Buzz cuts have always been a look, extending beyond just being a uniform hairstyle for members of the military. Women that are daring enough to shave their tresses off are often deemed fashion forward, and labeled as trendsetters for fearlessly rocking no hair.
In our patriarchal society women, more so Black women, are too commonly defined by their hair and how they choose to wear it. There are always so many stipulations surrounding what are “suitable” hairstyles for ladies that hair maintenance can be stressful for some women, and even confining.
Despite India.Arie trying to teach us all that we are not our hair, sometimes we still identify ourselves with our hair until we see others that don’t. Just as this year closes, new versions of Saweetie and Demi Lovato are popping up—both now on team no hair don’t care. On Christmas Eve the Icy Chain rap star debuted her beautiful blonde bald head in a nine-part photo dump on Instagram, and Lovato followed-up on Christmas Day debuting her short hairdo.
Edgy, sexy and retro, only scratch the surface when defining Saweetie’s and Demi Lovato’s new look, which is very reminiscent of a time past. Before hairstyles became dominated by lace fronts, micro-links and clip-in extensions, there was a moment where women freed themselves from the clutches of needing to have lengthy hair. Black women included.
The incomparable Grace Jones, who is acknowledged as being an Afro-futuristic visionary, boldly took on the buzz cut in the late 1960’s. Jones intentionally erased gender lines, and showed that femininity isn’t dependent on having long hair or any hair for that matter. Taking a step further than short pixie cuts and bobs, which many women wore in the 1960’s, Jones helped popularize the traditionally masculinized buzz cut. Something completely revolutionary at the time.
Fast-forward to the 1980’s, women wearing no hair becomes more of a thing after Annie Lennox from the pop band Eurythmics breaks out on the scene with a fiery red low cut oh-so fiercely. Coming down into the 1990’s Nothing Compares 2 U songstress Sinéad O’Connor makes her introduction onto the world stage serving a buzz cut and pure face. Once again displaying that beauty and hair aren’t intertwined.
Model and television personality Amber Rose revived this concept when she restored the buzz cut look for women in the 2010’s just as super manufactured manes were becoming the wave. After Rose’s time the buzz cut look was back to obscurity, however thanks to Saweetie and Demi Lovato the bald head trend for women is restarting and on the verge of a comeback in 2022.
Ultimately what a woman chooses to do with her hair is her business, just like her body is, but women seeing other women chop it all off can be inspiring. Especially if you look as badass as Grace Jones, Annie Lennox, Amber Rose, Saweetie or Demi Lovato.