Saturday, 18 December 2010

Go into the salon a bloke, come out a bloke

    My city is blanketed with snow today. The main roads are full of nose-to-tail stationary traffic as our transport system has ground to a halt, and the town is half-empty. Very convenient if you need to do your Christmas shopping.
    This morning I wasn't in the car, nor was I at the shops, for today was haircut day. It was going to be a special haircut day too, if the chance had arisen I was going to have the Long Chat with L, my hairdresser, with a view to planning a move from my buzz-cut towards something more dual-mode. As long as what I end up with is acceptable in male mode and I keep it well-maintained under L's expert care, my wife was happy for me to do this.
    I like having a haircut. It's a chance for a trip into a female environment, and I like L. She's about my age and though I never knew her at the time she grew up not to far from me, so we have a lot of experiences in common. Sadly in the last few months I've found myself not looking forward to the experience as much as I might, the thought of never losing the buzz-cut has started to weigh upon me.
    Unfortunately though today L was not at work. Her road is impassable due to the snow, so she was at home ringing around her appointments to reschedule them. She must have tried to ring me but by then I was walking along a snowbound road to her salon, where I found her equally charming colleague S, having been ferried in through the snow by her husband who was gloomily looking through the window at the traffic.
    Damn. I wanted to have the Long Chat with L, I wouldn't have minded S listening in but not with S's husband in attendance. It's not his fault, he's not an unpleasant bloke or anything, it's just that he's a bloke. If that doesn't sound very odd, coming from someone who looks like me. All this can get a bit mixed up at times.
    So S gave me a haircut, and she did a very good job, she is after all an expert hairdresser. And I left the salon with a fresh buzz-cut rather than the trimmed-at-the-edges former buzz-cut starting the process of growing out that I'd hoped for.
    I don't know when the opportunity will present itself for the Long Chat with L. It depends on the circumstances next time I see her, or the time after that. And it also depends on how happy my wife is at the time, I don't want to increase her stress. But at least I feel as if I've achieved something. I may still have a buzz-cut, but something has changed. I have the chance of losing it for something better at some time, and that's more than I had a few months ago. I think that's a result.

20 comments:

  1. I think you are very brave indeed coming out to your hairdresser. I was extremely lucky that the wife of someone who knows - I am not sure I would have had the nerves to tell my previous hair dresser!

    Bad luck that it didn't happen this trip - here's hoping for more luck next time!

    Stace

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  2. Yo, Dude. I get this...you are a Dude, a "bloke" on your side of the pond. And you went to get a haircut and because your hairdresser was snowed in for the day, you missed your opportunity for "THE TALK".

    So this is what I do not understand. WHY must you tell this person that you wish you were a bird? Is she like a fairy god mother that has magical powers? She can grant you this wish?

    I know there is some significance in this act of "coming out". But WHY? I have been reading your blog for a bit now, and I get the part about the fact that you want us all to believe that you are this huge hulking "bloke" that feels like a girl inside. What I don't understand is why you feel the need to share this with a relative stranger. Are you seeking her approval, her accetance? If so, WHY? Why is her acceptance of your inner turmoil, important to you?

    Why not just tell her you have decided to let your hair grow out, and leave it there?

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  3. Remember both, I've yet to come out to her, it's quite possible I may bottle it.

    I guess my line is that this is no big deal, it doesn't have to be a secret. I spent about as long in the closet as you've been a woman Anne, and it was crap.

    Anyway, she's not a stranger, she's cut my wife's and my hair for the last ten years. And since she's someone I trust implicitly on matters pertaining to hair I want her expert advice on what to aim for. I've seen too many t-girls who think long bloke hair will do, and it doesn't. It makes you look like a bloke with long hair, dressed as a woman.

    What I'm going to ask her for is a style, one that I can wear as male without comment, but with a bit of remodeling I can also wear convincingly as female. It'll take a while to arrive at it, but I hope it will be worth the effort.

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  4. Funny how hairdressers are sort of professional confession hearers, but I suppose it's anyway a good thing to get her opinion on 'dual usage'.
    Had to go to the consulate to get a passport complication sorted recently, and had a great chat with the girls there about t-girls they'd known etc. Maybe it'll be the same for you in terms of talking to someone who is often the recipient of confidentiality ; they frequently really enjoy their glimpse into our world.

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  5. I wish I knew what a 'buzz cut' was! Crikey it has been at least 45 years since I visited a hairdresser! I understand the reasons you have for wanting a chat with this woman and I am sure she will be understanding when you decide to come out to her. Speaking about your problems and fears openly is a good thing and the reason people see therapists. Your hairdresser friend seems to be the sort of person in whom you can confide and I can see nothing wrong in that. As for the proposed new hairstyle, that will be a challenge won't it? The problems I can see with the idea are basically concerned with current male styles that could be switched to a female one easily. I guess that's where your hairdresser comes in. I hope she's there next time!

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  6. I choose to tell my hairdresser and asked for advise of a more feminine style; but then again by this time I had been retired for several years and I just started letting my hair grow out. At the same time, I decided to get acrylic nails because I had had the bad habit of biting them and I needed something to get me to stop.

    During my early years I told almost everyone right off the bat who I was; as I felt that I shouldn't be fooling them by not telling. I now realize that they could have guessed I had been born male as my hands are rather large. But then again, when I had to get a solitaire diamond ring sized, the jeweler mentioned that he had several women with fingers that were larger than my size 10 after I mentioned my large hands.

    So let your wife trim your neck until the side catch up to your ears or lower, and then get it styled. After all it was the Beatles who started the trend of long hair.

