I don’t know where I got off thinking I knew anything about hair. I guess it started early. At about 7 or 8 years old I gave my Lady Lovely Locks doll a ghastly pixie cut. (Though really this should surprise no one. The dolls were based on a TV show that featured entire storylines focused on the characters’ hair.)
As a teenager I bleached my hair while on a school band trip, but neglected to follow the peroxide with an actual color. There is actually a formal family portrait from a few weeks later that has forever immortalized the uneven, yellowish hue that I carried around for weeks, oblivious to how terrible it really looked.
And later, I actually tried to cut my own bangs, a disaster that required professional intervention.
However, at no point did anyone give me the reality check I so richly deserved. Shame on them! Because if they had I might not have tried to give my sons their first haircuts.
At nearly 11 months the boys’ hair was starting to look a little scraggly. Both had long pieces hanging over their ears, R was growing a bit of a mullet, and D had long pieces in front that we had to brush out of his eyes. My husband and I discussed giving them a little trim. “Isn’t the first haircut kind of a big deal?” asked the husband. “Well, yeah, but it’s not the kind of thing you throw a party for,” I said. I Googled “how to cut a baby’s hair,” and satisfied that I could do a decent job, went to fetch a pair of scissors and two Ziploc baggies for the clippings.
I started with D. I took him into the living room, sat him down on the floor, and let him play with the plastic bag, like any diligent parent. Now anyone who’s actually cut a baby’s hair is probably shaking their head, because what I should have done is placed D in all manner of physical restraints and sedated him with baby Gravol. But I didn’t.
The long ear pieces were no problem. Babies don’t have much in the way of sideburns, so even though D kept turning his head whenever I got close with the scissors, I was able to do a reasonably good job. Okay, I thought. Now a tiny trim of those front pieces and we’re good to go. I grabbed a section of the thick, dark hair in front, and attempting to follow D’s natural hairline I raised the scissors to trim a tiny piece, maybe 1/4 of an inch.
Then the cat walked by, D, turned his head to look, and I ended up lobbing off almost a full inch of hair, right in the middle of his forehead.
You can guess how the rest of it went. We had to even it out, obviously. The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the results was this, which is pretty close to how it turned out:
(Jim Carrey in the timeless classic “Dumb and Dumber”)
I was mortified. My husband, ever the doting father, captured this moment for posterity (Note: I have cropped D out of the picture, because obviously I have done enough damage and the poor kid doesn’t need a photo of this following him around on the Internet for the rest of his days):
Needless to say, after the debacle with D, I didn’t go near R with the scissors. His dad did – very tentatively – and his reddish-blond hair looks just fine.
Poor D. He keeps giving me these giant smiles, like, what Mom? What’s going on? Why are you looking at me like that?
So it looks like I’ll be shelling out big bucks for twin haircuts at the Hair Do Zoo from now on. However I do have a great idea for twin Halloween costumes.
And if anyone has any ideas for how I can get the poor kid’s hair to grow out faster, please let me know.
(Top image credit: The Artifex [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons)