Jay’s first good haircut

In the nearly three years he’s been alive, Jay has had fewer than five good hair days.  We thought one of them was a sunny day in September 2009 when we posed for a photo that served as the front of our family Christmas card that year.  In retrospect, it’s pretty clear we were wrong:

As soon as we realized that Jay’s precious newborn hair had turned into a social liability we started giving him home haircuts using clippers.  He despised the experience so we didn’t do it often.

We’d cut his hair short and let it grow out until it was so long he couldn’t see.  There’d be a few days each haircut cycle, however, where Caroline would say he looked like a hunk.  One of those days happened to be his second birthday:

Despite Caroline’s preference for the Tom Brady-look, we stuck with the buzz cuts. They were simple and free and I thought Jay looked fine with short hair, if not maximally adorable.  But this fall my friend John heckled, “Jay looks like a little Russian thug.”  

So in December we decided to let Jay’s hair grow out in preparation for his first barber shop haircut.  The transition was rough.  As his hair grew out the mistakes we’d made when we’d last clipped his hair became more glaring: Behind his ears he had several stray hairs that grew so long it was as if they were sprouting out of a mole; and the hair on the back of his head was so uneven you would have thought we’d cut it with pinking shears.

But we stayed the course.  In the middle of January his hair started to look good again- not gorgeous, but better than it had for months.  Then seemingly overnight Jay’s hair went from long and decently attractive to mullet.  That’s when we knew it was time to make a call.

Today Jay got his first real haircut, at a place near campus called Arcade Barbers.  We talked up his haircut all week- how Jay would get to sit in a race car chair, wear a cape, and eat a lollipop.  Jay seemed excited but I was nervous. He’s brave under some circumstances like getting his shots, but skittish under others like when he ran screaming from a pony ride this past fall.  I wasn’t sure which side of him the barbershop would bring out.  Caroline figured that the likely outcomes ranged from “minor meltdown” to “utter calamity.”

But maybe Jay realized that if he botched this, it was back to bathtub buzz cuts and looking like a KGB goon until the age of maturity.  So he got into that race car. He didn’t flinch when the clippers came.  And he walked out of that barbershop looking like a proper little boy.

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6 thoughts on “Jay’s first good haircut

  1. He’s so cute! Just don’t bring him to George’s barbershop next time you’re home! He’d be better off cutting his own hair!!!

  2. The world rejoices at one less mullet. I had to laugh because when my kid was younger I thought he was the cutest but looking back at those photos made me wish I had a friend who would have been kind enough to tell me the truth about his hair!

  3. He looks adorable, but with that haircut you’ll be back in 5 weeks. Stick with the buzz cut (but let the barber do it). It’s cheaper.

    • Now that Caroline’s had a glimpse of the good stuff, I’m not sure she’ll be able to go back. Was Ethan getting buzz cuts at that age?

      • Well before that age. I had him in the barber chair at 1 year, but for the first couple of years his hair was relatively skimpy and didn’t grow all that much, so I could get away with fewer haircuts. By age three, the barber definitely had clippers in his hand (at least for the sides and back) and by age 5, it was all clippers. The barbers have numbers for the clipper settings and so, by the numbers, I slowly went from something a little longer to the buzz cut. In my book, it only looks thuggy for about 10 days. I have to show my colors…I don’t like little boys with long hair…but I love men with long hair (think Julio Iglesias).

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