From Tracie: Locker Room Haircut

Friday, December 02, 2011

Locker Room Haircut

My dad had definite opinions about the length of my hair, even a small trim elicited a bad reaction. By eighth grade it was so long, I could almost sit on it. I was ready for a change.

My friend, Stephanie, conspired with me, "Lunch period in the locker room."

We went to the office, and borrowed a large pair of scissors from the secretary; sucessfully skirting around our reason for needing them.

We ran to the locker room, where I could see the news had spread. Stephanie was going to cut my hair, and 100 girls were crammed into the small, hot room waiting to see it. Tonya stood by the door as a lookout, "Shhhhhhhh! If a teacher walks in, we'll all get in trouble."

I sat on a stool someone had placed in the middle of the room.

"Are you sure?" Stephanie asked, looking nervous. Breath held, I nodded.

She pulled a comb out of her pocket, and started working it through my long, curly hair.

I heard her take a deep breath, and then...


The scissors sliced through the first section of hair.

When Stephanie finished, applause broke out across the room. My hair was above my shoulders, and it felt so....short!


I called my mom at work, and told her quickly, like ripping off a band-aid, "Stephanie's mom is a hairstylist, so at lunch I let Stephanie cut my hair. It's short, above my shoulders. It looks great!"

"You did what?" she whisper-yelled. In the background I heard, "Your face is all red. Put your head between your knees! Don't faint!"

A few minutes later, "Stephanie's mom is a hairstylist, did she bring scissors to school to cut your hair?"

"We borrowed scissors from the secretary."

"Office scissors? You let someone take dull office scissors, that cut paper all day, and hack away at your hair with them? What, you couldn't find any hedge loppers to use?"

When my mom came home, and saw my hair, she loved it.

Then my dad came home. One look at me, and he freaked out! Yelling at my mom, until he realized she had no part in it.

Then he turned toward me. Silence.

Complete silence.

He didn't speak to me for two weeks.

Hair says a lot about us. About who we are or who we want to be, or maybe just who our friends are.

This week we’d like you to write a piece about hair. It can be about you or one of your characters where hair figures prominently. 

Story side-note: During the phone conversation with my mom, those office scissors were the detail she fixated on the most. To this day, whenever she tells someone this story, she makes a huge deal out of the office scissors (and I never miss an opportunity to tease her about hacking at things with hedge loppers). 

Do you have a great haircut story? I want to hear it! 


  1. yeah my mom would have had fit as well. Brave woman you were brave to trust someone to do it in a bathroom at school during lunch.. eeekk

  2. LOL! My dad was like that with my hair, he wanted it long and NEVER wanted it cut. One day, I had enough of the crying about tangles and mom is time! He was SO angry with all of I know what you went through.

    Wow, you are so brave though and MUST have had a lot of trust in your pal! I had a friend who wanted a change and let me take a pair of scissors (yes, they were dull ones that we used to cut paper with). Unfortunately, my friend had way more faith in my abilities than I did. The first snip was totally crooked so her 2-3 inch trim turned out to be shoulder length! I thought her mom was going to kill me! Thankfully, my mother was inside our home and came to straighten the trim and fix my mess. Oh, we STILL laugh about that cut today!

    1. uh why are your parents so concerned with your hair length? that's kind of creepy... especially your dad wtf does he care?

  3. My daughter's hair is long, long, long, and she told me she wants to cut it when she turns four. I almost cried, but I will let her cut it (I know she only means two inches, right??)

    I will keep my fingers crossed that they do not use office scissors :)

  4. The number of bad haircut stories I have would fill a book but based on yours, I thought I would share this one.

    Ten years ago, my husband and I were living in New York and I was frustrated with my hair, so I started cutting. It began with my bangs and then the split ends around the sides. Finally, those split ends turned into the sides and I just kept going a little at a time. It was still pretty long but I couldn't reach the back.

    So... I called in my husband. And then I heard the sound. That sound made only when a pair of scissors has WAY too much hair in them. And that's why my hair went from mid-back to above shoulders.

    Lesson learned -- frustrated with hair + scissors + husband = a really bad hair cut!

  5. Hehe, what a great story! :)

  6. I totally did this too! When I was 14 my hair was all the way down my back and it was too much to deal with. So while staying at a friend's house I let her aunt cut my hair to above my shoulders. It felt amazing! I've had mostly short hair ever since.

  7. my father liked long hair also on us girls, not as much as your dad though. My mother though when I was a Junior in high, I had gone to a friends house instead of going to a hockey game and as punishment she cut my hair off saying "I acted different when I had short hair" Which I hadn't had since I was a child but it was her way of doing something to me that would hurt. My dad came in while she was doing it and just accepted her reason. My friend walked by me the next day and didn't realize it was me.

  8. No great hair cut stories, but when I live on the southside of Atlanta GA, my hairstylist would not mix the exact same color for anybody else--no matter how much money they offered him. (It wouldn't have done any good anyway, because of my salt&pepper grey. It created color variations that looked like a four step color process when it was only a single process.)

  9. Seventh grade, the girl that cut my hair in the girls bathroom over lunch, her name was Brandy. She did a crooked job. Mom had to fix it after she saw it. That same day, I got my period for the very first time...

  10. I've had Dorothy Hamil hair, I've had mullet-head, I've had bad perms ... oh, my!

    My in-laws (just the women) don't cut their hair due to religious convictions. One of my sil has hair to her knees. Not kidding. Mine's been about jaw length for as long as I can remember. It barely touched my shoulders for awhile once and I couldn't believe how long it was. My sil just looked at me. Yeah, it wasn't *that* long!

  11. That is so interesting that your father wanted your hair long. My husband could care less about the length of our daughter's hair, or really anything about it. When I was gone for a week the school crossing guard told me she didn't think it was combed even once!

  12. Tracie- I adore stories told in vignettes, and this one is so very powerful.

    I love the details that you chose, revealing you, your parents, and your relationship with them.

    This post? Is fantastic.

  13. a great story and says a lot about you :) being true to yourself and what you wanted despite the reaction!

  14. I admire you individuality and bravery. I was raised in the south and had cousins who were not allowed to cut their hair. My sister and I had long hair but when we wanted to cut it, no one complained. For my cousins, it was a religious thing. I remember being very glad I wasn't forced into those beliefs.

  15. :-)I can so identify with this. I had my first short haircut (we are the sorts that think anything less than hip length hair is short) when I was 28 years old - and my Mom was so shocked she couldn't get over it. But she wasn't upset or anything. Just shocked. After that, I freaked out trying all sorts of hair cuts, always being smart enough to never make it less than shoulder length. Thing is, we wear strands of garlanded jasmine in our hair and at the ripe old age of 28, I was already considered an old spinster - so the short hair would have raised all kinds of um...not hair. :D

    Ah, so many memories. Right now, my hair's waist length and am seriously considering chopping it off, but my son is veto-ing it. Who knew?

  16. it!

    It's so funny that your Mom was really insulted that you used office scissors. As if your friend should have magically whipped out their stylist pouch in the locker room. :)

  17. This reminds me of when I let someone shave half of my head in high school. I was so busted by my parents (but it didn't look great so I was probably right to be in trouble).