Living in a Van and Cutting My Own Hair

I also made a video of hair cut day…on YouTube


My hair looked and felt like a dirty old floor mop!


It was long (for me) and hard to keep clean while exploring Utah’s back country in October 2014. I had taken to wearing a head band or Buff all the time to keep my hair cleaner, but at night it was cold and I was sleeping in a hat. The follicles of my hair actually hurt when they got tugged on by the hat on my pillow, and the whole thing seemed like a pain-in-the-wotsit. I had to use more than a quart of water to wash it, which felt like such a waste, what with water being such a precious commodity.

Surmise it to say, I was sick to the teeth of my hair.

So I decided to cut it off.

At the time I didn’t own any hair clippers, but I was camping with a friend who had some. I asked him to use a guard and cut it really short for me. It wasn’t until he did the first swipe on my scalp, that I learned he didn’t have any guards. Oh well, too late now.

As the hair fell away in big, ugly, gray clumps, I could feel my energy returning, as though the gray mop had been stealing it from me. I quelled the fear of what I would look like, and reminded myself that it would grow back, so it didn’t really matter and I could always wear a Buff.

My friend had a bit of fun while doing this.

First he gave me a Mohawk, then a couple of horns, and finally it was all gone.

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I wasn’t sure about my appearance, but it felt truly wonderful! I felt ten-years younger, and there was a spring in my step. I felt perky, and bright, and oh so freeeeeeeeee. Feeling the coolness of air moving on my head was quite delightful, and I even felt a little bit sexy (how I looked and how I felt are not the same. Ha ha).

During the time my hair was this short, I also noticed that people treated me differently. Without the gray hair, I think it was harder for people to guess my age, and teenagers seemed to think I was cool. They were far more open with me and would talk to me or say hi, whereas before, teenagers and young men (and nearly all men for that matter) would just look at me as though I were an old fuddy duddy. Now I was getting glances and smiles from almost all men, including bemused looks.

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I had quite a few women ask me about it, and how it felt. So many of them longed to do the same thing, but they had husbands, kids and family who wouldn’t let them. I understood, because although my entire family is in another country, they still gave me a hard time about it.

Okay, I give; there is a possibility that some of these people were being nice to me because they thought I had lost my hair due to cancer. I heard one guy say something to his buddy along those terms, but I don’t think that was the case for all of them. When I asked people what they thought, they said they thought it looked pretty cool, was sensible for the desert, and that they thought I looked like a brave, adventurous woman. And from the women; how jealous they were.

It look about three weeks for my hair to grow to the length I’d intended it to be in the first place, and during that time it was so easy to care for. All I had to do was wipe it with a cloth, like I would my face. I did a four-night backpacking trip, and didn’t have to worry about it at all, and at night there was no pain from the follicles. I LoVeD it.

I also did some calculating, and estimated that I could easily save around $300 a year by cutting my own hair rather than paying a hair dresser, and for many women that figure could be doubled or even tripled. I didn’t have to go this short, but I could still do it myself quite easily. I went to Walmart and purchased a pair of hair clippers for under $20.00, and ever since then I’ve been cutting my own hair. I even learned how cut the sides shorter than the top, and how to leave little wisps of hair for a more feminine look. In 2015, and 2016 I worked in a very trendy store, and had to look nice, so I got pretty good at doing this.

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So how do I cut my hair while I’m living off grid, with no mirrors, or wash basins, or any real hair-dressing aids? Most times I just strip naked (in a remote place of course) and buzz away, I mean how can I go wrong? If I mess up, I just go one guard shorter, and hey prestro, problem fixed. (LOL).

I understand that most women would be very hesitant to cut their own hair with clippers, so I did my hair about a week ago and decided to video the process. If you have the right kind of hair for doing this, there is no reason you couldn’t do it to.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube.

I’ve been considering cutting my hair super short again for the summer. What do you think? Should I cut it all off again, or not?

