Tonsurephobia confessions

After a week of working away, the Big Green Gummi Bear came home late on Saturday afternoon and, after greeting me with a quick hug, practically his first words to me were “You’re going grey.”

Some of you may think he was dicing with death by risking such a bold comment. Those of you who know me won’t be surprised to learn that my response was “And you think I’m bothered about that?” or words to that effect.

I truly don’t care if my hair goes snow white. The colour of it has never mattered to me in the slightest….just don’t ask me to get it cut!

Yes, I am terrified of visiting the hairdressers. I suffer from tonsurephobia – a fear of getting your hair cut.

While other friends, both male and female, enjoy a trip to the hairdressers/barbers. The very thought of it brings me out in a cold sweat and fills me with fear. Without a word of a lie, it has in the past taken me six months to pluck up the courage to step over the threshold of a hairdressers.

And the reason for this fear?

Well, it’s rooted back in August 1978 when I was taken for the “back to school” haircut. At that point in time my hair sat neatly in a long pageboy cut that touched my shoulders. (Regulation 1970’s girl child haircut) Back in 1978 “The Avengers” was a popular tv show and the female star, Joanna Lumley, was sporting a shorter than usual style – The Purdy.

Yes, you’ve guessed it – that’s the style I emerged from the local hairdressers with.

I hated it! Coupled with the blue National health specs, I looked ridiculous!

I declared then that I was never having short hair ever again.

Thirty six years later and it is still waist length (it refuses to grow any longer despite a life-long desire to sit on it)

Over the years I have watched friends cut, colour and perm their hair and only once been tempted to try “highlighting” mine. Never again! Torturous experience a few months after the birth of Boy Child that was meant to perk me up. After more than two hours in the torture chamber – sorry a popular local hair salon of the day- I emerged traumatised but with a head of subtle golden blonde highlights. The first time I washed it, I emerged from the shower with a head of hair like a Brillo pad and tangled beyond belief. Cue floods of tears and more than two years of using toddler de-tangle spray daily before normality was restored. Never again!

Two years ago I realised that I had perhaps be a little more mature about things and deal with the straggly dead ends that had been made worse by the hot summer holiday sun. Taking a deep breath I ventured into the hairdressers and asked them to trim off about four inches- a major sacrifice in my book! The girl showed me the amount she proposed to trim off and, quivering inside, I agreed to the four inch loss. Over the next few minutes she cut off not four inches but eight! I was beyond heart broken. My hair hadn’t been that short since about 1981 and I sobbed all weekend, over dramatically mourning the loss of the length.

That was the last time I let anyone near it with a pair of scissors. When my fringe needs trimmed I do it myself; when the ends need trimmed, I do it myself. If it doesn’t sit quite straight – c’est la vie!

There is one mildly humorous hairdressing anecdote from my wedding day. Not surprisingly the trip to the hairdressers- a necessary evil on this occasion- was my biggest fear about the whole wedding day experience. This time the hairdresser was fully aware of my fears and was gentle with me as she washed, dried, curled and “fancied up” my hair. In the background the radio was playing hits from the 1970/80’s and, for only the second time ever, I heard the full length version of a lesser known Rod Stewart song . I started to giggle at the irony of the song title. It was probably the first and last time I’ll ever laugh out loud in the hairdressers. And the song? – “The Killing of George parts 1&2”.

If I’d known at that point where my intended was I could’ve been tempted….but that’s a story for another day.

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