If you have yet to figure out my writing prompt this month, it is elementary my dear reader – I’m just rolling down the alphabet each day, finding a word that resonates with my brain at that moment, and I just see where things go.
So many lovely words to write about that start with H. I was pretty set on writing about home and what that word really means. It is something I don’t think I knew the true meaning of early in my adult life. It was one of Becky’s goals when we got married, and I just equated it to owning a house, but how wrong I was. Sounds like a really cool thing to write about. But there is another word that has been a theme for me during the great pandemic of the ‘20s that starts with H.
It has been commented on by friends, family, and has brought me much joy. So I think it is about time to turn the spotlight on the epic-ness of my follicle journey the past 18 months. So join me friends on a magical journey of laughter, song, selfies, and hair. Lots. Of. Hair.
The Meetup Cut
Pre-COVID era Automatticians know what I’m talking about right here. Over the course of my seven years at Automattic, I typically would only visit the barbershop right before one of our team gatherings – meetups – oddly enough that is when I’d also tend to buy new clothes.
So that was precisely why I cut my hair in Feb of 2020, to get looking sharp for our team trip to Kelowna BC. This was pretty standard Timmy Steeze for hair. From there the journey of the hair began. It got weirdly wonderful from there.
Part 1: 🐯🤴
I should preface this all by saying I’ve led a pretty tame follicle lifestyle up until my forty-third year of life. Of course I had participated in the random mustache competition at work, and there was that time when my season pass photo at Mt. Bachelor resembled a wild haired Manson mug shot… but simply put, I’ve had predictable normal hair.
Okay enough talking, let’s get to the sights and sounds. It all started with that Tiger King stache.
It was as if the very hungry caterpillar had crawled out of the book in the back of Teagan’s closet and found a permanent home on my face. And all the while the rest of my hair was trying to keep up with the spectacle. Before long, the girls would enjoy styling up the locks.
And then my parents came sometime that spring, perhaps it was June. I will never forget the look on my mom’s face, when she grabbed a hold of the stache handlebar and just shook her head. So while my folks were still in town, the trim happened and the Selleck look began.
And with the change in facial hair style, and the ever-lengthening hair, the hot styles kept on coming from Teagan and Kaydee.
Part 2: All Phases of the Man Bun Lifecycle
And the hair just kept on growing. I feel these photos do a fine job of showing the fun I’ve had with the whole experience along the way. As the hair grew, so did my deep empathy for anyone who currently has, or has had long hair in the past. It’s work! And waking up with mouthfuls of hair is so unsettling ( to me at least ).
The dude photo above, I’ll try to weave in that tale before too long. Long, that is what happened with my hair. This shot was taken right before I finally saw the stylist again this May.
For a while the hair growing out was tied to my daily fishing habit. I said that when I stopped “the streak” I was going to cut the hair. The long hair became this odd talisman around our house during the pandemic. I’d periodically complain about it and talk about cutting it, and the girls would plead me to let it be.
And honestly I really ended up enjoying having long hair. There was a novelty to it all indeed; but it was a great reminder that stepping outside my deeply ingrained ways has a magical way of opening up a whole new set of experiences and learnings. And it also leads you into buying an old Vanagon too it seems.
Now that I’ve spent some time reflecting on the iterations of my look, there is also a part of the whole process that was liberating for me. Growing up I was overweight – or for the times I’d be labeled as chubby. My mom bakes the best treats, and my sweet tooth combined with teenage laziness + Nintendo, well I was overweight all through middle and high school.
I, like many other young people do, allowed this body state to get ingrained into my ways, into my identity. It most definitely impacted my self image in a negative way, and unfortunately I carried many of these negative self evaluations too deep into adulthood. I wish I could have realized earlier that falling into this trap was a common one for teens – negative self image is most definitely a shared human condition.
Fortunately as a parent now, with two great kids who also have been applied labels already by classmates 😕 – well I hope I can help them navigate it a bit better then I did. And so part of this whole hair thing, was a bit of me modeling the wonderful mindset of not caring if people thought my looks were odd, or even if they applied labels to me purely based upon the style of my hair. Don’t feed into the negative energy, just put your energy into exploring new things and new styles.
Everything is always changing, I think its good to not fight that current, just float with it and see where it takes you. ( ✅ river/fishing analogy included ).
Part 3: Singing
While gathering photos for this post ( and that was super fun to do by the way ) I stumbled upon this gem. And yes I promised singing earlier in the post, so here we are. This obviously would not have happened if for not the magic of the long hair.
Part 4: 🎧
So that about sums up hair for now. I got the classic summer trim, but that trim was still longer then I had ever worn my hair prior. And as we turn the corner into fall, the mighty wheel of the man bun cycle is starting again with a wee little bud on the top of my noggin.
But Halloween is around the corner, and I have this mop of hair and a clean-shaven face as a canvas. So dear readers, what shall I do next?