Roxy ~ A Nomad for Nature


17 responses to “Living in a Van and Cutting My Own Hair

  1. You look younger with the shaved hair 🙂

    I’ve cut my hair with clippers too 🙂 I usually shave just the bottom 2/3rds or so. Enough so that I have “normal” looking hair. The first time I had it done at a salon in the mall. The stylist thought I’d lost my mind.
    I quickly realized a set of wahl clippers would pay for themselves in two trims, so I switched to buzzing my own hair.
    I did the first time because it was SO hot having long hair in the summer. I’ve let it grow out a bit the last couple months, but now that Spring is in the air, I’m thinking about cutting it again.


  2. Roxie, I think your cut is really cute. I’ve been cutting my own hair for years now too. As you mentioned, it saves money and it’s also kind of a fun hobby. For me, it’s been a huge learning curve and I’ve given myself some weird cuts along the way. Once I got too close with the clippers on top of the head and it looked like a patch of moss growing there with long hair on the sides. I got comments that ranged from “cute” to “dyke.” I never had a job where my hair (or lack of) was an issue, but I don’t really care for the attention one can get with a wild do, which probably means no purple hair or spikes for me. I use a combination of clippers, scissors, and an inexpensive little “razor comb.” The razor comb is really good for thinning out thick, bushy hair to give it more shape and way easier to use than thinning shears. I like your idea of wearing a jacket when cutting so you don’t get all furry. Thanks for the fun post and video!

    Liked by 1 person

      • That’s a good question. I don’t know if a razor comb would tame a cowlick or not. I do think a razor comb could replace clippers if the hair doesn’t grow out too much between trims. If you ever use one, they work best when the hair is wet and if you drag/pull the comb up and under the hair. They’re not very expensive. I picked one up from Amazon for less than $5.00 and the replacement blades you can find in a regular store.


  3. I liked the Mohawk….Hope to watch the video soon. I need to learn to buzz my hair.
    Thanks for sharing your journey. My blog is on family genealogy and i have a hard time writing that,let alone a more personal journey.


    • Blog writing and doing YouTube Videos is time consuming, and doing personal stuff can be hard. However, I go with it because I’ve learned it has actually helped people(much to my surprise)…it’s not for everyone though, that’s for sure. 🙂 Genealogy is time consuming too, lots of research. Good luck with your blog. Hair buzzing is easy, it’s all going anyway, so how can you go wrong…lol.


  4. Hi Roxy,

    Your Hair post just refused my post but instead required me to enter my WordPress PASSWORD. I won’t do that because of the intense hacker storm constantly trying to destroy my site. I tried a free site but it wasn’t for me. My site is self hosted. I will past in my comments in this email. Doug


  5. i love it and the idea! i believe and know that gender is a social construct…we do not need to fit into a box when it comes to what we choose to do with our hair or anything else. for those who don’t like it, fine, but what they like does not matter in this regard. what YOU like is what matters. my hair has been getting shorter and shorter and i love it.


  6. Hey Roxy! Don’t let anyone tell you how you “should” look. It’s a free country. You can wear your hair the way that pleases YOU!


  7. nothing personal but i can tell your are a woman. i cut my own hair, also. i’m a male. i don’t bother with the guards.

    ice cream. raz


    • I know a lot of men that do that, it’s acceptable for a man. I especially think it’s a great idea for older men, when they have little hair left. Super short hair looks much better than comb-overs…:-)


  8. I don’t know Roxy. I have been the kind of person who
    believes in gender accentuation: Women should look like women & men should look like men – but i think that i have a solution for your situation. Cut your hair the way that feels most comfortable to you, and buy and use a wig in those appropriate situations you may find yourself in. You just need one good looking – good fitting wig to wear when appropriate. That way you are covered. Short hair for the outdoors – wig for restaurant visits, etc. That may be your solution, i do not know for sure, but sounds reasonable.


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