Yesterday evening I had an appointment for a haircut. I had been a bad boy and hadn’t seen my stylist since February 28, so my hair had grown longer than anyone in my current job had seen on me, though still relatively short, and certainly not nearly as long as during my high school days. (As a data point, the picture in the left-hand column was taken two months after the last haircut, and two months prior to this one.)
My hair is naturally wavy, but the wave is not as readily apparent–nor as unmanageable–when my hair is kept very short, which is one reason I tend to do so. Over the past four months since the last trim, though, and especially with the high humidity we’ve been enduring this spring and summer, the curl was becoming more noticeable, and two colleagues, including my boss, had commented that they particularly liked it longer and wavier. For at least the past three weeks, though, it had been driving me crazy, and with the weather getting warmer I was ready for a summer do. I had been trying to make an appointment for about a month, but my stylist was away part of that time attending his grandfather’s funeral in Ireland, and then booked upon his return for two solid weeks. I was even startin–and feeling guilty about–an internal debate whether I should go to someone else in the meantime, but the couple of external compliments helped me decide to wait until John was back; after all, while I hated seeing my more unruly hair briefly in the mirror as I was preparing for work in the morning, I wasn’t the one who had to look at it throughout the rest of the day.
I told John I wanted to go “short, short, summer short” and he took it a little further even than we’d gone before; the back and sides especially are about as close to a buzz cut without actually being one as one can go. When he first started, his clippers kept getting clogged up, and he said it felt like shearing a sheep. And shampooing this morning felt so odd with practically nothing to run my hands through as I lathered, rinsed and repeated.
Reactions today seem to be polarized; I’ve gotten several very positive comments, but at least two–including one from my boss–bemoaning the loss of my curls, and one colleague nearly shrieked when she turned the corner and saw me, saying as she walked off that I “look like a marine,” not precisely the look I was going for, though I don’t think it’s quite that severe, but probably just hyperbole on her part.
Of course, now that I’m shorn for the hot humid DC summer, today’s high temperature is only in the mid 70s as opposed to the low 90s we’d been seeing; moreover, the air conditioning at work seems to be running much cooler than usual, so today my head is freezing. Oh, the price we pay to try to look fresh and smart.