And miles to go: Liberation via haircut


Cutting your own hair can be both terrifying and liberating all at once. When you haven't done in it in years because you thought you wanted to grow out all of the hairs, it's the former emotion that heats up your face and makes your hands shake while holding rusting scissors up to your face in a poorly lit bathroom mirror.

I decided to take the first snip and give myself some bangs the other day, after talking about it for weeks with friends and family. (Contrary to my mug shot, my hair is pretty dang long, thus getting in the way of my daily activities and thus needing to be chopped.)

Finally working up the courage needed to do something some may see as stupid, I pulled back the parts of my hair that were to remain long, sectioned off the part to be cut, grabbed my tiny scissors and went to town. That first cut -- the removal of months of growth and nourishment and annoyance -- produces a grating, but somewhat relieving, sound that can be heard throughout your entire head.

Hair by hair fell into the yellow sink as I carefully snipped where I wanted, creating angles and layers around my chubby-cheeked face. Five minutes in, I paused and looked at my work. Initially, I thought "Wow! I'm totally great at this. And this is why I cut my friends' hair back in college."

Upon further examination, I realized I had created the beginnings of what can only be described as a makeshift mullet.

Referencing a drawing of a hair style, I tried to thin out the juts of fluff near my ears. I attempted to even the main bang across my forehead. I felt like Edward Scissorhands at this point, furiously snipping and trimming the hedge of hair overshadowing my face, a master of the trade at last!

Taking a step back, I told myself they have repair shops for this sacrilegious attempt at style, and I looked in the mirror. Not bad at all. My hair was even enough to where it theoretically should have been. I managed to rid the mullet look for the most part. And above all, my cat at my feet meowed in approval. Success!

What's silly to me is that I get worked up about these little things that I have complete control over. I could have chosen to go to a stylist. But I think my money is better spent on cat food, hummus and nail polish. I could have let my hair continue to grow to crazy lengths and continue to be the bane of my morning routine.

But after ignoring any advice I asked of my friends and family, I decided "what the hey?" and dove off that metaphorical diving board.

Doing something like this for myself is one of the better feelings I've felt. The sense of achievement, of responsibility and of pride give way to a euphoric effect that can only be dampened -- in this case -- by some rain and a lot of humidity.


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