Buzzcut Pros & Cons

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I shaved off my pixie.

Yes, I did shave all my hair off. I am very happy with it. No one has really seen me to say anything about it. I am anticipating a bunch of negative feedback, since I got some pretty negative remarks when I had a pixie.

I have now had to shave my head twice, so the clippers have officially paid for themselves. Every single time I use them from here on out is money “saved” by not going to the salon. 

The first time I used the clippers, I went conservative. I had no clue what I was doing or getting myself into. If I did not like it, I wanted to be sure to leave enough length to be able to return to my pixie. So the first time I used the clippers, I primarily used the # 4 guard. I used the # 1 guard to clean up around my ears and the back of my neck.

Two weeks after that, my hair was growing and out of control. The second time I used the clippers, I decided to use the # 1 guard on my entire head. Part of the reasoning for this is so that I can hopefully go a month between haircuts instead of having to do it every other week.

In the past 3-4 weeks, I have officially buzzed my head twice. Given that I am at about the one month mark of having a shaved head, I figured I would share some pros and cons.

Pros:

  • I’m saving money. Look, I have been hemorrhaging money on food and supplies ever since this pandemic started. Trying to meet my basic needs has blown my budget all to hell. I have to save money somewhere. The only thing that could potentially be cut out of my budget short of turning off the lights or the water is to get rid of my salon bill. I typically spend $50 a month on my hair. The clippers were $60. Now that I have used the clippers twice, they have paid for themselves. That is now $50 per month I can put towards food. I apologize to my hairdresser, who I think is totally awesome. But this is one instance in which I am breaking up with you, and it totally is me, not you. My hairdresser did not do anything wrong. It’s just, you know, the pandemic killing my budget for the foreseeable future.

 

  • I feel cooler. My neurological disorder is exacerbated by heat. Shaving all my hair off is helping me to feel cooler. In fact, sometimes I feel chilled. I will deal with it. It’s much better than the “MS walk” – which is basically when the heat makes you stagger around like you’re drunk, except you’re not – you just lost all control of your body due to excessive heat and you walk like that for days on end. I wish I had thought to shave my head about 5 years ago when these neuro issues all started. I still get the MS walk, but it’s a little bit easier to keep myself cooler now with no hair, so I can prolong the time before the MS walk starts.

 

  • Showering is so much easier. In fact, I do not have to shower as often. It’s not as if my hair is sticking up in unnatural looking ways anymore when I get up in the morning. I can get in and out of the shower quickly. It saves both water and time.

 

  • Safety. Due to the pandemic, anytime I do leave my house, I shower when I return home. Granted, the only places I am going right now are outside to run and into my work office when no one else is there, but I feel safer showering once I return home to “clean” myself of any potential exposure I may have had while out. Since my hair no longer necessitates a morning shower, I can now shower at the end of the day (or any time of day) once I have returned home. This was especially helpful when I was on a walk the other day and not a single person outside was wearing a mask. I digress. The point is, I am no longer chained to the routine of a morning shower to tame my wayward hair. I can shower at any time of day. 

 

  • It goes with everything. I do not have to worry about a style. I just go, go, go. I feel like I have more freedom with less hair. I am in control of my head and my hair. I do not have to try to get an appointment, drive to a salon, sit there & wait. When it needs to be shaved, I just pick up the clippers and do it. 

 

  • Cleaning is easier. When I sweep, mop, or vacuum, there is less hair to clean up since I shaved it all off. Anyone who has long hair knows, it’s like you shed hair everywhere, and are constantly cleaning it up. I live with three (luckily short-haired) cats, so there is enough fur flying around. But honestly, when my hair was long, I had more human hair to clean up than cat hair. My house seems like it’s cleaner and easier to clean with less hair all over the place. 

 

  • If I die, I want to be cremated. There will be no viewing. Who cares if I have hair? You’re supposed to remember who I am as a person, not my hair. Besides, I already planned my memorial service, and you will have a playlist of 26.2 songs in the key of life to keep you busy. If you all stand around talking about how I shaved my head, I will come back and haunt you.

Cons:

  • I am now wearing hats when I go outside so I do not accidentally sunburn my head. I have a note on the door reminding me when I leave the house to wear my medical alert, a mask, and a hat. I feel like an astronaut on a spacewalk every time I leave my house.

