I have nice hair. It’s the sort of hair that, when I cut it, people are wont to say to me, like Amy, “Oh, Jo! Your one beauty!” But I’ve never given two shits about my hair, I’ve taken it for granted, like we all do our hair while we have it, and also I really hate the fetishization of women’s long hair. It’s annoying and gross, and it pisses me off. I usually let my hair grow all year out of laziness, and then get it chopped short in summer.
Here are the primary bad things about long, thick hair (and yes, I know, hair privilege): it’s about as hot as if you were wearing a fur raccoon hat on your head at all times, one with long tails that also cover your neck and most of your back; and if you put it into a ponytail, you have about five minutes of relief before it’s time for a splitting migraine from all the weight tugging at your scalp. With the result that if you’re ever around me, you’ll notice my hair goes up and down so rapidly, it’s like a continuity error in a sitcom.
Every year when I go into the salon to get it chopped, I have to spend twenty minutes convincing the stylist that it’s ok to cut it as short as I’m telling him to — no really, no I promise, no I won’t be traumatized, it was just this short a year ago, no, I swear, it grows really fast, I DON’T GIVE A FUCK ABOUT MY HAIR MY INCOME DOES NOT DEPEND ON IT, BUT YOURS DOES SO PLEASE JUST DO WHAT I’M TELLING YOU TO DO.
But here’s the thing — my hair is going a little bit gray around the part. I think. I’m pretty sure. No one will give me honest feedback about this, but they laugh when I bring it up instead of contradicting me, which means that my suspicions are probably correct. That’s fine — I have been waiting my whole life for my hair to start going gray so that I can dye it fun colors, which I never wanted to do before because I like my natural color and I’m way too lazy to keep after my roots. But also, the grayishness is reminding me every time I look at it that I’ll be dying at some point.
The lack of “e” there is not a typo; I mean, as in expiring, not as in coloring my hair. Well, both. But the expiring part is what bothers me.
Anyway, I woke up this morning and went into the bathroom to get ready to go get my hair chopped, and when I looked in the mirror — you guys, my hair looked AWESOME. It has never looked this good, ever (except for the slightly graying part, which I think is actually happening. I’m pretty sure). I suddenly really, really did not want to cut it all off. I felt like if I cut it off this time, it would undoubtedly be the last time I saw it — this hair that’s been a constant thorn in my side since it first grew out of my baby head and that has always looked more or less the same. By this time next year, I felt sure, I would probably be dyeing it black or blue or something, and I would look like a different person than the person I’m used to looking at, and that would be that.
And so I called the salon last minute and left a bullshit voicemail about having a vague last minute emergency and offered to pay any cancellation fee. And now, because I live in the desert, the morning is already heating up, and I’m sitting here becoming increasingly hot and annoyed by all this stupid hair everywhere. And feeling extremely foolish for caring about my hair at all, which is something I’ve always kind of quietly judged other people for, and which I can now no longer feel superior about.
So, score one for the patriarchy, I guess.