What Should I Think About My Roots?

It’s a problem that millions of men and women deal with around the globe every day. An issue that defines how we feel about ourselves and how others perceive us. Our roots determine how the guy at the DVD shop addresses us and how our grandmother greets us. They are a part of us, growing backwards into our scalps and into our psyches.

Because I am talking about hair regrowth. We can leave complex ethnography and questions of cultural identity for another day. The topic for today is, can regrowth ever be cool? Or is it just slovenly?

I’m lazy about my hair. And also my nails. I just don’t care about my hair or my nails. Whenever I go to the hairdresser and the manicurist (which is highly irregularly), the respective attendants totally freak out. I can see the chicks at my feet, scrubbing them with a fucking stone, and they are definitely laughing at me. They whisper to each other, presumably deriding my callouses (it’s not my fault I don’t like to wear shoes in summer!) The hairdresser sits me down and slides two fingers down the greasy strips of dead follicles. ‘Hmmm’, he contemptuously remarks. I can feel the disdain emanating off him like BO from the front row of a Simple Plan concert.

I proceed to implore him; “I swear I was in a mosh last night! Yeah it was totes rad but someone spilt beer on my head and that is why it looks like it has been clogged in a drain for three days”. I don’t mention that I am just a really late person and by the time I’ve cleaned my body in the shower, there is never enough time to go through the whole shampooing/conditioning treatment. Which, by the way, he tells me I should do twice through to get the ‘salon finish’. Dammit Renee, you’re just so cool. I guess I will buy the sixty-two dollar hair serum you are so sagely suggesting.

But this is side matter. The issue is whether my roots are a big enough problem to justify paying fifty dollars to get them redone. That’s three hours of putting shoes on people’s feet, or pretending to work while really reading the books that are part of the window display. I think my roots are fine. I think they’re funny. But as I’ve mentioned before, my girlfriend says I have to stop making beauty and fashion choices based on the rationale that they are funny. Buzzkill. Aren’t we always being told to find the humour in the little things? I am making my own fun!

 I guess I do look like a skunk though. The hair that I wanted platinum blonde has now turned into a kind of Sideshow-Bob-on-a-good-day orange, and there is a two-centimeter layer of black neatly visible from my carefully segregated middle-part. It’s certainly interesting.

But why is it that this is deemed disgusting and not okay? Who sets the rules and proclaims that people should only have neutral shades of hair, and that if they do dye it an outrageous hue, this hue must be perfectly kempt? Why won’t the world accept me for the slob that I am? Why don’t people want aesthetic variation in all aspects of their lives? We should treat hair like a canvas, for us to neglect for a bit and then come back to, inspired and ready to create a masterpiece.

I guess it all comes down to what the opposition said at my junior team’s latest debate: “Slim people with good hair get invited to parties. Fat people with gross hair don’t get invited and their Mums have to call up the birthday girl’s Mum and ask especially for an invitation”. Ah, the wisdom of twelve year olds.