Even though I am not emo whenever I'm asleep and can't feel my emotions, I really liked the emo hairstyle; so much so that some time during the latter half of 2008, I started growing my fringe long enough to the point that I could use it to turn a blind eye to the oh so cruel world. Sniff.
Despite what jealous soccer dads and lads who can't style themselves to save their lives kept saying about the emo style, and despite their scoffing and mocking remarks thrown at it (though I agree with them that the whinings of emos and some of their self-destructive actions in extreme cases are irritating), I for one think that the emo hairstyle is pretty cool and I absolutely heart their fashion style too. It was a novel breath of fresh air when I first laid my eyes on the style.
The fact that it is a Punk sub-culture made it even cooler in my non-fiction book and that very much appealed to the rebellious part of me and that part is a rather huge chunk if I dare say so myself. But because I am a working adult and have to do things with some moderation (so much for rebellion, says accountability), I altered things a little with some personal touches and went for more of a mid-length and a tapered fringe instead of full-fledged emo. Also, I wouldn't wanna look 100% to-the-dot in conformity to any style, since you gotta retain your own character even if the personal touches and alterations are subtle (looks like I'm at least still half-alive, says rebellion).
Boy, it is when you begin the attempt to styling your hair emo-style that you start to realize just how irritating your hair's natural body wave is while at the same time, your envy towards people born with naturally straighter hair right out of the cradle makes you frown at your hair-straightening iron.
Ah yes, that hair-straightening iron and the bottles of thermal protection cream I had to buy just so I could momentarily straighten out the natural slight body wave of my fringe. As you can probably already imagine, having to use the straightening iron Every.Freaking.Day is not only time-consuming, it's also damaging to your hair. Get your fringe wet or moist and it springs right back to its natural state, unravelling all your hard work earlier in the day.. Hair-splittingly frustrating, to say the least.
In the end, I decided to go for chemical treatment at the salon to straighten out my fringe which could keep it reasonably straight for at least 4 and a half months (in my case) and kiss good riddance to the straightening iron, which was a huge relief. Those thermal protection creams smell nice but I was glad I no longer had to use them. I did the chemical treatment only for my fringe and not my entire mane, by the way. There's no need to go for an overkill by killing a fly with a straightening iron.
Yes, chemical straightening does damage the hair to some extent too but so does everyday manual straightening with the hair iron. I'll take the chemical treatment over the iron any day since the former only cost me at most SGD $60 and it last for MONTHS. Damage is still damage, so I did periodic hair and scalp treatments to make up for it, along with regular doses of hair serum.
Gotta say, after my chemical treatment, getting my hair into shape and style in the mornings was a quick breezy walk in the park, since I only had to use the hairdryer to blow my hair into shape and use some hair wax followed by hairspray to scrunch up the top a little and maintain everything in shape - and I didn't even have to use much wax and spray. The best part is that I didn't have to use up a huge amount of time unlike during my iron age. Everything's done and over with in like around 8 minutes tops.
The only caveat I had to endure for such convenience was that I couldn't wash my hair for at least 48 hours after every straightening chemical treatment (I timed everything to coincide with the weekends when I didn't have to go to work). And to think there were times when I went for 72 hours just to ensure better chemical absorption, which warranted a day of annual leave from work.
Let me tell ya: words cannot express just how, following every hair chemical treatment, the restraint from washing my hair for 2 or 3 days almost drove me over the edge every time, since it was absolute torture. The only way I managed to endure past it was by reminding myself of the following mantra:
"2 or 3 days of torture in exchange for 4 and a half months of breezy ease."
Even though I had to keep myself from perspiring and I had to destroy boxes of oil blotters for my face, as well as sleeping with a towel placed over my pillow during such trying periods, the equation of my mantra seemed a worthwhile trade-off. Indeed, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and the scalp feels oily as heck.
But alas, my first chemical treatment was in 2008 and it is now 2015. My goodness, I've been having the same hairstyle for 7 freaking years already.. but at the same time, that is testimony to how much I liked about this very easy to maintain hairstyle.
But when a change is needed, a change is needed. The Emo hairstyle is something that has served its due course and has already gotten too long in the tooth. I loved it but it's time to move on and moving on resulted in the following:
I had to master lots of self-control to prevent myself from going over the edge from grief when I instructed my hairdresser to snip off my fringe and cut everything else short. At the same time, I noticed the restrained shocked look on the hairdresser's face while another hot chick hairdresser, who has known my preferences all these years, became the personification of the classic jaw-on-floor emoticon as she went "Huh?!" I was too engaged with the contradictions fighting inside me to tell her that she looked cute with her mouth wide open.
Like suddenly having grown nerves in my strands of protein, I felt the pain shoot from my head all the way down to my fragile heart when the scissors started snipping away. Boy, seeing my emo hair getting trimmed away right in front of my eyes sure brought out the emo in me in full force. Throughout the entire haircut session, I had to perform impromptu mental yoga to keep myself together.
Actually, this could have happened months earlier if it wasn't for the fact that it took me this long to figure out exactly which short hairstyle I wanted to go for. It's not easy sometimes trying to hunt down something that can cover your flaws while accentuating your strengths at the same time and you can't just dive into drastic changes without a plan.
The above being said, I ended up without so much of a concrete plan but instead, all I had was just a rough experimental idea - I knew which direction I should be heading towards but I didn't know the final destination, so to speak. But still, there is an element of exploratory fun surrounding the matter as I try to refine things. If I'm having fun with it, it means I'm on the right track.
Anyway, the photo above is not the only style I can play with with a short hairstyle. If I feel funky, I can always scrunch up the sides and top for a punky look during the weekends or something.
My Lioness tells me she prefers my new hairstyle because it makes me look fresher. Come on babe, you're making me feel like freshly bought grocery but I heart ya just the same. It's just too bad I can no longer make you sneeze without using my hands since my fringe is no longer long enough for that.
I'm liking the 'fresh' part that comes with my new hairstyle but at the same time, I'm already starting to miss the 'enigmatic' part of my now-gone emo hairstyle. My challenge now is to make sure I don't end up looking exactly like the next dude and the other dudes around him out on the street because even though I've sacrificed my emo hairstyle on the altar of vanity, I didn't let go of its rebellion against conventional herd uniformity and conformity. But honestly, I can't tell if it's working yet. I guess I have to become fully acquainted with my new mane first.
Today marks the day I closed the door I've held open for 7 years and opened another new shorter one. Hell, nobody makes such a drama over a new hairstyle, so I guess I could be emo afterall - even though I no longer have the mane to show for it. Like something enough and a part of it sticks with you even after it's gone.
Sayonara, emo hair.