Monday, March 28, 2011


Came home from a girls' weekend away to find my handsome little man...hairless. Well, pretty much.

We'd already been talking to him about cutting his hair for the summer and letting it grow out again for the school year. He was very very VERY attracted to the idea of no tangles and no hair brushing.

And while I was expecting to return to see his Gladiator haircut from a few years ago, what I got was a bit of a shocker.  So much so, in fact, that I literally didn't recognize him from behind when I picked him up at school.

When he turned around, of course, all I could see were his gorgeous black-sea eyes.  But then, I honestly had to fight back the tears.  It was just such a dramatic difference, and it really caught me off guard.

And yes, I do know how silly that sounds.  And no, of course it doesn't change at all what I think or feel about him. That would be ridiculous. I'd love that boy if he was dyed polka-dotted purple and turned inside out.

His locks just a week ago
But man, it makes you think about what your hair says about you.  And how your hair makes you feel.  That hair revealed so much of his personality.  Or rather, warned people from a mile away what was coming.  It suited him.  It WAS him.  He was his long, flowy, untamed, easy going locks.  And he knew it, too. He rocked that hair. He did.

So now what?

He mentioned this evening that he missed his long hair, as he longingly ran his fingers across his newly landscaped plane.  He came right out and said, in fact, that he didn't really like how it looked on him after all, curling up his lip and scowling and everything, after which I promptly explained the concept of buyer's remorse.

He does still seem a little nervous about the change himself.  He chose a style he thought he liked out of a magazine, but you know that never really ever works.  Of course we told him how handsome he looked.  How we hadn't really seen his whole face like this since he was a toddler.  How it doesn't ever matter what he wears or what he looks like.  And that his hair doesn't make him who he is inside, to which he immediately responded, "Can I get a mohawk then and color it red?"

At school he took a little ribbing for looking like a stranger in the morning, but it seems to have dissipated by afternoon recess as the novelty began to wear off.  On the upside, he's totally taking advantage of the fact that his scar is now showing.  His sister rammed him into a bannister when they were about 4 or 5, busting open his head and leaving him quite the Harry Potteresque bolt on the upper left-hand side of his skull.  He's decided to randomly make up its origins instead, of course, and completely leaves out the fact that he promptly returned the favor, although it's not likely we'll be seeing hers anytime soon. (Knock on wood.)

The amount of attention he's getting hasn't hurt either.  Not a one of us, including his sister, can seem to stop rubbing his head every single time we walk by him.  So, although, he's not completely happy with it, he, like the rest of us, is taking a little time to get used to it and own it.

But it's a blank canvas, I explained to him.  And you're the artwork this time, Bubba.  And now, settling into the idea of it all, I'm finding that I'm really looking forward to seeing where he decides to let it go from here. 

So, how have you responded to dramatic haircuts in yourself or your children?  Or what if you or your child had to lose their hair due to chemo treatments or the like?  Do you think, like Samson, that we all hold onto the illusion of a certain unnamed power in our hair?  Or maybe that we even choose subconsciously to hide behind it?  

Hmm...maybe we could all stand to pull a Britney (sans the umbrella bashing) and shave it all off at least once in our lifetime to give ourselves a genuine opportunity to 1) see the real you, 2) actually find your inner beauty beneath that big sexy hair, and 3) squash the misconceptions of ourselves by others?

Or is it, in the end, maybe, just hair?


Amanda said...

He is absolutely GORGEOUS! I understand what you're talking about - my oldest had this head full of golden curls that had a life of it's own and I absolutely LOVED it but Mr Military (my husband) forced a haircut and it never came back the same. I though he looked like a cancer patient afterward :(


Thanks, Amanda. Chago had those gorgeous baby curls, too. First haircut, never came back. Ugh.