Wandering

Bald and Free: What would you be willing to do?

Bald and Free: What would you be willing to do?

On my journey of self, one of my first shifts in frugality that has actually stuck with me, was an investment in a nice set of clippers. I never went to fancy salons to get expensive haircuts by any stretch. But when I thought it through, shaving my head was about far more than saving a few dollars on hair cuts.  I usually went to a SuperCuts or Cost Cutters, so it was only $12 or so, before tip (unless I had a coupon). Recognizing that time is money, I had to drive there, wait for my turn, remit payment, and drive home, on top of paying cash for the cut and tip for the worker.

Barber Shop Sign

Barbers? Where we’re going, there won’t be any barbers!

When I started reconsidering my life and thinking about luxuries we might no longer have available if I lived off of savings in (aka “retired to”) the remote parts of Costa Rica or Mexico, I imagined that getting to the barber might be one of those little complications I could do without. I also considered that I might be able to use the money I was spending on haircuts for something more meaningful, so I went for it.

A few things made this easier for me than it might for others:

  1. I am male,
  2. I’m getting old enough that people don’t assume anything weird when I have little hair up top, and
  3. A career I had pursued early in life was as a cosmetologist, so I was familiar with the tools,
  4. Buzzcuts are in… The Rock, Vin Diesel, Patrick Stewart, Bruce Willis, et. al. are all sporting nearly hair-free, carefree, hair styles.

But this change wasn’t just about who cuts my hair, it was also about giving up my attachment to having “nice hair”.   My concern about people’s response to my new lack of hair was holding me back. Once I worked up the courage, I haven’t looked back. I’ve just gone shorter and shorter. I started with a size “4” guard, and now I’m down to a “1”.

Rather than getting a haircut every 8 weeks or so (looking pretty shaggy in those last few weeks), now I have a fresh trim every week. Just put the guard on, and swoosh it all over the noggin until it stop making the “cutty” sound. Every weekend, I touch up my ‘do, and look fresh as a daisy. Once in a while, I’ll notice a spot when rubbing my hand around on my head that maybe I didn’t do so well on and feels longer than the rest. That helps me improve my skills, and I can just go at it with the clippers and fix it in a jiffy.

How much does this really save?

With little hair, I barely use any shampoo and don’t need conditioner at all. My haircuts take about five minutes from the moment I decide I want to do it until it’s done. Rather than feeling an itchy back for a few hours after the cut, I can trim up right before I shower, and all of those itchy bits wash right away.

In hard hair cut savings, I’ve gone from

  • $15 every 8 weeks = $97.50 a year

to

  • $30 for the trimmers that have lasted 5 years so far

But when you factor in the ease of maintenance, lack of hair products, and time savings… it comes out to a whole lot more.

Metaphor for Minimalism

The reason I share this story is not necessarily with the intent of kicking off a sweeping craze of opt-in baldies like myself.  With this shift in my thinking, the change required, the courage required, and the shift of focus from ego and working to please others to that of attaining peace through minimalism, are representative of many changes you can make to reorient your world from rampant consumerism, keeping up with the Joneses, and other reckless spending.

With the confidence that these changes are okay, and that I’ll be okay after making them, I started making other little changes.  Little changes add up to big dreams getting closer and closer.

What will help you find your happy?

  • A tiny house?
  • To fulltime in your RV?
  • To attain peace in your life?
  • Good health?

No matter what you’re going for, one foot down the path is far better than both up on the sofa.  What small things can or have you done to start down the road to your life goals, that are actually attainable? Share your story in the comments below.

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One Reply to “Bald and Free: What would you be willing to do?”

  1. Ha ha! I do the same thing! I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was 15. Because I’m Asian and have straight hair, any mistakes will easily show. In my experience, most barbers can’t cut my hair as well as I can. On the rare occasion that I’d find one who could, I would visit him/her regularly. The best barbers were contractors from other countries that only charged $4 while I was deployed to Iraq. Cutting my own hair has saved me a lot of time which to me is more valuable than the money saved.

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