Just Shelley outdoors

Shortness of hair

I finally bowed to wisdom and hiking in hot, humid Missouri summers and had my hair cut short. Short, short – about 3 inches in length all around.

At the hair place – not a fancy place, Sam’s or some such thing – the stylist really took her time, carefully checking the cut every few minutes, peering at my image in the mirror to ensure the sides were even. During and between snips we discussed the problems another stylist was having that day with a boyfriend who had a drug dependency problem. She, the other stylist, cut my roommate’s hair. Yes, there is a deity.

I wasn’t sure about the haircut at first because I usually wear my hair shoulder length or longer. It’s thick and very wavy, and that’s the problem – when I walked I would get things in my hair, branches, and leaves and bugs, and then I would sweat, getting the hair wet. I couldn’t leave the windows down to cool, as my hair would get in my eyes, so I’d have to turn on the air conditioner, and then my hair would dry into this crinkly, curly mess somewhat like a Brillo pad. With stuff stuck into it.

After last week’s walk, which I’ll write about later, I decided enough was enough. Bring on the buzz cut.

After a couple of days of getting used to the cut – and it is short, seriously – I had to admit that it was cooler and easier to take care of. I also noticed that it subtly flattered my face, added a touch of, dare I say it? Cute. I’m close to 6 feet tall and 48 years old – I’ll take all the cute I can get.

Looks aside, the hair cut paid for itself today when I went to the Route 66 state park for a walk, and was able to have the window down all the way, hair whipped about and not a strand in my eyes. The experience went to my head, and I left the window down on the freeway. A bit of mistake, that, because the wind was blowing so hard it tossed a bill out the window that was lying in the front seat.


It was a relatively pleasant day today, but when you’re surrounded by all that green, right next to the Meramec River, it’s going to be humid; I began to perspire, to put it delicately. However, instead of ending up with a soggy mess at the back of my neck, all I had was a tiny little flip of hair that curled up in the moisture, cute as a baby mouse in its nest, leaving plenty of bare neck to catch the breezes.


I scrambled about by the river, climbing down to the water’s edge and walking along it, hacking through the tall weeds by the side. I’m sure there was any number of Missouri native arthropods lurking in wait, crying out in tiny, hungry little voices, “Sons and daughters of the clan! Here be meat!” But if anything landed in my hair, I was able to easily brush it out again, easily.

(It was a pleasure to discover today that I could climb down a steep trail I couldn’t make this last winter, though I’m sure this has more to do with my increased walking this summer than my hair cut. However, it is satisfying knowing that you can do something when older that you couldn’t do when you were younger. So often it’s the converse.)

I’m finding that convenience aside, I like my hair cut. I like the window open when I drive, and the little curl along my nape, and the cool breeze on my neck. And those funny loopy things are ears – fancy. Next thing you know, I’ll be wearing neon pink, be sucking on a lolli, and telling you all to call me Gigi.

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