Mullet Over

New Years Resolutions:

1) Don’t die.

2) Maybe shave your legs more often.

3) Continue to avoid reptiles.

4) Never ever return to a hair salon, barber shop, or any situation where scissors will come within a foot of your head.

That’s right– I’m never cutting my hair again, and I’ll tell you why. A couple weeks ago I was briefly the owner of a mullet. And not the fish kind.

English: mullet

This is not me, but it’s close.

I know I’ve been over this before, but just to recap, haircuts are the worst.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

1) Some of the most awkward conversations I’ve ever had have been during haircuts. Depending on the complexity of your head and the ambition of your style, these conversations can last hours. You’re trapped in a stupid smock, sitting in a plastic-covered chair, while someone asks you questions they don’t really care about either and occasionally interjects with “Look up! Look down! Look kind of sideways but also up with your left eye!”

2) If you don’t know anything about hair, you arrive with only a vague idea of hair-related words. When the stylist asks what you want, you say something like, “Uhh… bangs with the… fringe? And trimming… of the split ends… which is a phrase I heard in an Olsen twins movie.”

They say things like, “Do you want layers?” and you think, “Cake?” Because you like cake, you say, “Sure!” If you go in with a picture, you have unerringly chosen a hairstyle that will never ever work on your weird-shaped head with your stupid hair.

Cake and ogres: famous for their layers

3) Obviously at some point you have to talk about your hair. The stylist is going to say things you already know, like, “Gee, it sure gets tangled easily,” and you’re going to have to agree and laugh but inside think, “You try living under here.”

In my case, I have thick hair. Not the fun, Disney princess kind of thick hair. It’s the “You could lose a small dog in here and never find it again” kind of hair. It’s so thick that stylists have called their co-workers over to look at it. The thing is, I know it’s thick. I regularly worry about suffocating in it. Washing it takes years because I can’t get all the shampoo out. I don’t need anyone to tell me how crappy my head situation is, I just need someone to make it less triangular every so often.

4) Every time I go, the hairstylist gasps and says, “What happened here?!” like some kind of hair troll just attacked her from a bottom layer. Without fail, some part of my hair was cut at the wrong length or grew too quickly and now it’s throwing everything off, so I have to defend my hair’s bad life choices. No, I didn’t cut it myself. No, I didn’t have a friend cut it. No, I didn’t mean to have a rat tail, it just happened.

5) I have this weird bump on my head that I’m self-conscious of and strongly feel no one should have to touch.

6) A complete stranger has scissors. Near your head. Around your ears. Close to your eyeballs. Even if they don’t stab you or snip off your ear, you have to spend the next 6-8 weeks living inside their creation. They don’t know you. They don’t know what you do with your head.

All of this means that I really have to commit to getting a haircut, even if it’s just a trim. I have to think about it for days and I end up talking myself out of it more often than not. I wasn’t even going to do it this last time until my little brother called me a chicken, but Sibling Law clearly dictates that you must immediately prove otherwise when that happens, and that’s how I ended up stuck in a chair, unable to assert myself.

Mullet-y Red Flags I Missed

1) The stylist looked like Elvira, and clearly harbored some nostalgia for 80’s hairstyles.

2) I said: “I just want my bangs trimmed.”

She said: “…Really?”

3) She said: “I’m cleaning up the ends a little!”

I thought: I do like things clean…

4) Suddenly there were a lot of inch-and-a-half long chunks of hair on my smock.

I thought: Wait. I wanted to keep that hair. She’s the expert though. It will always grow back. Right? Right.

5) She said: “I’m re-angling your layers! You can wear your part anywhere!”

I said: “But I have a weird bump on my head and I’m afraid of change!”

6) She said: “You probably wear your hair parted on this side, right?”

I said: “…No.”

I thought: Oh God. Oh God, Oh God, Oh God.

7) She said: “Close your eyes.”

I thought: Oh, yeah. Like I’m going to close my eyes during this train wreck. Not on your life, lady. Aagh! Scissors! Right next to my eyeball! Close your eyes! Close them!

8) She said: “Look how cute it is! It really frames your face, and it looks so professional in the front and fun in the back!”

I thought: That sounds like another way to say “business in the front, party in the back”. Ha. It’s probably not a mullet, Stephanie. Surely it’s not a mullet. You should probably open your eyes to check, though.

It was definitely a mild version of a mullet.

And not even the cool kind.

There’s good news, though: It’s calmed down a little in the last week, and I look less like Billy Ray Cyrus now. I’m also getting better at bowling and fixing Trans Ams through some kind of transitive property. Considering I’m never getting a haircut again, maybe a mullet’s not the worst style to be stuck with. Maybe everything is going to be ok.

…No. No, it’s not.


  1. Marissa

    I hate haircuts! Worse than the dentist! I force myself to go once a year, and in addition to the painful scalp scrubbing, uncomfortable conversations, and the tortuous burning and yanking that is a professional blow dry, I have to put up with mockery and judgment over how I’ve neglected my hair like someone should be calling DYFS on me. Thank you for this… you put it so much funnier than I ever have.

    • Stephanie

      I HATE THE JUDGMENT! It really is the worst part of the whole thing. I usually put it off long enough that I have to tell the stylist, “Uh… these used to be bangs.” I also hate it when they ask who cut your hair last you and you have to say something like, “Ha. I don’t know! A blind chimpanzee with a chainsaw!” when it was actually someone in a very similar establishment.

