To care or not to care about hair care

My morning routine is pretty simple. The time between my alarm going off and me stepping out the door would be five minutes were it not for my daughter/dog/coffee-making obligations. I am very low-maintenance, and as a man this has become a source of pride. As noted many, many times, I do not often represent what society deems as a man—if someone got me tools for Father’s Day, for example, I would be confused and upset—so I’m happy to include low-maintenance on my man resume.

In fact, my co-worker asked me recently how I do my hair in the morning, to which I proudly responded, “I don’t. I just get up and go.” Later that day I actually looked at myself in the mirror and the back of my hair was completely sticking out to one side. I looked like a little kid who had woken up after wishing he could become an adult for the day. I retroactively interpreted my co-worker’s question as a definitive statement: “You should start doing something about your hair.”

My hair is normally kept pretty short, but I’ve been growing the top out to keep things fresh and exciting. After this incident, I realized that I should begin styling it before work. I searched my medicine cabinet and discovered some sort of hair care product my wife had purchased for me the last time I decided to grow my hair out six years ago. It was called something like “Surf style,” and I could barely get the top open because it had become caked over from lack of use. The stuff is like glue, and I had to wash my hands repeatedly afterwards to get back the feeling of having skin.

Although I had sacrificed a bit of manlihood to style my hair, I did not want to appear as though I had styled my hair, so I styled it to look messy. As a result, I ended up retaining my just-rolled-out-of-bed professional look, only it was obvious there was glue in my hair. Later that day, while taking her off the potty, my daughter put her hands on my head and said, “Eww, daddy, what’s that? That’s nasty.”

My wife agreed this was nasty and that weekend, as a family, we all went shopping to find me an adequate hair care product. This was definitely a Top 10 least manly moment in my life. Nevertheless.

At Walgreens, we located a section of Axe products. Axe is like the new generation of male grooming, and their commercials imply that use of their products will immediately lead to sex (with women). My wife, whose only criteria for my new hair care product was that it smelled good, told me to pick one from Axe. There were so many options though. Did I want “clean cut” or “natural?” Or should I stay with “messy” or “surfer?” (Note: Many people assume surfers are best at riding surfboards, but they are also great at having hair, apparently.) I found it somewhat ridiculous that these hair wax/gels were broken down by style. If I placed a dab of “clean cut” on my head, would my hair just part itself? My wife wanted me to get the “clean cut,” but to exercise my manly authority I instead chose “natural.”

The point of Axe, I think, is that it’s not supposed to look like there’s product in your hair. So I began using this stuff and yes—it doesn’t look like there’s anything in there. I can’t really tell if it is influencing my hair in any way, and it doesn’t have as nice a smell as we originally thought. It was $9.95. I think I may just cut my hair.

"Surf hair," according to the Internet.


When you hit 30 just be satisfied you have hair to stick "product" in.
mkenny59 said…
True, true. I am 34 and, if it helps, I discovered just this week there are now patches of my face where my beard no longer grows. So there is that. Still, thank you for the perspective.