"Don't shout at me!" she returned in plaintive Yahoo Messenger letters, "I have expensive hair!"
And two things struck me. First the "I actually could use a haircut," thought, followed closely by the "I wonder if I'm being overcharged for haircuts" thought. You see, I don't have enough experience in these things. When I was little my mum cut my hair. As a child I have two recollections of visiting a hairdresser. The first was because Alison Fisher was having her hair cut and couldn't come out to play until it was done. I was invited along to watch. It was rather dull. The second time was to have my ears pierced. They laughed at me when I jumped as the stud was stapled into my earlobe but I didn't cry. My eyes stung rather a lot, but I didn't cry.
When I left home I had my mum cut my hair when I visited during holidays. Then, for a long time I just didn't get any haircuts. My hair got long. Sometimes I would hack away at the fringe with scissors, sometimes I would grow it out. Now and then I'd get mu mum to trim off the split ends but my default hair was style: long. I tied it back, mostly. I experimented with hair colouring. But it remained long. Long hair is annoying. Unless you have patience or lots of practise it is very difficult to plait. Anything less than a plait gets annoying. For example, bits escaped and waved around my face. At its longest I would find myself sitting on it and yanking my head as I turned to look at something. Washing it was a pain and it took forever to dry but hairdryers had a tendency to make it overly dry and thus frizzy.
One day, walking along a high street I passed a hairdressers and thought "What if I were to go in and get all my hair cut off?". I doubled back and went in. They chopped it down to just below my shoulders where I expected it would stay if I sat at a desk and looked down. It didn't, it flopped around my face. I also discovered that when bored I had a habit of fiddling with the ends of my hair behind my back. I missed it. Standing in queues left my hands with nothing to do. It was short enough that it didn't stay back when tied back and was really quite irritating. I let it grow again and all the old annoyances came back. You know, the ones like cleaning out a plug of hair from the plughole after a shower, or pulling loose strands of long hair from inside clothes every time you get an itch.
We had some clippers - things made for keeping crew cut style hair in order without the aid of a hairdresser. In the heat of summer we shaved the underneath of my hair but it didn't help much and it grew back quickly when I stopped maintaining it. Eventually I went to a hairdressers again last year and asked them to cut it short. After asking if I were sure a couple of times they suggested a not-too-short layered style. An actual style. It had been a long time since I had one of those and whilst my mum was both handy and well meaning, she was no hairdresser. So they cut my hair and I liked how it came out. I warned them that it has a tendency to part itself down the middle - even at the fringe and they tried to keep it in place by blow drying and using gel and gunk and whatever. It lasted until I had walked about 50 metres from the shop. But the parted fringe looks fine and the rest I liked. I think they charged me �35. That was in October last year.
Just after Christmas I went back for a trim as it was getting kind of long. They trimmed it and washed it - not so much as I wanted them to but I didn't realise this until I got home. They charged me �25. It's somewhat overdue for a trim again and it's long enough to tie back. But they're usually booked up on Saturdays and I'm not taking a day off just for hair.
There's another problem as well. I once dyed my long hair black. "I don't like what you've done to your hair," my mum told me. But no one else objected and some said it looked good and I liked it. I got bored of the black and cycled through some other colours. When it was shorter the first colour I tried was a reddish gingery look. I liked it but when it started to grow out I decided to go for black.
I must have used a different product. This permanent black was a lot more permanent than the previous one that also claimed to be permanent. I also discovered that the black short hair looked an awful lot more harsh against my pale skin than the long black hair had. I immediately wanted it to go away and tried to cover it with dark brown. I think that was quite a big mistake. It stayed black and perhaps even penetrated further with the addition of the extra chemicals. It won't go away. I've tried and tried with many different varieties of colour, stopping just short of bleaching it because that scares me. The roots are showing and everything I try to cover it with takes at the roots giving a nice strong contrast with the black. Actually, the black has a dull brown sheen to it now, but it's still more black than any other colour. I tried using temporary black to make the roots match the rest but it washed out almost immediately. So I have multicoloured hair and it's getting longer and sillier by the day. But I don't think a crew cut would suit me, somehow.