Seven weeks of growth sat on top of my head. A bit longer than an inch, my hair resembled a patch of messy carpet. With no time to groom, I watched my dark brown stubble grow longer and longer everyday. Somehow I made it through the short awkward phase (a phase where I can’t mat it down or prop it up) and then one day last week I made peace with the process and committed to growing it out.
Not having long hair since 2007, I thought it would be a fun experiment to try something new and see if it changed the shape of my face. “Why not?” I reasoned. “Styling and using product can be a fun way to start the day,” I thought.
As you might imagine, this internal debate has been a source of stress for me ever since I was a young boy. (Keep it short or grow it long… that is the question!) It began when I was in fourth grade when I began wearing my hair slicked to one side, completely immovable. Each morning I obsessed over my part, the loose “fly aways”, and my front bangs. As if preparing for a Vidal Sassoon hair show, I spent hours getting it just right. Rock hard from gel, my hair wouldn’t move even in the midst of a category five tornado. So stiff and so shaped, my hair only became disheveled when submerged in hot water. It was fierce! (I even daydreamed of having a personalized license plate reading: STFHAIR)
In the last three years, I lost this life long obsession to attain perfectly groomed locks. Now, like a snake, I prefer to shed what I don’t need: my skin, hair, nails, clothes, weight … anything excessive, and I don’t want it. Long hair falls into this category, something I don’t need to feel like myself, so every few weeks I get it buzzed. I like it extremely short. But because I haven’t had time for any upkeep, I thought growing out my hair would be a good exercise in patience.
Yesterday, however, I hit a breaking point. A quick glance in a mirror revealed my worst nightmare: really bad hair. With my afternoon free, I drove to the nearest barbershop and asked for the first appointment. Soon a female hairdresser, the person who would eventually rid me of my misery, called my name and sat me in her chair.
Before she whipped out the clippers and did her duty, we joked about my options. I considered keeping it long on the top and short on the sides. “A shapely flattop,” I joked. “Or maybe something like a faux-hawk…?” I came to the defense of my own hair, asking her if she thought I was doing something irrational.
In the end, she agreed with me, and before long, she was buzzing away. And, boy, did it feel good!
Now I’m sure to most, seven weeks doesn’t seem long at all. But to me, someone who values a streamlined existence, seven weeks is an eternity. Seven weeks of feeling unkept, unruly and unattractive. Seven weeks too long!