Echo and Bounce

Hair

Well, it sort of looks like Homer Simpson, only more dynamic and resourceful

It seems a silly thing to write about, doesn’t it? I’m not entirely sure why I picked it actually. Perhaps it’s because both Bice and I have gone through stages of growing our hair out, and I wanted to see how his experiences compared with mine.

When I moved to London in ‘09 after a couple of mostly miserable years in Sydney, I wanted to do something to break with the past, and especially with the suffocating conformity that seemed, at least to me, to pervade the North Shore. Being a polite, risk-averse sort of lad, this was never going to take the form of piercings, eye make-up or tattoos. I wish I had the confidence to do something so bold. I struggle even something as tame as a t-shirt with an actual colour on it. I wasn’t (and still amn’t) persuaded of my ability to grow a convincing beard, and, well, let’s be honest with each other here, very few men’s looks are improved by a moustache. Since my imagination then was just as limited as it is now, that left me only with the rather passive option of keeping my wavy tresses away from anything sharp.

I’ve always been a little vain about my hair. Well, maybe more than a little. I can’t visit a barber or hairdresser without them commenting on how thick it is, and I’ve actually had at least one intentionally awful haircut, given by a vindictive barber sporting a comb-over. So as I was growing my hair out, I nursed a secret hope that I’d come to look like some dashing figure from olden times, perhaps like Tristan in Stardust. That didn’t work out. Most charitably, I looked like a plump Severus Snape.

I grew it out for a year, maybe a little more, never reaching quite long enough to put into a pony tail. The main thing along the way that surprised me—apart from not looking like a Dothraki warrior—was the way it made me feel crappier when waking up. Maybe it’s just the weight of the stuff, or perhaps it got in my eyes while I slept. Whatever the cause but I’d wake up feeling even more slothful, resentful and lethargic than I normally do. This was dire.

I can’t recall exactly what made me decide to have my dazzling locks shorn from off my scalp. I think that I realized that, for me, what had started as a statement of my individuality had become a kind of flag of surrender, a sign that I couldn’t be bothered, that I’d given up on myself. Realizing this wasn’t easy, but eventually I cottoned on, and through what I understand to be the grace of God came to embrace life again. After that, getting a haircut seemed like the obvious thing to do, a sort of visible expression of my escape from the Slough of Despond

That got way more serious than I had intended.

This post is part of the Alphabet Supremacy project, a collaboration between myself and Bice Dibley.