The Ridiculous Story of My Buzzcut

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you may have noticed a little change to my look in the last month. And by little, I mean drastic, and by change, I am referring to my haircut. Normally I wouldn’t talk about something as simple as a haircut, but this haircut happens to come with a hilarious story. A story that’s begging to be told.

I (quite ineffectively) let the secret out first on Instagram, when I had less than five followers:

But, Why?

Sometime in Madrid, I woke up wishing I had no hair. I’ve always had a little desire in the back of my head, a voice that said “Someday, I’m going to chop all of my hair off.” And I woke up in Madrid realizing that theย day had finally come, and if I really wanted to cut off all of my hair, this trip was the time to do it. Instead of simply a someday desire, I now had a full-fledged drive. Suddenly my hair wasn’t just there, it was annoying. It was a burden. I woke up thinking get it off my head.

But I’m on a budget, and I couldn’t justify paying $20 for someone to run buzz clippers over my scalp, when I could probably find someone who owned hair clippers and do it myself. My flight out of Madrid came and I found myself in Dublin for a week, as annoyed with having hair on my head as ever. The week passed quickly, and finally I made my way west to the Aran Islands to work at a hostel for two weeks. I made friends. And I knew the time had finally come, when someone knew someone who had hair clippers and agreed to let me use them.

The Story

I’m not sure why the whole thing got so hyped up, but my boss at the hostel started telling everyone that I was going to shave my head, and I gained an audience of people from all over the world, asking when I was going to cut my hair. One of my friends made a Facebook event, and we decided to do the deed at night, in the Irish pub next door, because the bartender on Mondays wouldn’t care about some random girl getting her hair shaved off while she was working. One of my friends decided to conduct interviews and make a mini documentary, just for fun. (She’s into film making.) Some of the guests at the hostel decided to come along for the show. That night, some 15 people walked into the bar to see me cut off my hair.

Apparently, it was a big deal.

“No, don’t do it! You’re beautiful!”

“But… why?”

“Don’t do it. No, don’t do it. Don’t cut your hair, it looks good already!”

It seemed like everyone had an opinion about me getting a haircut. Even the guy renting bikes out to tourists. Especially my two brothers, who’d been both angry and annoyed that I would change my hairstyle. I was a little baffled, considering that it’s just hair and it’s also my hair, but my support in the endeavor was small. Me being me, I didn’t really care what anyone thought the best length of my hair was. I wasn’t trying to be beautiful, I wasn’t trying to look good. I just really didn’t want hair anymore.

Some people didn't react so well to the news...
Some people didn’t react so well to the news… but they got over it.

So sitting on a stool in the middle of an island Irish pub, I let a random French guy use his knife to cut off a big chunk of my hair and then hold it up to his face like a mustache.


The first cut.
The first cut.

Everyone took turns with the machine. Some people were rough, almost pulling the hair out of my scalp, other people could have been scratching my head for all I noticed. Piece by piece, big chunks of brown hair fell onto the pub floor as the local Irish people looked around in curiosity at the strange party. I sipped a Guinness while my hairdresser became someone else, having to be careful to avoid getting pieces of hair in my drink. I wasn’t completely successful with that, unfortunately, but there’s only so much one can do when you mix haircuts and the bar, eh?

Eventually everyone had their turn and my patchily buzz-cutted head was turned over to a different French guy. He told me that he cuts his friends’ hair when they ask him to, which officially qualified him as a professional among the other slightly tipsy guests at the pub. Taking off the plastic guard for the clippers, he sculpted my fuzz-head into an actual style, short on the neck and near the ears. It didn’t look half-bad for a haircut a bunch of slightly drunk people gave me in the middle of an Irish pub. Several people commented that I looked like Sinead O’Connor and that short hair looked really good on me; these were unsurprisingly often the same people who said “Noooooo!!! Don’t!!!” just a few days and hours earlier. The filming came to an end with a few final interviews and we enjoyed a little encore: one German guy ended the night with a ridiculous haircut and eventually had to shave his entire head to the scalp just to look normal again.

(That’s what happens when you mix alcohol and hair clippers in Ireland.)

