Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Mangy Rangy Messy Mop

I need a haircut. BADLY. Normally, this is the 'do I sport...

The Dapper Dyke Look

My friend, Adriana, refers to this as my "dapper dyke" look. I like it. It's short, obviously, and really easy to take care of and I can wear it all sticky-up and pokey. When it's this short, I sometimes refer to it as my "F*ck you" hair. As in f*ck you if you have an issue with my hair. That's your problem, not mine.

Needless to say, my very short hair and tongue-in-cheek attitude often haven't played well in this puckered-up town; I even had one job where I was chastised for my hair and told it wasn't conservative enough. Read: I wasn't wearing it in the standard D.C. bob for women.

The Softer Side of the Dapper Dyke

This is my hair when it's a little longer, but still manageable. I know it's not a good picture, but hopefully you get the idea. I'm thinking maybe that's what I should go back to. I'll still retain my dapper dyke image, but acquire some softness in the process.

Not the Dapper Dyke Look.
You'll have to excuse the hideousness of these pictures.
It's after midnight, I've had a long day, the lighting is bad,
and gray is obviously
not a flattering color on me.
(Click on images to enlarge, if you really want to.)

Currently, this is what my hair looks like. It's long and rangy and out of control and in my eyes and just plain drivin' me INSANE!

Of course, being slightly unemployed, I've unofficially fired my stylist (who charged me $50/cut and was inconsistent in her quality) and have been seeking a replacement ever since. I refuse to go to the Hair Slaughtery. I did have one insane moment when I considered going to a beauty college I ran across in Silver Spring, but I quickly came to my senses. There's a little blue-haired-ladies-mostly salon in Takoma Park that's not bad, but when you wear your hair short/shortish, it's important to make sure you get a good cut. If you don't, all the bad parts show.

All of that said and in conclusion, I'm left with three options. Option 1: Go back to a high-priced salon and abstain from gas and groceries for a month. Option 2: Go to a barber, where they specialize in short hair for a mostly male clientele and get a decent, but cheap cut. Option 3: Find a totally different hair style that requires less maintenance, i.e. frequent cutting, trimming, and shaping, but doesn't make me crazy with shagginess.

The floor is open for suggestions. Barring any recommendations, I may have to resort to this:

It Could Happen, You Know!

Oh, and just for the record, this haircut is NOT an option. Nine out of 10 women in Washington wear their hair this way. I am not one of those nine. I'm just sayin'...

P.S. I think I've blogged about this hair thing before... It's feeling very deja vu-y... The difference this time is, I'm looking for suggestions. I probably did that last time, too. Chalk it up to early onset senility.


Anonymous said...

I love your Dapper Dyke look. If I could pull that off, I would. But instead when I try, I just look like Janet Reno.

And keeping your hair short is expensive, I have found. Expensive, plus hair cutters aren't always consistent with their quality of work.

So, I live with bangs in my eyes, or cheap clips I buy from Target, and ... you know what?

Buy your own clipper and have Agnes cut your hair. I cut my husband's hair now and then, and it looks roughly like the Dapper Dyke. Use a number 5 on top, and a number 3 on the sides.

You're welcome. Oh, plus you're very cute!

Anonymous said...

I agree re: trying the clippers yourself/with Agnes, though be prepared for some initial trauma.

Your hair grows fast, right? :-)

I've finally become accustomed to Scott shaving his head with the clippers every now and then...and in return, he's done it less often and less short. So now it's finally good for both of us. LOL.

What's good about the middle photo, Tewkesy, is that it's a perfect midway between Effyou hair and dropping scraggly hair that makes you a wee bit depressed. But that does require a regular, good cut and some maintenance. Never cheap, unfortunately. The risk with the men's barber approach to the Effyou 'do is that it might be really bad looking anyhow. A Dapper Dyke is still not a man and doesn't have a man's hair needs. Is all I'm saying.

Anyhow, don't let it get you down. Put on a funky headband to keep it out of your eyes and then just let your freak flag fly. WTF? Besides unemployment, there's no other good time to do this as an adult... :-)

- Di

Anonymous said...

Who's Agnes? Did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

Haha! I remember it well, that Washington D.C. Power Pants Suit haircut. Apparently it's not meant to move, even in a strong wind.

Whilst in D.C. I left mine long and most often hairsprayless. It was neat, but I refused to comply with the standard norm. Glad to see I'm not the only one breaking The Unwritten Rules! LOL!

NG said...

"Dapper Dyke" WHA HA HA HA!

I agree with anonymous - keeping short hair is much more costly and time consuming than keeping long hair.

