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Last night, I wanted to cut my own hair and I used a hair-cutting-machine for that. I wanted to cut it short, about 1-2cm. In the middle of the process, the machine stopped working, I opened it for repair and put it all back together. But I forgot the spacer. When going on shortening my hair I wondered about how much more there was.

When I finished the back of my head, I looked in the mirror seeing that there's no hair left, except on my forehead and partly one of my sides. The damage was unrepairable, I so removed the rest too.

I work as a programmer and am a student. There are no strict rules on how to look, but especially in my environment, a shaven head is generally equally thought often as right-winged. I have the fear that people will see me and think I'm a nazi (which I'm certainly not). I also have no idea how to explain to my co-workers how something that stupid could have happened.

I'm full of shame right now regarding this issue. What's the best way to handle that confidently and professionally, without misunderstandings?

  • Would your workplace tolerate hats, caps bandanas or similar? – Arsak Jun 9 '18 at 11:58
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I am German and also shave my head; since my mid-30s the hair was receding and thinning out, following the typical male pattern baldness. So finally I trimmed them extremely short.

I think your fear is unnecessary, skinheads are also wearing dark clothes, boots and bomber jackets. I have always worn glasses and like bright colors like orange, red or green, so I think this is the best option you have: Simply don't look like a skinhead.

The only thing which you must go through is telling your colleagues. Go in and when they look astonished at you, explain embarassed (I think that will be no problem) what has happened, German culture is open to errors, such mishaps can happen to everyone, so don't expect more problems. The only problem is if you remain silent and don't explain what happened, going forward is really your best option in this case.

If you think that you shaved the back of your head without noticing sounds too strange, you can simply say that you forgot to insert the spacer and without thinking much moved the cutter upwards behind your ear. This is very hard, if not impossible, to repair (I speak from experience).

5

There's really no difference between accidental and deliberate baldness. Either way, you don't have hair.

I shave my head. I do so because I was losing my hair anyway. When I came in the day after I shaved for the first time, I had a couple people ask me, "Trying a new look?" but that was about it.

Now, yours will be a little more extreme because you had more that you shaved off. I understand your worry about being mistaken for a Nazi, but ask yourself this: what behavior have you shown prior to this that would make people think you are one of those fools? If you haven't been walking around chanting "Asylanten raus!" or something like that, then I think you are pretty safe. The only thing that has changed is your hair and not your behavior.

Wear it and embrace it. Say you're trying something new and see how you like it. It's actually pretty easy to maintain.

4

I shave my head periodically, and usually don't have that issue, even when combined with the combat boots... The only time I've ever had someone mistake me for a Nazi was when I was approached by a Nazi (surprise, surprise, they're not the brightest)

Probably much adue about nothing. Don't trouble yourself about people thinking that you've suddenly and inexplicably become a Nazi over the weekend. It's just a haircut.

If you enjoy a little self deprecating humor, tell them the story about the broken shaver. If not, tell them it's getting warmer and it's refreshing to shave it down. (There really isn't anything like feeling the breeze on a freshly shaved scalp)

If you'd rather not deal with it at all, find yourself an appropriate hat...

  • 2
    yup have a couple of good elf deprecating jokes handy. // I tried to cut my own hair. I finally got it even. // I tried to cut my own hair. $15 at the barber shop doesn't seem like a bad deal now. – MaxW Jun 9 '18 at 6:53
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    Dude, Florida isn’t Germany. – Spagirl Jun 9 '18 at 7:50
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    @Spagirl Dude? ... I answered before they added the location. They added the location because I asked. But since you just had to say something about it... here in Florida we have real life Nazis. They hold rallies here. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified a good few of these groups, one operates in the next town over from where I currently live. On the other hand, nazism is illegal in Germany. It's still legal here because free speech protection is ensured under the first amendment. – apaul Jun 9 '18 at 8:49
  • Fair dos, hadn’t realised the edit time – Spagirl Jun 9 '18 at 9:46
  • Through none of your fault (since you answered before the location was added), I wouldn't consider this answer sufficiently backed up when applying the new, hardened "back it up" rule - since you don't mention your experiences with the issue in German workplaces. – AllTheKingsHorses Jun 10 '18 at 15:14
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Oh dear! Having accidentally made yourself look like one kind of shaven stereotype, you can counter this by allusion to other shaven stereotypes. buddhist monk I don’t suggest going the full saffron robe, but what you can do is assess your wardrobe and choose the items which are less nazi, more Buddhist. Send signals which counter those your hair itself might send.
Does the dress code at your work allow for floral shirts, can you wear a tie-dye t-shirt? Can you get away with wearing a light scarf? If the style is more formal see what you can add by choice of neck-tie and socks, go for the most relaxed style the code allows, favouring soft lines over sharp creases. Also to counter the skin-head vibe, let your chin stubble grow. That should quickly offset the look. If your concern is on public transport etc, get some very non-nazi lapel badges to wear. Also, don’t be afraid to encourage people to laugh with you about it. Tell your colleagues what happened, turn it into a good think be saying something like ‘people usually shave their heads for charity, if you’re going to have a laugh you should at least give a few bucks to [insert appropriate obviously-not-nazi charity] so that my suffering has meaning.

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