Friday, February 25, 2011

My Follicular Journey.

I wasn't born with much hair, and I am somewhat determined to exit this world in the same manner.  Actually I think my genetics have decided for me.

I have a few baby pictures and yes there are wisps of brown stuff gracing my little bullet head.

Several pictures exist of the next few formative years.  My father had a absolute hatred of long hair in men because of one Biblical reference which stated something to the effect that "it is a shame for a man to have long hair."  As a youngster I never could quite fathom this, because Samson certainly had long hair; Delilah used it as his Achilles heel.  Absalom definitely had long hair, which again was his downfall (okay maybe it is a bit of a negative trend going here).  And any pictures I ever saw of Jesus (yes I know, artist's renditions) sported flowing, shoulder-length tresses.

Anyway a decree was issued that we boys had to have our heads trimmed every couple of weeks.  Unfortunately we never visited a barber or had a decent set of clippers.  Dad did it himself with a pair of scissors.  The sides had to be clipped down to nothing and the top could be an inch or so.  Try to imagine doing that to someone with a pair of scissors (I hope you envisioned an enemy, not a friend).  The results were never pretty.  Chunks and long strands here and there were the order of the day.  Unfortunately, none of the photos I have really give this bowl-cut justice.

Yours truly with the cat - note, great hair all round - not!

Once I hit nine or ten, my sister who was going through a bit of a rebellious streak (bless her) began to cut my hair for me.  True she had no more experience than Dad, but she did seem to have at least a bit of a feel for the hairdressing business and the cruelty of other children.

As we boys were not allowed long hair, so my sister was not allowed short hair.  The Bible mentions something about a woman's hair being her crowning glory.  I still recall the day when she was late coming home from high-school and arrived with short locks and high heels.  Twas not a pleasant house for many a day.

When puberty hit, I had interesting combination hair.  I had severe dandruff and even severer oily hair.  You really are not supposed to have both, but lucky lucky me, I did.  I would wash my hair in the morning, before heading to school.  By the time I exited the bus, my head would be dripping. Because there was always an hour or two of barn chores, wearing a toque, there was no point in doing anything about it until after supper.  I would often wash it again at that point.  I know I started a vicious cycle, stripping the oil, which in turn put my oil glands into overdrive.

I think I'm pinching myself wondering if my hair is real -- how do you spell GREASE?

In high school, all the boys were wearing their hair longer and parted in the middle.  I wanted to try the same style (hard to do with only an inch or two to work with!).  For some reason, my hair refused to part neatly and sweep back into the required wings on either side of my head.  The night before my grade eleven year, I decided to do something about that.  I took the scissors and clipped the one side down, so that there was a definite part - oh the foolish things we do in our youth.

Middle-part FAIL

But never fear it gets better.  In grade twelve, some of the boys were getting their hair permed.  Somehow I got mine to grow out long enough, without Dad tackling me with his shears.  My sister bought a TONI perm solution and proceeded to curl me up.  She had been doing Mom's for quite some time.  Twasn't a memorable phase for my hair, but there are several incriminating photos.

Least said, soonest mended

When I went off to college, I had some money socked away and I finally visited a hair-dresser for the first time.  I liked what this girl could do, and I actually, for once, liked my hair.  The greasiness was starting to abate slightly and my part was getting to be successful.

Unfortunately about the same era, my sink drain began to clog with stray hair, and it was mine.  I was starting to rapidly thin.  Dad was quick to point out that it was undoubtedly the result of the perm.  He seemed to forget that he and his brothers and fathers were all great proponents of the comb-over, in attempt to cover a their bald pates.

My only 'good hair' shot

I got my graduation photo done with the center part and then began the comb-over phase, myself.  I did this for the next ten or so years.  It wasn't a horrible comb-over, I actually still had hair on top.  When it was freshly washed it didn't look bad, however if I sweated or the oil started to overflow, the strands joined and separated and there was bare scalp peeping through.

It was time for the mature cut.  I bought a pair of clippers and set them on the number 2 setting, then nipped it all off.  And but for a few excursions, it's been a number 2 (or1) buzz to this very day.

I keep threatening to grow it long and make a ponytail, but of course it is just for the shock value.  The perm did teach me something!

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.


  1. Hairdressing was not one of your dad's gifts . . . :-)

  2. love your teenage "hitler" look!


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