beauty

Buzz cuts are everywhere right now. For Leah Simmons, it's more than just a trend.

After a year (or two) of ✨not a lot✨ on the beauty and style front, we're all feeling a little inspired to shake up our boring routines as we re-enter into some kind of normalcy. We're looking for something fresh. New. Exciting. Risk-taking.

Because after the s**tshow that was 2021 - has there ever been a better time for a dramatic transformation? (No. The answer is no).

Enter: The buzz cut.

Watch: On the topic of hair... here's 6 facts about body hair that will surprise you. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

Cropping up on many a red carpet and all over social media, it seems the buzz cut has become one of the most liberating hairstyles of 2021 - with celebrities such as Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith and Iris Law recently debuting their shaved heads.

It's even trending on TikTok:

@abbyrondi423

you only live once #fyp #baldparty #yolo #foryou

♬ original sound - UR NEW DAD
@.taty.ana

This is the BEST thing I’ve ever done😊 If you’re thinking about doing it DO IT! #DecadesofHair #foryoupage #shavingmyhead #fyp #foryou

♬ original sound - UR NEW DAD

And while this chic look just oozes a whole other level of cool, there's something to be said about the emotional implications of this dramatic cut. Because it's way more than just a fleeting trend.

For Australian media personality Leah Simmons, the creator and founder of KAAIAA – the first workout to train across the four pillars of health - shaving her head was her chance to start fresh.

In an interview with Mamamia, she describes her decision as an empowering act that signalled the shedding of her 'old' self, for a confident, more connected version.

"I was always a “spur of the moment” girl.. especially when it came to my hair. I would change my hairstyle as often as I changed my clothes... 'the bob' is in? Chop it off. 'Hair extensions??' How many? 'Platinum blonde for summer?' Pass the bleach."

"I remember swearing to NEVER cut a blunt fringe ever again only to grow it out and redo it two years later," she said.

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"I really believed my hair was the vehicle of my self-expression.. a way for me to feel seen and relevant. But looking back, it now feels like I was chasing something that could never be attained by a hairstyle."

"If anything, I was using my ever-changing hairstyle as a distraction to avoid looking at what was really going on inside me. My constant dissatisfaction had nothing to do with my hair... and everything to do with my self-esteem."

So, Simmons shaved it off.

Her choice was something she says wasn't a particular decisive 'moment'. 

She described it as a gradual realisation that her hair was the one thing that was holding her back - as she slowly began to realise letting go of it would allow her to move forward with her life.

"I realised that I had let not only my hair but my body and the way I looked... define me for so long," she said.

"I knew I wanted to make some sort of physical statement and trusted that the right choice would present itself. I woke up one day and said, “today is the day”. Everything aligned, and it felt completely right," she tells Mamamia.

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When asked to describe what it meant to shed her hair, Simmons says this: "Empowerment. Acceptance. Freedom." 

She goes on to say, "I am also incredibly mindful that for some people, this look isn’t a choice, and am still respectful of the way that I speak about it. I knew this was a turning point for me... leaving a version of myself behind."

"There was nowhere to hide anymore. What you see is what you get. Physically and emotionally. I was ready to reveal a different version of myself. Not better, not worse... just more connected."

"My husband and I performed a beautiful ceremony on the beach in Bali where he shaved my head and then we offered the strands back to the earth... leaving behind not just my hair, but also years of seeking external validation and the weight of other people’s opinions."

After posting her transformation on social media, the response was massive. With thousands of likes and comments, followers applauded Simmons for being brave and inspiring.

"Some people loved it, others said I looked like a cyborg. My son said I simply looked “stupid”… but it was everything I needed to hear because it made me realise that confidence and self-esteem don’t come from the way you look… they come from how you feel."

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Simmons said that the better you feel, the better the choices you make, particularly around your health, your wellbeing and your environment. 

"Anyone looking to derive their self-esteem from external sources (such as new clothes, compliments, a new job or even yes… new hair) is going to struggle to maintain a meaningful connection to it. Self-esteem comes from really looking internally and cultivating the things in yourself that you love."

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"The number of women who have come up to me and told me how much they LOVE it and then proceed to give me 10,000 reasons why they simply couldn’t do it: “my head is a weird shape", "my ears are too big", "my nose is too long…”. It makes me so sad that this is the way we see ourselves - full of flaws."

"If you decide to shave your head, I can guarantee no one is looking at your ears! This decision does take courage and more often than not, it isn’t a spur-of-the-moment choice. It is something you have chosen to do and that in itself will allow you to radiate inner beauty and strength which is all people will see."

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"I wholeheartedly respect that this also isn’t for everyone. It was the way I chose to step into a new phase of my life but in no way is it "the" way. It was my way and I applaud each and every human out there exploring ways to connect to their true selves a little more," said Simmons.

Feeling inspired? Below, we look at five other celebrities who have taken the leap and shaved their hair into a buzz cut.

Iris Law.

In an interview with British Vogue, the daughter of Jude Law and Sadie Frost said shaving her head opened up a completely new chapter for her, 

"I wanted to do something that felt liberating. The day I shaved my head, I changed my life. I’ve never done anything like that before," she said.

“I looked in the mirror and thought it was going to be emotional but it wasn’t. It felt so positive.”

Willow Smith.

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During an Instagram live show, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith's daughter brought a barber onstage to shave her head.

"My favourite song in the set right now just because of how it feels to sing would probably have to be 'Whip My Hair," she said in an interview with Today.

"This is gonna be my third time in my life shaving my head... I'm always shaving my head at monumental times in my life when things are really changing and this is definitely one of those moments."

Jordan Alexander.

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ICYMI, Jordan Alexander stars in Gossip Girl - and she's one of Hollywood's biggest rising actresses. 

In an interview with W Magazine, she said the journey to find out who she was started when she shaved her head at age 18. 

“I was trying to figure out what I wanted, and one of the things that I didn’t want was hair,” she said.

“I love black hair and the experience, it's such a spiritual thing. But there's also a lot of money. There's also a lot of work. It's a lot of time. I was just finding myself unable to keep up with it, and the solution for me was to take it off.”

Jada Pinkett-Smith.

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In an Instagram post this year, Jada Pinkett-Smith said her daughter, Willow, inspired her decision to take the plunge and shave her head.

"Willow made me do it because it was time to let go BUT ... my 50s are [about] to be divinely lit with this shed," she wrote.

Halsey.

Halsey has shaved their head on multiple occasions, but most recently sported a buzz cut after announcing their pregnancy earlier this year.

In an interview with Nylon, they said: "Hair has also been a big indicator of racial issues in my life. It's one of the ultimate symbolic struggles for women of colour. Shaving my head was important to me because I needed to be able to prove that I could still love myself if I did it."

What do you think of the buzz cut hair transformation? Is it something you would try? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@iamleahsimmons.

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