She twirled a long brown tress through her fingers, absent-mindedly, flicking through out of date, wrinkled magazines; gossip rags where it all came down to what you look like. She’d tried not to think about today, it’d been gnawing at the bottom of her stomach for weeks, ever since she’d made the big announcement, spur of the moment. She’d been riding this wave of excitement, everyone cheering her on, but then there was the reality of the future.
The hairdresser called her, she baulked but went anyway. It was too late to change her mind anyway. She sat down, kept her eyes low, refusing to look in the mirror. Cameras snapped. She knew that she only had to say one small word and it wouldn’t happen. She said nothing. The hairdresser said nothing.
But the hairdresser knew why she was here. A bright spark of flash from a camera. The hairdresser leant forward with the scissors. Snip, snip. Methodical. The long locks fell to the floor.
She wanted to cry, felt as if she was losing something. A crown of glory. She steeled herself, she couldn’t cry with so many watching and when it was so important, so positive. Images from fairy tales flashed through her mind, Rapunzel, wretched Rapunzel wouldn’t go away. Still snip, snip, snip, snip.
The hairdresser brought out the trimmer. Even deeper breath. It was too late now anyway, it was all on the floor. People had clapped when the last strand hit the floor, someone squeezed her hand. She didn’t want to look.
The machine whirred and came in close. She wanted to scream so she gripped the arms of the chair, white knuckled. Her eyes still down.
It was worth it, she kept telling herself, every piece of hair on the floor around her was worth so much. Money for charity, money for hope. And best of all, solidarity. When she returned to the hospital and took their hand, she knew she’d see pride. After all, all she was losing was her hair, something that was allowed to grow back. It could be something far worse.
A cheer went up. The machine stopped.
We cut it, curl it, straighten it, color it, grow it out, despair over it. It can ruin our entire day or make us feel sexy or powerful or an entire spectrum of emotion.
It’s our hair.
We make judgments about mullets and comb-overs and bowl cuts. We envy thick, luscious locks. Or wildly hued ones.
Hair says a lot about us. About who we are or who we want to be, or maybe just who our friends are.
This week we’d like you to write a piece about hair. It can be about you or one of your characters where hair figures prominently. Don’t just describe it. Use it as a vehicle to tell us something about your character, a situation, you and your life.
The word count was 300, I made 358. I’m always over! Any suggestions to tame the wordiness?!