My “Get Shit Done Bun” or, Why I Will Never Cut My Hair Off

I am very sensitive to hot weather. I get overheated a lot more quickly than the average person, and I get dizzy, sluggish, and irritable when this happens.

I also have been blessed with long, thick, wavy hair.

I love my hair, but I hate it in the summer. It gets stuck to my neck, heats up the area around my ears and face, and makes me even more uncomfortable than I already am. To keep the hair out off of my neck, I tend to put it up in what I like to call my “power bun,” or what one of my roommates calls my “get shit done bun.” During the summer, just one second outside in the 90 degree weather can call for my “get shit done bun” to make an appearance.

This bun is not for aesthetic purposes. I rarely use a mirror when I put my hair up, so I never know how my bun looks. Most people tend to place their messy buns near the back of their heads or at the nape of their necks. My bun is placed right at the top of my head, for optimal neck-cooling purposes. Sometimes it flops forward above my forehead, simply because of the laws of gravity. I don’t tame flyaway pieces with bobby pins, mostly because bobby pins don’t stay put in my hair and, when they do, they get stuck in its knotty strands. Sometimes entire chunks are missing or are coming out of the hair tie, siting at the back of my neck instead of wrapped up in the bun. I probably get strange looks when I have my hair up like this, but it’s what is the most comfortable for me, so I keep it in.

I don’t only utilize the “get shit done bun” during the summer, though that is the season when it makes the most appearances. I bring it out at hot parties, or even when I am cooking over a hot stove.

Of course, if I care this much about my hair in the heat, one must ask why I don’t simply chop it off. And there’s the problem: I love my hair too much to cut it. My hair is probably my favorite aspect of my physical appearance. I love running my hands through it, twirling it around my fingers, and feeling it swish back and forth across my back. I only cut it once or twice a year, and I spend a good day or two after a big chop sulking around, mourning what I have lost.

When I was five, my mother made the executive decision to chop my hair off so that I could stay cooler in the summer. I wore a bob for a few months, and that was the shortest my hair has ever been. My mother has continuously endeavored to maintain this control over my hair as I have grown up. We go to the same hairdresser, though my mother goes much more often than I do. On the rare chance that she convinces me that I need to get my hair cut, she will go to the hairdresser a few weeks before and warn her, something along the lines of: “My daughter is coming in soon. She’s going to say that she only wants four inches cut off, but make it six.”

That being said, I know that my mother would never force me to make any drastic changes to my hair if I don’t want to. (With hair my length, even six inches is not that much of a difference!) She has worn her hair short her entire life, but says that if her hair were long, it would look just like mine.

I would much rather keep my hair in a bun during the summer months than chop it off to stay cool. And that is never going to change.


Image credits: Jessica Berger, Ian Thomas