Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer of Change — How to Not Look Like a Drug Dealer

Looking Like a Drug Dealer
 For several months now I have let my hair grow out to the length that I can only describe as “drug dealer.” Not that all drug dealers have long hair but with the right clothes I’m pretty sure I could pass for a guy that might know where to “score some weed.”

Many people asked (or at least given me “the look” of) “Why did you grow your hair out?” That’s seems like a fair question. Why did I grow my hair out? Let me see if I can explain.

About two years ago, my wife and I were out with friends having a few drinks and dancing to the music of some band — I can’t remember who (which, by the way, would make a great name for a The Who tribute band). At closing time, I was watching the way the lead guitarist was really getting into the music. As I watched him get lost in the song, I started thinking “I’m gonna grow me some rock and roll hair.” I may have even said it out loud.

“What?” my wife shouted at me on the dance floor.

“I’m gonna grow me some rock and roll hair,” I shouted back.

I remember I had a pretty good buzz that night, but I decided, right then and there on the dance floor, to let my hair grow out.

And so, I started letting it grow. But that doesn’t answer the question of why?

The main reason was: I could. My hair could grow out. I have a lot of hair. It grows fast. At the time I had a job where hair length was not a deal-breaker. I figured the worse thing that could happen was I would have to get it cut.

Plus, I started to realize that a lot of men my age don’t have hair at all. They start to bald and either shave it smooth or wear it in a monk style fashion like St. Francis of Assisi. Now I like Bro. Francis, but I don’t want his hair-do.

So I let it grow as sort of a tribute to those who could not grow. Those who wanted David Lee Roth hair but looked more like a balding Animal from the Muppet rock band, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem.

Lastly, I grew my hair out because I wanted to. I wanted rock and roll hair. In more than 40 years of life, I never had long hair and dammit I wanted it long. So I let it grow.

And man did it grow. Through the many months of awkwardness, I let it grow. Finally, when it got to about 7 or 8 inches long, it started to look pretty rock and roll, if I did say so myself.

It was long, really long, for about a year and half. Then, I got tired of it. It had to go.

Now, another good question is Why did you cut it all off? That’s a really good question.

First, it was the Summer of Change and I figured long hair was part of that change. I wanted to change my style completely and part of that was a more reasonable hair cut. Not short, but reasonable.

Plus it was so freaking hot. It’s the middle of summer in Texas, when temperatures soar into the low 200s, and long hair does not help that problem. I felt like my head was on fire most days and I have light colored hair. I don’t know how my wife — who has long dark hair — does it.

This is not a good look for a dude.
I had a hair appointment on a Monday in early July. I called my stylist the Wednesday before and said, “I can’t make it til Monday. It has to come off today.” She got me in that afternoon and left enough hair on the floor to recover a couch, if you had a mind to want to recover your couch with former rock and roll hair.

And lastly, I did it because I wanted to. That’s the good thing I guess. Nobody told me to cut it. Nobody complained. I just did it. 

A much cleaner and cooler cut.
I really like my new cut. It’s cool in two ways — it looks pretty “cool” and every time I walk outside now, my head whispers a little “thank you, bitch.” My head has a little bit of an attitude.  And while I don't look like the guy who might be able to score some weed, I'm starting to look like a guy who could score a decent car loan.

It was a nice change. Sometimes change is good.

A little behind the scenes look at my notes for this blog post. H/T to Austin Kleon and his book "Show Your Work." 

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