The last time I got a haircut about eight months ago, I was an anxious ball of blah. I had biked over to a local Great Clips and surrendered myself like a sacrificial victim. For one, I don’t usually have access to a car during the work day because my husband needs it for his commute and we’re a one-car family and all. For two, I’m cheap, so Great Clips it is. For three, I genuinely feel anxious and uncomfortable whenever I need a haircut.
I feel trapped and confined when I’m sitting in a hairdresser’s chair. I have a cape literally tied to my neck, and a stranger looms over me with scissors, snip, snip, sniping away while demanding that I make small talk. I cannot see because I have to take off my glasses, so I feel even more vulnerable and at the mercy of this insistently loquacious stranger. Usually, admitting that it’s well past time for a haircut is akin to conceding defeat after a protracted battle with a mortal enemy. It would have been as if Cato had not ended all of his speeches with “Carthage must be destroyed!” and instead had declared to the astonishment of all that “Carthage must be loved!”
My stepfather teases me after I explained my discomfiture. When I was a teenager, my dad dragged me to a hairstylist and begged her to teach me how to use a curling iron and a blow dryer. My mother, on the other hand, has taken me to some very nice salons to get adult, professional cuts. The gesture was nice, but I still felt that ball of “ahh!” held captive in the chair for the duration of the cut.
Moreover, I am not a professional kind of lady. I don’t have a slew of shoes, and I’m horrified at the idea of spending several hours of my income on getting my hair professionally cut. I’m the kind of gal who wants to make her own clothes and dig about in the garden and have acreage to traipse about in and who has spent a month in the backcountry on a 350-mile hike. I haven’t worn makeup since I got married over two years ago. I don’t want my hair to be Medusa-like, and my hair does annoy me when it behaves more like frazzled hissing snakes in the humidity, on its own whim, or whenever I stumble bleary eyed out of bed. Still, I don’t need my hair to be coiffed, and I hate the experience of going to the hair stylist.
Yet, hair needs to be cut because it grows and grows and grows, and the ends do become damaged and split. And so, I did something potentially reckless. I threw my hair up in a ponytail, grabbed the kitchen scissors, and cut off the damaged and split ends from my eight-months-of-growth ponytail. In my kitchen. I let my hair down later and trimmed up the edges with a few snips and slices here and there. More or less, my hair looks just fine.
Although it’s no professional cut, I was significantly less stressed cutting my own hair and saved a few bucks in the process. Besides, the chickens think I look fetching enough, so long as they get the occasional strawberry top.