Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The Bad Haircut

Several moons ago, I started cutting my own hair. The first time I did, it was a little off, but kind of quirky off, so I was brave enough to do it a second time. I told myself that it would be alright, because I could only get better with practice. I did get better with practice, and I have been doing it ever since.

Getting better with practice does not mean that one will always be good at a particular endeavor, though. This became clear to me on Sunday night.

I wet my hair before I started cutting, and about halfway through I realized that I never normally wet it before cutting. I assured myself that this would make little difference. Then, as I was hanging my head over the tub to catch the hair, I realized that I wasn't using a mirror, which I never normally do, either. I gave myself a second assurance that this, too, was fine, because I only have five inches of vision without my glasses anyway. The mirror barely even acts as a guide, I thought.

At this point in the story, you are not alone if you are thinking that everyone is smarter than this Schmutzie person, believe me. I am this Schmutzie person, though, so I had not yet clued in to my own comedy of errors.

When I figured that I was done cutting (with pinking shears, I might add), I washed my hair, towel-dried it, and took a look-see in the mirror with my glasses on to see my handiwork. This particular haircut had taken about half the time of any of the others, and I was impressed with how I must be coming along with my new talent. I noticed a couple of stray locks, trimmed them down, and decided that the front and sides were fantastic. A-one. Fabuloso.

Our medicine cabinet has doors that are those three-mirrors-on-hinges dealies, so I folded out the two sides to check out the back of my new hair-do. All I could think when I saw the rather cubist pattern back there was Uhm, okay, I can work with this maybe, and I picked up the scissors to do some touch-ups. Touch-ups which ended up circling around the entire back and sides of my head. Several times. Left to right and up and down. I simply could not seem to work out the several, large, chunky steps I had cut into the back. To put it nicely, if I stood on my head, you could have turned the hair at the back into a small shelving unit for miniature curios.

my bad haircut

The Fiery One asked to have a look at me, because he always likes a fresh, short haircut.

Fiery One: It looks so nice! Can I see the back?

Schmutzie: No, you may not.

Fiery One: Why?

Schmutzie: Because I totally fucked it up.

Fiery One: I am going to be able to see the back of your head eventually, you know.

Schmutzie: No, you won't. No one will ever see the back of my head again, or at least until this grows out. It looks like a shelving unit.

And then I moped a whole bunch and felt all morose about how people might actually have to see me and did my best not to cry. Boo hoo for the woman who got into the sewing kit and gave herself a kindergartner haircut.

Of course, he did eventually see the back of my head, and we agreed that it needed fixing tout de suite. I can rock many things, my friends, but I cannot rock hair that impersonates home furnishings. It's true. I had hair for awhile that impersonated an overstuffed sofa, and lo, I did not date until two weeks before the end of high school.

I have had it fixed, and because I can, I am rocking a haircut that is so short it has no choice but to conform to the dimensions of my exceptionally well-shaped head. And the shape of my head is indeed exceptional, according to the barber I went to. Each time I see him he gives me a mirror to hold so that I can watch him show me the great circularity of my head, the smooth line at the base of my skull, and the graceful way it narrows into the shape of my neck. I think he's my new pretend boyfriend. Of course, I like anyone who describes my head and neck as anything other than moon/balloon-like, puffy, thick, or stumpy.

post haircut

See? All better. Now my hair is merely trying to impersonate a fox fur hat.

UPDATE: I would like to point out that until just this moment, I did not know how to spell "cannon" correctly. Forgive my misspelling in the above illustration.