 

  • I’m worried people won’t know I’m a girl. I had this worry when I got my pixie, and it ended up being unfounded. Everyone knew I was a girl when I had my pixie. But with a shaved head, I cannot even put a Hello Kitty bow in it anymore. That’s okay. One of my hats is pink. I’m still a girl, whether you think so or not.

 

  • Negative comments. I received many negative comments when I had my pixie (especially from men) saying I should grow my hair out again because it was unattractive. Apparently, only long hair is considered attractive on women. I’m a little scared of what people are going to say to me now that I have shaved my head. If they were mean about the pixie, I’m sure the negative comments will get worse. Let me tell you, that I am the one who has to live with the hair on my head, and I do not want to have to deal with long hair again. It is way too much hassle. I’m unsure if I will keep it shaved or return to a pixie, but I’m not growing it. Long hair is too much trouble. I am worried about being seen as unattractive with a buzzcut. I guess I don’t really need people to say it out loud to me and confirm my fears. 

Conclusions:

I am very happy I shaved my head. As with my pixie, I wish I had done this years ago. To be honest, my life would have been a whole lot easier when I was homeless if my head was shaved. The conundrum is that when you are homeless, you don’t have money for haircuts, so you just leave your hair long and stringy looking. The point is, a buzzcut is very versatile and gives me much more freedom than any other haircut I have had. 

I am unsure if I will continue to shave my head in the fall and winter once it gets cold. For now, this is the perfect summer haircut. It is helping me to stay cooler, and is totally working with my life at the moment. We all know life is changing every minute during the pandemic. I really like that I can shave my head myself and do not need to rely on someone else right now. 

I have no regrets over my buzzcut. 

Retro Farm Life

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All 3 cats have learned to share the cat tree.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, farmers used to leave cash in their mailbox. The mail person would leave stamps for the farmers. This was common practice in rural areas, as the only time that farm people would go into town was for church on Sundays.

My grandparents were like this. In addition to going into town for church on Sundays, which was the only time Grandpa was not in overalls, there would be one Saturday a month trip into town. On the once a month Saturday trip, Grandma would be dropped off at the grocery store to pick up that month’s supplies, while Grandpa took the truck to Agway to get feed for the animals and any other supplies needed on the farm.

My grandparents’ farm had chickens, cows, pigs, horses and geese. There may have been more animals, but those were the ones I remember. Due to my age, my farm chore whenever I visited would be to collect the eggs from the chickens. I hated this job. The chickens do not like having their eggs taken and would peck at me. More than once, I would be found running screaming through the yard being chased by a chicken with my egg basket dropped on the ground somewhere behind me.

Because I was small when my grandparents had the farm, I did not realize that they would buy stamps through the mailbox. Or, if I did know about it, I had forgotten. I was reminded about it this week when talking to my mother.

Earlier this week, I was super excited because an orange envelope appeared in my mailbox letting me know I could put a check inside it to purchase stamps and any other mail services I need. 

I told my mother how happy I was to have this service so that I do not have to go to the post office during the pandemic. That is when she reminded me – buying stamps through your mailbox used to be commonplace on farms.

My mother and I had a great conversation about how things used to be when I was growing up. We were able to talk about things that happened that totally went over my head as a child, like buying stamps through your mailbox. I told my mother that I am glad she is here because I still have a lot to learn from her.

I have said before that one of the best things about this pandemic is that people actually have time to connect with other people and have more meaningful interactions. As part of my minimalism journey through the years, my goal has always been more quality human interactions. However, I realize that other people are more busy than I am and have other priorities, so they do not prioritize human interaction as I do.

Talking to my mother, she said that quarantine wasn’t that big of a deal for her. Growing up on the farm, they did not go out much. As I said earlier, there was the once a month Saturday trip, and then church on Sundays. You only made your grocery trip once a month. Groceries were to supplement what food you had from the farm.

Growing up, we always had venison for meat. My grandfather and all my uncles were hunters. We never had ground beef because it was expensive. Many people who meet me think that I am a vegetarian because I do not eat beef. I am not a vegetarian. I do eat beef – if it’s cheap. As someone who grew up dirt poor, beef was always out of our price range, so it is something I am not used to having. It is not a necessity, it is a luxury item.

My mother and I had a great conversation about how things used to be and realized that things do not change all that much. Well, the world has changed, but when you are used to farm life where you did not go all that much, then quarantine is not all that different.

