The long and short of it, or Contemplating the BHAH
February 22, 2009 6 Comments
Ok. This isn’t a serious post, but I need some help. I’m usually prone to one of two things – impulsiveness, and over-analysis. In this case, I’ve given myself too much time to think about it, so it’s way beyond any hope of an impulsive decision. What’s my problem?
First, some background. I have healthy, straight black hair and refuse to use anything more than shampoo and conditioner. I towel and then air dry 100% of the time, even when it’s long, as it is right now. I get my hair cut on average once every year. Aside from a $4 haircut in LA six years ago, I’ve never had it shorter than about shoulder length since 3rd grade. I have streaked it red twice, both in the last four years.
It’s now been 16 months since my last haircut and my hair is about 17 inches long (lower-chest level), and practically screaming with split ends. I’m very tempted to go for a BHAH – Big Hairy Ambitious Haircut – namely, chop it mostly off and streak it red again, but several things are curbing my usual impulsiveness:
1. The Real World. No, not the TV show. I need a job soon and that means I’m going to be interviewing, starting in a week. Short hair is fine, theoretically; funky colored hair maybe not so much. What do I want my potential future employers and coworkers to see?
2. Leaving the Bubble. There will be lots of pictures of me in a few months, commemorating the years I spent as a grad student, including photos of me in a funny hat and a formal photo of me to go up on the wall of my department library. What do I want my current friends, mentors, and colleagues to see?
3. The Unknown. Like I said, I’ve only had my hair shorter than shoulder length once in recent memory, so I don’t have a lot of experience with whether short hair works for me. I want to be edgy but I also want it to look good. Given #1 and #2, I’m warier than usual of experimenting.
4. The bottom line. I’m a strange sort of cheapskate. After all, I only get my hair cut once a year, but it could be a $4 haircut or a $200 haircut – I’ve done both. The infrequency is a combination of laziness, indifference, and the fact that I don’t see a need to go more often than that unless I want something specific (if you couldn’t tell, I don’t tend to do much in the beauty department). The occasional expense is because sometimes I want a quality product, especially when I want something more drastic. So while it might make sense to just get a “safe” haircut now and do something more drastic after all the hubbub is over, part of me really resists the idea. I mean, it’s cheaper to get your hair cut once than twice, and cheaper to get it cut and colored in one visit than in two. I don’t like spending more time than necessary on my hair (despite my spending an hour writing this post). Plus, if I’m going to eventually cut it short, I want to cut it short in one go, so that I can donate it.
Alright. So I’m sure I’ve lost 99% of you by now, babbling on about my hair indecisions. For those of you who are left, what do you think? Should I ignore #4 and just get an intermediate cut now, leaving the spiky red boy cut for later; cut it short but color it later; or do the whole shebang? Does short hair even work on me? Should I worry about something else, like my thesis? Help!
Here are some photos illustrating the various hair phases I’ve gone through:
|February 2003 – the $4 haircut, kind of a mullet. Man, those were the babyfaced days.|
|September 2006 – fresh red hair||January 2007 – 5 months later|
|June 2007 – 9 months later||July 2007 – about as long as it is now|