Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hair bandwagons

During recent travels in Scotland, it was early September, school just back in session. I was out for a walk one day at a park near a school, and noticed a group of lads all wearing a similar haircut. The sides were buzz cut, but on top it was left long. Here's a picture of a Scot on a train -- to give you an idea.

At first, I thought maybe it was a small enough town that the kids all went to the same barbershop. Then I began to notice it on older guys, too.

I was musing about this trend, how something like a hairstyle can catches, and everyone goes along with it. How I hadn't noticed it back in Seattle, and maybe it would begin to be popular there before too long? Even before getting on the plane to Seattle, I was eyeballing hairstyles, and noting that people headed in my direction were mostly wearing the same shaggier style with which I was familiar.

Back home this week, my son asked me to cut his hair.

"Do you want that kind of cut where it's really short on the sides and long on top?" I joked as we were setting up.

"You mean the Macklemore cut?" he said.

"Macklemore cut?!" I couldn't believe it actually had a name.

"Yeah, that rapper from Seattle, Macklemore. He wore his hair like that and it became a fad."

Talk about your ironies. It was from Seattle in a way, all along.

"Most people don't know this," my son went on, "but it's actually similar in style to what the 'Hitler Youth' used to wear."

He added that Macklemore had abandoned the style over a year ago.

While I doubt most guys with that haircut are consciously making a "racist" statement with it, this phenomena of going with the flow is symptomatic of our times, the tendency too hop on bandwagons without thinking through the implications.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hair unbalanced

In July, I forgot to schedule a hair appointment until it was too late so my regular stylist wasn't available. The salon suggested Kay, and I went for it.

"What are you looking for today?" Kay asked as I settled tentatively into her chair.

I had experienced moments like this before. Things could go terribly wrong terribly fast.

"I guess just more of the same," I said, surprised by the uncertainty in my voice.

"You know what would look really great on you?" Kay asked. "Just a minute, I'll go get a picture."

Kay seemed really excited as she showed me the photo -- a hip, sharp-looking blonde sporting an asymmetrical haircut, short on one side, long on the other. "You're already headed in this direction, we could totally do this," she said.

"I do need to look good for this conference," I said. "But not like I'm trying to look twenty years younger than I am."

"Oh, I won't overdo it," Kay assured me. "We'll keep it on the moderate side."

I left the salon feeling pretty good about it, but no one said a word to me about it, a sure sign things had gone awry. Except my daughter, about a week later. "Your hair is, like, all auburn and swoopy," she said.

We both laughed. "I know, right?" Worse, it was annoying; the part was so far to the side that my bangs were always in my eyes.

To address this, I pushed my bangs back entirely using a 99-cent head band, so my hair resembled windblown dune grass.

That was enough of that. At my next appointment, I insisted on, and regained, an appearance of symmetry and balance.