Long and Short of It

Long and Short of It

A Story by Shannon

My friend Jill is going to one of those hair styling colleges and has been eyeing my long locks since she started. A big transformation at her mid year show would give her grades a boost and get the attention of the best teachers. And hadn't I always planned to donate some of it anyway?

Jill was quite convincing when she ticked off the numerous advantages I would gain by cutting my hair. To my chagrin, her list needs a series of provisos. I will give you the real scoop:


Your head will feel so much lighter.”

The way she said this, I assumed it would be akin to a Sherpa dropping his pack at the top of a mountain, burden released, relief palpable.  Reality is, your brain will adjust to the change very rapidly.  So while you might have a day or two of “hmmm…feels lighter”, you will soon stop noticing.

This short transition; however, leads to phantom hair syndrome, whereby you continue to behave as though you have long, flowing locks in your daily life.  Imagine the confusion of people, as you lift your non-existent tresses from the back of your coat or toss your head sideways to remove an invisible lock of hair from your face, giving the impression that you have developed a nervous twitch…


It will be easier to take care of.

Yes and no.  Short hair does not tangle so easily, so brushing will be a breeze.  It dries in less time.  But for some reason, even though your brain will get the message that all that hair was no longer part of your makeup, apparently, it fails to convey this message to your scalp.  Specifically, the oil-making parts of the scalp, which will think you still need enough oil to keep an extra 14 inches of hair healthy and shiny.  So, despite requiring washing only every second day for the last decade or more, suddenly this will no longer be sufficient to avoid looking like an outdoor enthusiast after a week of backpacking in the cold mountains.

All of this washing, of course, leads to…weird hair shapes.  Hair that is slept on while damp will take on the shape it has dried in.  Long hair will kinda weigh itself down and lie flat because, well, because of gravity.  Shorter hair can maintain all kinds of interesting sculptural shapes for hours on end. 


You will save lots of money.”

This will be positively true - eventually.  Her theory here seemed to involve less shampoo, conditioner and styling products.  This may have been failing to take into account the fact that manufacturers have created a whole different set of styling products for the new, shorter ‘do, that you simply must invest in.

In regards to cleaning, let’s refer back to the above paragraph.  Your hair will demand to be washed more often.  “But wait, won’t it take way less shampoo?” you ask.  Well it might, but that treacherous brain also may forget to tell your hands that you have less hair.

So invariably, you'll pour enough for the missing length to be suitably clean, then realize your error.  This leaves two rather unappealing options.  You could simply rinse most of it down the drain.  But this feels wasteful (never mind that the shower is running the entire time you're considering your options).  That leaves the second option: trying to coax some of the excess back into the bottle.  Shampoo makers are wise to this idea, so they manufacture the bottles with tiny openings, making it near impossible to add, or in this case, return, anything to the bottle.  So by using a combination of gravity, negative pressure and holding your mouth just right, you might attempt to return the superfluous portion to the bottle.  Only to wash it all down the drain.


You will feel so good after you donate it

This was a tough one.  People will ask if you donated it.  You will let a few people know that you had done so.  Suddenly, people will be canonizing you and your glorious sacrifice.  They might explain why they could never manage such a feat, as though you've solved the mysteries of the universe or negotiated world peace, rather than simply washed, brushed and styled some extra hair for a while.  You will know you merely allowed your hair to do what hair does " grow. All this praise can be a little embarrassing and you will begin to wonder if you should tell people.

Then it will start to happen. A few of them confide what such a gift, once meant (or would have meant) to someone close to them.  They will tell you how that person had fought a disease and the outcome.  Or tell you about their own fight.  And you will feel simultaneously very proud and very small.  Proud that such a gift could have such an impact.  And small in the face of those who had battled those diseases…and won…or lost. And you will think “It may be time to start growing my hair again…”

© 2016 Shannon


Author's Note

Shannon
Does the first person narrator/second person reader make sense? Any glitches that I have missed as I have messed with it so often? Of course all constructive feedback always welcome.
Special thank you to the Café writer who helped me turn some ramblings into a story!

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Reviews

'Long and Short of it'
shannon,
To be able to donate one's hair for the good of those who will need it during canceer treatment is so great!
I have a sister which has very thick and healthy hair which grows really fast and she has donated it a couple times. My hair is very fine and becomes damaged easily and takes so much care and work. when it gets trimmed or cut I am just trying to keep it as healthy as I can.
A very cool write.
Loved it!
Kathy

Posted 1 Year Ago


Definitely an interesting story. It was certainly well written and I understood what was being said the entire time. It's interesting to hear about someone going from long hair to short hair as I have never had hair long enough to be considered long in my life.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you for the read and review.. Appreciate that it's understandable despite you not having perso.. read more
Well-written in every way, it's easy to read and understand. (In my opinion, at least) The only nit I saw is this--"This short transition; however,... ) I'm pretty sure the semicolon should be a comma. (As my formal education is quite paltry, you might want to double check.)
All throughout, I thought of my youngest son (age 25) who loves his long hair and won't even consider cutting it. Mine has gotten almost to the shoulders a few times, but seemed too much trouble to keep.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you Samuel, glad that you enjoyed. Donating hair is a great reason to cut it and start fresh.. read more
Ramblings or not I thought it was a lot of fun to read. Your friend must have done a lot of research in finding so many of the positive reasons for short hair. I'm curious though, did you get it shortened or not?

Posted 3 Years Ago


Dave

3 Years Ago

Okay, so I was a "bit" slow in responding. !4 inches! That's a lot of hair. I bet you did feel go.. read more
Shannon

3 Years Ago

Yes, please do share.

And I still had nearly shoulder length.
Dave

3 Years Ago

I use to be one of those persons that if I cut my finger I'd feel faint. When I had to give blood t.. read more

A fun read S. ! It had everything except what your husband felt about your shorter hair. Your friend Jill should be a used car saleswoman !

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you for the read and review. Lol, husband doesn't really have a say...
Tegon Maus

3 Years Ago

He may not have a say but he does have an opinion or should I say preference ! Dearheart cut her h.. read more
Shannon

3 Years Ago

Well, yes.
Really descriptive, great imagery. It kept my interest. I think it is a great read!

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

You visual people and you imagery! Lol. Thanks so much for the read!
Barbara Walker

3 Years Ago

Lol!! And these are my extra characters!
Shannon

3 Years Ago

Space filler.... Thanks again!
I have nothing but praise for this one. witty and well written. I simply love your keen observations. I was reading and picturing the person in the shower struggling with the shampoo., the nervous tick and all the rest. just brilliant, S.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thanks so much Woody. It's nice to hear praise like this from someone with such a keen sense of obse.. read more
Very imaginative and shocking. A philosophy of short hair or long hair and the option of donate it. Thank you.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thank you for reading and taking time to review. Always appreciated.
Even though it's a girl piece I still enjoyed it. You come off as a bit of a contrarian but it is well written.

Posted 3 Years Ago


Shannon

3 Years Ago

Thanks, buster. Appreciate the read and feedback...
It takes one to know one.... ☺

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Added on July 1, 2016
Last Updated on July 5, 2016

Author

Shannon
Shannon

Canada



About
I like to explore the world through the human experience, at once both varied and singular. Reading, writing and meeting people makes one's world larger. I enjoy connecting with people, learning.. more..

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