(Photo provided)

(Photo provided)

Tangled Up in Blue: Blunt cuts

I cut my own hair last night. After months of new coronavirus isolation and then a few too many, “Oh wow, Kat! Your hair is so long,” I took a pair of dull scissors and chopped away.

With a forceful snip, 2 inches fell from the right side of my part and, then, a slightly longer 2 inches fell from the left. Back to the right for a small trim, and things were a bit more even.

“How does it look?” I asked Patrick, hoping he would praise my hidden talents as a hairdresser.

“Like you cut your own hair,” he replied, almost as bluntly as I had cut my hair.

Ahh, exactly what I was going for.

A haircut is a special indulgence of mine. I have a stylist back on the East Coast who I trust to color my hair and give my lifeless blond locks some life when I’m in town. I’ll send her a message a few weeks before landing in the Newark Liberty International Airport, making sure that I have an appointment scheduled with her somewhere in between lunch with my grandfather and drinks with an old friend, like a said “special indulgence.”

But, there’s no flight to New Jersey in my future and my ends were dead or dying, split harsher and more divided than … almost anything political in 2020.

And so, I cut my own hair.

I trepidatiously stood in front of the mirror with scissors in my hand while humming Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s 1970 political song “Almost Cut My Hair,” with an extra flourish on, “It was getting kinda long.”

But, I’m not a hippie debating my rebellious nature in the ’70s, struggling with the paranoia around every turn. The protagonist in the song was looking for something a bit more practical, looking to get his hair out of his way but felt it like he owed it to someone to keep his hair growing.

And so, while he almost cut his hair, I actually did — not in an act of rebellion or solidarity, but in an act of desperation. It had been months, I wasn’t about to drive to Anchorage for a simple haircut while bringing another person into my carefully curated coronavirus social circle.

There were plenty of “almosts” ahead of that, when I had reached out to a salon to see what their policies were and if they were taking clients, but instead I did what I do best.

I Googled “how to cut your own hair.”

And it turns out, there are plenty of people across the country trying to do the same thing, not screaming or yelling about their desperation with their long locks. Instead, we’re all just learning and adapting, finding new ways to do the things we need to do.

Sure, I’ll go to a salon again one day. But, in the meantime, my hair looks like I cut it myself, exactly the look I was going for.


For the Clarion

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