Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hairstyles I Have Known...

The good, the bad, the ridonculous, and the downright tragic.

The straight comb (through age 12): Pretty much the most boring of 'em all. Not so good for a fine-haired towhead like I was. Showed off every little mistake a stylist made. But I didn't really care too much about hair...for a while.

The spike (one-time shot at age 10): So I wanted to try something new and edgy. My stylist offered up this beauty, which made me look like I had a blond koosh ball sitting on my forehead. Never again.

The part (through age 15): Pretty innocuous, except for when my mom first bought me Dep to help with the part when I started 6th grade. I didn't know how to use it. Combed my hair to the side, then applied the Dep only to the bangs so they would stay. End result: a lock of hair across my forehead as stiff and attractive as a plank of wood.

The flattop (again, one-time shot at age 13): This was too good. Asked my mom if I could get a flattop. She assented, but I totally didn't hear her say "wait until after your sister's debutante ball tonight." I came home with this beauty, suntan lines and all, and you shoulda seen her jaw drop and her eyes bug out as she turned the corner from the garage hall. Comical now, but she shot flames of fury my way that afternoon. (Sister's ball went off without a hitch, natch.) But as a hairdo, it was way too long. Picture Bart Simpson.

The skater bangs (through age 18): Partially inspired by my skater betty girlfriend, I decided to grow my bangs long. They eventually reached down past my chin, and provided a great quasi-refuge when I was feeling antisocial (which, every damned day, people).

The #3 buzz (summer of '94): Look. When you're working at a Boy Scout camp, and no one really cares how you look, and the last thing you need to do is pay attention to your hair on your way to the morning's flag ceremony, why bother? Make it easy on yourself and hack it all off. That was my philosophy. Worked fine by me, and again, none of my fellow counselors paid any attention, but at least one of my high school friends threatened to disown me if I ever did that again.

The green stripe (fall of '94): And when you hate the college you go to and read the Anarchist Cookbook and listen to the Dead Kennedys and the Descendents for inspiration, your hair has to change accordingly, right? So once my hair grew out from the #3 phase, I took Manic Panic Alpine Green to my hair in much the same way my unfortunate experiments with Dep went. It actually looked quite cool, but washed out way too quickly. Two applications over two months, at which point I decided it was too much trouble to be worth it. (One picture taken of it, btw...by an ex who probably shredded the picture when we broke up. Squish squish.)

The long hair (summer of '95 through summer of '96): Almost the most unfortunate of 'em all, especially once it got long enough for me to tie back in a ponytail. Yes, you heard right. In its shaggy, Eddie Vedder era, when it was just getting started, it was actually quite cool. But I had to go further, and one year in? Dear Lord. Yes, there are pictures out there, about which the less seen, the better. Worst of all, I decided to keep the hair - tied back, of course - when I sang for my sister's wedding. And, oh, God, I hate to admit it, but Ma, you were right...it was a phase, and a bad one. Mea culpa. But not the worst. That honor goes to...

The Dutch Boy (fall of '96): Take your long hair. Tie it back. Chop it off. And when it gets longer and annoys the hell out of you, push it behind your ears. And pray to God there's no one with a camera within miles.

The butt cut (winter of '96): Now, go to a Russian hairstylist, tell her you have no idea what to do with this craptacular style, and ask her to just make it go away. Terrible name for it, but a part down the center made for one of the more successful styles I've ever rocked. Extra, extra points to her for using only scissors.

The spiked part (various and sundry times throughout): A little less conservative than a regular part, and way easier to maintain. My old standby.

The bedhead (current): Who knew I could wear this to work and get away with it? Maybe not terribly doctorly or professional, but it's fun and looks pretty good.

The death row inmate (fall of '05): I had just finished chiro school - the worst two years of my life. I needed some form of catharsis and release. So once graduation was done, I went to a friend who had clippers, and asked him to take 'em to my head. No guard. Just straight-on clippers. I saved the hair, and burnt it along with written memories of the worst times, people, places, and experiences I'd been through. Threw the remains into the lake in the center of the campus, and yelled a few defiant "FUCK YOU!"s at the place that had damned near flattened me. And I looked every bit the angry asshole for a few weeks afterward. Upside: I did get quite a few approving looks from guys in gay bars who went for the uber-masculine. But since I've grown my hair back out, I've fallen out of favor with them. Oh well. When you really don't have all that much of a receding hairline, and you're not going bald, why cut off what you have?

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