Given my interest in styling hair, my mom started teaching me the basics; how to section off the hair before cutting, to use my fingers as a guide for the scissors, how to properly roll hair around a permanent rod, and how to ignore the instructions in most store-bought perm and coloring boxes. In my early teens, she offered up her head for my first perm (with actual chemicals). She let me trim the back of her hair that she couldn't reach. I guess she figured I couldn't do any worse than she could. Brave friends became my guinea pigs (if guinea pigs sported Farrah Fawcett styles). I started being able to picture how hair would look if I did certain things. But I was too tentative with my friendships and scissors to do anything too drastic.
One late night in high school, my younger sister came home and asked our mom for a haircut. Mom tiredly and wisely suggested it wait until the morning. I, on the other hand, was ready to take on the challenge of creating the short 80's punk-ish style my sister had in mind. She recklessly agreed. I started cutting. Somewhere down the hall I think I heard my mom quietly praying. I soon realized that cutting hair short demanded a rather high degree of precision. Precision that wasn't quite yet in my skill set. So, from side to side I went. Until my sister had very little hair left. Luckily, she has an incredible sense of humor and sense of self, so we laughed and laughed.
In the light of the next morning, my mom was slightly shocked at the results. (And frankly, so was I). My brave sister wore it like a warrior. She's always looked better in short hair than most.
My hobby has worked out for me over the years though. In college, as an underage student, I routinely bartered a $2.99 six-pack of beer for a haircut from the 21+ crowd.
Since then, at my bi-annual salon appointments, I've tracked my stylist's movements like a dog near a kids' high chair at dinner time. Not because I'm worried he'll make a mistake, but instead, I'm hoping to absorb his technical and creative prowess. These days, I bust out my cape and scissors to cut my husband's and kids' hair and the occasional friend and extended family. We've had a David Cassidy mishap and color that just didn't take.
But so far, nothing the local salon can't fix. And as the Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, "θα αυξηθεί απόI" which translates to, "It'll grow out."
p.s. I just wanted to point out that I started a post with a Grease reference and ended it with Greek. Not just anybody can do that.