In my second year at college I had my first real boyfriend. It was a a hugely satisfying and fun-filled relationship that lasted an entire 12 months. I learned about trust and intimacy from this person. I also learned that our bond of intimacy and attraction was a fine and delicate thing and that a mere chopping of my locks could threaten the union to its foundation.
My Transport Management studies (don’t ask!) was a shoddy provider for my vast and rapidly changing interests so I turned to Vogue. Within the pages of its glossy lovlieness, circa Feb 1992 I spotted the most exquisite and edgy short hair do. The quest began for a creator worthy and capable of its execution. There in the mirrored halls of Lunatic Fringe he appeared. A mythical beast brandishing a salon cape. The intoxicating blend of his insouciant manner, his quiet confidence and laid back professionalism put me at great ease. Inside of ten minutes he had achieved the seemingly impossible. With no muss and sadly little chat, his skillful hands had adorned me with the exact look I had requested.
It really, really suited me.
I returned to the same salon about four months later and there was no trace of him. Thus was born my overreaching some might say Freudian longing for a stylist that I could both admire and trust.
The following lunchtime I showed up in the college canteen alive with the excitement and confidence that the new cut bestowed on me. Admiring glances and smiles of approval greeted me as I passaged through to our corner in the back. I did that thing: you know the rom-com move where someone clasps their hands over their beloved’s eyes and then reveals themselves to heightened surprise. The initial look on his face said he didn’t recognise me, then came the the blunt truth that he delivered with Hemingwayesque succinctness
“I don’t think I fancy you any more”
It was a surprise alright.
We managed to work through it with the employment of many a tight jumper and short skirt. Evidently these made up a little for the loss of my flowing feminine tresses. We broke up 6 months later when my commitment started to flag. Time and experience proved he was not the one.
On numerous occasions since I have cut my hair short but the awareness has remained. The path of the short haired woman is a great but occasionally daunting one.