Shave off all my hair

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Karuna's Goal

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Done, with Dav, Ma & Gulu: I've been messing with my hair for over a year - coloured wildflower shades, then deep red, then shaved half off (enjoyed that!). But the hair was damaged and difficult to maintain. Just before Vipassana, I decided to save Cape Town's water by taking the kitchen scissors to my hair. After Vipassana, I felt a need to shed even more. I convinced my brother to trim my hair down to #1. Two days later, a barber shaved my scalp clean with a cutthroat razor. My mother prepared and applied the ointment that is used to soothe a baby's scalp when it is shaved soon after birth. This symbolised my birth into a new phase of this life.

At first I felt naked, exposed, vulnerable. It was weird to feel so many sensations on the scalp - like millions of feathers tickling my head, eek! I wore a headscarf or beanie for the first week. But I quickly grew to love my bare head and started stroking it lovingly. It was so easy to maintain - just like skin - wash and moisturise. My ears now needed sunscreen. 

People's reactions were entertaining. I made them uncomfortable. Most pretended not to notice. Of those who commented: most people (both men and women) admired my bravery, a few wondered if I had cancer, a couple of women reminisced about when they had shaved their heads too and some chauvinists mourned my lack of femininity and "consoled" me that it would grow back soon.

It has indeed grown back healthy and fast. I'll keep it short for a year, then let it grow out. I'll enjoy renewed appreciation for hair and other joys of life. Then clean-shave again when I go through the next sabbatical/ life-stage shift. 

WHY: I want to shed my old life, to grow into the next one. 


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