You won’t know it to look at me, but for the past four years my hair has been above my ears. I shaved my head August 2016 on a whim. An absolute whim that had a powerful affect on me. I won’t go so far as to say it “changed me as a person” or “changed my life” or whatever… at the end of the day, it really is just hair. But how I related to myself was altered.
Growing up fat, smart, and humorous, I every only got complimented on my naturally curly hair. I took immense pride in my hair. So much so it turned into a sort of safety blanket and I refused to cut it or do anything to it for that matter. Through high school and college, I was literally sitting on my hair. It was obnoxious, but it was all I had. I mean, this is the reckoning of a depressed mind, but it was my reality as I knew it.
Something in me snapped. At first, I had a cute bob. I bleached it. I had a side shaved on New Year’s 2016. Near the end of 2016, I was one of those kids with badass hair that was fun to get complimented on because I, too, knew it was cool.
Then something else snapped. I was tired of it. My hair was a distraction and I never got to wear it down anyways, so what was the point!?
Laying on one couch while the boyfriend du jour was on the other, I asked in the middle of an episode of whatever, “What if I just… shaved my head?” I got the equivalent of the cliche disinterested husband, locked on the football game that barely heard anything other than the next play, but managed a “that’s nice dear” because while he recognized his total lack of interest in a subject, he still feelt the emotional obligation to respond to the woman he’s choosen to share space with.
“No, like, really. What if?” He replied with a grunt, still thumbing through his phone.
To be fair, I’d posed this question to him a few times before. The first time it was met with a serious discussion ending with “maybe you shouldn’t.” The second time, a brief exchange ending with “thought we decided not to?” The third was not a discussion at all, but the equivalent of a tv sports dad.
So I went into the bathroom and shaved my goddamn head.
I don’t know if it needs to be said, but we didn’t last that long after the whole head shaving thing. And honestly, it was the most pivotal time in my budding adult life. To this day, I still think I nailed life after that because of my counter-culture hair (re: “changed my life” but don’t read into it haha).
Although all that’s a fun story (I pull it out for party tricks), no one really talks about letting it grow back. While plenty of youtubers document their “hair journey,” there’s little content. Wow, let’s use better words: what I mean is, they document their growth without really offering anything other than pictures or a play-by-play for their new length. It is what it is. Maybe it’s helped some people decided to take the plunge, but I don’t think it’s valuable.
There’s an overwhelming amount of “how-tos” and “tips” for when you’re working to regrow hair, so maybe that’s helpful to those with asymmetrical cuts? But I don’t think people who are into having extreme cuts would be that concerned with the awkward growth phase (it’s real, and it’s like four solid months). Again, just not valuable content.
This isn’t what I offer. Is it valuable content? Absolutely not. But it’s entertaining.
What You Forget About Hair (as a concept) When You’re Bald for Several Consecutive Years, A List:
- Hair = shampoo + conditioner = $$$: I forgot how much hair stuff costs and the bullshit system of trail-and-error to figure out what works for your particular texture.
- You have to plan time to actually do something with your hair when you’re going places: Up, down, half-do, plait, clip, bun, whatever – you gotta do something. And if you’re going somewhere nice(-ish) where people will see you, you need to plan extra time in order to make it look NICE.
- It gets everywhere: furniture, clothes, my food, your food. Fucking everywhere.
- Clogged shower drains: I now own my own hand rake thing for the drain because I feel bad every time I have to call maintenance to come unclog my drain because I shed like an animal. Thusly:
- You shed like an animal
- You have to brush it, on schedule, while it’s wet, otherwise the mats that form will hold all your dead, gross, hanging hair in its tangle and create a massive jungle for you to be self-conscious about until your next washing (when you can brush it out because it’s wet): I literally pulled a knotted wad of hair out from my hair at work, while talking to an associate, and stared at it dumbfounded. I FORGOT hair does this.
- Hair weaves itself through your knits in the drier, and there’s not shit you can do about it: nope, nothing. Each sweater, pullover, and casual knit garment just has a little more you in it. Lint rollers don’t help, depending on the length.
- Going sleeveless means you’re gonna feel hair in places you’re not expecting and you might actually kill someone in surprise: hair in the butt crack of your armpit, a sensation you haven’t felt in years, will feel like a tarantula that’s climbing onto your shoulder. You will then YIPE! And swat at your invisible attacker while driving and you might run off the road into a head-on collision. Buckle up for safety.
