Q#181: To shave or not to shave (my head, as a woman, while job searching), that is the question…

Okay, my neck of the woods is under a heat advisory for the 3rd day in a row. Can’t even take the dogs out before 7:45 pm because it’s too freaking hot outside. And worse, my hair has been growing back the past few months, thick as always, but looks awful thanks to the big patches of gray mixed in with mousy-brown hair. My build and stature make me look like a stocky middle school football player who let his buzz cut grow out spiky.

And with the air conditioner out in my car, driving anywhere makes me sweat, even when it’s mostly highway miles and the windows are down. My scalp itches most days and I’ve had to bring rags to make damp and rub through my short hair and when it gets really bad, get the dry shampoo out and go spraying. Thanks to adult-acne genes, I am prone to breakouts around the hairline.

Most of all, I just want to cool off. I don’t think of myself as an attractive person, with or without hair, but what I’ve got going on on my head just isn’t going to do.

So, with all the heat and the annoyance, I REALLY want to shave my head again.

But I’m also looking for a new job, and don’t know if–as a woman–this really will negatively impact my job possibilities.

Be aware, I’m NOT going in for major professional positions, like lawyer’s offices or anything like that. Most of what I’m looking that is in service and retail, or warehouse positions if possible (and yes, after I get off here and finish cleaning the kitchen, I’m going on the sites and doing some online learning for computer skills). So, nothing where you’ve gotta wear a nice suit to work far as I know. Probably a basic work uniform at most, or khakis and a polo like other jobs I’ve had.

Now, I’ve shaved my head a couple of times at my current job, but I’d waited a few months before doing so and I tended to wear hair scarves to cover my scalp (partially for fun color, but also because some folks I’m sure are a bit weirded out by an overweight bald woman… when I drop some poundage, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to rock the dome nicely without feeling like I might need to cover up). If I wasn’t looking for a new job, I’d have shaved my head again last night and not looked back.


Far as I know, nobody’s had a problem with my shaved noggin and hair scarves, just some “hmm” at most and being ignored. The kids have a couple minutes of interest at most and then forget about it.

This is different, though, because it would be a new job entirely. I don’t know how a potential employer would feel about a bald woman walking in for an interview.

I want to do this for comfort more than anything, and to get clearer skin and help my scalp a bit. It’ll be easier to “make myself up” a bit if I don’t have to worry about sweat breakouts so much. I’ve gotten away from makeup the past few years, mainly because of the damned breakouts, but with more water, exercise, and cleaner skin, it’ll be easier. I hate dealing with my hair and it’s been a bane to my existence. I want it either long or not at all, and thanks to stress from the early pandemic period (when I got burned out and quit my previous job), my hair grows kinda funny. It’s thick, but it doesn’t grow well or very long. And if I try to make it long, it’s practically unmanageable. That “turning gray” crap makes styling tough at times.

So, since I don’t have any health issues regarding hair loss (anymore, and definitely not alopecia), or a family member going through chemo and me wanting to support them, etc., would I be shooting myself in the foot if I shave my head, in case an interview comes up? Or am I overthinking this and I should just get the Norelco out and go to town on making my scalp bowling-ball smooth?

(I managed to do that a couple of times and it felt funny to the touch, but damn was it liberating and much cooler)

Have any of you guys worked with a “bald woman” and they had problems with employers/co-workers? Or did anybody give a damn and work was just work? I’m really curious because I’m seeing a vague mix of responses. I really don’t wanna ask LinkedIn later, for obvious reasons (hee hee).

Anyhoo, floor’s yours…

13 thoughts on “Q#181: To shave or not to shave (my head, as a woman, while job searching), that is the question…

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Oh man. Tattoos kinda weird me out (it’s the needles and pain thing, though I’ve considered 1 or 2 in my time).
      Being the bookwormy nerd I am, if I was gonna get a tattoo on my skull, it would probably be of an anatomically correct brain all over the skull cap… dunno if I’d color code it and have labels while I was at it, but I figure might as well.

      Liked by 2 people

        • TheChattyIntrovert says:

          Maybe if I worked at the Texas School Book Depository Museum.
          Otherwise, maybe Frankenstein’s monster’s brain with bolts and jagged stitches and all… but maybe for Halloween only (with body paint instead–hee hee).
          Besides, I’d probably never get a job anywhere with that kind of tattoo, unless I wanted to do the wig thing.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. bobcabkings says:

    I haven’t worked with any bald women that I recall, but have known some bald women due to chemo. I suspect that lot of bosses would have a problem, but if you found one who didn’t, they would be good in other ways too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I get what you say (got a few who thought I’d undergone it when I first shaved my head. I just said it was too hot in Texas and felt great–first compliments I ever got from strangers as an adult were from that time and from bald men, now that I think about it (hee hee).
      One of the few things I do see is that if a boss is all fixated on your looks, you probably don’t wanna work for them anyway. Well, yeah, but everybody has first impressions whether we like it or not, so that’s why I’m here. Too vague info elsewhere.

      Liked by 1 person

      • bobcabkings says:

        Of course , it would be the bald men.

        Right now, it’s probably too hot in Texas for clothes, but you have to draw a line somewhere. You might have to just do it. It sound like you’re sure you have to do something about the hair one way or another.


  2. ali redford says:

    I so want to tell you to do as you need to. So I’m just going to. It sounds like you can make it work for you. Being more comfortable is eveyrthing, really, and you’re absolutely correct for doing that for yourself.

    OTOH, in the case of a position you really, really want but they ask you-in some HR-approved way-about your style, can you say that you did it in support of a person you love without going into further detail? It really wouldn’t be a fib, since it’s self-care. 😉 Greatest good fortune in your job hunt!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SusanR says:

    FWIW, I like Ali’s idea. Do your thing and if you feel an explanation is in order, say it’s in support of a loved one. Me, I’d probably opt for a wig since I’m a lousy liar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      Danke Danke. I got a closet full of hair scarves (easier to put on than a wig–I have trouble with caps and Halloween wigs, would hate to drop cash on a real one and never wear it). And the computer glasses I wear kinda gives my face more definition.
      Frankly, I’ve never thought of myself as attractive (my eyes being the exception most comment on that I agree with), and I’ve tried and tried to make my hair work. But now I’d just rather be without. I do wonder how it would look with a lot less face-fat in a few years. Might not rock it as well as Persis Khambata in the first Star Trek movie (she REALLY rocked it), but I like the idea of a stress-free ‘do more than anything. Gotta clean and shave it this morning–laundry first, then the big thing (because all that hair–even when only 3/4 of an inch–is gonna be a pain to clean up if I don’t prep right… but it’ll get easier when it’s just tiny stubble for the next few months–hee hee).


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