Here is a list of things I have always said I would NEVER do again.
Watch Road House without spontaneously applauding every scene.
Use the phrase ‘I’m Bringing Sexy Back’
Christmas without presents (what the fuck were we thinking?)
Cut my hair.
Let me tell you a little story. Let me take you, if I may, back to the glory days of Truro in 1989. I was twelve. Everyone had jeans from Tammy Girl with patches on. The only limit to the amount of scrunchies or fergie bows you could put in your hair was your imagination. Everyone went to the under eighteens disco at Quasers and FREAKED OUT to Black Box’s Ride on Time.
My mum took me for a haircut. I had a very modern mum. She wore fingerless lace gloves and backcombed her hair. She read Marie Clare and Cosmopolitan and wore Opium perfume. If she had been transported to modern day Brighton she would have been worshipped as some sort of Queen. At the time the ‘pixie cut’ was highly fashionable, a close cropped, wispy little haircut worn over the very beautiful faces of Winona Ryder and Mia Farrow, and more recently, Emma Watson. The thing is, in order to make this haircut work you need the tiny, pointed features of a delicate elf. You need bone structure and some high density make-up. I had, at best, the face of a cheeky chipmunk and a penchant for too much concealer. This was never going to work. Look at this blurry monstrosity.
I wept as my beautiful, shoulder length locks fell to the floor of the hairdressers and I cried all the way home. I looked like a dude and I constantly stank of mousse. I got teased at school and combing it forward just made me look like Ruth Madoc from Hi-de-Hi. I put a plague on all the houses of hairdressers and a pox on the mousse makers of the world. Then I swore that I would never ever have a hair cut again. I was growing it to my fucking knees.
Here I am, growing it out, in a Megadeth T-shirt.
Even years later, when I started working at a well known high street hairdressers (look, I had bills to pay, you know?) and I was actively encouraged to have FREE haircuts I screeched like a harpy as they approached with scissors “DON’T TAKE TOO MUCH OFF! I DON’T WANT TOO MUCH OFF! JUST AN INCH!!” and winced at every tiny snip. (Let me tell you something about this well known high street hairdressers, that the stylists there were capable of precisely two haircuts and you were getting one of them, regardless of what you asked for. Don’t even try not having layers, or feathering. I saw more identikit hipster feathered fucking haircuts leaving that salon than I could count, and I’m pretty good at counting. )
So my hair stayed the same, long and pretty pointless. I gave myself a fringe and grew it out just for the hell of it. That summer of 2002 was freaking wild! I lovingly nurtured a single, solitary dreadlock which had formed in my hair and kept it there for far longer than any joke should extend for. Months, I think. I once had a junior hairdresser in tears because my maverick hair WOULD NOT BEHAVE,
“How do you deal with this?” She wailed, going at it with the straighteners the same way my ex approached fried chicken and sex. Quickly, with mouth agape.
My hair has been unmanageable as long as I can remember. I’ve long since given up trying to persuade it to humour me and just let it do it’s wild, renegade thing. Until yesterday that is.
In front of the mirror, drifts of falling hair gathering about my feet. I am hacking away at it with the kitchen scissors, caring not for precision nor accuracy, just hack, hack, hack at the dumb length of it. I’m like Samson in reverse, feeling the weight of it fall away from me, my back straightening, my shoulders thrust back. I’m up to six inches and I’m still not satisfied. Feel free to take that quote out of context and use it somewhere. I trim a little more and a little more. It is just below my shoulders. Bit more won’t hurt. Hack, hack.
In the end I took away nine inches of hair within about seven minutes, maybe less. It’s liberating for me, and it looks awesome – chunky, blunt and soft as anything. I can’t stop looking at it, admiring the new sleeker me.It’s still a mess of course – I can’t cut hair for shit – I was a receptionist at the hairdressers, which is only one step away from a toilet licker in their hierarchy – and I used a blunt pair of scissors and I didn’t wear my glasses. But you know what? It’s a tidier mess than it was before, and that my friends is progress.