, but I know that my scars are noticeable and I sometimes feel self-conscious about that.

My partner, The Captain, has been cutting his hair very short for a little while, and I loved it so much I felt more determined than ever to take the leap. So this fall, I finally took a chance and got a "#1 all around." I figured that the worst that could happen is I'd have to wear a hat for a few weeks while it grew back in.

Well, I LOVE it!!! A couple folks have commented on the scarring, but if people are noticing, most of them aren't indicating so.

Shaker GoldFishy before (with Liss) and after haircut
Left, with Liss, before haircuts. Right, after haircut.

The Captain and I were in Chicago last week (while Liss was so terribly about unfortunate timing!) and I felt so terrific with my new style. It just feels...right. (What you see in the photo is me with a couple weeks' growth...I'm due for another trim this weekend.)

Liss suggested--and I agree--that my little story might present an opportunity for other lines of discussion about how insecurities impact our hairstyle choices. I acknowledge that a great many factors affect one's choices (or lack thereof) about hairstyle, and I value that Shakesville provides a safe space to discuss topics that affect us personally.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

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