I generally follow this model:
1. Pay $50+ to get a really good hair cut that I like with the expensive - and consistent - stylist (I'll give you the name if you like).
2. Then when I need a trim, go to a cheap local alternative.
3. In between cheap local alternatives, cut my own hair with sewing scissors.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for six to eight months until the original haircut has been butchered beyond repair.
5. Go back to the expensive stylist and plead "fix it!"
6. Neglect to mention to expensive stylist about step 3.
7. Repeat.

That way I only shell out dough for the pricey haircut once or twice a year and the longer my hair gets, the less I need it trimmed.

Aside: I cannot even believe someone had the audacity to comment on your HAIR in a job! That is clearly a place I could never work.

Eschew the DC bob for women!

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Anon: Phoebe? That you again? The Janet Reno look is definitely NOT what I'm going for. Now there's a lesbian in need of some Queer Eye advice!

Agnes/Bee continually offers to cut my hair, but with mirth and merriment in her voice. I offer the same for her. We both decline the offer because we are fearful! :-D

Di: Okay, but unemployment in the 9-to-5 professional grind aside, what would you recommend? I'm thinking about this because I know I'll have clients I'll probably meet face-to-face as I prepare to launch my new, exciting venture and, like I said, in this puckered-up town, the dapper dyke look is off-putting. If I was back in San Francisco, it wouldn't matter at all. Here, people are shallow.

I didn't know Scott cut his own hair. I should have him cut mine.

JA: Sorry. Some of my friends know Bee as Agnes. There's a story behind that name I'll tell you one day.

Budgie: Exactly! Helmet Head. The only difference between D.C. women, Mormon women, and women in the Midwest is not the height of the hair, but the amount of hairspray involved in keeping it in place. D.C. wins, hands down! Glad you bucked the establishment!

NG: I LOVE your plan, because honestly, it drove me nuts to shell out $50-$65 every five weeks for a haircut while most men getting a similar cut were only paying $25-$30!

As for the hair comment in a job, it happened. When we get together for lunch, I'll tell you the whole sordid story.

Gilahi said...

Britney would think it was way cool if you shaved your head.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Gilahi: I thought about that, but then I'd have to beat up a truck with an umbrella. The only person I know with a ginormous SUV is my mother and the only brolly I own is my gaybrella, which I love and don't wish to destroy whilst thrashing the hell out of my mother's Escalade.

That said, though, I can understand why she took the clippers to her mop. If I had hair like hers, I go temporarily insane, too! I'm about there as it is and my hair isn't half the length hers was/is, which means Britney is a stronger woman than I am.

Now there's a frightening thought...

NG said...

Hell, I would think it was way cool if you shaved your head. I have always wanted to do that, but lack the moxie.

Cele said...

I have to say the DC Standard cut is repulsive, then I look in the mirror and think, "Whoa, I've been wearing a stylish version of the DC cut for years."

Well that's not really true, I wear an Inverted Page Boy that I cut myself. I've cut my own hair for the last three years. Everytime I found a hairdresser I liked and gave agreat cut, they either left town or changed occupations - so I gave up. Hey I went to beauty college.

I'm thinking you could go to a beauty college and get a great cut for a cheap price. Student in beauty schools are overly cautious, take more time, and live in fear they will do it wrong. To make the cut a bit more feminine (aka DC acceptable) would be to leave it whispy on the nape and a bit whispy at the front of your ears. With a little gel or mouuse you can add a bit of style that softens your dapper dyke (when meeting clients) while retaining the efficency and spikeness of your short cut.... just a thought.

Anonymous said...

For the professional reasons, I will say what I've said in the past -- I think the grown-out, not-sticky-uppy, but still short and flattering, hair is probably a good compromise between what you really like and what Other People can deal with.

Either way, you still gotta be you. And if you can't do that when you've struck out on your own, when can you? :-)

- Di

Anonymous said...

I must add, though, Tewkesy, that those are all quite extraordinarily bad pictures of you. I actually think the shaded/P'shopped one looks more like you look on a normal day and IRL. Which is to say, you look better than those pictures by far, good hair or bad. :-)

- Di

Wicked H said...

I like both the Dapper Dyke look as well as the Softer Side.

I vote you go to a barber tell them what you want and if you have an uneasy feeling, walk out. If your hair does grow fast, no harm no foul.

You gotta eat and drive after all...

Adriana Velez said...

Ha ha, you in a bob -- that would make an awesome halloween costume... that no one in DC would get.

So here's my summer hair folly: cut hair, panic because I don't know what I'm doing, hire someone to cut hair more, decide I don't like it and cut it myself again. I have to stop or I'll run out of hair, seriously. But I'm approaching dapper dyke myself.

Not that I suggest you take shears to your own head!

