Cutting edge

By Claire Hong

Claire Baba ’12 decided to shave a small portion of the left side of her head in mid-August. She shaved it herself, using a clipper and creating a pattern of layers.

“I thought it looked cool,” Baba said. “We’re going to have our hair for 70 years, might as well do something with it.”

Baba is not the only girl to shave her head. Eliza Kellman ’12 and Reyna Calderon ’12 also tried the new style.

Calderon shaved her head in March for her birthday. She told her mom a couple weeks before that she was planning to do so.

“My mom wasn’t too amped, but since she did this crazy zig-zag on her head in the ’80s, she figured she couldn’t be a hypocrite,” Calderon said.

Kellman first shaved her hair last October while in Spain for the School Year Abroad program. She said it was a spontaneous decision, as she had her hair shaved the day she thought of the idea. Kellman and a few of her friends just went to a barber, she said.

“I plan on keeping it for a while,” Kellman said. “I still really like it, and either way I don’t want to think about how I would grow it out.”

All three girls are nervous about letting their hair grow back. Baba plans to keep her hairstyle until the end of school, although she said she’s afraid the area she shaved will look awkward when the hair in that area is short and she is unable to tie it up.

Calderon said she will wait until the hair on the other side grows longer.

“I plan to keep [my hairstyle] till my other hair grows out long enough to just hide it, and let the shaved part of my head grow in secrecy,” Calderon said. “To be honest, that could be a year from now or five years from now. I’m not really in a rush.”

Baba and Kellman said they can already hide the shaved area if they flip their hair in the other direction, although Kellman likes to show the area. Baba covers the shaved area when she goes home, as she didn’t tell her parents she was changing her hairstyle.

All three girls have received mostly positive feedback about their shaved hairstyles, although they are aware there may be some who don’t tell them directly that they dislike the new styles.

“Some people just don’t think it’s cool, and I can understand that,” Baba said. “It is weird, and it’s different.”

“Other people seem to like it,” Calderon said. “They say I rock it pretty well. But frankly, I don’t care what other people think. It’s my head, and if they want they can turn away or look at my right side.”

Baba and Kellman also change the designs they shave onto their heads. Baba shaves a new design every month because she knows if she doesn’t like the print, her hair will grow back.

In September, Baba shaved the word “ill” onto her head, although she didn’t like how it turned out and returned to her layered pattern when her hair grew back. Kellman also had shaved patterns, although currently the area is dyed leopard print.

“My mom didn’t like it at first, but she feels better about it now,” Kellman said. “My dad and brother hated it when I dyed it, but they like that more now as well.”

Sophiea Kim ’12, who regularly dyes her hair, said she likes the new shaving trend, although she would never try it herself.

“Hair should be changed according to how it looks on you,” she said. “I like the shaving, but it should fit the person’s character.”

Kim dyed her hair light brown over the summer, but she didn’t like the color because it was too blonde, she said. After a month of having light brown hair, she dyed it black to her natural hair color.

“I know that dyeing damages my hair,” she said. “I space out [the time] when I dye my hair so it doesn’t get completely wrecked.”

Kacey Wilson ’13 also dyes her hair every two to three months. She first dyed parts of her under hair blue, but dyed it red when the blue faded.

“I think dyeing hair is cool,” Wilson said. “It’s like a different way to express yourself.”

Wilson first had her hair dyed professionally about nine months ago. Since her hair is dark brown, she had to bleach the area in order for the colored dye to show up.

Shana Saleh ’12 also plans on dyeing her hair, but not until her feather hair extensions naturally fall out. She had her feathers installed in her hair at the end of school last year.

“My cousin asked me if I’d seen people wearing the feathers, and my initial reaction had been, ‘No, that’s weird,’” she said. “But then my cousin and I Googled the hair extensions and decided to get them.”

When Saleh decided to get feather hair extensions, she had difficulty finding a salon that installed them because the trend was just emerging. However, she and her cousin found a salon and both had the feathers installed. Saleh chose subtle feathers that blended in with her light brown hair. They act like a part of her hair and can be brushed, washed and blow-dried without problems. She said she often forgets they are there because she doesn’t have to treat her hair any differently.

Saleh said she has noticed that fewer people are wearing the feathers but will keep them until they fall out because “I genuinely liked the idea of the feathers.”

She does not plan on replacing them, however, and instead will dye some layers of her hair pink.