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Sunday, November 22, 2009  

Hair Tomorrow

At some point in the last several years, I got tired of thinking about my hair. Like, at all. Once I caught myself actually envying my dad for the low-maintenance look he's been rocking for as long as I remember, but then I recalled that when he was my age he was being mercilessly mocked for it, primarily by me.

My main issue is my cowlicks, and their failure to get along with the shorter hairstyles of recent years (or should I say of my 30s). I have enviably thick hair, even befitting a news anchor, but that stuff in back won't behave. No matter how much product I put in, I could end up looking like Cary Grant in front and Dagwood Bumstead in back.

Finally, some time after M. Edium was born, I realized what it was going to take: a full, 360-degree buzz. So that's what I did. I've had about a dozen haircuts since then. And that was four years ago.

So I here present, in timeline form, the lifecycle of my haircut.

Day 1: Haircut.

"It's been a while," I say to the stylist. I give the standard clipper settings, if she doesn't already have them on file. Sit and wonder why it takes so long to mow such a relatively small patch of real estate, as compared to my lawn. Become alarmed at how much gray is in the giant tufts gathering on the floor, because there sure as hell wasn't that much last time. Go home and listen to M. Edium look at me and go, "Whoa!" Shower. Towel-dry skull. Do not touch again for a week.

Week 1: No Maintenance.

Revel in how non-interactive my hair is. Possibly use a nail scissors to trim some longer strands that they always leave in the upper left corner of my hairline, possibly under the misguided impression that I'm worried about it receding and want to hide it. Enjoy ability to wear hats, hoods, and Darth Vader helmets with tonsorial impunity. There's nothing I can do with hair this length, which also means there's nothing I need to do with it.

Week 2-6: Peak Time

This window is when my hair looks its best. There's enough length to give it some volume, but not enough that I'm going to screw it up. A bit of mousse to keep it in a restrained tousle is all it takes to make me wish I left the house more.

Week 7-9: Diminishing Returns

It starts to take a little more work to make it look good, although even as that happens, its peak attractiveness begins to decline no matter how much work I put in.

Week 9-12: The Telecommuter

So named because in this stage, the best thing I can say about my hair is that I don't have to make it presentable to bring it into the office. As it flops forward over my forehead while standing up everywhere else, I again revel in wearing hats, hoods, and Darth Vader helmets, but for different reasons.

Week 13: The Turnaround

At this point, I give up on even trying to maintain anything remotely like the careless, forward-leaning bedhead I've been wearing for the past month, and just brush it all straight back with a dollop of mousse, like I used to wear it all the time for over decade. Now, and for the next month or so, my hair and I will be back in the nineties. Although for the first week or so of this stage, my cowlicks in back continue to stand up and be counted. It was during this stage that a schoolmate of M. Edium's once literally said to me, "Hey, cool Mohawk!"

Week 16-18: The Wayback Machine

My hair continues from the nineties, on past the eighties and into the seventies. I've never actually grown it out all the way into the sixties, although I did come close at one point during the early nineties.

Week 19: Enough!

Trash's decreasingly subtle hints about my need for a haircut, which have been accumulating for some time now, begin to morph into orders, blackmail, and threats. Which is a shame, because by this point, I was starting to get used to never being sure if the hair in my eyes is from my scalp or from my eyebrows. Maybe it's time to try that nineties-sixties look again. Perhaps it'll look better on me now that I am pushing forty, have more gray hair, and am almost two decades fatter. That must have been what was missing last time.

Week 20: Day One

"It's been a while," I say to the stylist.

posted by M. Giant 9:54 PM 6 comments


You’ve just described my hair cycle far better than I ever could. I’m sending a link to my wife.

By Blogger Andy Jukes, at November 22, 2009 at 10:15 PM  

I work for a non-profit, and my coworker has sworn not to cut his hair until our endowment reaches $1 million. Perhaps you could so something similar...say, until M.Edium gets his driver's license or graduates from college.

By Blogger dancing_lemur, at November 23, 2009 at 6:00 AM  

If anyone is curious, we are currently at the end of The Turnaround period, moving forward rapidly...

By Anonymous Trash, at November 23, 2009 at 9:35 AM  

Wow. I'm just impressed you can wait TWENTY weeks between hair cuts. (Note on Trash's behalf: not that you *should* wait twenty weeks between hair cuts, just that you have the ability and do so.) My husband gets his hair cut every four weeks. If he goes five, or God forbid, SIX weeks, he starts freaking out about how loooong it is. His hair, in the entire 17+ years I've known him, has *never* been long enough to flop.

So, my hat is off to you. Well, my hat is off pretty much all the time anyhow, as I never have tonsorial impunity and develop the Worst Hathead EVER if a hat comes within 2 inches of my skull, but that's besides the point.....

By Blogger Heather, at November 23, 2009 at 10:59 AM  

Does the stylist always say, "I hope you appreciate it." or "I hope you're grateful for it." in response to how thick your hair is? My husband has insanely thick hair, has it cut every four weeks, and each and every time the stylist will comment on how thick it is, and hope that he is grateful for it.

I have no idea what he'd look like after twenty weeks, I just know that it would be beyond scary.

By Blogger Land of shimp, at November 24, 2009 at 2:24 AM  

Nice. As you know, I have maybe 35% of the hair you do, covering 55% of the real estate. even so, I'm on a four-week cycle that I always intend to be a two-week cycle. I'm currently in a phase I call the "ehh, good enough."

By Blogger Febrifuge, at December 7, 2009 at 7:14 PM  

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