Shaving my head has freed me! Yep, I actually just wrote that, but, just a few months ago, I would’ve never thought those words would even enter my mind. But, now that I’ve taken the leap of faith and gone with a more shiny dome, I’ve actually gotten more confidence and feel less reserved when it comes to interacting with people.

Look, we all have our own insecurities, and the one that has been in the No. 1 spot for the past several years was my thinning hair. I don’t care that girls constantly said they didn’t care. Or that research shows bald men are more dominant and confident to women. All I cared about, quite vainly, I might add, was that the locks I was so used to from my younger days until now were no longer there, making me adjust to what I saw in the mirror each day.

Maybe it’s just part of getting older and adapting the whole “I just don’t give a fuck” attitude, or understanding that about 40 percent of guys my age experience some sort of hair loss, but, shaving my head has now let me get back to forgetting about my appearance and focusing on things that matter most. Here are just a few reasons why that’s the case — and, hopefully, if you’re struggling with the decision to shave it off or desperately hold onto those little strands, you’ll decide for the former.

I just stopped worrying

As someone who had some male pattern baldness — where hair typically falls out in a horseshoe shape — I still had lots of hair left on the sides and back of my head, but the crown of my dome was thinning and the whole combover thing just wasn’t looking good. I saw the balding spots and thought of ways to disguise them and create some sort of illusion. When looking straight into my eyes, one wouldn’t notice much. It was when I turned my head when it became a noticeable, and that bothered me a lot. It made me think people were staring at that more than me while talking to them, which made me hesitant — until shaving my head got rid of that feeling.

I ditched the hats

You know how you wake up in the morning and brush your teeth like it’s clockwork? Well, when you’ve got thinning hair and are trying to hide it, the best option is tossing on a hat rather than spend time filling in the thinning spots with dumb tricks. This was me, however I didn’t realize it till going through my Instagram pictures and seeing every photo seemed to have me in a hat. After shaving my head, I embraced it and have since ditched the hats to show off my newfound look.

I can be myself again

There have always been small things that I’ve worried about when it comes to my appearance. Hey, we all have those for whatever reason. Obviously, losing my hair was the biggest thing that seemed to hold me back from being confident and outgoing, putting so much emphasis on how I looked to other people. But, I’ll tell you what, shaving my head has given me back my personality more, forgetting about how others see me and owning the new look. It took some time to get there — and it requires a quick touch up with the electric razor I bought for maintenance every few days — but I’m finally accepting of the whole aging and/or balding process.

I’ve actually grown to like it

As mentioned above, just two months ago, I would’ve never thought that buzzing my head would be something I’d do till I was forced to and all my hair stopped growing. Yet, here I am admitting that I’ve actually grown to like the way my bald head looks. Sure, I’ve still got a little stubble left so that I’m not completely shiny up top — and it helps that I still have some dark hair left up there — but, overall, I actually find myself happy with what I see in the mirror each day. That wasn’t necessarily the case when I was holding onto that last bit of hair before.

Girls actually like it more

Whether you want to believe it or not, girls really don’t give a damn about a dude who owns up to his thinning hair. In fact, I’ve gotten more compliments from girls about how good it looks that it’s helped build my confidence back up about it. Sure, at first it was difficult to accept the praise, mainly because I thought it was out of sympathy, but all that has gone. Plus, as someone who’s single, it’s kind of funny that whoever my future wife is would’ve never known me with hair, which helps me be more confident. Yep, shaving my head really was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.