To Baldly Go…
I like ’em fro’ed, relaxed, weaved, braided, wavy, straight, curly… Yes, I happen to be one of those women who just loves being able to switch up hairstyles whenever the mood grabs. Even as I write this article, I’m enjoying the shadow my current Afro is making on my wall, while my mind is brimming with the possibility of yet another new style.

So waking up one day and shaving off my hair is unthinkable. Yet it was exactly what I decided to do one misty morning a few years back.

What led me to this, perhaps it had less to do with temporary insanity and more to do with high costs both in time and money. Besides, after years of “pulling” and “sowing,” my head was crying out for a break–so the hair had to go.
I enlisted the help of the Hunk, who after a false start and me squeaking “I’m not ready yet!!”
placed the shears at the starting point before calmly shaving the lot off. To this day, all I recall is The Hunk placing a mirror in front of me as my eyes chose to focus on the sorry sight of my hair gathered roughly on the floor beside me. It took a while to pluck up enough courage to take a peep into the mirror and what I felt surprised me, this feeling of utter freedom.
Having my hair taken off was cathartic and amazing!
I was grabbing back control. No more arduous trips to the hairdressers; no more emergency overdrafts to pay the hair bill… I was bald! Ready to face the new world that was now a bigger and brighter place. This was the new me, the old me, whatever! But another peep into the mirror started to breed insecurities as I began to notice just how BIG my head was. I mean it was HUGE! (I was clearly no Solange or Erykah)–I resembled an alien. Instead of “take me to your leader” it was more a case of “take me to your dealer (of wigs!).”
As quickly as the tresses had disappeared, so had my newfound “hair confidence.” So what to do? I grabbed the Hunk’s cap and found myself, as if by magic, inside a nice warm hair shop with a very reasonably priced wig department… Exhale, exhale, exhale.
Chris Rock may have a film out called “Good Hair”–but for a few short liberating moments, I had NO HAIR and it felt great!

Author’s Note
Lola Jaye was born and raised in London, England, and has also lived in Nigeria. Her inspirational essay “Reaching for the Stars: How To Make Your Dreams Come True'” was released in spring 2009 as part of the UK’s wildly popular “Quick Reads” program, in which best-selling authors deliver short new works. “By The Time You Read This,” her first U.S. novel, is now available at book stores nationwide and at For more information on Jaye and her literary works, visit

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