It Kind of Grows on You

It Kind of Grows on You

Hair…

When I first posted about possibly getting a haircut, I never imagined that people would even think twice about it. I mean it’s hair, and unless your armpits never had a hair follicle I’m sure you understand how very commonplace it is. Yet here I am, writing about it again, because months later people are still leaving comments about it—asking questions, sharing opinions and dispensing advice. I’ve also been getting e-mail about it, and backstage, half my search referrals and Greymatter search requests are about hair—short, long, thick, chopped, healthy, you name it.

So I have no choice but to address the topic again, answer any questions still outstanding and post photos of the hair that everyone is so evidently trying to picture.

To my dismay, however, I discovered how very few photos I have of me and my vaunted hair. That’s what I get for not having a camera. A crapera, I have; a camera, I don’t have. Bear with me as I try my best to describe my locks.

First of all, my driver’s license claims that my hair is black. Minnie uses the more poetic “raven” to describe my hair, but if you want to get technical, it’s somewhat black. It’s the same color as my black cat’s hair, which actually looks a bit like very dark reddish brown in the bright sunlight, like chocolate; but for all intents and purposes, it’s black.

Second, it’s thick. Practically everyone else in my family has thin hair, but for some strange reason, I have thick hair. My Aunt “G” also has thick hair, and how we got to be the black sheep, I’ll never know.

my hairy family tree

Third, it’s straight. Depressingly straight. I believe it actually cries out in pain when I put a curling iron to it, it’s so straight. Even my eyelashes, long as they are, are straight. My sister was lucky to have a little curl in her hair, but me, my hair is so straight, you will never see wild and sexy hair-on-hair action—nope, not even a hint of bisexuality in my hair whatsoever. None. It only has a bit of curl in it after it’s been in a braid for a while.

Fourth, it grows like crazy. If I were a guy, I’d get five o’clock shadow before noon; it’s that fast. This is part of the reason I don’t usually get my hair cut in trendy styles; it outgrows the style quickly and requires constant trimming. This is not to say that I never get my hair styled. I do on occasion, whether it’s short or long. For example:

Me at 4 years old with short styled hair.Me at 13 years old with big '80s style hair.Me at 17 years old with long styled hair.

So right now it’s long, and it’s cut straight across, nothing fancy. It reaches down to my butt when unbound, and when I shed it never goes unnoticed. In fact, we at the gem residence like to joke about some pony leaving behind its strands of tail hair on the bathroom floor. Funny, but when my hair is short, one would think I never shed at all. Speaking of which, here are photos of the shortest and the longest that I’ve had my hair… actually, my hair has been and is much, much longer than in the second photo, but that’s the longest ever captured on film.

Me at 22 years old with the shortest hair I've ever had in my adult years.Me at 21 years old with long hair. That's my sister on the right, by the way.

Fifth, it’s strong and healthy. I’ve actually had brushes fall apart on me after a few months, bristles falling out like teeth from an nonagenarian. Currently, I use two brushes—one to get the tangles out and one to get the hair all nice and smooth. Both have plastic ball-end bristles that massage my scalp as I brush. For those who are curious, I use cheap Suave shampoo and conditioner, currently the mountain strawberry variety. I have sometimes used the green apple one, sometimes the plain strawberry one. I’ve gotten so accustomed to using these products that I don’t smell them any more, but people seem to really like the way my hair smells. You might want to give the shampoo a try.

Six, it’s a nuisance. I discovered early on why my mother liked to keep my hair short or bound. It’s all over the place otherwise. Below are photos of me as a child—with short hair, getting a perm, and with bound hair. I never actually got to have shoulder-length hair until I was about 12 years old.

Me at 3 or 4 years old with short hair.Me at 4 years old with permed hair.Me at 4 years old with straight bound hair.

And below are photos of my flyaway hair and my bound (at yellow arrows) hair.

Me at 17 years old with my hair all over the place.Me at 17 years old with bound hair, STILL flying all over the place.

So what’s it like getting my hair cut? It’s like this:

Me at 22 years old, before and after a haircut.

But, since we’re on the topic now, I don’t know if I’ll be cutting my hair any time soon. Unbound and flowing, brushing softly against the flesh, it’s kind of a turn-on behind the bedroom door. I just pray it doesn’t get caught in the ceiling fan, you know? It’s quite handy for tying people up, though.

Ahem. Just kidding!

Seriously, though… there are a lot of uses for hair this long, especially in a braid. It’s only a matter of time before someone at the DOD contacts me about using me as their new secret weapon. Behold the various uses:

For flying, or for slicing and dicing if a knife is attached to the end.
For hand-to-hand combat, as a deadly garotte to maintain stealth.
For combat involving the martial arts.

So… if you have any more questions about the hair, fire away. This post is probably going to be the last time I talk about it for a long, long while. Rest assured that if I cut my hair, I’ll post a before-and-after photo. It’s too dramatic a change not to, and I know that many of you want to see it.

By the way… here’s the scan of the four braids in the Ziploc bag, each braid over a foot long and 2-3 inches wide:

Four braids in a Ziploc bag.

Hair’s looking at you, kid.

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20 thoughts on “It Kind of Grows on You

  1. Aww, what adorable pictures of you! 😀

    We are birds of a hair follicle… err, feather. Other than the texture of our hair, we have many points in common:

    > Second, it’s thick.

    My hair is thick, too. So thick that when I go to the beauty parlour to get my hair blow-dryed or ironed, the beautician groans because it takes her the better part of an hour to work on my hair.

