MARCH 9, 2011 11:15PM

Hair Today Gone Tomorrow

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I have known my husband for ten years now and in those ten years he has only liked my hair once for maybe a day and a half.  He, I think, is stuck somewhere in the eighties where women had monstrously large mall hair with hairspray so thick that turpentine was needed to aid in its removal.  I’ve tried pleasing my husband with different hairstyles but with every one of my attempts comes a comment that makes me want to shave my head once and for all.

 When I first met my husband my hair was way too short so upon first glance, he thought I was a man.  This prompted me to grow my hair into a style that I thought was long, flowing and feminine.  All he saw was flat.  I invested in hot rollers, which gave my hair some oomph for about fifteen minutes and then would fizzle out back to flat again.  I had layers cut into my hair in an attempt to fluff up my fine hair only to make my hair look like it was cut with a shoe.  I would practically stand on my head when I dried my hair to boost the volume in it.  I teased it, curled it, begged it, and bribed it.  But, alas, I seemed to have been destined to have flat hair.  After one particularly callous comment I went to the salon and had all of my hair cut off.  It was a rash decision and I am still regretting it since I’m still in the process of growing my hair back to a feminine look.  All of this was done to please my husband since I am not the one that has to look at myself.

 He wants me to get a perm put in my hair.  The last time I had a perm was when stirrup pants were all the rage.  I ended up with split ends so bad that I had to have my hair cut up to my ears in order to bring it back to life.  I’m not putting my hair through that torture again but yet by not doing it I’m seemingly torturing my husband.  Well, he’s just going to have to live with it.  My hair is what it is and that’s that.  You don’t hear me complaining about his hair, do you?  Well, not yet, but I’m about to start.

 When I met my husband, his hair was one of his features that attracted me to him.  I was twenty-five at the time and the fact that he had little bits of grey in his jet-black hair was sexy since that meant I was dating an older man.  Recently I pointed something out to him that he’d been oblivious to before and I don’t think that he’s forgiven me for it yet.

 Whenever he gets a haircut, my husband makes me order it.  I know what he likes since he’s been getting the same haircut since he joined the Army in 1985.  He likes his hair to be cut with a number one on the sides and a number two on the top with the two lengths faded together.  Granted it looks clean cut when first done, but it also accentuates his large nose and sticky-out ears.  He feels this haircut is not only fashionably acceptable, but also easy on the checkbook since he only gets his hair cut every three or so months.  His haircuts don’t depend on looks.  It doesn’t matter if his neck is hairier than a gorilla or if he’s got pointy hair wings on the sides of his head.  He claims he knows when it’s time for him to make a trip to the barber when his ball cap doesn’t fit anymore.

 For the past five years I’ve been gently suggesting different hairstyles for him to try.  I give not-so-subtle hints when I see a haircut that I like.  I’ve pointblank told him that it’s time to retire the high and tight.  I’ve bought hair products that have probably gone bad in the tubes from lack of use, brushes for him to experiment with that have been passed down to the dogs, and men’s magazines with pages dog-eared for him to look at.  Until recently he has refused all of my suggestions.

 The last time he needed a trim I finally got my way.  For the past several months I’ve been noticing the top of his head isn’t as lushly covered in hair as it once was.  At first I thought he had a wild cowlick that was becoming ever more unruly with his lack of hairstyle.  Gradually that cowlick got bigger.  It started out the size of a dime, and then moved to a nickel.  Quickly that nickel went to the size of a quarter and then a half dollar.  Now that cowlick can’t be considered a cowlick any longer.  That cowlick is a big old bald spot on the back of my husband’s head.  I knew that he didn’t notice it because he never checks out what the back of his head looks like.  I thought I could get him to notice that spot by himself so I wouldn’t have to be the one to break the bad news to him.  Whenever I would walk behind him when he was sitting down I would kiss his scalp through his thinning hair.  He didn’t notice it.  That spot was obviously bothering me more than it was him since he didn’t know about it.

 When he went to the salon I was with him.  The woman that cuts his hair knows to ask me what my husband wants since he’s been going to the same person for the past few years.  Despite knowing what he’s going to ask for, she still asks me first.  It’s like we’re in some lame play where everyone knows their parts perfectly.  This last time I threw everyone for a loop and improvised my lines.

 “How are we cutting him today?” Brandie asked.

“Something to cover that damn bald spot,” I replied.

My husband thought I was joking and pretended to pout, “I am so not going bald.”

“Yeah, you are,” I told him.

Brandie nodded with a grim look on her face.  My husband still thought we were pulling his leg.  I looked at Brandie, “Can I borrow you’re hand mirror?”  She handed it to me slowly, unsure if she was doing the right thing.

I held the mirror up to the back of my husband’s head so he could see the reflection of the hand mirror in the main mirror.  When he saw the bald spot that went through all the coin currency he blanched at the spot that was now the size of a dollar bill loosely wadded on the back of his head.

Now, rather than a high and tight he has a faux comb over.  He uses the expired hair gel to paste his hair in place.  He uses two different kinds of brushes to make sure his hair is just so.  I think he’s even secretly looked up old photos of Donald Trump to see what he’s been doing for the past twenty years in order to get his comb over so full looking.  Now, after all these years of trying to please my husband with my hair to no avail, he understands what I’ve been going through.  What goes around comes around in the form of a comb over.

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the bride's uncle had such a severe comb over, from the top of one ear over to the other, that the slightest breeze turned him into a cockatoo. Aw well, at least your hubby is a gem and he's not his hair, it may take him some time to realize it.

oh, and once again, so well written I was in the same room listening to you tell the story.
i was saving a bunch of great phrases you used in this piece so i could point them out in the comment (and, of course, impress you with my being such a careful reader), but there were just too many. it's better just to say this was terrific -- the story, the writing, the combover and the sticky-out ears, all of it. those men, they just never see it coming, do they? heh. ;)
Long see...Glad to read your again.
Boy, can I feel your pain. Fortunately, my hubby is not really picky about my hair, as long it is not too short. Glad you are back.