    • Stephanie

      I keep looking at my legs in the shower and thinking, “Do I need to impress anyone? If so, are they someone who will like me regardless of my body hair choices?” Then I decide that if they don’t like me with hairy legs, that’s their problem. At first I was all like, “Yeah! Empowered leg hair!” but now I think it’s more of an excuse to be lazy.

    • Stephanie

      Ha. I’ve never heard anyone phrase something like that before. I don’t want to say, “If she makes you that happy, I hope you die before she does, too!” so I’m going to go with, “I hope you get to keep her forever and ever!”

  2. theliteraryhorse

    I’ve been avoiding a haircut for months. The last one was a disaster, as in stylist saying: “Watch me cut your hair while I’m blindfolded! It’s going to rock, because I am a genius, even blindfolded.”

    Luckily, the situation was assessed by a nice donkey with a keen eye for bad hair, and she chewed off the parts that Antonio missed in his I Am A God cutting frenzy.

    It forced me to go back (donkey wasn’t so great at layering) and it trapped Antonio into giving me the best haircut of my life. He grumbled the entire time.

    I will be making an appointment with the donkey prior to every salon visit from now on…

    I can get her number for you :)

    • Stephanie

      I would love the donkey’s number, but it seems like investing in one of my own would be a good entrepreneurial decision. I can charge everyone in my building for hair consultations and help carrying luggage. I would also love the number of your blindfolded stylist… so I don’t call him.

  3. shenanitim

    This is amazing. I always assumed the women-folk all had stylists they went to repeatedly. I stand corrected.

    (Though, in this case, I can see why some do. That way the stylist can’t complain without ratting herself out.)

    I like to give my stylist random “yes, no” answers to ensure my haircut is always different, even if just slightly, from the one before.

    I do hate all the questions though, as they went to beautician school to learn about hair cutting. I did not.

    • Stephanie

      You’re a brave individual, with your random answers. I can’t even imagine living that close to the edge. Seriously. You have the guts I dream of having.

  4. Pingback: Mullet Be Gone « Here We Go
  5. Patsy

    OMG. I am the exact same way. I have really thick hair and stylists always bring over their other style people to say “look at this! Look how much hair she has!” Thanks, I hadn’t noticed that my head BOILS in the summer because it is essentially wearing a sweater. I’ve had terrible, terrible haircuts and plan big changes (read trim) to my hair at least 6 months in advance. And then obsess about it, freak out, think about canceling, etc. Thick haired girls have to stick together!

  6. sarahnsh

    Try working with hair stylists because of your job and you will get into all sorts of conversations about your hair. Mine is the annoying kind of thick hair that lately hasn’t been washing out fully so I get questions like, “Are you really washing your hair out?” And I just want to answer them with “no, of course not, I just put shampoo in my hair and walk out before the water hits it!”

  7. katkasia

    Thanks for this – it made me laugh out loud.
    I agree – and it’s not greatly assisted if, like me, you then blush violently when the hairdresser is doing the terrible chat, and then you can watch yourself blushing in the mirror.

  8. Cotton Undies

    The trick that I have learned with hair dressers is to stick to the same one. After 2 cuts they know how you like it and cut small talk. Oh and make it a hair dresser you find somewhat attractive!

    Awesome blog though Stephanie, exactly the sort of blog that I have been looking for :D

  9. francescaspinelli

    Everytime I write a list (and I write lists sometimes as often as two times a day) of things I have to do, number is (and always will be): DON’T DIE!
    And that is why, I consider myself a fairly successful person.

  10. yummybooks

    This post killed me. Every time I go to get my eyebrows waxed the lady breaks out in a cold sweat and has to grunt “very. strong. hair.” EVERY TIME. It used to make me feel bad but now it just makes me feel like a warrior. This is my new favorite blog.

  11. ivanlabayne

    Yes, don;t die! Who would fulfill your resolutions for you? and reptiles’ cold-bloodedness are not fun most of the time.

  12. Animockery

    I really get the same feeling about haircuts and I have grown up with hair stylists my whole life. Let me start with the fact that my mother has been a stylist since she was 18. She was the only one to cut my hair until I was 25. It turns out after all this time she had been cutting it like I was 5. In addition to this when she used to cut my hair she would make comments like;
    “Are you going bald your hair looks thin…”
    “Your duck butt won’t go down so I’m just gonna cut it short.”
    Considering this was coming from my own mother you can imagine my faith in hair stylists was not the strongest. I still have issues since my new stylist is my sister-in-law and she often complains about my duck butt and lumpy head. Which it really true my head is not only lumpy but I have “bulb” head in the back…
    Anyway I like your blog I look forward to reading more.

  13. perpetuallyfrank

    I really love your writing style and general wittiness. That said, I too have ended up leaving many a hair salon with my hair hacked into either a mullet (this mainly happened when I lived in the Midwest, where the female mullet is actually quite common) or what I call the upside-down pineapple-top (the layers start around an inch above the ears and cascade down to the ends of the hair, resulting in what looks like the leafy part of a pineapple, but upside down and made of hair). But having triangular hair (also an issue I share) isn’t great either. Congrats on having your other post Freshly Pressed!

  14. Pingback: Follow the links | east.bay.writer
  15. claire

    Hilarious. I have had horrendous haircuts and it completely depresses me for weeks. I now stick to the same person so I don’t have to answer those impossible questions each time. So pleased to find your blog through Eastbaywriter. Looking forward to reading more :)

  16. Pingback: Shut Your Mouth | Listful Thinking

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