And best of all, I finally did what I always wanted to do. I cut all of my hair off. I even have a ridiculous, ridiculous story to go with it.

How Does It Feel?

At first it felt weird. I didn’t recognize my reflection in the mirror. At times I still run my hand over my hair and wonder where it all went. Before bed, I kept trying to pull out an imaginary ponytail and finding nothing there to take out. I suddenly had nothing to do in the shower, anymore, since washing took so little time. A few people looked at me strange, but for a little while I did look like a dandelion running around in clothing.

Now? I picture myself with short hair. I’m excited to try new short-haired styles when it grows out a little more. I can’t say I’m entirely happy with my short-haired-styles thus far (see above re: dandelions) but I am glad that I cut it. I’m confident that it’ll settleย in, and I’ve now let a friend of mine (whoย actually cuts hair) style it into something that’ll grow out well. Based on my shower times and how little my hair gets in my mouth, which is never, I’m not sure if long hair is in my immediate future again.

I’m not “pretty” like I used to be. But that was never the goal. I just wanted to follow through on something I’ve always wanted to do someday, and took the plunge to make it happen, awkward growth stages and all. And for that, I’m happy.


Note: The video my friend filmed is still being edited, and it’ll take quite some time. When it’s done I’ll definitely share!

Have you ever had your hair buzzed off by half drunk people in an Irish pub too? Do you think I’m crazy? (It’s okay if you do!) Do I look like a dandelion or a more like cotton ball head in that one picture? When are you cutting your hair?

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29 thoughts on “The Ridiculous Story of My Buzzcut”

  1. I love that you cut your hair off because 1) why the hell not, 2) it’s only hair, and 3) of course you’re still pretty! Can’t wait to see what you do with it when it gets a bit longer.

    1. Haha thanks girl. Since I cut my hair, I’ve been SO jealous of how nicely Silvana’s hair falls when it’s short. You don’t notice these things about other people until you have cowlicks in all of the wrong places yourself… LOL.

      See you in July, yahoo!

  2. Ha, funny that it was such a big deal to be made into an event.

    Personally, I think short hair on girls is beautiful and I wish more girls would try out different styles. Buzz cut is a bit much, but it’s your choice and you can do what you want.

    As someone who used to have long hair, although from the male perspective, short hair is so much easier to manage. You’ll save a lot on shampoo.

    1. I think the point for me wasn’t really that I wanted to be perceived as beautiful with short hair (I could care less). I just wanted to see what it was like to have no hair. And you’re totally right, I save a ton on hair care products!

  3. A few years ago I shaved my hair off completely to raise money for charity, because it was something I had always said I wanted to do. I raised $1500 so it was completely worth it for the cause. I didn’t really like it short, but there were styles at longer-but-shorter-than-normal lengths that I did like so it was a good experience.

    And it suits you – I like it!

    1. Thanks a bunch, Jo! I would have raised money for charity too, if I had the foresight to do so. But hair grows and I haven’t been bald, yet… so there’s still a chance. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m looking forward to those in-between short and long styles! We’ll see where it ends up.

  4. Wow! I love this story! At the moment I could never cut all my hair off, annoying and time consuming as it is. I don’t think I’m someone who could rock the short hair like some people can. But how annoying is it when people comment and you can/can’t/shouldn’t do with your hair! I remember my boyfriend’s face the first time I mentioned going red – it wasn’t good! I still haven’t done that yet, probably next year.

    1. Hair is first of all, no one else’s business, and second, not even that big of a deal! It grows back if you don’t like it, anyways. You should go red! And then if you don’t like it… get a buzzcut muahaha. ๐Ÿ˜€

    2. Do WHATEVER the heck you want with your hair. We only get one life so enjoy the fact that you get to do whatever makes you happy and have fun with your appearance. I wanted short hair for years and my boyfriend was not happy about the idea. Well I did it anyway, and it made me happy to cut all my hair off and do what I wanted to do, and he loved the confidence I got from doing it. It doesn’t matter what anyone says, if they love you they ultimately won’t care. Especially men, they get over things like this magically when they need physical attention! lol

