I know. Embarrassing right? Like, what is that kid even trying to do? Who is he trying to impress? Because damn, that is some long hair for a dude.
But my hair did not just pop out like this overnight; this was a process 13 haircut-less months in the making.
My hair first became what I am comfortable calling “long for a dude” some time early last summer. At the time, I was living in New York and interning at SiriusXM. That summer in the city was hot as hell, and I almost cut my hair off on numerous occasions, but I had Governor’s Ball Music Festival coming up, and I decided that I wanted to save my hair in order to properly headbang to the musical stylings of Kanye West and company.
I made a decision that I would hold onto my hair until I was done festing.
A few days after I had made this decision, I was ordered to a microphone at the Opie and Anthony Show, where I was interning. Opie and Anthony began inquiring about my hair. Why was it so long? Why was it so greasy? Did I wash it this morning?
I got a bit panicked. Opie and Anthony are pretty good at making you feel bad about yourself if they want to. I was still new to the show and had not yet fully embraced the fact that I would be the butt of every single joke. I was still out there trying to defend myself. I had yet to fully accept my newly given moniker of “Intern Douchebag.”
So when I was asked about why my hair was so long, I did not say “It’s my festival hair.” as I would’ve told any of my friends. I did not want to give O&A any more ammo than they already had.
So I lied. Well, sort of.
I told them I was growing my hair out for Locks of Love. I looked at my given situation and found that kids with cancer was my best defense against my disc-jockeying adversaries. I am not proud of this moment.
However, after I let the words out of my mouth, I immediately adopted donating my hair as an actual plan. I figured that even if I had used Locks of Love as an excuse to avoid public mocking, all would be right with the universe so long as I held up my end of the bargain. You know, karma.
So my hair kept growing. And New York ended and London began, and I got to take my hair all around Europe.
In London I found that it was easy to exist as a combination of quick bullet points in the minds of my friends. These were kids with whom I developed intimate relationships extremely quickly due to our unique circumstances.
In my first two weeks in London I had established myself as Tyler Lauletta: a kid with long hair who drank Jameson and listened to Kanye West.
My long hair became a greater part of my identity than ever before in my time abroad. I used it often as a way to start conversations with girls, and it worked probably 60% of the time, which is probably the best percentage I have ever had in my life. I would get girls to touch my (surprisingly) soft hair, impress them with my knowledge of Conditioners, and then if things were going well, try to kiss them. It was rad.
But London ended and I came home, and I continued talking and talking and talking about how I needed to get my hair cut. And finally last Friday it happened.
I walked into Avante and asked if they did hair donations. They did. I asked if my hair was long enough, which lead to a hilarious procession of hairdressers holding combs to the back of my head and debating whether I had nine or ten inches of donation on my noggin. The eventual consensus was nine, an inch short of being able to donate to Locks of Love, but enough to send it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which is almost the same thing to my understanding.
So then this happened:
That is the ball of hair that I had been growing on top of my head for the past 13 months. It had a surprising amount of weight to it. Hopefully it will be sent off and turned into a wig and give some beautiful young boy or girl the confidence that it gave me every day.
Regardless of its eventual fate, it was now off my head. I felt a karmic weight lifted from my shoulders, as I had not lied about donating to kids with cancer on live radio. I didn’t have to feel like a bad person about that any more.
In fact I felt like a great person.
Because HOLY SHIT IS THAT DUDE HANDSOME.
Obviously, that’s exaggeration. If you know me at all, you know that the last thing I want this column to be is “Look how pretty I am.” or even worse “Look at what a good dude I am for donating my hair.”
I had to donate my hair, or else I would not be able to live with myself. And it just so happens that I kind of dig the way I look with short hair.
I want to thank Krystal at Avante, for making me feel safe and comfortable while going through an oddly traumatic experience and cutting my hair like a boss. Also, shout out to the lady getting her hair cut next to me who exclaimed, “DIDN’T HE COME IN HERE WITH LONG HAIR?!” That made my day.
This is the new Tyler Lauletta. He still loves Jameson and Kanye West. He feels less guilty than he did before. And he wants to force himself to write more and talk to more women.
Hopefully they’re into short hair.