On Hair

Shon wasn’t a fan of my last blog post. He said the Semana Santa part was fine but that he didn’t like my “hating on Lake Atitlán.” To which I responded, “Well, I don’t like your beard.”

I welcome constructive criticism with open arms.

In truth, Shon’s beard looks fine. I think. It’s kind of hard to tell actually, because he’s in dire need of a haircut, and the top of his head has now merged with the lower half of his face in a blur of fur that I could totally see myself micro-braiding in the middle the night. Others, apparently, see this hirsuteness and think “weed.”

Shon and I have conducted an unofficial study and discovered a direct correlation between the length of his locks and the number of offers he gets to buy weed. One centimeter more of brown hair equals one to two extra propositions. He’s currently at the point where his puffy ‘fro guarantees myriad softly muttered offerings for “ganja” anytime we walk down Panajachel’s streets. My favorite exchange to date:

Vendor with a dozen wood-carved flutes to Shon: “Flauta?”

Shon: “No.”

Man (way more hopeful): “…ganja?”

Now, I should note here that Shon’s unshorn state has nothing to do with his not wanting to tame his unruly hair. But unless you’re a man with a hankering for a bowl cut or a teenager wanting a mini-mohawk, there’s nowhere in Panajachel to get a trim. As such, any time Shon needs a barber, he has to travel more than two hours to a city called Quetzaltenango. It’s there–and only there–that he’s found a place where he can walk out with favorable results. Since Quetzaltenango is so far away, though, his visits are understandably few and far between.

Fortunately, Shon does have an upcoming work visit in Quetzaltenango planned, so he should be getting a haircut soon. And I am C.R.A.Z.Y. jealous.

Why? Well, for while I’ve been yammering on about Shon’s head of hair, what I’ve failed to mention is my own. Twice I’ve had my hair cut in Guatemala, twice I’ve pointed out layers that needed to be trimmed, and twice I’ve left the salon with barely 1/16th of an inch taken off of only my longest locks, leaving all of my other layers untrimmed and floating about my head in their split-, triple-, and quadruple-ended glory.

Coworkers have given me the number of Canadian hairstylist in Antigua who is supposed to be good, and I will be visiting her… one day. Maybe. I just haven’t been able to bring myself to make that appointment, yet. You see, it’s about time that I freshen up on color, too, and I’m still hoping to find the Guatemalan equivalent of Joyce, my NYC stylist who not only cuts hair but also does ombre highlights with the skill of an Old Master. I’ve yet to hear rumor of such a wunderkind here… and so I wait.

Of course, all this postponing means my hair is getting progressively worse. It’s dry and brittle and way too long. It’s sun-bleached, but not in a good way. In fact, it’s kind of looking like the fritzed, hippy-dippy expat hair that I swore I’d never have–the kind that implies years spent in the tropics without Joyces, heavy-duty conditioners, or frizz serums.

Needless to say, Shon and I make quite the pair these days. It’s funny how quickly expat living can turn you into someone you never thought you’d be: Shon, a non-smoking pothead. Me, an accidental hippy.

God, we really need haircuts.

At the rate we’re going, we will be this couple–though way less cute, way more disheveled, and without the benefit of rainbows or dramatic eye makeup–in about a week. I’ve been scouring Etsy.com for my doily wrap and Shon’s chest-exposing flowy shirt.


Bottom photo: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/hippie%20couple

2 thoughts on “On Hair

  1. Hummm, is this a reference to my long hair and “your’s.” Of course, you had no choice but I did. Dad and I found a photo where my hair was past my butt. i’m not sure I knew what conditioner was. I think I was just too lazy to cut my hair or it had something to do with “Mall hair”

    Anyhow, no matter how long or short your is it’s beautiful.

    Love me

  2. This is hilarious, Melissa. I’ve actually been lucky enough to find an amazing hairstylist in Altea – the best I’ve ever found. While everywhere else I’ve ever gone has spent no more than 15 minutes max cutting my hair, my guy here spends an hour and manages to add volume to my lifeless head of hair. Maybe you guys should both plan a visit here. 🙂

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