Thursday, December 06, 2007

Teacher, you perm?

I never intended on ever writing a blog post about hair.  That being said, there are a few things that I need to address.

I have always kind of wanted to grow out my hair.  However, I've been stricken with hair that curls and puffs and frizzes and you can't do anything with when it grows out.  I have been urged on to growing out my hair by a friend back home and different times in our friendship.

Hair is easy for him.  He wouldn't wash his hair for months, then one day, he would come home drunk, grab the scissors, make some random cuts, rub some hand lotion in his hair (yes hand lotions), put on a stocking cap, to to sleep.   The next day, everyone he encountered would compliment him on his hair.

I have been similarly a bit haphazard with my hair for the past few months--minus the drunken cuttings and hand lotion.  Oh and and I wash my hair.  Anyway, I haven't cut my hair since July.  Slowly but steadily its been getting longer and longer.

The past month I kind of lost track of its crazed growth.  I was preoccupied with the novel and wasn't getting much sleep and all that, I didn't do much to it (besides brush it occasionally and wash it).  As it's grow out, I've slowly come to two realizations.

First, my hair is thinning.  I don't its necessarily receding from my forehead, but its definitely thinning right on top--great.  The second realization is that I really can't do anything with my hair--really.  This hit me after frank comments by Koreans this past week.

One Korean woman I'm friends with and have known for a year, asked me very seriously if I had Jewish blood.  She said she wondered because my hair is so curly.  I guess that's the caricature that Koreans see from TV and movies, and I guess I fit that profile. My thinnig, unruly hair

Then, today came a double blow.  The other guy American teacher at my school has also been growing out his hair--with much better success.  This is mainly at the urging his wife I think.  Anyway, he's been gelling it up to get it to stay down.  Then, today he didn't use gel.  It looked good, but it was different.  Sans gel, the hair curled up on the ends just slightly.

Students in one of my classes asked, "Teacher Billy teacher perm?"

"No," I said.

Then, the students looked at my hair and asked, "Teacher, you perm?"

Later, I was talking to my boss and said that I thought I might cut my hair after work.  She asked, "You don't like perm?"

"My hair is like this naturally.  I haven't permed it," I explained.  She was surprised, and I'm not sure she believed me.

After the cutCurly hair is something that is not really found in Korean genes--and its not unheard of for guys to get perms here.  Actually, there was a forty-something guy who sold fruit near my place last year that had the top of his head permed and a mullet in the back, down to his shoulders.  However, being accused myself of having perm--by multiple people--was the last straw.

I have cut my own hair primarily for the past eight years, and exclusively for the past three years.  My best idea of a hair style is the kind that can be dried with one swipe of the towel and requires no brushing.

So tonight, I took a pair of scissors and my beard trimmer/hair clippers to my unruly mane.  It was amazingly therapeutic.  With the hair on my head now a little shorter than the hair in my beard, there is no conceivable way that anyone would think that I permed my hair.

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