Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hair Today

As things stand: artist's impression
Maybe it's just the influence of that last post, but I need to talk to you about my hair. I think it's getting out of control.

You see, for the past year or so, as part of the overall, ongoing effort to feel Less Appalling about every single aspect of life, I've been growing it out. I figured what the hell, I'm heading toward fifty, I'm for various reasons kind of unassailable professionally, and most importantly, I've still (a centimeter or so of forehead excepted) got the stuff. So off we went.

In this part of the world, with the exception of the tighter-up Brits and Yanks who frequently populate the ranks of middle-upper management, it's actually not that big a deal. Lots of Arab men, especially those from the Gulf, have Big Hair, even if it's usually covered up with traditional headgear. This is also kind of a facial-hair-mandatory setting as well, so I've lost all reserve in that direction as well. The gentleman above will give you an idea, if you're willing to age him up, flesh him out, and throw a heaping helping of salt into that pepper.

And it's really pretty easy - the maintenance isn't all that much worse than keeping a short cut tidy, although because it tends toward the riotously curly, I've gotten cosier with a blowdryer than I've been in several decades (we didn't have one actually; I gave it a try last summer because dear Boudi came to us with one - apparently his previous people liked him with a Farrah 'do).

On a bad day...
It's currently of a length somewhere between Slavic Baritone and mid-career Mary Astor (albeit with a fair bit more at the back). Last December, without warning, a demon stylist administered something I only later through diligent Googling discovered was a Brazilian Blowout (which is a whole lot less porny than it sounds, even when given to one by a lithe Lebanese hairdresser), and so for a couple of months it was straight (unlike the hairdresser) and limp (a greater resemblance). In fact, for one brief, shining night, I achieved - albeit 35 years after the fact - the state of grace I had once upon a time so longed for: Perfect David Cassidy Hair.

Now, though, I'm afraid the Blowout has blown and it's back to curls and a certain, shameful amount of frizz, even with diligent back-combing. As a result of the recent round of socializing (one evening of which, you may recall, ended in the Great Tooth Crisis of '12), I discovered this morning that I've turned up in one of the social columns that still grace local publications. There, staring out at me from the glossy page, was a distinctly rounder, older, and more generally PaulaDeenische sort of person than I think of myself, with that kind of dazed "must you?" look one gets when faced by a strange camera. Even so: cool hair, bro.

So I really, really like having it longer, both because it annoys so many people who can do nothing about it, and because, I suppose, it recalls days of vanished youth. Like that of dear Jo March, back at the time of life when appearances matter so very, very much, my hair was my one claim to real good looks, and it took me aback, as the tendrils started to wind collarward last June, how much I'd missed it. Of course, back then it was also (often all at once) teased, sprayed, feathered, gelled (but never, I can at least attest, Jheri-ed), waxed, and more often than not at least two unnatural colors. It's kind of restful, comparatively, to have it just be longer.

A compromise?
I'm wondering if perhaps Stock Photo Daddy here isn't a possible way forward. The resemblance is actually rather strong, although his brows are a little more roguish than mine, and I'm not sure (especially given the evidence in this week's going-out mag) my Gaze of Quiet Self Confidence is quite as assured.

So what do you think? Do I continue down the road of further growth, heading toward Anglo-Fro territory, the possibility of Olde Boho Pony Tail, or worse? Do I just get over my cheap self, cut it all off, and return to Corporate Clean Cut? Or do I find some soft-focus rocks and an Indigo Land's End Button Tee, go back to Blowout Boy for a trim, and see how it all works out?


  1. Go for it, Muscato. Before I read that the last photo was Stock Photo Daddy, I thought it might perchance be you. My thought was, "Well, awwwwwlright for you, Mr. Muscato. You've got a silver fox on your hands." As long as you head in this direction and not anywhere near Nick Nolte at the Academy Awards, you'll be doing rather well.

    I had a thick dark mane only when I had no clue what to do with it. I rocked a boring, safe, wholesome, good-boy side-part for far too many years. My only experiment was a gelled, spiked do that very nearly had corners some summer in the late 80's or early 90's.

    My husband bleached and blued and pinked and mulleted and permed and ponytailed throughout his 20s and 30s. I am desperately envious when I look at his old photos.

    It's just hair. It grows back.

    I wish I'd done more with mine when I could. It's now so thin on top that I can only keep it very short (#1 all the way around) and off the ears. I'm a turkey waddle and a few liver spots away from a complete transformation into my father.

    Gimme a head with hair
    Long beautiful hair
    Shining, gleaming,
    Streaming, flaxen, waxen

    Give me down to there hair
    Shoulder length or longer
    Here baby, there mama
    Everywhere daddy daddy

    Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
    Flow it, show it
    Long as God can grow it
    My hair...

  2. As you already have a husband, unless you're looking for something on the side I say let it grow!

    For many years, I had long hair that went halfway down my back. Now there's none on top, and I have hair on my back! And no husband, I hasten to add. So it goes...

  3. Wait, Thom - are you telling me that Mary Astor hair isn't catnip to The Mens? Color me shocked.

    Speaking of which, I didn't even delve into the whole color question. Tried it once, but now alas, I fear it's too late.

    And, yes, Bill, I fear I'm not quite up to the Mediterranean Good Looks of SPD. He has that "Yes. Yes, it is," look that some guys carry off so well.

    Once, when trying to really get my goat, my friend the Professor said, "What you really look like, in the end, is Robert Downey's [NB: willowy 80s Downey, not post-prison built Downey] slightly dykey sister." And I fear that sums it up all too well, even all these years later. Even with the beard, amazingly.