Mogul Perspective: The Hair Cut
Written by Urban Mogul Life on August 31, 2010
It’s probably not the title you’d expect for a MP post, but trust me…it’s appropriate. In an effort to support the career of a dear friend of mine, I agreed to be a hair model for her at beauty school. [Enter Disclaimer]:
This post is not to highlight, criticize, or besmirch the efforts of my stylist, her instructors, or the school where she studies, but rather emphasize the lesson learned through my experience at the hands of the aforementioned.
[Exit Disclaimer] The Experience:
I was assured the instructor wouldn’t allow any student to butcher a model. They would always be close by, and come to my rescue at the first sign of distress. I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was 15…give or take the years I wore a massive afro and occasional visits to the shop for a razor finish. My cut is the easiest cut in a black man’s barbershop: same length all over, taper the sideburns and back of the neck. It would take the average barber 15 minutes to complete…on “modeling day”, it took 2 hours. I knew I was in trouble. The instructor stopped coming by and giving suggestions, stopped smiling, and started speaking apologetically. It was clear the ship was sinking, and she was abandoning ship! The horrified look on the faces of other students and their frantic efforts to avoid eye contact further confirmed that things weren’t going well. By the time my friend handed me the mirror, 2 excuses, and an evaluation form, this was me:
I immediately wished I hadn’t looked in the mirror 🙁 I played it cool because I didn’t want to trash my friend’s confidence, but then I thought, who was gonna help me with mine?!? I stood up to leave and all of the cute students and customers suddenly became an emotional obstacle course..instead of flirtatious opportunities. No hat, no walls, not even a pair of shades to create a buffer between myself and all the judgment that stood between me and the front door, the sanctity of my home…and my clippers. I took a deep breath, and started my seemingly endless trek to the door. This was new to me; the panic, sweaty pits, mortification, desire to hide, and be invisible all came at once. I was suddenly that kid in school with “The Tetters”…or the one whose mom used to cut his hair. It now took focus to smile and look care-free. My normally smooth glide was now choppy and uncoordinated. I couldn’t believe the effect this f*cked up hair cut was havin’ on my swag!! I mean, just two hours ago I was my normal, overly confident but well grounded self (i know…). I was scanning the room, flashin’ a smile, and thinkin’ cool thoughts…but all that was gone now. 🙁 I’m thinkin’… Sampson didn’t lose his strength because Delilah cut his hair, he lost it ’cause she gave him a bad haircut!! This sh*t was like patchy Kryptonite attached to my skull!! And to top it all off…I was going on vacation in the morning.
The Lesson :
After I shaved my hair as low as I could get it without being bald. I took a little sigh of relief. After all, no one I know had seen it. If I didn’t tell anybody, or someone at the school hadn’t taken pictures to post on FailBlog.com, then I was cool, right? No. I wasn’t. Even though I had somewhat corrected the issue, I still felt tainted. I didn’t like being insecure and fearful…not one bit. Sure I’ve been afraid before, but my solution for that was always to walk head-first into it until I wasn’t afraid anymore. At a very young age, I decided that whatever happened to me, it wouldn’t be because I was too afraid to try to make my own future. As a matter of fact, one of the reasons my confidence is usually so high, is because I’m always aware of what I’ve already endured, all the mistakes I’ve made…and what I’ve learned from each of them. It bothered me that something so simple could take all that away…albeit temporary. It reminded me that new experiences can still be scary; that even the toughest Mogul is vulnerable once you take him out of his comfort zone. It reminded me that there is a place in life that we all try to avoid at ALL costs. It’s why we study, why we graduate, why we hustle, why we work, why we groom, why we shop, why we spend money on fancy cars and houses; and it’s why we search to control as much of what happens to us as possible. I gave up control for two hours, telling myself “What’s the worse thing that could happen? It’ll grow back”, and in exchange, I was hurled out of my comfort zone. I was unmasked, afraid, and terribly human. The experience only lasted 20 minutes (from the time I saw it in the mirror, until the time I got home), but the feeling lasted long enough to remind of that insecure place we all have within us…and I don’t like it one bit.