As a natural neon colored advertising sign, one of those flashing in a sea of neon lights, up in the reaches overlooking metropolitan Japanese and South Korean streets, your hair advertises, compels, encourages or repels. My hair has always served my life with opportunity and complexity you see, a lavish bush I would call it. The type of hairstyle that would have come accompanied with a strategically placed comb, lost in endless curls, and puffed up in humid 1970’s sun.
As a young child between the ages of ten and sixteen, this fro was used as a perfect distraction, an opportunity to steal from my parents of all people. On a fortnightly basis my mum would hear the same sentence again and again leaving my lips, ‘can i get twenty dollars, I need a trim’. Lest she didn’t hear the scissors snipping in her own bathroom while I had cut my own locks, pocketing and spending the ‘dirty cash’ on essentials all sixteen year old’s need: chocolate milk, petrol, condoms and alcohol. Around this stage of my life, the relationship between my hair and the person who lay behind the hair begun.
Simply, hair allows you to express yourself without others consent. It gives others the opportunity to judge, it encourages judgement. With long hair, I received countless compliments. Some ladies I found out quickly are drawn to curls like a bird to its nest. Young students of mine climbed up my limbs as if they were a trees branches, to simply touch this nest, if only once. To identify yourself and allow others to identify you with wacky skull fur however requires courage and self-expression. Plenty of people will chuckle, smirk or whisper insults. These folk are the individuals that make us stronger, I thank them for their closed mindedness, I thank them for handing over an abundance of feathers to put into my courage and self-expression hat.
Now as a twenty seven year old, this relationship between myself and my hair has matured, it has matured with me, it has matured me. I recently got a haircut. Cut the sides short, while still holding onto those curls on the top that I could never let go of. I am older, I am getting older I now know. This haircut has shown me that much. My hair is getting grey, wow, grey. I am accepting my age, my life, my slow loss of youth, constantly reminded by this recently evolved feature I have acquired.
I like it, truly, I enjoy and feel fortunate to have graying hair. I keep smiling. To simply identify myself with this masculine, maturing symbol of awesomeness. To give others the opportunity to identify me with this masculine, maturing symbol of awesomeness.
I will keep smiling as my hair keeps graying.