13 years ago, pop star Britney Spears shaved her head bald in what became one of the most iconic media moments of the 2000s. However, behind the shock factor and the laughs were a pop star who was trying to take control back of her own story.

In 2007, images of Britney Spears shaving her head during a breakdown were captured by more than 70 photographers, and became famous around the world, almost overnight.

In the 2019 documentary Britney Spears: Breaking Point, the hairdresser who witnessed Britney shave her head, and a tattoo artist who was there the night it all happened, made claims that Britney revealed glimpses that night into why she may have done it.

According to Cosmopolitan: After leaving a rehabilitation clinic in Antigua, Britney had gone to the home of her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, asking to see their children, Sean and Jayden. When he refused, Britney drove to a nearby hair salon and asked hairdresser, Esther Tognozz to shave her head. In the documentary, Tognozz states that she tried to persuade her not to, but as soon as her back was turned, Britney had grabbed the clippers and begun shaving her own head.

Shortly after shaving her head, Britney attacked Paparazzi with an umbrella, and rightfully so

Meanwhile, the tattoo artist had this to say:

“[I heard] an insane roaring sound outside. I wasn’t sure what was happening – if there was a riot outside and then the flashes came.”

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“I noticed her hair was gone. I remember asking here, ‘why do you shave your head?'”

She claims Britney told her, “It was, you know, ‘I just don’t want anybody, anybody touching my head. I don’t want anyone touching my hair. I’m sick of people touching my hair.'”

The image of Britney Spears has been heavily under control ever since she was a young star, and one could argue is still being heavily monitored and edited to this day.

By shaving her head she not only stripped back the image of herself that everyone grew to love, but she was fighting back, in whatever way she could, against the media that had been heavily intertwined with her life from the beginning of her career.

The world witnessed Britney Spears have a breakdown and turned it into their new favourite joke, but 13 years later the action still remains to be one of the bravest and disheartening moments in Pop music history.

Watch Buzzfeed explain how Britney Spears survived 2007.