Previously, in haircuts.
I know others than me have talked about this before, that men only have one thing on their mind and that thing is hair Cuts, and also well I know that not only men have short hair (I know this perfectly well, and resent not being able to expect that will be explicitly understood). But for years of my life, even when I had fairly short hair, it was never so short that two days’ worth of growth became noticeable. I happily went for months, sometimes years, in between haircuts (yes, even trims — why are you being so disagreeable today?)
(An aside. I have a friend who gets really worried when people make unsupported claims about HRT, not because they want to squash anyone’s dreams or tell them how to feel about their own life experiences, but because they’re concerned about the effects a combination of non-HRT related factors, wishful thinking, and medical misinformation in the community, which is really fair and I absolutely agree, and by unsupported claims I mean like, “I fell off my bike and broke my arm yesterday…do you think my T dose had anything to do with it?” or like, who’s to say if you’re broadly “more confident” because of your hormonal arrangements or because you’re finally taking steps to self-actualize and anyhow I am 100% on board with my friend here except for one thing, and even I’m not sure how seriously I mean it at this point, but one thing that I believe completely and utterly and you could never change my mind about this, which is that testosterone made my eyes a little smaller, I know it did, my eyes used to be bigger, and no I don’t mean my physical eyeballs shriveled up, I’m sure it has something to do with face shape and cartilage and redistributed fat patterns, and maybe some of that is also just the sort of tiny, unremarkable, yet cumulatively-noticeable changes that come with age, but hand to God I had bigger eyes before and I’ll never deny that, Winston under the oak tree. I’m not even on T right now, I’m taking a break and it’s going pretty well although I’ll probably hop back on at some point, and it’s not a big deal but it’s nice to be able to acknowledge, you can always decrease your dose with your doctor or take a break if that’s what you need and it’s fine, it’s allowed. But Julian, my eyes are smaller now, and I’ll strike down anyone who says different with the powerful lightning-core of truth that lives inside me.)
Anyhow, now that my hair is short, and sometimes quite short on the sides, like half an inch short, I don’t know a moment’s peace. I love it but I’m never happy. Transition made me like my hair better but I’m never happy about it now, either delirious or exhausted or paranoid but nothing in between. The moment I get a haircut, it’s simultaneously too short (my head looks like a leg that was badly-shaved two days ago and starting to sprout stubble) and already decaying, I can feel it growing untidily over my ears and they’re like my fingernails now – is it time for a trim? I trimmed it yesterday, is it time to trim again? Where’s my next haircut coming from? The last place was fine, but would a new place be better? Do I really need to pay $70 for what amounts to five minutes with the clippers, another five to tidy the top up with scissors, a few seconds of styling, and a blow-dried neck? (But it’s skilled labor in a big city!) I should look for another place. Keep moving. Each new haircut in a different salon. There’s always a better haircut lurking right around the corner. I could get a better haircut tomorrow. That last one was too full of cis men off-gassing impatience; that last one was all-women and she’d me relentlessly; the next one is going to feel like home, I’m sure of it. Do I have time for one today? Is fifteen minutes enough? I could go right now. Sorry, I didn’t catch that — I wasn’t listening, my hair was growing.
And it’s all the time, and it’s so exhausting, but I don’t just want to grow out my hair again, even though long-haired trans men are God’s own angels. Or maybe I do, but I don’t have what it takes to grow out the sides and get through the two- or three-years’ wilderness of what is your head doing to get there. I live here now. For the love of God, Montresor, cut my hair —