Saturday, July 11, 2009

Light Headed


No, the title does not refer to another fainting episode, despite what you may have read earlier in the week. It refers to the burden—rather, the unburdening—of long, thick tresses. It's summer now, and still a difficult period economically. I have started explaining to people who comment on my growing mane (mostly to say it looks nice, but still) that it is "recession hair." I've used the term in this blog before. It means, basically, that I simply cannot keep paying to cut it short the way I prefer. Every six to eight weeks in a salon—though I never went that frequently, no matter how flush my wallet—is not something I can permit myself. Actually, it's not just the expense of money but of time. Who has time for flipping through magazines as a stylist pumps you up and down in a padded chair? Definitely not I, not this summer. But, I have to say, I am getting very sick of the length, which has grown mightily since the last whack job. My head feels heavy. I am simply remembering now, with longing, the last time my hair looked like it does in my profile picture. If I could, I'd cut it short again. Perhaps not that short, but short. Short enough so that I don't have to think about drying it when I get out of the shower. Short enough so that I don't need any accessories or products. Short enough for someone to notice I've cut it and say something about it. I remember the first time I cut my hair short enough to qualify for "buzzed," though it wasn't really. I remember showing the stylist a picture of Jean Seberg, the doomed American actress who played in the French new wave film Breathless with Jean-Paul Belmondo—the one tragically married to Romain Gary, himself a tragic figure in the literary world—and asking for something to make me look as "chic gamine" as she did. Audrey Hepburn in the post-Paris part of Sabrina would have done nicely, too. "Are you sure?" the stylist asked, scissors in hand, timid, not knowing if I would soon become hysterical. "Absolutely," I said. "Cut it off." I wanted to see it come off in a couple of swift clips, right up close to the scalp, very dramatic. The stylist went in tiny, inch-at-a-time increments. But finally, the desired result was achieved, and I felt strangely light headed. It was a great feeling. That's what I'd like to replicate now, a lightness of being that's anything but unbearable. Of course, I'll wait. Knowing the historical pattern, I'll wait until winter, when it's too cold for short hair, and cut if then anyway. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll let it grow and grow. I hear Locks for Love can accept hair that's got noticeable salt in the pepper. But to do that, I've got a long way yet to go. Guess I'll see which is deeper come fall, my patience or my purse.

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