My life as told through my hair

Posted: September 13, 2010 in Beauty, Culture, Drama, Ecstasy, Life, Love, Musings, Non-Fiction, Thoughts

Back in the prehistoric times of elementary school, you’d recognize ten-year-old me on the playground with ease; that bright flop of blond hair so pale it was bleached-bone white in California sunlight. I was never in the sun too much though. More often you would find me sitting on the benches under a canopy of oak trees, Goosebumps or Animorphs clenched tight in my hands as I took the fifteen free minutes I had in the best way possible. More often than not, when that bell rang to draw us back to class, I’d keep my book locked tight under my desk, the text exposed so I could read during the lesson. Funnily enough, out of the many reasons I was sent to the office after getting in trouble, reading in class ranked pretty high. My mom would get calls from teachers who would alternately complain about my lack of attention and praise my voracious reading, much to her amusement. Back before that hair darkened and grew longer, I was Tweety Bird; short and with a big head, a mop of yellow hair and a penchant for causing trouble for those prowling Sylvesters teaching my classes.

Seventh grade. The summer was an ocean to cross, and the new land I found across it was puberty. Girls I’d grown up with for years (who had always been fascinating) had become curved, perfumed beauties, and this was one of two reasons that I decided to try the rock star mantle on and grow my hair down to my shoulders. The second reason was also related to women, though not in a way you’d expect. My haircut venue had switched from Contempo (an Eden filled with gorgeous older women, chiefly my mother’s friend Diane, whose body would press warmly against my shoulder as she sculpted my hair) to Monty’s Barbershop. Needless to say, Monty was not a worthy successor to Diane. So I told my mom, no more haircuts. She breathed a sigh of relief for her checkbook and applauded my free spirit. My father, on the other hand, made snide remarks about his feeling that I looked more like the women I wanted to pursue than a Kurt Cobain. I didn’t care about his opinion by that point; I was doing what I wanted. And I made damn sure from then on that he never got me down about my choices.

Here I was, my junior year at a new school. A year before, I had said goodbye to the long hair and cut it down short as could be; Dad was elated that his son looked respectable for once. But once again I was doing it for myself, and mostly for the ladies. The long hair was reminiscent of the stoner culture so prevalent in my town, and a stoner I would never be. Girls liked the respectable look, and so I started wearing button-down, collared shirts from stores like American Eagle and the Gap to go with my new school and the new image I was carefully crafting. That year, I found a new hair stylist, Lindsay, who was twice as beautiful as her name would suggest. I remember closing my eyes as she washed my hair, reveling in the feeling of female contact that had been lost since those early days with Diane. She cut the hair down short and styled it up with a pomade to form a fauxhawk, a cut I admired both in name and look. I looked at it in the mirror after she was done, proud and preening. For the first time, I was truly satisfied with my appearance. I was smooth and suave, fitting into my new skin with an elegance I surprised myself with. I turned to Lindsay and told her I loved it. She smiled at me and nodded, then said, “You might want to try some Rogaine, your hair’s a little thin up top there.”

  1. madre says:

    Love it. Memories flooded back. The ending was so Bird.

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