Former Pop Princess Figures Out Frugal? Go Bald!
I think every woman should shave her head once in her life. I can say this, because I've already done it, so I'm off the hook now. It's a very liberating experience, feels really neat when you shower, and gives you a fresh start with brand-new, stress-free strands. Also, it saves you a bundle on styling products, because you really don't need anything, save a few tuques or baseball caps to stay warm. It's something that a lot of women do to support friends who are going through chemotherapy, and it can be quite the bonding experience for the shavees.
And of course, there's always the memory of the soulful, wailing Irish balladeer who made the look acceptable to begin with. Could Sinead rock that look or what? So, I lend my wholehearted support of chopping off one's locks and sporting a fuzzy noggin. It's a sort of rebirth for a lot of people. In fact, in many Asian cultures, you are encouraged not to cut your hair following the New Year Celebration - something about not cutting off the luck of the New Year.
Now, there are plenty of theories out there as to why Britney Spears shaved her head. K-Fed was threatening to test her locks for traces of illegal substances. She was going bald already because of all the terrible chemicals, weaves, braids, glue and whatnot she had been piling on her scalp for the last few months. That stuff can really destroy hair follicles. Maybe she's having a nervous breakdown - who knows?
Or maybe, just maybe, she wanted to save some dough.
A bald head has so many implications that it's tough to know what to make of Brit's Baldness. The military shears off recruit's locks during basic training, mostly for the purpose of creating an atmosphere in which none of the new arrivals is visibly superior to the others (hopefully enhancing a sense of community and subordinance). Head shaving has often historically been a method of punishment (The Inquisition and The Holocaust are two good examples of forced head shaving), or a way to prevent headlice, or both. In an ironic move, Neo-Nazis throughout Europe adopted the look in the 1970s, and bald heads still send mixed messages today.
According to the British Daily Mail, the average British woman spends, over the course of her lifetime, £36,903.75 and 650 days on hair care. I've estimated that I spent over $5,000 on my hair over the past 6 years. A blog poll puts the number of women who spend between $100-200 on a cut and color at 35% (as of February 21, 2007). I went on a date a few years ago with a man who was a bit older than me, made more money than me, and spent more on his colorist every month than I did on my rent. One date was all her got.
Fabulous Single Ma thinks that she can save $100 a month by doing the following:
1. Reduce salon visits from weekly to bi-wkly
2. Consider new hairstyle or cut that requires less maintenance
3. Extend touch up from 6 weeks to 8 weeks
4. Let hi-lites grow out
Weekly to biweekly? A salon visit every week? I like FSM and all, but weekly visits to the salon are bloody insane! I'm not a great saver, and I'm not yet even close to frugal, but I never went to a salon on a weekly basis.
Women's health magazine has a breakdown on American hair spending that makes ME want to breakdown:
- Percentage of women who don't own a blow-dryer: 5
- Amount spent on hairstyling appliances in 2005: $941 million
- Price the AW pays for a haircut: $42
- How often she gets a trim: every 5 to 9 weeks
- Percentage of women who've never dyed their hair: 16
- Most popular dye job: brunette
Aha, but there's more:
Number of women who've considered shaving their head: 1 in 5
So, it's not that unusual after all. One in five! That's 20% of the population. I'll bet it's higher than that, too.
According to a hilarious Time Magazine article from 1950 (!):
American women is damaged by too much pampering, tinting and shampooing (all the things the beauty shops do to it). "The hair of European women is like a well-manured garden," explained one of the Fleischers solemnly. "The quality is good, but sometimes it doesn't smell too well."
There are even videos out there to help you figure out how it's done.
Doesn't that just make you want to take it all off? Even if you're not checking into rehab after months of stupid public behavior, you too can going fabulously follicle free! Let's all follow Britney's example (minus the drugs, divorce, and child neglect) and lop off our locks.
Well, the rest of you. I did that in college, and let me tell you, I have a really strangely shaped skull.