A Haircut | Teen Ink

A Haircut MAG

August 28, 2010
By OstentatiousNature BRONZE, Laingsburg, Michigan
OstentatiousNature BRONZE, Laingsburg, Michigan
4 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us that than people or things we're quoting" -John Green

There is a sort of spiritual aspect to the experience of getting a haircut. I feel awkward sitting in the barber's chair contemplating such things. I wonder if mine are the first profound thoughts to occur three inches from the faux leather headrest. I think not – that would be presumptuous of me.

But I am an introvert. A testament to how much so is the fact that I consider it often. I am not staring at Melissa the hairdresser or the strange instruments – it's baffling to me that they are all dedicated to hair care – or the reflection-upon-reflection effect you encounter in such places.

Instead, I am now a scientist, ruthless and analytical. Face: too boxy. Nose: too round. Skin: too freckly. Eyes: too dark. This is how my face looks, framed by long, dark hair I have lightened with streaks of copper. It covers my forehead, my cheeks, my neck, my ears.

A curtain of hair, I think, hides my flaws. Dead ends frizz out in a cloud around me like barbed wire around a concrete wall. Waves, which the scalding heat of my flat iron have not quite tamed, break the straight planes, scars on smooth skin. Ugly, I think. I see no beauty inside the frame of that mirror.

I close my eyes as Melissa wets my hair. Starting at the beginning seems appropriate for all change. Go back to the beginning and start anew. All begins with water. Symbolic, I think. Somehow fitting.

I don't watch as she cuts, slowly snipping away my defenses one by one, letting them fall to the peeling linoleum floor like leaves from a tree. They gather in a dark ring around my chair.

It is quiet in the shop. I can hear the soft snip … snip … snip of Melissa's scissors as they work away at the years. She slowly cuts, like a gardener at a runaway bush, attempting not only to make it beautiful again, but to make it healthy – open it up to the sun.

I breathe slowly and deeply, my eyes closed, repeating my mantra. Change is good, change is good, change is good.

And much too soon, she speaks, breaking through my thoughts.

“Tell me what you think.”

Much too soon. I'm not ready.

But I feel her spin my chair around to face the mirror. Time to let go.

I slowly open my eyes.

I look into the mirror at the girl sitting there slowly and cautiously examining me, and I think, Oh … there I am.

Dark, curly locks brush my ears and jawbones. Loose and light and beautiful.

I can see myself there now. My eyes seem brighter and greener against the darkness of my hair without highlights. My skin looks pale and delicate against the rich, dark tones. My cheekbones stand out more, and my neck appears long and thin. I look like someone who leaves herself with everyone she meets, everywhere she goes – young and wild and free.

I see now.

I've found myself again.

“I love it,” I tell her, as I reach up to touch my still-damp locks and smile.

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This article has 3 comments.

on Apr. 30 2013 at 9:34 am
BurrThistle GOLD, Jaipur, Other
10 articles 0 photos 161 comments

Favorite Quote:
Write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect

I recently got 17 inches of my hair cut too. I think you encapsulated perfectly the feeling of vulnerbility as the strands fall dowm. Great work. Would you read and comment on my articles, The Epiphany and The Lost Battle?

eliana924 GOLD said...
on Dec. 18 2011 at 10:11 pm
eliana924 GOLD, New York, New York
11 articles 0 photos 116 comments
I donated 17 inches of hair in October, so I really relate to this! I like the way there is a stream of consciousness in this memoir, as if you're thinking out loud.

-Duckie- GOLD said...
on Oct. 13 2011 at 5:06 pm
-Duckie- GOLD, West Fargo, North Dakota
18 articles 0 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
Your heart is a weapon the size of your fist. Keep fighting. Keep loving.

Love it! I donated 12 inches of my hair earlier this year and I know how you feel... miss the hair, but love the change!