I Got An Undercut, Because: YOLO

Some people ride roller coasters; I do impulsive beauty stunts.
Publish date:
September 12, 2014
hairstyle, haircut, DIY haircut, shaved hair, undercut, yolo

I’ve never been what you'd call a dare devil, risk taker, or even the life of a party (unless it’s a LAN party). I won't ride roller coasters, base jump, or sky dive because, honestly, the catastrophic possibilities far outweigh my mortal hubris.

But what about the thrill? The zest of life? The YOLO?!

There are far more non-life-threatening risks I’m willing to take that, inversely, many a roller coaster-rider would shake their head no at. Most recently, without much preparation (aside from a Google search), I had the nape of my neck shorn into an undercut, as it’s commonly known.

But Instead of going to the salon where some trade-only clippers that you probably can’t even buy in stores would give me my first-ever luxurious head-shave, I let my boyfriend wield the sword of my vanity and, effectively, Sampson me (sort of).

Here's the backstory: I'd been expressing how annoying it was to have a mop of thick hair around my neck one particularly humid week in NYC. “Just shave your head!” Boyfriend joked. I neglected to salt that sentiment, and once I let on that the idea had piqued my interest, Boyfriend wouldn’t let it go, practically begging me to let him shave the nape of my neck. Obviously, you know how this story ends.

Terms were discussed, briefly. He would have to do it exactly where I wanted. And if it turned out hideous I would be allowed retribution of my choice. And afterward I'd get to paint his nails. And I'd get ice cream.

Good thing I liked the way it turned out, starting the horizontal line of demarcation at mid-ear.

I watched as long locks of my mottled hair fell to the bathroom floor. It took all of 10 minutes. Then I hopped in the shower to rinse the hairs off my body, gripping a suddenly more svelte ponytail of hair to wash. What do you know--it works!

Since undercuts on your nape can start however far up your head you want, and longish hair hides it when it's down, I don’t feel like I’m necessarily committing to some alt lifestyle. I'm just dipping the tip of a toe in.

I do like the way it looks when I have my hair up--like a little mushroom cloud. All in all, 10/10 would go to this "salon" again.

There was a time when every year or so I’d get bored of my hair and cut bangs on a complete whim (I called them boredom bangs), usually at seasonally inappropriate times. Of course, boredom bangs and undercuts aren't for everyone. Neither are tattoos, bleached platinum hair (I thought long and hard about that one), neon pink hair, cosmetic surgery, red lipstick, contact lenses--you name it and someone will NOPE it.

Sometimes the best part about pulling a fast one with your looks is that you realize how much your world changes (or doesn’t). You’re taking total control of your image and no one has time to talk you out of it.

Sure, you may grow to regret a spontaneous move when you realize how hard it is to grow out (ahem). But didn't it feel like a a jolt of awesome in the moment? You wanted to do it and YOU DO WHAT YOU WANT. And no one can call you a scaredy-cat chicken.

I’m not claiming to be the baddest of the bad, but a spontaneous head-shave is new for me. At best, impulsive beauty moves are like a legal and relatively inexpensive high that reminds you how much you are in control of your bad self. At worst, they’re a distraction from another part of your life that is spiraling out of control. (Let’s hope the latter situation can Oprah itself to a level where healthy coping mechanisms are employed).

Anyone else shorn their nape? Am I headed for a grow-out process of complete misery? Tell me about your impulsive beauty stunts.