I don’t know about you, but every couple of years I get sick of being mistaken for a rock star, tired of women chatting me up all the time and have had enough of guys looking at me with jealousy in their eyes. When I can’t stand any more I decide it’s time to get my hair cut off to scare them all away!
Ok, all of that is a complete lie. What I meant to say was that every couple of years I get sick of shampooing and conditioning my hair all the time, tired of having to try and make it look anything other than a total shambles and have had enough of it getting in the way and making me overly hot when playing football. When I can’t stand it any more I decide it’s time to get my hair cut off so I can focus on the important things in life – and stop being obsessed with my hair!
And today was just such a day. Time to switch from rock star to military man. So here is that transformation process in all its glory courtesy of my lovely assistant. Sort of like going from a moth to a caterpillar. (If you can’t see it in your feed reader, click here).
There, all gone! And I’ve got lots of hair to start work on a Yeti costume! 🙂
I know you’ve all been waiting impatiently for another episode in my hair saga, well here it is! While the My Hair section of my site was the most popular for a time, it’s been overtaken by my Photography Tips and that’s not right. It’s time to redress the balance.
So, to recap. I had a crew cut for several years up until 2005 when I decided to grow it long. Very long. So long that I could tie it up in a pony tail and easily pass as a member of a folk band or a student. After growing tired of it blowing all over the place and wearing a girlie hair band for football I cut it back to the more rock star look you see here:
And for a while that was good. The hair was at a length where it wouldn’t get in my eyes so I could do most sporting activities without it annoying me. When it grew a bit longer before I had it cut I could use the girlie hair band and it wouldn’t look too bad. But I was becoming a slave to the salon and having to work my life around when I was getting my next haircut. I’d have to wash and dry my hair in the morning for it to stay where I wanted it and that took time. If I had a workout in the evening and a shower afterwards I’d have the tricky choice of:
- Wash the hair and go to bed with wet hair
- Wash and dry the hair (which takes time) only to do it again in the morning
- Don’t wash the hair and just ignore the fact that it was all sweat-covered and greasy
- Wish I had shorter hair and didn’t have to think about it
And naturally I took the last option most of the time.
Of course, the well documented fact that I’m slowly getting more and more grey hairs didn’t help either. I’d get my hair looking good and then some damned grey hairs – all straggly and horrible looking – would pop up and annoy me. This vanity and fussing all had to end. And now it has.
I’d finally had enough and decided it all had to go. I was going to return to my roots (pun intended) and revert to my crew cut. And here it is:
(You wouldn’t believe how long it took to reproduce the expression and angle from the rock star shot above). It’s no mess, no fuss. In the morning I have a shower, towel dry my hair and I’m done in seconds. If I’ve had a workout it’s a no brainer, I can wash my hair in the shower – it’ll be dry in no time. I can throw away the girlie hair bands and the lads I play football with can stop taking the piss (they can now just stick to jokes about my footballing skills or poor finishing). I don’t have to pay top dollar to a hair dresser, I can get my good lady to do it for free. And if it’s windy or rainy I won’t care at all about my hair going frizzy or getting messed up.
I feel like a man again! Now, if I could just do something about those pesky grey hairs… 😉
I haven’t written about my hair for a while, and since it’s the most popular category on this site (incredible but true, see below) I thought it was about time I let you into a little secret. You see I’m 32 years of age now, and while I still can’t grow a full beard (and realise that I guess I never will), I’m very very slowly going grey.
The grey hairs first showed up years ago. There were just a few of them and I was so surprised that I pulled one out and had a close look at it – the thought of me having grey hairs in my 20’s was unspeakable. It couldn’t be! As there were only a few I pulled them out and forgot about them. I then had a period of 5 years with very short hair, a crew cut in fact. This was a very practical haircut as it required no maintenance at all, no trips to the hair dresser, and didn’t show up any grey hairs.
As has been well documented, I then grew my hair to shoulder length so I looked like a folk singer, and then cut it back into the much more fashionable look you see on my About Page, which is what it looks like now. However sometimes when my hair gets blown around by the wind or it dries in a certain way, close observers can just make out a small collection of grey hairs mixing in with the brown ones. While on holiday in Australia they showed up in the sunshine and I pulled one out, marvelling at how white it was. Then I removed another and another but it was clear that to get rid of them all I’d be removing a noticeable chunk of hair. So I gave up.
I’m just getting older I suppose and the ravages of time are catching up to me like they do everyone (except Tom Cruise). In a few years it’ll probably get to the stage where I think to myself “do I leave it with grey patches or do I start dyeing it?”. I’m really not looking forward to that day!
With a couple of days to go before I get married you'd expect I'd be waking up in a cold sweat as a result of any of the following nightmares:
- It's the wedding day and I'm walking down the aisle in my pyjamas / pants / birthday suit – I've forgotten my suit and everybody is laughing at me.
- My car's broken down on the way to the venue, it's torrentially raining and my mobile phone is dead – she's going to think I stood her up!
- I fall down the stairs and sprain my ankle walking to the venue. I spend the rest of the day with my foot up and ice on my ankle – not exactly ideal.
- The minister doesn't turn up / is blind drunk (might be funny) / gets into a fight with my brother / me / my girlfriend / Auntie Jane.