  5. Woo Sally! Awesome story – what a fun night and memory. Way to go through with it and just do! I’ve had long hair most of my life. This past fall before coming to Korea I was itching to cut it and try something shorter. The result was a cut with the longest layer just off of my shoulders, and the rest shorter layers – the shortest it’s been since I was little. I’m still a bit curious if I could “pull off” an even shorter cut, or what I’d look like. I hate taking showers, so I would love the faster drying time no doubt. Maybe when I’m out and about later this fall I’ll be brave like you…

    I have had a random person (college roommate’s friend) cut it once when we were visiting for a weekend. My hair was the longest it’s ever been, and I wanted it cut. So I let him go at it with a scissors in his dorm room. And then there’s all the times I’ve tried to cut it myself…

    Can’t wait to see the movie! Again, so glad you took the plunge ^^

    1. Be brave! Cut it all off! It’ll always grow back if you don’t like it, and maybe you’ll end up liking one of the styles in between, that you’d otherwise never have tried out.

      Hahaha oh boy, I hate paying outrageously for haircuts but you have to admit that sometimes, there’s no other option. That, or befriend a hairdresser!

  6. This is hilarious and awesome. Good for you!! Looks great! I buzzed all my hair off when I was 14, and it was great except plenty of people thought I was a boy. Sure cut down on that shower time though.

    1. Hahaha well I’m heading into more traditionally patriarchal cultures in Eastern Europe now, so I’m not that upset that I am also mistaken for a boy at times. Haha. You live, you learn, you look like your brother more than you realized! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I’ve always associated super short women’s hair with confidence, and confidence with beauty. And it’s a great story! Maybe it’ll be my turn for the clippers during our next family gathering?

    1. Haha sure! Short hair is a dream for upkeep, aside from waking up each morning looking a bit like a monster. I think it would look fabulous on you!

  8. Did you just say you’re not “pretty like you used to be”? You look great! I love it. ๐Ÿ˜€ I always imagined giving myself a buzzcut if I ever decide to spend a few months trekking the Amazon jungle or something. Haha.

    My hair is ridiculously annoying to main now though so just chopping it off would be so much easier.

    1. CHOP IT OFF!! Especially if you have a terrible shower, it makes it so much more tolerable when you don’t have to spend much time there, haha. But actually, I’m not sure I could have done it in Korea and you work at a Beauticians High School, so perhaps wait a little…

  9. I actually think it really suits, and much prefer the alternative “pretty” ๐Ÿ™‚ That was very brave of you, and I’m not sure I could do the same! Even if it was that handsome French cut holding the scissors…

    1. Hahaha a leap of faith… will this French man ruin everything? But really when the choice is between a short buzzcut and shaving to the scalp, the difference isn’t so great. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Glad you like it! Now that it’s grown in some (and I had it styled), I’m liking it a lot more. Dandelion head won’t be making any comebacks in my look… once was enough haha.

  10. I DID NOT REALIZE YOU CHOPPED IT OFF IN IRELAND!!!! I of course noticed that it was all gone hah but didn’t think anything of it. I usually just accepted that people rock harder than me and have more balls haha! That is AWESOME!! More power to ya girl!

    1. Hahaha yes, Ireland was the place! It made it much of a cooler story than getting it done in a pub in France, for example. And just a hint, if you ever wanna be one of those people with “more balls”, all you have to do is just do it! Haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Congrats on the hair! I shaved my head when I was living in India and it was so liberating in the hot weather! Kept it short for about four years and am only now finally growing it out again. My friend and I braided our hair and let all of our friends cut off a braid before giving it a clean buzz. Enjoy the feel on rain on your head! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Also, I’ve been reading your blogs on Korea as I’m starting to look for teaching jobs in Asia. Thanks for providing so much info! I may bug you if I have more detailed questions.

    1. Strangely I thought it would be more liberating, which in some ways it was, but in other ways it showed me just how uncomfortable I can be with an image that isn’t “attractive”. I eventually worked through those feelings and then the other side was definitely that liberating feeling I was hoping for at first. I’ll be keeping it short for the forseeable future, I just got it trimmed today actually, hehe.

      Bug me anytime! I’m always happy to answer questions. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by Lauren!

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