Or zhooshed my riah as the polari queens might parlay. It’s short. Very short. Not skinhead short like I had it in the 90s – when I used to be able to shave it myself with clippers – but it is inmate/military short. I’m practically jail-bait.
And it’s not quite how I wanted it. It’s not like the guy at Waterloo station used to do it, in his very traditional Barber’s Shop, with a proper cut-throat razor. Or the bloke in Aberystwyth, who basically only had one gent’s ‘style’.
I haven’t quite got the hang of the small talk at the hairdresser’s. Once you get past occupation and holidays, it kind of fizzles out. And as I’ve cancelled the last 5/6 holidays recently, I’m not too keen on discussing it. My most enthusiastic holiday comment is about seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland next year. But really, hairdressers are only interested in sun, sand, sea, tans and sex gossip.
I used to have detailed conversations about condoms and safer sex, drugs and dental dams with one of my previous hairdressers, back in the day when I worked in Safer Sex Education and she knew the organisation I worked with. We had quite a laugh, but it did provoke a few quizzical looks from other customers. Something for the weekend.
Mostly, I used to get my hair dyed blonde – as Eartha Kitt sings, ‘I’ve dyed my hair to fit the scene.’ Which meant sitting there with blue hair and tinfoil for half an hour. Which, topically, is what I was doing when Tim Henman (the Wimbledon tennis player we’ve all forgotten now that we have a proper winner in Andy Murray. The Scot.) came to visit. Back then, he was a celebrity and was doing something tennisy at the sports centre.
At school, I was nearly thrown out for daring to have highlights – it was the 80’s and you weren’t anyone without highlights. No mullet, though. I never had a mullet.
My best friend Andrew was stopped by the headmaster who accused him of having red in his hair.
‘I think you’ll find it’s burgundy!’ Andrew retorted and flounced off as only he could.
I did have red hair once. It was a party, and I sprayed my hair red while Andrew sprayed his blue. When I fell asleep (finally, listening to Patrick Cowley’s 15 minute megamix of Donna Summer’s’I Feel Love’ on a loop no-one could be arsed to switch off), the walls were covered in red hair spray. And then Donna went all Bible Belt.
Today is Pride. It’s also Armed Forces Day. With my haircut, I look more like I’m part of the latter. Last Year, as I watched the Pride Parade, I was blonde, and two weeks away from near fatal heart surgery. The news is all about the Armed Forces Day, and the anniversary of the start of World War One. It seems easier to celebrate war and conflict than love. Back in the day, they didn’t (knowingly) let the queers in the army. Don’t ask, don’t tell.
Pride and changing hairstyles. Pride and changing life ‘styles’. Pride and fighting for your rights, not fighting wars.
#Freedom. Wear your hair with Pride. Mince tall.
But leave the mullets to the straights.