This morning on Instagram I threw up a Throwback Thursday picture of myself from when I was a junior in high school. The photo showed me at a giant gold painted rock at the edge of the school grounds. The rock commemorated a weekly award given out to members of the Mead High School football team who worked exceptionally hard. My name happened to be written on that rock. But that is beside the point.
In this picture I wore a black Mead sweatshirt, jeans, and a Texas Longhorns cap. The gold rock clashed brilliantly with the snow on the ground. However my Instagram followers didn’t notice my attire, the snow, or the large gold stone. Instead the only thing they were focused on was the dark, curly mess flowing out of my burnt orange baseball hat.
Yep, that is my real hair. For the better part of 18 months starting during my sophomore year of high school I grew my hair out. Needless to say, it definitely grew. Although my hair didn’t grow straight it still managed to reach my shoulders. Most impressive was how it grew out from side to side. I had pretty much a giant curly fro/perm mop of hair that would make many women envious. Actually, scratch that, I am pretty sure it would make any female vomit.
I didn’t grow my hair out because I wanted to be a punk rocker. Nor because I was a pothead. Nor because I wanted to give a big “Screw You” to society. I was a very straight arrow kid who played sports, got straight A’s, and stayed out of trouble. Rather I just grew it for three main reasons:
1. I could
2. My friends encouraged me to
3. I wanted my hair to flow out of the backside of my football helmet.
No joke, those are the legitimate reasons for why I decided to go with the long hair look. I will admit that it was also kind of fun getting comments from other people also remarking on the sheer mass and twisted curls of my mane. Speaking of the word mane that reminds me of some of the nicknames people called me. I got everything from lion, Bozo the Clown, Samson, and hairy beast. While I enjoyed the encouragement from my friends and the random comments from people I ran into, I couldn’t escape my biggest critic…my mom.
My mother flat out hated my long hair. After I passed the six month mark I didn’t go one day without her nagging me to get it cut. While I could brush off her desperate pleas to visit the barber as the months went on my hair started to bother me a little bit. I couldn’t see as well because the thick strands would come down into my eyes and it took a lot to maintain. I also started to feel a little dirty too. With my tolerance for my hair starting to drain the last straw came when a football coach suggested to me that I get it cut. All good things come to an end.
I went to Fantastic Sams and told the mortified stylist that I wanted it all chopped off. I went from a load of hair to a #1 Caesar cut. After she finished I had never felt so free in my life. People either didn’t recognize me when I went to school the next day or they just burst out laughing the second I walked up to them. It was a total transformation.
While I still have incredibly curly hair I don’t have the growing power that I once had. Plus, since I am now an adult with a respectable job I don’t have the luxury of growing my hair out for 18 months. The out of control shoulder length curly hair is a thing of the past, reserved only for Throwback Thursdays and this blog post. It was a good run. Don’t Blink.
**Shout out to my brother, Glen Reser, for providing me with some of these photos.