As we are in this quarantine situation, I have been seriously evaluating my wants and needs. I have also been thinking more about my routines.

Grocery shopping once a month sounds really good to me once this is all over. Previously, I had been grocery shopping twice a month due to my pay schedule. If I can switch to once a month, then that reduced my potential exposure for when the second and third wave of the coronavirus comes through. 

There was also a time in college when I was having a very hard time financially that I remember going grocery shopping once for three months. I would get my student loan money, get a bunch of food at the store, then when it ran out .. well, that was it until the next semester student loan payout.

There are some items I have ordered online as a result of the pandemic that are set up on an autoship basis that I am going to keep going once the pandemic is over. When you think about it, it is similar to the old buying stamps through the mailbox routine.

Another aspect of farm life we reminisced was that one Saturday per month was haircut day. My grandmother would put a sheet down on the kitchen floor. She would place a stool in the middle of the sheet. Donning an apron, she would stand there with a pair of clippers while one by one, my grandfather and then my uncles would sit on the stool without a shirt on to have their haircut. The girls would sit on the stool and my grandmother would take a pair of scissors to cut all our bangs straight across so they were out of our eyes. 

Right now I have a pair of hair cutting scissors that I have used on myself. I have not been able to get clippers because there are none to be had. I have already said numerous times how happier I am having short hair because it is easier for me to take care of. I am totally fine with using the scissors to cut my own hair for right now. 

When clippers are available from the manufacturer again, I do want a pair. My goal is to go back to farm life and start doing my own hair so that I do not have to pay to go back to a salon again. Yes, there is a very good possibility that I will just buzz all my hair off at some point. I think it will be easier this way.

These are trying times and we need to remember what is an essential need and what is a want. As much as I like my hairdresser, paying $50 for a haircut is not an essential need. I can do it myself, and probably will from here on out. 

I wonder what other retro aspects of farm life will be making a comeback? Are you planting a victory garden? I have toyed with this idea, but since I do not do well in the heat and the initial monetary outlay are detriments to me right now. 

This is the perfect time to remember and evaluate what is important and what is not.

Isolation Log: Covid Date 5.a.20

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Hair I cut off my head this past weekend

Oh, yes, I did.

The special hair cutting scissors I ordered arrived last week and on Saturday morning I cut my own hair.

It was difficult.

I have never cut my own hair before. I have never cut anyone else’s hair. I have never even cut the hair on a Barbie doll before for fear of getting beat as a child. Even when I started to cut, I was looking around expecting my grandmother or some other adult to jump around the door frame and start screaming at me. 

So actually taking a pair of scissors to my own head was a pretty big deal. 

I also love the pixie cut that my stylist gave me. However, my appointment was scheduled for the day after the shutdown began, so I have gone 9 weeks without a haircut, when it is usually done every 5 weeks (and by week 5, I am totally annoyed – it should probably be done every 4 weeks).

My goal was to only cut the pieces that annoy me.

Apparently, there were a lot of pieces of hair annoying me. I cut enough hair off to fill the dust pan. It looks horrible. My stylist usually buzzes around my ears and the back of my neck. I can’t handle either of those two areas. Do you know how hard it is to cut your own hair on the back of your head?

I feel great! 

My hair may not look good, but it feels good. I am much happier washing it in the shower since I have cut it. It is no longer hanging down in my face. It does not stick up as much when I wake up in the morning.

When this is all over, I will go back to my stylist to fix it. I am not sure if I want it to be “fixed” or if I want it to be all buzzed off. 

I love my pixie because it is so low maintenance to have short hair. It is way easier for me in the shower, it is the perfect hairstyle for running, and saves me money on allergy-friendly shampoo (which runs at about $5 for a single ounce). 

If I buzz my hair, then maybe I can also cut down on salon visits. I am thinking about it. Right now, I just got these special hair cutting scissors that I can use to trim it myself. I am still waiting to receive the pair of clippers I ordered online – they are on backorder. We will see what I think about buzzing all my hair off when the clippers arrive or the isolation breaks – whichever comes first.

Right now, I am really happy with my self haircut, even if it doesn’t look great. Now I know why so many 4 year olds would cut their own hair when I was teaching preschool. And it completely makes sense when their response was “Because that piece of hair was annoying me.” 

Stay strong out there. #NYTough