pandemic, ponderings, thoughts

Growing the hair out

Self-Portrait, Kenilworth Park. 28 Aug 2020. Camera: Olympus XA2. Film: Ilford HP5+ 400.

Since stay at home became a thing, I’ve seen a lot of #pandemicbeards on the social medias. Why bother shaving when you can’t go anywhere? That’s not for me. I don’t like beards, so looking like a member of ZZ Top is out of the question. I still shave, though maybe not as often as pre-COVID. But while these same beard-outers are getting bad haircuts at home, I’m letting mine grow out.

Though I’ve had short hair most of my adult life, when I was young I was a long-hair. This was mostly due to my hippieish parents and my hairdresser mother, who liked my hair long. It wasn’t until after high school that I “rebelled” by cutting my hair shorter. Still, every once in a while I decide to grow out the hair.

The last time I grew my hair out was 2011-12. I got a hair cut before The Big Tour, then went several months without one. I finally gave myself one with a pair of clippers in a basement bathroom in Saskatoon. Then, I decided to grow it out. I was broke and wanted to see how my hair would look long again. This lasted until December of 2012, when I finally got sick of tangles and hair-in-face (I really don’t like ponytails.)

This time, the last haircut I got was in November. I had fully intended to get a haircut by January, but I was pretty broke. I did think about clipping it myself (as I do from time to time) but didn’t. Then, when I finally had money to “splurge” on a haircut, the pandemic hit. Barbers had to close shop. And I just decided to let it grow out again.

It’s interesting to let the hair grow out. The first six months or so is difficult, that in-between phase–one day it looks good, the next not so much. (Especially when the hair decides to part in the middle–I don’t want to look like Dan Fogelberg.) After the six months, it gets better, when the hair is long enough to tuck behind the ears. (Again, I don’t like ponytails.)

How long will I let it go? I don’t know. I guess I’d like to give it a year, and then see. In any case, I’ve gotten through summer without the desire to shave my head, so winter shouldn’t be too bad. As long as it looks good enough to me I’ll keep it. I just don’t want to look like Charles Bukowski or the like.

There is one side effect I didn’t really predict: My hats have been harder to wear! I wasn’t a hat person when I had long hair in my youth (nor was I a hat person when I had stereotypical spiky late-90’s hair), so I never thought of it back then. But now when I go to put on one of my many hats, I do notice. If I keep on growing it, I might need a few new hats…

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