Three years ago, X17online's cameras caught Britney in one of her darkest moments ever -- the night she shaved her head.

It was just months after the birth of her second son, Jayden James and the break-up of her marriage to Kevin Federline. Britney had spent most of December partying non-stop (with famous friends Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan), and by February 16th, she looked tired, beat down and on the verge of a total break down.

After driving around in her car with bodyguards, where X17online spotted her crying, a tear-stained hoodie over her then-brown weave.

At 7pm, she went to a hair salon in Tarzana. The salon was closed, but Britney called the owner to come open it up for her.

It was then that X17online snapped these exclusive pix of the story that would rock the celebrity world: Britney picked up a pair of clippers and shaved her own head. It was the razor heard 'round the world!

At 7:30, Britney left the salon and headed to Body & Soul Tattoo in Sherman Oaks, where she got some new ink, including a pair of lips on her right wrist.

At 9pm Britney returned home, but by then the damage to her image was done. It would be known as the moment her downward spiral began in earnest and the biggest scandal of her career.

A week later, an enraged Britney attacked one of X17online's photographer's cars with an umbrella when Kevin banned her from seeing the boys, and a few days later, Britney checked into Promises rehab. At the rehab facility, she was photographed once or twice with her bald head, but was never seen without a wig or a weave in the ensuing years that it took to grow out.

The sight of X17online's photos of Britney with a shaved head scandalized her fans and the event tipped off an emotional breakdown for Brit that led to a hospitalization, the loss of custody of her two young sons and an eventual conservatorship by her father that is still in effect today.

Britney's certainly come a long way since then, with a hit album, a sold-out world tour, numerous MTV VMA awards and Grammy nominations.

X17online has the definitive coverage of that night, so click on the gallery below to view all the pix!