My Insanely Long Hair

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, this is me. Yep, that is my real hair.

Yep, this is me. Yep, that is my real hair.

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.

My dad was actually supportive of my long hair!

My dad was actually supportive of my long hair!

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.

This was probably at around the six month mark. Off to football camp!

This was probably at around the six month mark. Off to football camp!

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.

It just got out of control.

It just got out of control.

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.

Where Do I Go To Get My Haircut? GREAT CLIPS!

Sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on something but I think I always end up telling myself that I really am not.

Yesterday, with the Thanksgiving holiday looming and at the urging of more than just a couple of people, I put an end to 5 months of growth and I got a haircut. My hair doesn’t grow straight as a board and long as someone like Fabio. Rather, my hair grows extremely curly and it grows out. Yep, I rock one ugly version of a white man’s fro. People see it in its true glory after I work out or if it is a humid or rainy day…it poofs out and looks, well, depending on the person, either awesome or hideous. While I no doubt have plenty of critics, for some weird reason women have always seemed to like my longer hair and jumped at the chance to touch my curly locks and ask if they are natural (they are). However, there always comes that time when enough is enough.

At this point, it is time for me to get a hair cut.

For my whole life, I have gone to a low budget hair cutting chain to get my ears lowered. For the majority of these times, I have gone to the classiest of them all, AKA Great Clips. Yep, I have gone into Great Clips many times over my twenty-six years and gotten my hair soaked down with a spray bottle and then chopped off with scissors and electric clippers in the short time span of about fifteen minutes. Growing up as a kid in Spokane, I sometimes elevated my haircut experience one notch and went to rival hair chain Fantastic Sams. It was there that for about a buck more, they would actually wash my hair and give me the faint impression that I was getting a more professional cut. Talk about trickery and deceit.

Glen, me, and my locks.

The thing is, I am totally fine with going to Great Clips to get my hair cut. In fact, although I do make fun of its ghettoness, I really am unconvinced that if I went to a high end salon and got my hair cut that it would make my hair turn out better. It seems like every city is highly populated with professional salons, staffed by well-trained and cute girls who would be more than happy to cut my hair. And even though I have several friends who work in these types of salons I have always neglected to enter one, opting to walk in and walk out at my local Great Clips.

I have several reasons for sticking with Great Clips, starting with the one I just mentioned. Would my hair really look better if I went to a high end salon? I mean really, how much can someone do with my hair? I am a guy, I go in and get the exact same cut every single time (a #7 on the sides and blended in up top). I don’t need special treatment, I don’t need color, I don’t need a weave, and I don’t need a perm…that one comes naturally for me. Again, please tell me, what can someone at “Holier Than Thou” Salon do for me that someone at Great Clips can’t.

This is me after my oh so classy hair cut from Great Clips yesterday.

I think I also get my hair cut at one of these budget chains just because I am so easily accepted. At Great Clips I am surrounded by other guys getting their hair cut who have the same degree of carelessness as I do. I feel at ease. I think it is fair to say that I am a little intimidated by the elegance, set up, classiness, and overall femininity of a professional salon. I fear feeling out of place getting my hair cut in a girly salon surrounded by staff and customers who all happen to be women. Sure, I guess I could go to a barber shop but that whole idea turns me off a little too. I find it awkward getting my hair cut by a dude. Remember, I have gotten my hair cut by women for the past twenty-six years, I am too far along to change that. Besides, aren’t barber shops pretty much extinct nowadays anyway?

Maybe most important in my decision to frequent Great Clips is just the convenience. I can walk in Monday through Sunday and get the job done. If I want, I can even check in online and have a seat in that chair the second I walk into the place. At Great Clips, they keep all your hair cutting information in the computer. I don’t need to explain anything to my stylist, she knows exactly what I want. They don’t take a long time (which could be a bad thing, I guess), they just get down to business, cut my hair, and ask if I am happy. I always know what it will cost me too ($13 exactly). As long as I don’t look like Lloyd from “Dumb and Dumber,” I give the stylist a $20 bill for putting up with my locks. I can definitely handle paying $20 every four to five months for the upkeep of my hair. Honestly, could I get this anywhere else?

So there you have my long winded explanation on why I go to Great Clips. However, I want this to be a more interactive type blog post. All of my beauty industry friends out there, please tell me what I am missing out on. What can you offer me that Great Clips can’t? I do put a decent stock into my appearance so I can definitely be swayed one way or the other. Where will I be going for my next hair cut four months from now? I think I am putting my money on Great Clips. Don’t Blink.