Thursday 04/08/16

It’s the middle of winter and the 0° Celsius mornings aren’t as fun as they sound (especially in the gym, where every piece of equipment is made of metal). I normally have extremely short hair (a crew-cut, to be precise), but I’ve gotten a bit slack lately. As we know, a lot of body heat is lost through the top of your head (especially if your head is only covered in stubble). Winter was luring me into breaking a rule I’d made for myself many years ago.

As anyone who has been in an altercation, or has attended any sort of self-defence course can tell you, a handful of your hair can be used against you to great effect. I learned this lesson the hard way in my youth. In the late 70s and early 80s, longer hair was normal for both males and females, and I had the same hairstyle as most of the other kids in my school. That came to a screeching halt the day I was picked up from the floor by a handful of hair and dragged across the room. It’s hard to fight back when you are facedown, and the only part of your body touching the floor is the tips of your toes.

I was due for a haircut the following weekend; but instead of my usual sense of dread, I was actually looking forward to it. When I emerged from the barber’s shop I was sporting a 1 comb crew-cut (about the same length as 2-3 days’ growth on a shaven face). Unfortunately, the punk subculture was starting to take off in Australia at this time, so my new appearance was misinterpreted by quite a few people. I ignored the stares and digs of other students and teachers (and their mullets), but I made friends with some kids I otherwise wouldn’t have met.

Since that time, I have maintained a similar hairstyle, and it has served me well in both my martial arts training, and situations that would have ended badly I’d had longer hair.

Anyway, I didn’t realise how long my hair had gotten until I was washing it last week. As I scrubbed the shampoo in my hair my hand convulsed and grabbed a handful of hair. I was shocked when I realised it was long enough to hang on to. The cold weather was no longer a consideration; I cut my hair the following day.
Experience is a harsh teacher. The warmth I enjoyed from having longer hair enabled me to ignore the constant irritation of hair tickling my neck and ears. I was even willing to take extra time in the morning to make my hair look presentable after having a shower, but I couldn’t override the painful memory of being picked up by my hair and dragged across a room.

What about you; how is your hair? Is it in need of a trim? If you know someone who needs a little encouragement choosing a more practical hairstyle, please share this blog with them on your social media page.