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From Hair To Eternity

Mike Johnson

While some people use clothing and makeup to enhance their appearance, community commentator, Mike Johnson, experiments with goofy hair styles. 

Mike Johnson is a graduate of UNCW and lives in Leland with his wife and two young children. His spare time is spent writing and brushing his magnificent mane.

If you would like to become a community commentator, review our submission guidelines at W-H-Q-R-dot-ORG-slash-community commentary.

WHQR Commentaries don't necessarily reflect the views of WHQR Radio, its editorial staff, or its members.


     Self-image is a funny thing. It can change daily and fluctuates depending upon your wardrobe, complexion, sleep habits, social trends, the salt content of your food and countless other variables. One day you feel attractive; the next, you’re a cow with a zit.

 A good way to elevate a sagging self-image is to alter the way you look. I’m not a fashionista and makeup is out of the question. So, what else do I have to work with? I have my hair.

So I decided to experiment with different hair styles, and really, what better way to jolt your self-image? Before then, my hair style was achieved by towel drying it after a shower and shoving the damp hair into various acceptable directions. It took almost no time or thought. This may have been a subconscious reaction to my early teens, an era when I sported a soft feathery helmet complemented by a perm-mullet. When you experience such laughable extravagance at an early age, you spend the rest of your life fighting the shame. So I repented by doing close to nothing to my hair.

For my recent experiment, I changed hair styles every day. I went from Justin Bieber, to a character known as Slick Goob, to Pat Riley, and finally to a style inspired by The Jersey Shore. All I had to pull off these transformations was a brush, some unused styling gel, my wife’s hair spray and a toddler’s sense of how to style hair. With each passing day, I became alarmed at how much time it took to get my hair “right” in front of the mirror. What started as a goof became a lesson in vanity and dedication. I thought about my hair all day. I would reach up and touch it, amazed at how stiff and crunchy it was. I noticed that no matter which style I sported, by 2 P.M. my hair became a bouffant since its natural tendency is to grow upwards.

For the first few days, I hid in my cubicle to avoid the sting of embarrassment and the need to explain the dubious reasoning behind my new look. I felt people looking at me differently, even complete strangers. I could feel them thinking, What’s up with that guy? And I would grin and lower my curiously-coiffed head at the same time. The experiment was challenging my notions of self and the byproduct was near-constant emotional discomfort.

Image is everything, they say. A person’s self-image is rooted deep into his or her psychology and only drastic restructuring can change it forever. It’s no wonder that so many individuals embrace plastic surgery and endure physical transformations big and small to find a workable emotional state. So next time you’re feeling blah, pick up the hair brush and and break out your inner Bieber.