I got my hair cut today. Super short after many months of growing it out for a combination of reasons that have included curiosity, laziness, and the acute awareness that people are generally kinder to me when I have long hair, even if it’s, I’m pretty sure, less attractive on me than short hair.
The thing is, the longer my hair, the less kind I am to myself, and it shows, I think, in everything from my carriage to my ability to care for it. It’s no coincidence that the first text I got from a friend after posting the new look to the Internet mentioned that I looked less tired.
But getting my hair cut is hard. Salons never want to cut it as short and as masculine as I tend to want it, even out here at the intersection of Park Slope and Green-Wood Cemetery. For you non-New Yorkers, that means I live at the crossroads of DIY hipsters and lesbian mommies. Yet, the stylists who are willing to chop it off don’t necessarily know how, and this is complicated by my hair texture — extremely thick, extremely coarse, and pretty damn curly.
This time around, I decided to go to Decatur & Sons, based on the random Twitter recommendation of Elliott Sailors, a professional model in her 30s currently getting a ton of media attention for chopping off her hair and pursuing male modeling to extend her career.
While knowing where to go, and having an idea of what I wanted should have made it easier, it was still complicated for me to feel like I had a right both to be in the very male space of Decatur & Sons and to ask for something I only knew was sort of a choice because of someone who is basically beautiful for a living.
While some of my many jobs are sometimes about being paid for what I look like, I’m 41, going grey, and still struggle with having always been striking at best, which is a thing boys often say about girls they’re not comfortable admitting their desire for. It’s a silly wound, one perhaps over-generalized for the sake of the literary, but most of us harbor wounds like this at least sometimes — sharp and strange and filled with narrative primacy.
However — and the point of this story is totally the however — Thorin did an awesome job with my hair (so much hair, it took forever!), and my comfort, and knowing how to tailor the ideas I had to both my hair texture and the length of my face. I will so be keeping this look up, with, I suspect, decreasing amounts of trepidation.
Long ago and faraway here I took a break from my pop culture ramblings to rage post about my need for a barbershop for dykes. In terms of comment volume it’s one of this site’s most popular posts ever. As such, I figure today’s adventures qualify as a valid update.