hairy situations

17 People on Shaving Their Head in Quarantine

Illustration: by The Cut

As the world grinds to a halt and people across the country stay inside in order to practice social distancing and flatten the coronavirus’s curve, it is a definitive truth that hair everywhere is still growing. With many salons and barbershops closed, people of all ages and genders are shaving their own heads for the first time. The Cut talked to 17 people about why they decided to buzz in quarantine: to save money on shampoo; to push gender boundaries while stuck inside; to inspire a certain intimidating, masculine new-in-the-military look; or just to fight boredom. Read on to see them all.

Logan, student: “Only a week into quarantine and I’ve buzzed off my hair that I’ve had cut the same way since I was 12.”
Andrea, software developer: “In these weird new times, it’s somehow really grounding to feel the fresh air on my head — sitting on my roof, the fire escape, or out on a run. It makes me feel more connected to myself.”
Mickey, editorial director, Paper Magazine: “I’m half bald and being in that state means getting my hair clipped every few weeks (at Astor Place Barber with the clippers set on ½, the shortest they can cut). I was already due for a cut when the quarantine started and I can’t go get a cut, so I figured I just needed to shave my head … So many people have said how I have a good shaped head for being shaved which is funny because I’ve always considered myself to have a giant pumpkin head.”
Devin, project engineer: “My days with hair are numbered anyway, so I figured being in lockdown was a good time for a test run in case I hate it and need to start preparing a plan B.”
Charlie, comedian: “I think I buzzed out of a desire to turn this absolutely awful experience into something that kind of approaches the idea of an opportunity … I also feel like this will give me something to work on in quarantine. Even if I accomplish nothing else — and I don’t think I will; productivity in this moment feels absolutely insane — I know that I can spend my time in quarantine growing my hair out, so that by the time I get out, my precious curls will return to me.”
Isabela, artist and student: “I just really wanted to know what my head looked like! I couldn’t go my whole life without knowing. I figured that this would be the best time to find out since no one besides my parents would have to see me every day in case it turned out badly. Now a weight is off of my shoulders knowing my head shape. My head is so fluffy! Unfortunately I do not have a dog while quarantined so I can just pet my head instead. I now know why people with short hair touch their hair so much!”
F´abio, student: “Spartans shaved their heads to show self-renovation, in some sense, that now they lived a new life. The whole quarantine situation just seemed to me the perfect situation to shave my head, and also gave me the perfect excuse … So far I’ve felt more energized. I’ve ditched hair conditioner and now only use shampoo. If shampoo goes scarce I can use just soap with no problem.”
Miguel: “It’s partly an homage to the great Frank Reynolds from the ‘The Gang Gets Quarantined’ episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As to how it feels so far, really nice, but really cold. Even the slightest breeze gives me chills … I just really hope no one really thinks I went stir crazy because of the quarantine and pulled a Britney.”
Beth, model, skin-care consultant and make-up artist: “I shaved my head because I wasn’t going to be able to get it done in a salon for a while. I’ll be wearing it like this for the foreseeable future now! I’m going to save so much money! And I am excited to get back to my roots, no pun intended!
Ethan, student: “Part of me loves it because I feel more intimidating which is exciting. But considering I’ve pretty much just been walking around the house all day it seems somewhat pointless. My friend shaved it yesterday and did a really bad job, so there are a couple of bald spots that make it a little embarrassing. This morning I woke up and thought ‘Who is that dude in the mirror?’”
Kaitlyn, student: “When all my classes got canceled, I figured it’s now or never! It feels so amazing not having any hair. I was worried I would panic not having any hair to hide behind but if anything it’s made me more confident! It’s so easy to wake up in the morning and just go without worrying about doing my hair. I save so much time (any money on shampoo!) … I plan to paint flames into my hair with hair dye over the quarantine, and use it as an excuse to go crazy and try all different colors before I have to go out in public again.”
Will, student: “I shaved my head because why not? I’m back from college and not really seeing anyone, so I might as well. A shaved head also feels like the appropriate apocalyptic vibe. I did it myself over the trash can, so it’s super uneven! Also, just physically, it feels great. I keep rubbing my head.”
Laura, professor: “When my university switched to distance learning, I thought, what am I waiting for? I am interested in discovering what my untreated hair looks and feels like, and I’m also curious to understand my gender in new ways since longer hair is often tied to femininity in our culture. So far it is liberating to wake up in the morning and have my hair be ready to go (if I could actually go anywhere). No bedhead!”
Mike, analyst: “I was going bald anyway.”
Sabrina, barista and graphic designer: “I thought this quarantine time was the best time to do it in case I instantly regretted shaving it. No regrets here! It’s been three days since I’ve shaved my head, and all I can say is I feel so much more confident in myself. It feels so liberating and so fresh. I am absolutely in love with it. Who knows, maybe I’ll never go back to having hair!”
Mikey: “My hair was always one of my ‘better’ qualities so I was very hesitant and afraid of doing it … It was a way to act out on my frustration. Being locked in for 13 days now with limited socializing, apart from family, has been extremely difficult. So four days ago I got my trimmer and cut all of my hair. I plan on keeping it like this after quarantine because it really makes me feel more comfortable with myself and my gender identity, rather than grow out my old hair again when this whole ordeal ends. I feel much more free.”
Jordan, self-employed: “Going into it, I felt that this would be a big change for me, as my hair has grown to be part of my identity over the years. However, after doing it I’ve felt like I have much more freedom with how I want to style things, and it gives back a lot of the time that was previously spent on doing my hair.”
17 People on Shaving Their Head in Quarantine