Well, I finally did it. The mad scientist look is a thing of the past — I’ve chopped off my long(ish) locks. Or actually, my stylist (and Mexican mom), Rosalinda, did a few weeks ago. It’s just taken me till now to get off my ass and type up a blog post.
It was not as traumatic this time — unlike when I got my long hair cut when I was twenty-eight after 6 years of looking like a rocker. Back then, when I decided to get it cut, I remember the hairstylist holding out my amputated ponytail and showing it to me like it was a dead thing.
Actually, this time I’d contemplated cutting it off myself and then trying to use my beard trimmer to buzz my hair down, but I wasn’t sure the trimmer (or I) was up to the task. A couple of times, I psyched myself up. I had even gotten as far as putting my hair into a ponytail, getting out the hair scissors, and opening the medicine cabinet mirror so I could see my profile reflected in the main bathroom mirror. But past experience stayed my hand. I knew the chances of me looking ridiculous were way too high. When I was eight, as we were heading out to church one Sunday, my bangs were getting longish and annoying me, so I decided to give them a trim. Like most eight-year-olds, I had zero experience trimming hair, and I ended up cutting a huge square out of my bangs. My mother was furious because we were about to walk out of the house as I performed my impromptu haircut, and now her eldest child looked like a simpleton. She tried to camouflage the gap by styling my hair, but I’d botched it so badly that nothing worked. Even worse, I was the lone altar boy to assist the priest, so even though I cried and pleaded, there was no question of me getting out of my sacred duty. God would still love me, even if I looked like an imbecile.
So, the deed is done, and I’m back in the ranks of the respectable-looking (sort of). Do I miss my shaggy mane? Kind of, but not really. As nostalgic as it had been growing my locks to lengths not seen since my college days, it was becoming a hassle. For one thing, I was starting to shed like a German Shepherd. Plus, my bangs weren’t quite long enough to keep my hair in a neat ponytail and were constantly hanging in my eyes. My wispy bangs kept escaping my ponytail, giving me an unkempt, deranged look (which was handy when dealing with unwanted salespeople and proselytizers knocking on my door). To keep my renegade hair in check required borrowing hairpins from the Houseguest. And if I wore my hair down, it looked decent right after it was washed, as it would go into ringlets, but as I fiddled with it throughout the day, it would start to do weird things, plus the top front was thinning and was going frizzy making the thinning even more apparent. So in the end, it had to go.
Have you ever done anything radical with your hair — and did you do it yourself?