    > Fourth, it grows like crazy. If I were a guy, I’d get five o’clock shadow before noon; it’s that fast.

    Ditto. I try to get it cut in layers, and have maintained the same style for years simply because any other style outgrows in a month.

    > Six, it’s a nuisance.

    I have bad hair days every day. No matter how much I try to tame my wild, unruly hair, it has a mind of its own.

    I do wish I had straight hair, though. My hair is wavy-curly and is very difficult to manage.

    That said, you look beautiful regardless of what hairstyle you flaunt. 🙂

    All hair Queen April!

  2. Rapunzel, O Rapunzel
    Let down your hair
    So that I may entangle
    in the raven stair.

    I dig the new illustration! 😀

  3. As a man, I personally love long black hair.
    By ‘long’, I mean at least shoulder length, covering about 80 percent of the neck or more and uh,.. no ears showing!  
    I can’t imaging how cumbersome long thick hair can be since I have short *ahem* thin hair.   But,.. it must be hot in the warm weather;   Heavy while swinging it around to fight off people who think that their kung-fu is better than your kung-fu (say that while moving your lips out-of-sync);   Time consuming to wash;   And painful after having it in a ponytail all day.  
    Should you bravely decide cut your hair, my vote would be for something shoulder length.   (vote? I meant, "if ya asked me…")  
    Also, as a feel-good jesture, you may consider donating your lovely lost locks to places that use it to make hair-pieces for the follicley impaired   😀

    PS…   You’re a dish in the photos with shorter hair too!

  4. Love your sense of humor, then I saw your artwork and decided that I love you. Then I realized you probably get that a lot and decided to refrain myself.

  5. Oh, if I only had your hair! I am the only one with straight hair in a family of four girls…. remember stinky Tony perms? Yuk!

    You are beautiful inside and out – no matter what hair length you have!

  6. Oh, if I only had your hair! I am the only one with straight hair in a family of four girls…. remember stinky Tony perms? Yuk!

    You are beautiful inside and out – no matter what hair length you have!

  7. Oh, if I only had your hair! I am the only one with straight hair in a family of four girls…. remember stinky Tony perms? Yuk!

    You are beautiful inside and out – no matter what hair length you have!

  8. At one point my hair was bleach blonde and almost long enought to reach my chest…

    I won’t bother with a story ~ just a warning.

    If, for whatever drug induced reason, you think that shaving a chunk out of another persons bangs (starting at the scalp) would be funny ~ please, please, think twice. It’s not.

    =)

  9. Minnie, thank you, and we totally must trade hair one day. I want some curl, girl!

    Parl, [April batting eyelashes] thanks!

    Oday, being loved allows one to more easily love back, isn’t that so? 🙂

    Pam, I’m sorry. Could you run that by me again? I totally missed it.

    Saen? ACK!!! I imagine you had to cut the rest of your hair to match, which in light of that makes it not seem so bad if you’re a guy; if you’re a girl, that’s almost reason enough to break something, preferrably the perpetrator’s arm.

  10. My hair is red, wavy, thick and hits below my shoulder blades when wet, about 2 inches higher when dry. It’s got a lot more spring when it dries; it never gets much longer than it is now, just bushier (and I trim it myself).

    I never grew it out till my junior year in high school (I wanted it long for the senior photo) – before that I always had it cut short every June, then it grew through the school year. It’s much curlier/wilder when long than when short and it definitely has those "wild and sexy hair on hair" action moments (although I never before thought of them as such! )

    My cats and I compete for who sheds the most, and our vacuum cleaner needs to be carefully taken apart on a regular basis to remove the choking strands.

    I grew up in Pennsylvania where the humidity did weird things to my hair… I remember waiting for class one day, listening to two girls groaning about how they had used the curling iron for an hour and the humidity had taken all the curl ut of their hair. Meanwhile, there I am and can’t even get a comb through mine.

    I’m resolved to it, though, and the weather where I now live is perfect for it. Mine will stay long until I decide I’m "too old", probably when I’m into my 90’s.

  11. Lovely sentiment, April. I think I’ll be smiling a bit today, I thank you.

  12. I have fine hair, with an insane temperment… 😉 It doesn’t know how to be good.

    You’d be a perfect hair donor, definitely. I’d have a wig of April Gem, lol… (seriously, you could probably sell it, if you don’t donate it to the cancer society).

  13. Vicki, you and I need to be trading hair one day. I want some of that wavy hair-on-hair action.

    Oday, then we’re even. You made me smile first.

    Suzanne, have you been reading my e-mail inbox? People actually want to buy my hair!

  14. lol, told ya. 🙂 Human hair wigs are very pricey, as there are few good hair donors.

  15. You look absolutely striking with long hair! Nice to see that such beautiful girls aren’t only products of our dreams…

    PS: Aren’t you curious about the maximum length your hair could get?
    If you want a change try it to its limits and cut it back later!

  16. You look absolutely striking with long hair! Nice to see that such beautiful girls aren’t only products of our dreams…

    PS: Aren’t you curious about the maximum length your hair could get?
    If you want a change try it to its limits and cut it back later!

  17. You look absolutely striking with long hair! Nice to see that such beautiful girls aren’t only products of our dreams…

    PS: Aren’t you curious about the maximum length your hair could get?
    If you want a change try it to its limits and cut it back later!

  18. You look absolutely striking with long hair! Nice to see that such beautiful girls aren’t only products of our dreams…

    PS: Aren’t you curious about the maximum length your hair could get?
    If you want a change try it to its limits and cut it back later!

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