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  7. A quick look in the n-gram viewer and then the dictionary and I find I'm not the only person to use "Buzz-cut". Phew.

    "a very short haircut in which the hair is clipped close to the head with a razor."

    And it seems to have come from the 1940s.

    I don't have mine that sort, about an inch long. Too short and I look alarming. I had my hair long when I was about twenty, and had it cut to this style, probably in an attempt to fit in.

    I think the important point here is the maintenance as it grows out. Mrs. J. doesn't want me to look unkempt along the way, which is fair enough.

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  8. Thank you for explaining Jenny. I understand.

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  9. Me too, I know what a buzz cut is!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/belvedere/1358824898/

    Hey ho... better luck next time. I had to shop around, as it were, before finding a hairdresser who worked for me- the first was recommended by a friend who used him regularly, and while he was a nice chap, he gave me an awful 'page-boy' cut; my present one, after a wrong turn at one point that looked vaguely Pete Townsend mullet-ish, is really good and a friend too.

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  10. Ouch! Fortunately mine is not that severe, in fact it probably pushes the definition slightly.

    With luck over the 18 months or so this hairstyle will take to gestate we'll be able to head off any style disasters before they happen.

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  11. Heh, I changed hairdressers during 'transition' so I didn't have to have 'the talk' with any of them. As soon as I was *just* 'male-looking' enough, I went to a new one who didn't insist on "leaving a bit of length at the front because it's nice and feminine"! I understand how important it can be to get your hairdresser on side.

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  12. This has nothing to do with your subject Jenny but I thought you and your readers might find it interesting.............

    Seven Wonders "Hair Food" Cocktail

    The following drink contains Protein, Choline, Inositol, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin E and Zinc: The seven ingredients' nutritionists most often recommend for growing healthy hair.

    8 Fl oz Plain Yoghurt
    8 Fl oz Orange Juice
    3 Tablespoons Wheat Germ
    3 Tablespoons Brewers Yeast
    1 Tablespoon Lecithin Crystals
    1 Teaspoon Vitamin C Crystals
    1 Raw Egg Yolk
    1 Tablespoon Unflavored Gelatine Powder
    Honey to Taste (optional)

    Combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth. If a blender is not available put all the ingredients into a jar with a lid and shake vigorously.

    This tonic makes a quick and nutritious breakfast and will work wonders for your hair.

    This cocktail should help just about everyone, and you will certainly notice a difference to your hair once you try it.

    Another recommended regime for hair loss which has proved to be very effective is a supplement of the Amino Acids, Zinc and Vitamin C. This supplement is particularly good for people who go on crash diets and find a problem with hair loss, or problems which are less obvious such as women who are losing hair as a result of birth control pills and subsequent vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

    PS. I haven't tried it myself, probably because of the pain in gathering all the ingredients...LOL

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  13. I've gone to a barber & hairdressers for a few years and last time took my barber aside and explained what I wanted and why. It's no news to him at all.

    @ nixwilliams
    One of the girls came over wanting to make the front into a feminine fringe but we both put it back simultaneously and grinned at each other.

    My cut is David Tennant 10th Doctor style and would do dual purpose with the fringe pulled down.

    @Jenny
    Yeah, even little things to look forward to make you feel brighter. Thanks to Mrs J.

    It's more than just a haircut, its having some pampering and social time.

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  14. My hairdresser gets a chance to trim me about once year: my hair grows very slow. The last time I visited her she told about a friend of hers who liked to have his hair long and I finally dared to say I wore mine long because of the feminine look it gives me. She agreed I do have such in a way and should be proud and not to be bothered by any comments. So, yes I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary to tell the whole story to get a good advice from your hairdresser about how to get a bi-gendered hair cut. Actually we also share all kind of things about everyday live and having children et cetera because that is what you talk about at the barbershop, isn’t it?

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  15. Wow, a veritable feast of comments! I'm not convinced I'm ready to try that hair tonic, but it is something to think about. When your hair is <<1 inch long you don't have to worry too much about its condition.

    I don't think I'll have to change hairdressers. Could I manage it without the whole story? Not sure TBH. It's not unlikely I'm not her only trans client, for a start.

    It's stupid really isn't it. Why should it be so difficult for any of us.

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  16. It is only as difficult as you allow it to be Jenny.....Love

    Shirley Anne xxx

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  17. Good luck if you decide its the right thing to do. :-) I haven't been near a hair dresser for a while having decided to let it grow though it is in need of tidying so.

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  18. You're lucky, yours grows naturally curly. Mine is straight and heavy. There's another reason why I lost the long hair last time I tried it! :)

    Well, a few days later it still seems like the right thing to do.

    A discussion with Mrs. J. and she's still on-board, her main concern is that i don't end up looking silly, which with luck by managing the process with a hairdresser I won't.

    So I just have to find some time alone with my hairdresser. I hope she doesn't think I'm about to proposition her! :)

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  19. Regarding Anne's comment, I sort of have to agree with her, but I also see your point, Jenny. I have just a bunch of trans friends locally who certainly know all about me but the only non-trans person who knows about me is my wife and I have no plans to change that.

    Regarding the salon, my wife got me started on going to salons when I first met her. I love the experience and always have loved the experience. The chit-chat is always the best. Just a small way to experience the "other side" once a month or so.

    Calie xxx

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  20. I think it's my simple cussedness that's at work here. I'm in a position in which it doesn't matter if people know, so why should it be a secret? But in the case of my hairdresser as I said, it's a practical thing. Because I want a style she needs to know what I want and why.

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