Why Shaving My Head Is More Than Just a Fashion Statement

I’m gender non-binary. I use they/them/their as my pronouns, and I don’t identify as male or female, more as something outside of the gender spectrum entirely. But that’s not the reason that I went to my hairdresser yesterday and asked him to shave my head. In fact, although I enjoy the way I look with a shaved head, this is only the second time in my life I’ve done it. The first was three years ago, for charity. This time, it’s for health reasons.

You see, I live my daily life with a complicated mix of conditions and lately it’s just been too much to deal with. Standing under a shower is too painful with the chronic pain of fibromyalgia, arthritis, and EDS. Not to mention that it usually brings a rapid onset POTS attack to the forefront. Baths can be more useful, but the effort of lifting my arms above shoulder height still causes me severe pain and problems. So shaving it reduces the time spent.

Shaving my hair also means on the days when my complex post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression are at their worst, it doesn’t look so bad if I don’t wash my hair. I can leave it as it is, slip on a wig, or a hat, and hide the mess that’s underneath easily.

On a sensory level, having a fuzzy head of hair is also great for my sensory processing disorder and my autism spectrum disorder as it gives me a stim I love the feeling of — rubbing my head. The fuzz not only feels good under my hand, but rubbing my head makes my head feel good as well. So when my sister, who is also my carer, rubs my head to calm me, it works in a stimulatory sense and really helps me to adjust and focus.

My hair is short enough now that it’s not a bother and is definitely helping with certain things. It’s also still just long enough that if I decide to color it, I can. Coloring my hair is a huge thing for me as I battle with my mental health and in the past few months, it’s been blue and silver. It might well go purple soon enough, or bright pink. It depends on my mood.

Getty image by Alekseyliss.

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