As a little kid, I hated going to the barber. Was it really that painful?
I don’t know when my mother took over, but I doubt it added any style. This was the ’50s, remember, and then the early ’60s.
Looking at those photos, I see a vast improvement when my girlfriends took over.
And then the hippie movement hit. I let mine grow out. It was wild, felt free, and even attracted chicks. One, who’d known me in high school, kept voicing her disbelief, “You’re so cool now.” Like what happened?
Looking at the photos, though, I should have had it styled. Really. It’s embarrassing, even with the headband.
Once I moved to the ashram, it started getting shorter. Not all at once, but by degrees. We were cleaning up our act, as Swami said.
By the time I was back out “in the world,” mine was mostly about sideburns, and then my locks were in the hands of my first wife, the artist.
Flash ahead a decade, right after the divorce, and I was visiting the Big Apple for a job interview. A good friend who always looked great in a new ‘do arranged for me to visit her hair stylist in Brooklyn. The session was quite the revelation, even after he ran his fingers through my mane and declared with disgust, “Dis hair wasn’t cut in New York.” I mumbled a dumb apology akin to groveling.
Well, whatever he did worked. I landed the job.
A second current was running through many of those years. It started at the temples, the receding hairline. Invisible to me was what was happening at the crown. Shortly after I relocated to New England, I was starting to look like a medieval monk there.
Well, when I was walking with a good friend who’s a family physician, he quipped that a popularly advertised shampoo or daily pill wouldn’t do any good in my case. I had the wrong patterning or some such for it to address. Alas.
And then, once I’d remarried, my daughters warned me of dire consequences if I ever grew my ponytail back. So the thinning continued.
After the younger one had gone off to college, my roommate from my own first year after came up for a visit. I was in shock. His eyes were still the sparkling blue and his voice and laughter were as musical as ever but – gasp – that naturally blond Afro he had sported was totally gone, leaving a shiny dome in its place. Something was off, seriously wrong.