For many, a solid haircut is an essential component of maintaining an attractive physical appearance. But, no matter if you go to Sports Clips or a high-end private barber, every haircut goes through roughly the same life cycle. Through my own experience, I’ve found that the life cycle of a haircut always contains four phases: Misery, Acceptance, Confidence, and Denial. Depending on the quality of the cut, each phase will vary in duration, but you’ll consistently endure each one after every trip to the barber.
This phase typically begins as soon as you hand over an absurd amount of cash to your barber for an incredibly mediocre haircut. Once you glance at your “new look” in your car’s rearview mirror, the regret immediately starts to sink in. All the weeks of hair growth gone in an instant makes you want to break down and cry, but you pull yourself together before heading back home. When you first see your parents or girlfriend, their reactions will be so sugarcoated that you begin to seriously consider shaving your entire head, hoping that people will just assume you have alopecia. The misery phase can last anywhere from a day to even multiple weeks, but it only takes one “good hair day” to push you forward into the next phase of your haircut’s life cycle.
At random, you’ll inevitably wake up one morning and realize your haircut doesn’t look all that terrible anymore. While you’re still not comfortable with approaching women just yet, leaving the house without a hoodie or hat on has now become acceptable. During this point in the life cycle, your hair isn’t at the forefront of your mind when it comes to physical appearance. You’ll have days when your hair looks fantastic and others where you contemplate committing arson on your barbershop, but it truly all balances out in the end. However, once you string a couple of days in a row where your hair could rival Chris Hemsworth’s, you begin to transition into the “Confidence” phase.
Once you enter this stage of your haircut’s life cycle, anything is possible. For some people, the “Confidence” phase might take up most of the life cycle, which explains why your one friend with great hair consistently gets more play than you. But, for those of us who have shorter “Confidence” phases (myself included), it’s crucial to take advantage of the tight window of BDE. During this phase, quite literally nothing is out of the question – and I’m not just referring to sexual endeavors. When your haircut enters its prime, I’d venture to say that you have more power than Donald Trump with an unbanned Twitter account or Leonardo DiCaprio with women under the age of 25.
While the “Confidence” phase was fun while it lasted, all good things must come to an end. The tricky part about hair is that it continuously grows (except for Joe Rogan, Kevin Durant, or any other balding person for that matter), so eventually you will reach a point where your hair is simply too long. Regardless of your own opinion on the length of your hair, a vast majority of people would objectively agree that it’s time for another haircut. Once you reach the “Denial” phase, you’ll do anything to convince yourself that you shouldn’t get a cut. And honestly, I don’t blame those who remain in this phase for weeks on end. Why put yourself into the “Misery” phase if it isn’t necessary? But, at some point an event involving pictures will arise and your mother will not allow you to attend without getting a haircut, landing yourself right back at square one to repeat the whole life cycle once again.