How do you feel about your hair?
I hate mine.
It’s fine, it’s thin, it never has any body. Even hair spray makes it sag. I could spray it with shellac and it would droop against my face after an hour.
My mother learned early on that I couldn’t have the long french braids that my friends all got to have. Barettes slid out within minutes. So did elastics. Any additional length to my hair just made it hang down heavier, so that if it grew much past my ears it simply became a curtain of greasy locks that clung to itself in strings.
So she settled on a pageboy bob for me, and it worked pretty well, and I’ve never really strayed far from it.
Except for one unfortunate incident.
It happened when we lived in Dutch Caribbean.
It started out so innocently. My mother and I were out, doing some shopping, and my hair had grown a little long over vacation so my mother decided to have it trimmed. She walked me into a salon, sat me down in the barber’s chair, and said to the Dutch hair dresser, “The same cut, only shorter.” She demonstrated a few times with hand signals that she wanted a trim of around an inch or so.
Then she patted me on the shoulder and went to do some shopping.
When she returned, she found her daughter staring in silent, polite horror while the barber carefully applied gel to her hair and massaged the remaining two inches into Bart Simpson style spikes.
THE GUY CUT MY HAIR TO TWO INCHES LONG ON TOP, SHAVED ME AROUND THE EARS, AND THEN SPIKED WHAT WAS LEFT.
My mother is not a joking kind of a person. She’s not silly. She, like me, tends to see the worst in things, rather than the best.
But I have never seen her struggle so hard to keep a straight face when she looked at my imploring face under that masculine hair do. She paid the man, guided me outside with her hand between my shoulder blades, and then began to laugh hysterically.
“He must have thought you were a boy,” she said to me.
I looked down at my knee length surfer shorts and tried to concede his mistake. But meanwhile MY HAIR WAS STILL SPIKED.
“It’ll wash out,” she assured me.
My mother, still giggling to herself, took me to my favourite candy store and let me buy a big bag of consolation, then took me home and washed my hair. I wish now that she had taken a picture, but I probably would have pitched a fit at the time.
I think we both hoped that once the gel was washed out, it wouldn’t be too bad.
But it was.
Nothing could change the fact that my hair around the nape of my neck and around my ears had been clipped very short in a buzz cut. The hair on top of my head was only a couple of inches long.
Nothing could change the fact that I looked like a Nazi.
For the next TWO YEARS, I would hear occasional strangers ask each other “is that a boy, or a girl?” on days when I wasn’t wearing pink, and since I wasn’t a girly girl, I almost NEVER wore pink.
But it’s okay, these things happen and I’m TOTALLY OVER IT.
However, I do have a strong dislike to short hair dos in men. Psychoanalyze that all you want, but I do.
It’s not like I want PH to grow his hair into a ponytail or anything, but it’s something I notice: I like hair to be present, in boys or girls. I love PH’s baby pictures because his mother did the bowl-haircut thing, which I think is super cute:
When Owl’s hair started to grow too long, and turn into a mullet, I got his first haircut done by the only hair dresser I trust: my old hairdresser in Nova Scotia, who has cut my hair since I was 14.
She just took a little bit around the edges, which was perfect. A couple months later, when it started to grow into mullet land, I tried to wheedle PH’s mother into giving him a quick trim, but it didn’t work.
So PH trimmed him with scissors at home, and it worked pretty well. His hair has been cute, and not too short:
But the bangs got longer and longer, and PH’s home job on those wasn’t as impressive, so we decided to bite the bullet and take him to a hair dresser.
“Just as long as they don’t trim it too short,” I said nervously. “Just get them to even out the edges.”
PH found a kid-oriented hair salon nearby and took him while I was at work, and asked them for a medium trim.
You know where this is going, right?
Not only was my son’s hair shorn close to his head, but the top had been left in two inch long strands.
How does one react when one discovers that a hairdresser has transformed your son from a cute little hillbilly into a member of the Hitler Youth?
If you’re like PH, you shrug it off and say “It’s not THAT bad, he had a blast, they gave him a balloon, and it’ll grow back.”
If you’re like me, Anxiety Girl, you COMPLETELY WIG OUT.
My initial reaction may have been a little but of an over reaction. But It just goes to show that you just can’t trust hair dressers. They’re all secret anti Semites out to shear their innocent fellow gentiles.
I’m mostly over it now.
After all, it will grow back.
…IT WILL GROW BACK, WON’T IT??
What’s the worst haircut you/your kids have ever had?