A Frivolous Post: My Haircut

This is a post about hair. This is a frivolous post.

Ok, with that out of the way… When I was a kid I had long, straight hair. It went down to about the middle of my back and stayed there for years. My hair is thick, and there were tangles, braids, and combing, combing, combing. When I was 14 years old we were living in England, and I went to get my hair cut by myself for the first time (I’m pretty sure it was the first time.) When I walked in the door my mother gasped. The shock was apparent in her rounded mouth, bugging eyes, and general horror-movie body language. (Ok, I might be exaggerating, a bit.)

I had bangs.

That was the last radical thing I did with my hair until I was a junior in high school, at which point I cut it off, down to about an inch and a half of length. That was another kind of shock. I discovered the feeling of rain running past my hair and down onto my face. I realized that I’d been using about a gallon of shampoo every time I washed my hair. I found that I didn’t really need a comb any more.

Then I grew it out again. My hair grows pretty quickly, and by the time I was a junior in college it was just about back to the length it had been. First I dyed it. The stylist wasn’t able to convince me not to dye it jet black. After all, that had been my mother’s color before the advent of gray. My eyebrows are black. Black would be fine! So it was really dark and really obvious. But I was a freshman in college, so no big deal.

Then I decided to cut it again. I was simultaneously amused and outraged by the outpouring of sentiment on the part of my male friends, who all vehemently insisted that I should do no such thing. So I came back from spring break with it super short again. People seeing me in the lounge or computer room would come over and touch it, after they’re figured out that they actually knew me.

Over the years it’s been all sorts of lengths. The one thing that never changed was the part straight down the middle of my head. Every time I tried, with the urging of stylist, my sister, or anyone else, to move it to the side, I just couldn’t stand the feel. It was like wearing a pair of jeans that zipped up the middle of one leg. It made me twitch.

Tonight I went and had a hair cut. I have been noodling with the idea of growing it out a bit again (it’s been quite short since the advent of my darling hair-pulling twins), but have felt that as long as Hazel’s hair is short I should keep mine that way too. I won’t be surprised, though, if once she’s in kindergarten she decides she wants to grow it out. And if she’s willing to take care of it, I’m fine with that. And I figured that if she did I would grow mine too, so we could have each other for moral support around the difficulties of transitioning from short hair to longer hair, like hair that sticks out at weird angles. Though really, Hazel could care less, and for that I am deeply, heart-feltedly, profoundly, everlastingly grateful. As long as she can escape the claws of the beauty standard, I will jump for joy.

Ahem, I got off track.

Anyway, I have to admit that I don’t enjoy the part of growing my hair out where it looks like I’ve applied the contents of my vacuum cleaner to my head with some glue and duct tape. So I had been thinking that preparatory to a contemplated intentional lengthening of my hair, I would not cut it so short this time.

And lo and behold! I realized, as my stylist was tweaking it, running her fingers through it, snipping here and there, and then doing a quick blow-dry, it was parted off to the left of my head. And it looked nice. And I didn’t mind it! Having gotten home and gotten the kids down to bed tonight, I find I have no desire to break out Ted’s shaver and remove the offending strands from my scalp.

Change is possible. Sometimes it’s sneaky and you don’t realized it’s occurred until well after the fact. But if I can deal with a side part, I figure I can do anything.


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