Woeful Hair

There is one thing about being me that I have always despised above all other of my flaws, and that is my hair.

There is an age in one’s life that you become responsible for your own hair. In primary school the hairstyle and haircut frequency is very much dictated by your parents. Mine was frequently just shaved off to a number 2 or 3 grade cut. It was often said it suited the shape of my face. There is some evidence to prove that, as I had a quite round and decent shaped cheeks. Not long and thin, like my face is today. Curse you adolescence.

But then the age of Hair Awakening comes in. Maybe around 11 or 12, it starts to become your own responsibility to look after it. I hated going the barbers with a passion, so I left my hair to just grow and grow. There are plenty of photos of me aged 12 to 14 with a proper Noel Gallagher proportioned bouiffon.

With one crucial difference.

My hair, when it gets a certain length, begins to wave. The direction is unpredictable. It just goes everywhere. Up, out, back on itself.

So I used to have this Beatles style mop. I never looked after it, brushed it properly, conditioned it, used hair products of any kind. It was just a wiry mop. I used to be pretty embarrassed about it, but the embarrassment of this was, in my strange mind, tolerable compared to taking it to the barbers and having to make small talk in the most awkward manner possible.

Eventually I grew out of this odd phase and went every now and then… for the same good old fashioned short back and sides. It worked, but would grow back weirdly.

At maybe age 15 I started to get an extra wave at the front of my hair. Whereas before I could grow a fringe down to my eyes and beyond, now I couldn’t. The location of this wave meant that the front gets to a certain length and then curls off my face and back upwards. This trait remains to this day. It makes my hair look terribly unbalanced when it starts to grow.

At 16 onwards I lost my fear of the barber, and would take it in every six weeks for a 3 all over. Back to the old style. But now my face was a different shape. Now it looked like a lot more forehead, and taller cheeks, with a more drawn look. I didn’t care. I have often cared little for my appearance.

This style was easy. I didn’t have to have awkward conversations with the barber. I just told him what I wanted in words that everyone would understand. And I got it.

When I went away to university, the frugality of my life took this “style” to new extremes. I bought myself some clippers, and a trend began.

The trend lasted 10 years. 10 years of self haircuts, which would take me two hours, roughly every 8 weeks. A ritual that involved straining with mirrors and razor blades.

In the last few years the haircut has suited me even less, but I didn’t care. I just left it to grow longer, but that still looked rubbish due to the wavey curl and unbalanced mop at the back.

What has made it worse is that my hairline has receded. Now I have an even bigger forehead, and I am quite thin too, which generates a more pointy face.

I hate all this. I hate even having to think about it. I hate walking around and seeing people with decent hair that they can shape and mould. I tried, really I did, with the haircut I had 9 weeks ago (the first in 10 years) to grow the top longer while keeping the sides short. I tried to create a slight part, a bit more modern and fringey. It curled back and clumped. It looked like I had five hooks of hair stuck to the top of my head, while the rest was longer.

I went back to the barber the other day in desperation. The barber said my hair at the front is unusual. Wet it reached nearly down to my eyebrows. Dry it just goes straight back up and might as well not be there.

He suggested I try just messing up my fringe while keeping the back and sides short. It’s worth a try, but for now it is exposing my forehead again.

After the haircut, the removal of around 24 weeks worth of growth on the top my head, I felt terribly depressed. I know I’m getting older now, but surely there has to be something I can do with what hair I have to at least look OK?

I even considered starting to wear a hat all the time. Gone are the days when I didn’t care what my hair looked like. Now I have less of it I’m more worried than ever how it looks. I think my hair makes me look totally stupid, and I need an answer.

I’m willing to give this current cut some time, but if in the next couple of weeks it doesn’t grow on me, if you excuse the pun, then I may have to consider drastic action.

Did I also mention I have a double crown?

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  1. Out The Other Side | A Grown Up Now. In Theory.
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