I got my hair cut today. My haircutter is great, to the point that I considered asking her for a stack of business cards that I can give out to all the people who ask who cuts my hair. But she is also as confounded by my hair as I am, and I like that in a haircutter.

As I walked into the salon (Why is it called that? It makes people like me feel ridiculous for talking about it.), I passed a woman who flounced out, glowing and smiling to herself at her new style–A sleek A-line bob with chunky strawberry blond highlights. (I’m not sure why or how I know so much hair lingo.) I think she and I both knew it wouldn’t look quite that perfect when she replicated it, but fresh from the salon, it looked good.

I went in, awkwardly stood around pretending to look at the Bumble & Bumble display while I waited for my haircutter, then awkwardly struggled with psuedo-narcolepsy as she snipped. To top off the trim, she smeared a variety of Bumble & Bumble goos on my hair, blow drying and scrunching as she went. I wasn’t wearing my glasses, and I’m nearsighted, but I could see enough to see that she was frowning slightly, attempting to place strands of my hair just so, where it didn’t want to stay.

And I walked (no flouncing for me) out of the salon looking like Carol Brady after she skipped washing her hair for a week, swam through a storm drain, and tried to dry her hair under the hand dryer at McDonald’s.

I’ve struggled with my hair for most of my life, which is what prompted me to get my current short cut. I’ve had the requisite ’80s bowl cut, waist-length hair in protest of that, more bobs than you could shake a stick at, an ill-advised shag (circa 2001), and curly layers with comb-over-type bangs. And thanks to my fine but thick wavy hair and a general deficiency in hair savvy, I have never been able to style any one of these cuts. And hair always seemed like it would be such a controllable thing, and something that I could change without changing myself, and something that I could have fun with. In reality, I can’t control it a bit, and it’s been a source of constant strife and occasional contention with both of my parents.

My current routine with my 3″ long hair is to wash it at night and wake up in the morning and see what it’s doing, then maybe run a straightening iron over the front part and bobby pin it if it’s out of control. If I attempted to actually do anything to it, I would have the same Carol Brady catastrophe. And it’s strangely validating to know that even a professional can’t handle my hair.

Rebel, rebel, your hair is a mess.

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