“You Are Hair”

Enjoy this supercut worthy of SuperCuts by Bonnie and Maude about how emotional and character-defining a process it can be to get one’s hair cut. The only thing it leaves out that I can think of is a scene from Chris Rock’s illuminating documentary Good Hair, which had my jaw clattering to the floor with details about what weaves can cost. (Answer: So much that some people have to buy them on layaway and know-it-alls will tell you bluntly your weave is why you’re broke.)

In an inversion of that, though, the video montage does include snippets of famous fictional women selling their hair for money, like Fantine from Les Miserables and Jo March from Little Women. I have never made money by selling my hair, though I did donate to Locks of Love once or twice. In another era, maybe I would have! It’s nice and thick and grows back fast, like it did when I got an ill-advised crop a year before my wedding.

Spending too much on my hair has always made me feel uncomfortable; it triggers my Self-Indulgence! Guilt! reflex. In college, a good friend of mine cut my hair in the dorm. In later years, I visited professionals in their apartments who cut hair “under the table” — i.e., for cash — or took advantage of 2-for-1 or hair modeling offers. Results … varied. Nowadays I don’t go that far towards abnegation, but I still top out at around $6o and only visit a salon twice a year. Maybe if I went more often I would feel like a million bucks, and it would be worth it! Do you have saving secrets? Is your hair worth splurging on?

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