21 September 2016

Day 13: Hair

Another 8-Minute Memoir writing challenge from Ann Dee Ellis

My hair and I have a long history. As a girl I would go back and forth on bangs, length, and other aspects of my hair as I tried to get it exactly how I wanted it. I remember sitting on the floor of my second grade classroom cross-legged. I dropped my head back and moved it back and forth, feeling the hair run along my back through my t-shirt. I could feel the ends tickling the exposed skin between my shirt and shorts. I've always loved how long hair feels.

My most important hair moment didn't come until I was 18 and in college. I hadn't done anything different with my hair in years. It had always been a matter of cutting it to about my shoulders (usually a couple of inches longer) and growing it out until the split ends got so bad I couldn't take it. As I sat in my dorm room bunk bed, thinking about hair, I realized I couldn't remember the last time it had been shorter than my shoulders. I started wondering what that might look like. Eventually I moved to the mirror and started playing with it--folding it up under to get an idea of what I'd look like with short hair. Folding hair doesn't ever give you a great idea of what it would really look like though. I looked around my room and the kitchen quietly (it was around 2 am at this point) until I found a pair of sharp scissors.

Scissors in hand, I stared at myself in the mirror again, this time wondering if I should do this. If it looked horrible, I couldn't do anythign about it for hours. I'd have to sleep on bad hair, maybe pull it back for my morning classes, then I'd have to walk to the closest beauty school for a cheap fix.

I probably stared in the mirror for 10 minutes. It felt like much longer. I eventually realized that I'd be standing there until I did something, so without further ado, I grabbed the scissors and closed my eyes. In hindsight, I shouldn't have done that.

When I opened my eyes, I was pleasantly surprised to find my snip didn't look horrible. I kept cutting chunks of hair off, eventually remembering that stylists always washed hair first. I got it wet and kept going. By 4 I was done.

Again, I stared myself down in the mirror, wondering what my roommates would say in the morning. I cleaned the bathroom, picking up pieces of hair, and slept.

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