For years now, I have bounced between two different hairstyles. One, created by the professional hands of a barber. The other, handmade by yours truly.
My hair is a big thing to me. I like to be able to style it, and I like how thick it is, despite the increasing number of years I am getting and how hard it sometimes become to complete my vision. I try to be as calculated as possible when it comes to the way I look, and whilst it’s sometimes lazily executed, I try to match up what I wear and how I present myself as best as possible. So why, you may ask, do I sometimes opt to cut my own hair?
The answer is one that is simple: sometimes, the barbers just don’t get it.
I can go in, sit down, and talk them through exactly how I want it cutting, exactly how I want it to look at the end of the cut, and I can even take in reference pictures, but they ultimately put their own stamp on to things. Instead of slicking my hair back, they cut it in such a way that I have to wear it to the side. Instead of shaving the back and sides short, they’ll fade it. Instead of not touching the top, they’ll take a bit off here and there, and when I leave, I regret trusting someone else with my hair.
However, I believe that going to the barbers is part of “pampering” treat, and so I buy into that little bit of luxury. It’s only after about three months that I start to really consider cutting my hair myself, and achieving the style I want that way. Thats what has happened this time again.
People question how I can do it myself, especially when it comes to the parts of my hair I can’t see; but I’ve been doing this on and off for a long time now. The art is in the sense of touch. I can feel by stroking the back of my head, where the longer bits are that still need to be shaved. I know where my crowns are (yes, I have a double crown), and I know how to hold my hand across them so that I don’t cut above where I usually do.
Only once in the past has my hair cutting skills gone so badly that I had to shave the whole of my head to cover up the mistake, but at the same time, it helped. It was back when I used to bleach and dye my hair every two weeks to maintain a blue/green/turquoise illusion, and by the end of that rebellion, my hair was so dead that it was the better option to shave it all off to my roots and let it grow back naturally.
Again, I also sported the shaved head look last August for Macmillan Cancer Support’s “Brave The Shave” campaign – something I’ve chosen not to do again this year for the sheer fact of, whilst I’m not going to say my lack of hair was completely like that of those who Macmillan support, it’s a big thing for me, and the shaved head look really doesn’t do it for me, and I feel utterly lost without my hair.
I guess that was the point though. Hair is important to someone’s self image. It’s part of who we are, and we use it as one of our identifying features. We style it, prune it, make the most of what we’ve got, and that part of the human condition, and part of our individuality. Whilst similar hair cuts may be sported by many different people, we all wear it differently. It’s just one of those things. We are as unique as everyone else, hairstyles and all.