I got a haircut today. Haircuts are not nearly the big deal they used to be back in the day . . . they don’t take nearly as long either. Today the discussion about what to do with my remaining hair and the reminiscing about the hair of yesterday takes longer than the actual haircut.
Today I was in and out in about 25 minutes . . . that’s with a wash and blow dry. Ah but back in the day it took 25 minutes just for the stylists to get their minds around the magnificence pictured here. Hair like that, my friends, didn’t happen by accident . . . it took work and skill to bring that ‘do’ together. The look you see in the this picture is from late 1981 or early 1982 . . . I can’t recall because hair quantity isn’t the only thing that diminishes with age . . . it’s not the first either. Regardless, I stepped away from a 90 minute session and went straight to the photographer so it could be captured for posterity. Take a minute to just take it all in if you need to . . . we can wait.
After high school my hair magnificence was briefly stymied by pesky Air Force grooming standards. The blow dry ‘Bee-Gees’ look was most decidedly not appropriate for the next 25 years or so . . . but that didn’t mean that a brother couldn’t work a little hair magic. For the first several years I stayed low key . . . I kept it well-trimmed with a conservative side-part. But I couldn’t keep it corralled for long. Air Force Regulation 35-10 placed clear rules on hair grooming. At least it was AFR 35-10 when I enlisted. Then they changed it to Air Force Instruction something or other because the AFR system worked way too efficiently to survive the bureaucracy. The regulation set limits, but there was some wiggle room available. I wiggled right in.
I embraced the 90’s completely and went sideburn-less. Then I started letting it grow a bit and started combing it back more than to the side. At this point my hairline started a gradual retreat. We were holding our own, but our lines kept moving back a little at a time. By the turn of the century . . . I love using that term . . . I had a pretty decent look going. It was a bit ‘TV Evangelist’ but it worked for me. The picture here is from our engagement picture. That is why there is hair near my face. That belongs to my wife. She has awesome hair, but that is another blog post.
It kind went down hill from here. Haircuts aren’t so much fun any more. Before I new just what I wanted . . . now it is a bit of a crap shoot. I refuse to do a combover so I am embracing that thin spot in the back. In the meantime I seem to be growing forehead at an alarming rate.
I have discovered a new truth. When you have good hair, stylists . . . or barbers as I call them now . . . will listen to you when you tell them how to cut your hair. Now . . . they just look at me with sympathy. The result is I end up with different methods of ‘helping’ me with my hair issue. One barber simply shaved off the bottom inch of my widow’s peak . . . seriously. It was fun watching people try not to look at the razor stubble growing on my forehead . . . or my fivehead as my oldest son calls it now. Fivehead . . . get it? Like five is more than four because my forehead is big. Get it?
For the last few years barbers have insisted on leaving the hair on top disproportionately longer than the hair on the sides. I know it is supposed to be a bit longer, but they leave it much longer. I know why. Even though I tell them I am anti-combover, they are . . . you know . . . just leaving the combover material there . . . just in case . . . you know . . . I want to look like a tool. That’s fine except after a week or two the hair on top gets really long and I wake up with a sleep fringe down the middle of my head. It sticks straight up with little curls on the end. The best part of that is when my six year old wakes me up by pulling on it and giggling. He then calls me ‘rooster’ and runs around crowing at me. That is splendid.
So today I had a frank heart-to-heart with a new stylist. We talked about the past and I told her about the hair of old. She nodded sympathetically and looked at what time and genetics has left me. My new haircut doesn’t have the magnificence of the blow dried, feathered, sprayed and brushed Bee-Gees cut, but it looks pretty good for a guy just trying not to look like a rooster in the morning. The upside is that I can recreate this look in just a few moments in the morning . . . not so much with the old look. That took a lot of time and fluorocarbons to bring to life. That look fit me back then . . . this one fits now.
I don’t fight the hair battle as much as I just manage it. I briefly mourn the losses each morning in the bottom the shower as more hair gets a burial at sea. Then I rejoice with the survivors. We take it day to day, along with the waistline battle and the creaky joints battle. My boys like to give me a hard time about my thinning hair. I just have to smile . . . one day they will wake up and wonder what happened to all their hair . . . and why their children are making rooster noises.
Thanks for reading and reminiscing with me. We’ll talk again on This Side of the Diaper. Please share TSOTD as Facebook doesn’t always send it to all of my friends and followers.