SMP – Fear And Loathing At The Workplace

A common reason for not going ahead with an SMP, or at least for delaying the decision, is the prospect of returning to work with a new head of hair and attracting attention for the wrong reasons. We investigate.

Reasons To Be Fearful


We hear plenty of reasons that people give themselves for not taking the last step on the road to their SMP. Cash is obviously a blocker for some, but even once they have it saved up there can still be emotional blocks.

Some will have doubts about how effective it will turn out to be, despite having done plenty of research and looked at hundreds of amazing treatments. Some might even have been for a consultation and met someone with an SMP, whether it be someone at the clinic or even better, a former client met through a forum. All due diligence can safely be said to have been done. Yet still they can’t quite bring themselves to make the appointment.

Of all the reasons we hear, the one that really resonates for us is the fear of going back to work. Especially, though far from exclusively, for those who work in the sort of places where banter is merciless with no hiding places. The sort of place you won’t find any shrinking violets.

What Really Happens

its all ok

Two personal stories stick in the mind. They represent two of the potentially cruellest environments imaginable, where aggression and competitiveness are not just expected, they are certainties.

The first was a football coach (for clarity, we are talking football as in David Beckham). Not just any football coach though, this one was head of youth coaching at an English premier league club – In the UK football is known for being an industry woefully under-represented with women employees. Either as a direct consequence of that, or as a legacy from the heavy drinking culture that prevailed for decades, this is not a place to turn up for work with a new haircut, never mind an SMP… or at least don’t turn up with one and not anticipate some abuse. In the event the only comments he ever received were to do with him cutting his hair so short… not once was he ever called out.

The second, even more terrifying to our mind, was a US High School teacher. He had been on one of the forums for quite a while, asking all kinds of meaningful and heartfelt questions. It was when he voiced his concerns about possibly being called out by one of the children that he got us thinking.. “Wow! That would be so bad” we thought.

In fact, we got quite invested in his story and held our breath when he announced he was in for treatment. He had the opportunity of a school break to allow a treatment to settle and went for it. He never looked back, all the comments from the children were positive… at least being called “bad ass” was a big improvement on things he had been called in the past.

SMP Debate


Returning to work is not something to worry about. Most will look at you with your treatment and see a healthier, bolder version of you. Some may be a little taken aback at why you would shave your head, some will even suggest you grow it out. But it is unlikely in the extreme that anyone will ever say… “Is that an SMP?”

If you are hesitating for any reason at all and want to talk it through, we would be delighted to hear from you and share our thoughts.  You can reach us at

Laurie Downing