- Hair is hot
- Not only is it hot, it retains heat like a mini insulator powered by rage, coffee, and chaotic magic: So while it’s hot, your own body heat as a human is cascaded down onto you. Take that, thermodynamics.
- Hair retains sweat
- It takes literal hours for your shit to dry
- Children will pull on it, and that hurts. Lovers will pull on it and that’s awesome: Don’t look at me, it’s science.
- Hair will try to choke you while you sleep: It’s exactly like those stories you hear about people sleeping with their pet snakes and waking up dead. Snakes grow larger in order to consume larger prey, so they get bigger off the prey just to consume larger and larger prey. It’s a crazy natural cycle you’ll only believe if it’s narrated to you by a British person on a show called “Wild Nature” or whatever. This is hair. If you grow it out to your shoulders, that’s all it needs – it’s got full access to your throat, mouth, and nose. That quick nap at an awkward angle might be your ticket to “the big sleep.” Ultimately, as the coroner’s announcing COD, it’ll be a suicide as it’s you that killed you. Think on that.
- Literal hours to dry means wet pillowcases, wet nightshirts, wet everything: gross.
- Hair is not totally friendly with glasses: tiny screws, tiny levers, all that stuff will yank your shit out of your head so quickly and deftly, you won’t know what hit you. It’s the hair’s ultimate ninja move to cause pain; like stepping on a lego.
- Lady mullets are real and uncalled for: your hair will all at once grow at more/less the same speed. Logically, the hair in the back, closer to your neck, will be the longest. If you don’t get it trimmed, you will have a lady mullet for an indeterminable amount of time. There’s no amount of party or business one person can accomplish in a 24-hour period to ever, and I mean ever, justify a mullet, lady or otherwise.
- If you are a lazy POS like myself, you will be confronted with how acutely limited your repertoire of cute hairstyles that you can perform on yourself: Youtube exists, but my will to do my own hair doesn’t.
- Headaches: Combining a few of these realities (POS + limited hairstyle knowledge) means I live in a ponytail. Ponytail is weight. Sustained weight on your scalp is painful and your brain will absolutely try to punish you for owning hair. It’s outright rebellion.
- Ponytail holders rip-out? More like rip-off: in 2001, I discovered the magic of the metal-less ponytail holder. FUCKING BRILLIANT. Still rips out hair. There’s no win, my man.
- Driving with the window down may kill you, your passengers, and/or others: It’s all fun and games living out your “eat pray love” fantasies down I-40 with the tunes blaring and the sun shining down until your drugstore brand headband loses its self-worth and lets your shit fly around like you’re Dorothy caught in a giant tornado. You know what happened to Dorothy? She got the god knocked out of her in a drug-sustained coma and a whole ass house landed on an unidentified woman while she was harassed by genetically modified apes. Dorothy, however, had the sense to have her shit in plaits. Moral of the story: control your shit.
- Frizz… always frizz: This is the one thing the gods can’t control. Like the Fates, frizz is a cosmic force outside the realm of positive intent, prayer, or even sacrifice. It doesn’t matter how nice of a person you are, how religiously you follow your hair care routine, how diligently you research curl patterns or textures or brands. Your shit. Will frizz. At the drop of a hat. Speaking of hats:
- Hats are stupid and bias against the hair-having: not only do I have a big head and a fat face, the lord saw to it that my hair would be as thick as possible to ensure my gargantuan melon head would never know the satisfaction of a cute sun hat, supporting the home team, or covering up my disgusting hygiene habits. Thank you, O, Wise Ones.
- Bullshit babyhairs that have absolutely no other function than to be four-inches long and no other purpose than to make you look foolish and unkempt.
- Adequate shade is not a decent enough trade off for weird and unwelcomed tan lines.
- Hair can make for a cuddling nightmare: Big spoon wanted to breathe? Too fuckin bad, love me anyways. It also gives the little spoon that itchy, laying-in-grass feeling, so that’s not fun, either. My solution: twirl it up and put it under the top of your big ass head – pretend it’s not there, it’s the only way anyone will have fun.
- A big, stupid head means multiple textures and curl patterns on one giant dome: good luck figuring that out.
- Length means a built-in ponytail holder: twirl that shit up, make a knot, good to go for the next 12 minutes. More length = longer hold. This is the one solid god gave the hairy.
- The new growth is the softest, brand new baby doll hair and it’s amaaaaazing!
In summation, hair is kinda bullshit. It’s just another way in which one has to suffer for style. So then, why do we put up with it? I think i just talked myself into getting a haircut…