Why I Cut my Hair and Why I Let it Grow


Until one certain incident in my life, my hair has always been long.

I don’t remember how I felt about long hair as a young girl; but in my teen years, I appreciated the fact that I could wear it straight down, in a ponytail, put it up in curls, or fashion it into the infamous beehive.

But that all changed, in just one moment, in 1980.

Our son, Brian, was about 3 months old. One day he just wouldn’t stop crying. I rocked him, fed him, walked with him, patted his back, took his temperature, checked his diaper. But nothing I did stopped him from crying.

After what seemed like (and could have been) several hours, I laid him on his changing table and totally undressed him to look him over completely. I had my hands on his feet to stabilize him on the table, but in a moment of pure frustration, I lifted my hands off his little body and used them in exclamation as I cried, “What’s WRONG with you?”

And then I saw it. His little toe on his left foot was bright red. The color of the ripest tomato you’ve ever seen. I had no idea what the cause was, but immediately bundled him up and rushed to his pediatrician’s office. His doctor examined him and said that one of my long hairs had wrapped itself around Brian’s little toe so tightly that, although it couldn’t be seen with the naked eye, it had cut off circulation to his toe. He referred us to a Children’s Hospital in another town to see a specialist. He said it was urgent to be seen right away. He said Brian might lose his toe.

At the time, all I could think of was to get to the hospital as soon as I could. Years later, when I thought of this event, I wondered what kind of specialist would remove hair wrapped around a toe? A surgeon, who had the instruments and skills to perform a delicate procedure such as this?

We made it to the hospital in record time, and the doctor was waiting for us. In a delicate procedure, he removed the hair successfully.,

Brian didn’t lose his toe, but all of the skin did slough off, so, while it was bad, it could have been much worse.

I asked the doctor how this could happen. He said that in cases like this….. (Cases like this? He had actually seen this before!!) …..that a long hair can get inside a sleeper, get wrapped around a baby’s toes, and as the toes wiggle, the hair gets embedded more deeply.

The next day I cut my hair. Short.

And it’s been that way since, until recently. Until Covid shut down hair salons and I had no choice but to cut it myself or let it grow.

I guess I haven’t been very adventurous with my hair. I’ve let external circumstances dictate what I did with it.

But now, I think I’ll be a little more adventurous. After all, with California being in lock-down again, if I let my hair grow longer and it looks terrible, who will see or care but me and my husband? Or if I cut it myself? Well, I’m not sure I’m that adventurous, but I did recently see a George Clooney interview where he said he cuts his own hair and has for years with the Flowbee . Maybe I should give that a try.

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