Thursday, 14 January 2010

Gender neutral hair

I once tried growing my hair long. Back in my generation's summer of love, listening to the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets as played by John Peel, I let it grow and grow.
In the end, it reached my shoulders. Long, straight brown hair. I ended up going to a hairdresser in the small town I grew up in and asking for the buzz-cut I've had ever since.
Why would I do such a damn stupid thing? Simple. Long hair turned out to be a pain in the arse. No matter what I tried to do to it, it wouldn't go backwards.
I looked like a very large Old English sheepdog. The folly of youth eh!
I like having a buzz-cut. It's zero maintenance. It is however, very blokey. Time for a change in a more transgendered direction? Since I present as male to the world at large, if I change my hair it has to be believable in that gender role. It also has to be presentable in a business setting, for example my work puts me from time to time in front of people with big chequebooks and a long haired style like my teenaged sheepdog look wouldn't necessarily go down well.
Searching the web, there's frustratingly little on gender-neutral TG hairstyles. Either that, or insomnia has temporarily wrecked my Google-fu. So I'm left wondering whether the first person other than my wife I come out to will be my hairdresser, who also cuts my wife's hair.
I like my hairdresser. She's about the same age as me and though we never knew each other at the time she grew up about ten miles from me. On top of that she's a lovely person and I think I would trust her in this matter. Having observed her at work, isn't turning up early for appointments at female-centric places great, she's a hairdresser of great skill so I am sure she could advise me well.
The trouble is, I don't know how to catch her alone, i.e. without her colleague, and what her reaction would be. Our relationship isn't such that I can take her out for a coffee so I'd have to walk into the salon and just ask her. I don't think she'd be transphobic, you get a vibe about people's tolerance levels, but it's still rather daunting. It would be much easier if I could walk in with a picture and just say "I want that style, how long will it take to grow and how many transitional stages will there be?", and let her figure it out for herself.
There's also my wife's comfort zone to consider. I guess all I can do there is ask her. At least I don't have to worry about coming out to her.
Why don't you just get a wig in the female style that suits!, I hear you cry? True, I could do that. I've located a TG-friendly wig fitting specialist not too far away. But it's one of those things that comes down to crossdressing vs. transgender. If I can present some part of the female me full-time, however subtly, I think it will be a lot more satisfying than being able to turn on the full-on glam look only when circumstances allow it.
It could be worse. Lots of blokes my age have started thinning, at least I don't stare down at a plugged-up shower every morning.


  1. You know, Jenny, I have a good friend who can best be termed a very experienced crossdresser. This girl, someone who used to land jets on aircraft carriers, is all boy except when she is a girl and when she is a girl, she is a gorgeous girl. Does that even make sense?

    Anyway, she has a completely bald head and wants it that way. I had asked her one day about what I should do when the gray, lower sides, of my hair can be seen under a wig. She pointed at her bald head and said that is why she shaves it all off. It works perfectly with a wig.

    I don't like anything fake, however, and that goes for wigs. If I could, I would much prefer the real thing.

    Calie xxx

  2. Since I wrote this post I've learned that gender neutral hair is outside my wife's comfort zone. So I'll be looking at wigs. Shame, but not insurmountable.