The Hair Challenge

There follows a really tedious, self-indulgent, self-centred, rant about my hair. Weird.

I have observed on several previous occasions that my hair is something of a disaster zone. It’s been something that I have been in denial about for all of my life: from the mop of hair I used to have in school, to the persistent number 2/3/4 and eventually 6 shaves that I used to cut in my own hair for the time between 2004 and this year. 10 years without going to a barber.

I have never been one for spending too much time on my hair, mainly because life is too short and I’m just too busy. But, frankly, the short hair cuts haven’t suited me for about 8 years. The hairline has receded – the pictures don’t lie – and, having quite a big forehead anyway, the combination is not good. I hate looking at my face for this very reason.

I took the conscious decision in summer to stop cutting my own hair and consult a barber. Maybe they could help, I thought? I had my first hair cut in many many years, and suggested they should leave the top alone. I felt like it would be wise to “rebalance” my hair. They agreed. It looked OK and got a little bit better with more growth, until, eventually, the curls once more took over and it looked stupid.

Then a couple of months later, a different barber just went mental and cut the whole thing quite short again. The whole problem of unbalanced hair returned. I was distraught. I genuinely considered what surgery might save me. Or just wearing a hat all the time.

I walk through the high street and feel left out. All around me my peers either have more hair, styled well, or have less hair, but without the ignominy of a large forehead.

It seems to me that my ultimate strategy is correct. I should have a longer fringe (there is a picture of me aged 15 with one, but I’m double that age now!) – but I’m just not sure it’s going to happen. It’s been 9 weeks since that disastrous haircut, and since then the fringe just seems to be curling and curling, while the back and sides get longer and wider.

All of this is too much for me to cope with. Unlike my general hopelessness with fashion – which I can mask by buying half decent clothes – I can’t get away with the hair. It looks crap. It depresses me when I look at my peers (and younger, alas) – and see that they don’t have such nonsense to cope with. I even see people older than me with more hair than me. I’m sure it’s not because I’m losing hair… I’m sure of it. I think I currently have more hair now than I’ve had in 10 years. It’s just growing in all the wrong directions. I crave to have straighter hair that would look good swept across, or parted, or just something. Rather than looking like, as it does now, that I’ve styled it to look crap.

It was suggested to me that the solution is to start applying “products” to it, because that’s the done thing these days. In school it wasn’t, but now it is.

So, after searching Amazon reviews, I settled on one to try. Costing £12. I’ve never spent such money on my hair. In fact, I was so embarrassed to buy anything in a store that I knew I had to buy it on the internet…

Let’s just say it does reduce the frizz, but it doesn’t give it any real direction. Now my partially curly mop of lifeless hair is a defined, matte-shiny mop of still dead hair. The curls are amplified. The directions are all over the place. But the fringe is still short. Even when I try to side sweep it, or part it, the fringe – which when stretched downwards reaches to a couple of centimetres above my eyebrows – springs back into a tight position not far from where it starts growing. It honestly looks like I have as much hair on my fringe as it did 9 weeks ago, since the bad haircut.

I don’t want to be spending 30 minutes styling my hair for it to only marginally improve. I might as well just get rid of it, like I did before.

But I cannot. It’s probably even worse when it’s really short now.

Maybe I can find a barber who can help. The search is on.

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