A rambling on hair

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(BluePrints Staff Photo // Dustin Braden)

BY NICK BYGRAVE (’15)

I am unhappy with my haircut. My Monday evening took a downward spiral with some snips of scissors and the buzz of hair clippers. This was only my second visit to Vaughn’s Barber Shop (Est. 1937), and considering how pleased I was with my last experience, I’m feeling confident in my choice. I walk in, get seated immediately, and with a few leg pumps of the hydraulic barber’s chair, we’ve begun. “About an inch off. Longer on top and if you could point-cut it, that’d be great.” Is what I tell the spiky white haired man with rectangular glasses that magnify his eyes to twice their size. “Sure thing” he replies. I look up to the TV and find Guy Fieri eating a burger in a family owned restaurant. Before he can explain what garbage his fat, horrible face has just decimated, the barber surprises me with a swift buzz on the side of my head that very obviously removes more hair than I wanted. Shocked, I struggle to say something as he lobs off another tuft of brown fur. I reluctantly accept the fact that what’s done is done, and whatever length he decided it will be, is what it will be. I am swiveled 180° and face the mirror. It’s way too short. It’s way too goddamn short. “that’s perfect, thanks” my stupid, smiling face says to the well meaning barber. I tip him $2. I leave Vaughn’s Barber Shop (Est. 1937) into the pouring rain. I am unhappy with my haircut.

This is nothing new, since I can’t remember the last time I was, in fact, happy with a haircut. My hair and I have been in a less than brotherly conflict as far back as I remember. Family photos have confirmed this, as it has gone from the bowl cut up until about 2009, then to the perfectly spherical Bieber helmet from 2010-2013, followed by a small stint as a puff ball with a middle-parting up until the end of 2014. Considering my mother had complete control over what my head looked like until middle school, I am fine with my shameful history. And like most things, explanation as to why I chose to do a certain thing is fulfilled with the phrase “It seemed like a reasonable thing to do at the time.” This is parallel to my questionable fashion sense, but more on that in a separate rambling.

Despite all that, I’d like to establish the fact that I have never given my hair much thought. After years of trying to make it look messy, I have trained myself to run my right hand through it every now again, resulting in a look I would label as “fine”. Nothing special, and nothing noteworthy, just average enough without being a copy of everyone else. I have never used gel, mostly because it just doesn’t feel right on my head, and I don’t use conditioner, because if I did it would be so soft and shapeless that it would probably fall out. My facial hair is a recent blessing. I call it a blessing because I get mistaken for being in my 20s more often then not, and without it I look about 11. It doesn’t grow on the front of my chin or under my lip, resulting in a bad Wolverine look. Nonetheless my half-assed beard hides my second chin, so it stays. My body hair should not be acknowledged, referenced or conversed about. Ever.

Presently speaking, my hair is shorter on the sides and points upwards and to the right on top. It’s fine. However, I think I would damn well try anything with my hair in the future. Once my beard decides to quit messing around and begins to have some volume, my face will be a blank canvas. I’ll try bald headed and thick bearded, I’ll try hipster mutton chops, and I’d even try the man bun. But we’ll see I suppose.  Not that I care about my hair or anything.