Anyone who sees me on a regular basis knows that the length of my hair goes from one extreme to the other, although in the past couple of years it has gotten better. It used to be that I’d let it get far too long and only when it really bugged me would I get it cut, and then I’d have it cut really short so that it would last a while.
It’s because I truly hate visiting the barbers / hair dressers.
I have a memory from childhood but I’m not sure if it is the cause of my barber distress or merely a contributing factor. I remember going on my own (I think) to the local hair dressers and getting my hair cut very, very, very short. I remember being extremely distressed by the result and maybe even hiding in my bed for a few hours. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, maybe very early teens. I’m sure there was crying, for several days.
Whatever the root cause, I know I’ve hated it for as long as I can remember. I get very stressed while my hair is being cut and find myself tensed and clenching all my muscles, until I make myself relax and as soon as I stop focussing I tense again.
The net result of all that is that while I was at University, and ever since, I’ve always left getting my hair cut as long as possible, usually up to the point where it bugs me so much I finally relent and get it done. I also find it easier to go somewhere I’m familiar with. When I was living in Rotherham this meant getting three buses each way to get to a barbers in Sheffield I’d used while I was living near there at University.
When we moved to Nottingham I started going to a local hair dressers, and they were pretty good, while it was still distressing I got used to it and managed to go reasonably regularly. We moved in Nottingham (still close to the same place) next to a barbers, and I tried that once, and it was a terrible experience. My feelings weren’t misplaced though, since when I went back to the hair dressers next time they commented on how bad the cut was and fixed it.
It’s not like I have complex hair, or want a complex cut, I just want it short and tidy, I’ve always just wanted it short and tidy, but for some reason the whole experience is distressing.
Grete cuts my hair now, or I should say, she shaves it using electric clippers (#4 all over thanks) and it’s much, much, much less stressful. However, it’s still not stress free and I trust Grete with my life so it’s not about people I don’t know, it’s about the whole process of having my hair cut. For some reason.
Anyway, now that Grete cuts it, it doesn’t get quite as long as it used to, but it still gets too long.
So there, I don’t really answer my own question, but I thought I’d blog about it anyway. I guess I’ll never really know, I’m just glad that I’ve finally found the least stressful solution to the problem. Getting my hair cut gives me a huge personal confidence boost, I feel measurably happier with it short, I just wish I could use that energy to make the process happen more often and be less stressful.
Maybe in the future.