- Some crazy ex-girlfriend / stalker turns up at the "does anybody know any reason why this couple shouldn't wed?" bit and has my baby in her arms / screams that she loves me and I love her / gets into a fight with my brother / me / my girlfriend / Auntie Jane / the minister / all of the above.
- I walk to the venue, see a flash of lightning and suddenly I've been thrown ten years into the future. Everybody thinks I'd stood her up, she met some tanned hunk and married him instead and I'm stuck in a world where I'm completely lost and out of place.
- A gang of long-haired European, terrorists take over the castle and hold us hostage while stealing some bearer bonds from the vault.
- Someone spills red wine over my suit (that'll make sense when I upload some wedding photos after the event).
But no, none of those have forced me to wake up and think "thank God, it was only a dream!". Instead I found myself in a barbers in Dundee. It was a large, empty room with a chair in the middle which I was sitting in. It looked like a sunny day outside but my main concern was with the guy that was cutting my hair.
"Right, I just want a tidy up – whatever you do don't cut much off it" I instructed. But I could see a look in his eye so I felt I had to clarify: "I know you think it'll look great if you cut more off, but trust me I'll hate it – don't even think about it".
At this point he started laying into my fringe and that was my cue to go ballistic. I was on my feet yelling at him using every four letter word and insult I could think of. I touched my forehead and realised that my fringe was far far too high up – this just got me angrier. I was enraged!
Of course then I woke up and realised it was all a dream. I felt relieved. Then I thought "what the hell am I worrying about my hair for? I've still got to write my damned speech!". Which reminds me, I've still got to write my damned speech…
Over a year and a half ago I decided to grow my hair. I came back from a holiday in California and decided that I’d had enough of the crew cut look and I’d go for the Spanish footballer look instead. What I didn’t appreciate was how hard it was or how long it would take. This is my story…
At first it was okay. From being a centimetre long to an inch was alright, it didn’t look too bad and didn’t require any additional care. But it soon became apparent that I’d have to go to a hairdressers for the first time in five years (my girlfriend used the clippers to cut my hair up until then). When all your hair is the same length it’s not long before you start to grow a rather un-fetching mullet – and that’s not a good look. So I got it cut and was shown the wonders of hair wax and how to use it (I was so out of touch).
The other thing I had to do was start using shampoo again. With a crew cut you don’t need anything other than shower gel but as my hair started growing it soon ended up looking and feeling like straw – so shampoo and conditioner it was!
It also started to interfere with my football playing – getting in my eyes and bugging the hell out of me. So I stole one of my girlfriend’s alice bands which did the trick (although I had to put up with a lot of stick from the guys)! Oh how I dreamed of the days when I could use a length of black elastic in true South American footballer style!
As it continued to grow my hairdresser tried in vain to show me how to blow dry my hair – she failed, I just couldn’t be bothered in the mornings. I did, however, get the hang of straightening irons (my girlfriend’s) so I could relive my days when I used to have straight hair!
Anyway, I’d see people in the street or on TV and use them as my motivation to keep growing it, to not give up and get a short back and sides. Every time someone would get theirs cut (like Dave Beckham) I’d feel it was a small victory for me – they were quitting so I’d carry on! And now it’s gotten to the stage where I can look at people I wanted to emulate like Robert Pires, Michel Salgado and Roddy from Idlewild (I have a photo of the band on my fridge I used as both motivation and to scare my girlfriend) and realise that I’ve made it! It was all worth it! Oh, the sense of achievement! And what a contrast!
Okay, I’m not really that bothered, but I’m glad I stuck with it, it’s been a surprisingly hard thing to do – a short haircut is so tempting and easy to live with and in this day and age where every guy has the same short haircut it’s nice to be a bit different. Even if I have to spend a fortune on shampoo and conditioner! 😉
I knew I wouldn’t last long before posting about my hair, so I’ll try and get it over and done with as quickly as possible and then we can move on!
I remember the last time I grew my hair long. It was probably 10-15 years ago and from what I recall it was a neat short back and sides one day and long enough for me to tie up in a ponytail the next. There didn’t seem to be an in-between stage, or more likely I’ve blanked it out because it was so long ago. Okay, my memory may be hazy about that but what I distinctly remember was that my hair was completely straight.
I’d wash it in the morning, brush it and an hour later it would be dry and as straight as if I’d run it through some GHD straightening irons. So naturally when I decided a year ago to grow my hair long again and put the military crew-cut look to bed I thought it would be perfectly straight again. How wrong I was, as you can see below:
At first I tried to deny it and pretend it was still straight. I must confess that I even stole my girlfriend’s straighteners and used them on more occasions than I’ll admit to. I learned how to blow-dry my hair straight and I’d get annoyed when I wouldn’t quite get it right and see a bit curling away of its own accord. But then I just thought “what the hell”. I’d get up, have a shower, wash my hair, towel dry it a bit, brush it and leave it to its own devices. And much to my surprise it dried completely straight!
Okay, that was a lie. It dried as curly as you see in the picture above, and I just accepted it for what it was and decided I liked it after all. Who wants straight hair anyway? But I still find it strange that it’s no longer as straight as it was in my younger days…
Okay, that’s the hair post out of the way, I can get back to more interesting topics! 🙂