But there are people out there who will come to your home and cut your hair for a fraction of the salon cost. Try Craigslist or other boards. It's tricky because you need recommendations, but it's an option.

Meanwhile, gel, lots and lots of gel.

D.C. Confidential said...

NG: I'll do it if you do it!

Cele: Can you come over and cut my hair? Please? Pretty, pretty please??

Di: Very true. While I'm working for myself, my hair really shouldn't matter. I think I'm going to go with the softer, dapper dyke look. (What my stylist calls my "winter" look because I leave it longer when the weather's cold. Which, right now, it is not and that's part of the problem.) As for the pictures, they were shot with a piece of computer software called iPhoto. Ergo, the lack of flattering presentation!

Wicked: I've always wanted to go to a barber. Wish Di's hubby Scott was here. I'd ask him to take me. (I don't know why, but I think, if I go to a barber, I need to have a guy friend in tow. No clue why that is or where that belief comes from.)

Adriana: LOL!! Ha! That would be funny, but you're right. No one here would get it. And anywhere else, it would just be creepy. Well, except maybe NYC, where I think most NYers see us as provincial. Which we are. We think we're cosmopolitan, but we're not.

Hey, I want to see pictures of your new 'do! And I have one word for those with short hair: Bedhead. Love that stuff! The blue gel rocks!

sylvia/ticklethepear said...

I had a good experience at the Aveda Institute (Gallery Pl/Chinatown) - $18 for a haircut & shampoo using Aveda products.

LG said...

Having short hair IS expensive, especially for those of us whose hair grows quickly anyway.

I was going to say what Sylvia said ... if you're in a big town, chances are that you have an Aveda Institute. It's a beauty school, yes - but they do a great job and fit in a budget. Also - some salons won't charge you as much if you ask for a "men's cut." It's the same damn cut I get anyway, except $20 cheaper.

I say go with what you like. For years I kept my hair a little "softer," until it just drove me crazy. Now it's short, and I won't ever go back. I like the F a Bunch of You style and the softer one, too.

I've used Bedhead, but I don't like how sticky it is. I've since changed to Rusk Being Warped [insert joke here], and the other Rusk products are fantastic.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Sylvia: Thank you! EXCELLENT recommendation. I didn't even think of Aveda, but I'm definitely going to check it out. Bless you!

LG: I hear ya! Two of the people I contend with are my mother and my sister. If I only had them or if it was only one employer/client put off by my hair, I wouldn't care. But I can't fight the uncomfortable, hoary masses all.the.time. It's just too, too tiresome. I think the softer side of the Eff You hair style is a safe bet, though.

I'll have to check out Rusk! Sounds like the perfect product for dapper dykes!

Liz said...

Dapper dyke. *snort*

I have always, always wanted a short hairdo and I like yours very much. I really don't think it would suit me, but one of these days... you never know. I might just go crazy with all these hormones running rampant. I like the first picture, where it's shortest and spikey.

And dude- I can't believe someone at work criticized your hair. That is beyond inappropriate.

j.m. tewkesbury said...

Liz: I know! Fabulous phrase, right?

True story: I had an employer who had an issue with my hair and said as much. In the presence of an HR person who said it was okay to chastise me for the way I chose to wear my hair one Friday and for the fact that I told a colleague I sometimes refer to my hair as f*ck you hair. My boss took that as a personal attack on her. Plus, the fact that we were interviewing someone for a position that particular Friday really ticked her off, too. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea to wear it super spiky on that particular day, but in general, her comments about my hair were way off the mark and the HR person who let her get away with it was way off the mark, too.

Maya said...

Well, clearly I like the top hair cut best, but I understand the work vs. hair problem. I think maybe the "softer" Dapper Dyke look is best in that situation!

BTW, barbers rock. When I had short hair, I always went to Rudy's in Seattle. They know how to do short hair. They have quite an alternative crowd, so it's always fun going in there too.

j.m. tewkesbury said...

Maya: I like the top cut best, too. Damn D.C. and its automaton ways. As for barbers, I may start taking that route. If I ever move to Seattle, I'll be sure to check out Rudy's. In D.C., people think the word alternative means the other political party they're not.

Maya said...

Here "aternative" has less to do with your gender, and more with what color do you want your hair, pink or blue? And, what size hole do you want in your ear, and color tatoo or just black?

Maya said...

Oop, make that tattoo.

Also, where would you like your next piercing?

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Maya: For a while, my hair was uber-alternative when I colored it aubergine. It was pretty cool, but alas... It didn't play well with the conservative trade association I was working for. Ironically, the issue I was working on at the TA was a rather liberal cause: paper recycling. Still, no room for being different.

Good Lord, I can't imagine what my experience would have been with tattoos and piercings!

This town is so buttoned down, it squeaks!