haircuts 4 less

May 30th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Did you ever feel like you couldn’t stand your hair for one more second, that you just had to buzz it all off? This afternoon I asked my neighbor if I could borrow her clippers. She said sure, but why don’t you sleep on it. Please sleep on it. I said well, maybe, but give me the clippers. Then Holly came home and suggested that I sleep on it. I said, no, I really want to do this. Then she grabbed the clippers and ran around the house with them and hid them somewhere. I promised her that I was just going to use the #4 blade, which wouldn’t cut very much off. She said okay, and showed me where the clippers were.

58 Responses to “haircuts 4 less”

  1. Looks great. But most important, if it feels great, kudos. I always feem empowered with less hair.

  2. kate the kid says:

    wow. i remember doing that once…actually more than once, but now my hair is *very* long for me, i do not think it has even been this long, maybe six-inches past my sholders…want it gone often, but haven’t had the guts recently…gonna wait until after i have a job (hehehe)and then it will likely go short again. be sure to use sunblock on that naked scalp for a bit…sunburn hurts on your head! enjoy and peace.

  3. kate the kid says:

    btw…i could hear NO sound, wish i could have heard what holly was saying as you changed the blade-guards.

  4. Andrea says:

    Sometimes I trim my bangs with my dull, pathetic desk scissors at work.

  5. Riotllama says:

    It just feels so good to cut it all off sometimes doesn’t it? Like you’re trimming the winter away. I’m trying to grow mine out right now and it feels like a fluffy 80’s Michael J Fox kinda mess. It’s so hard not to reach for the clippers. I thought maybe watching you would satisfy the urge in a vicarious sort of way, but it just made me want to go borrow a set. Good thing it’s 2:30 in the morning and no-one else in my house is awake.

  6. LW says:

    Polly: What the heck were you thinking when you gave her the keys to the car?
    I hope you two have good insurance.
    heart your work but not the haircut,

  7. phredd says:

    I just cut my partner’s hair for her this morning. She made me use the 1″ clipper guide, but sometimes she’ll have me buzz her and she looks great like that.

  8. Acilius says:

    Strangely apt for Memorial Day…

  9. sylvia says:

    your smile’s like a little girl. love your works

  10. Fester Bestertester says:


    In one of the strips Lois mentions “shaving videos” and since then I’ve been curious about seeing one, but, I guess, somehow I’d always imagined something more intense.

    Oh well, live and learn…

  11. Heidi says:

    My hair has just about reached the bottom of my neck, the longest it’s been in several years, and I’m liking it. But I do understand the urge to just get rid of it. I usually cut my own, and it tends to happen late at night on the weekends.

    My wife was saying the other night that she’d like to cut her hair really short, which she has never done, but we agreed she should wait. She’s looking for a job, and unfair as it is, a radical haircut could hurt her chances at some of the things she’d like to do.

  12. Ruth in RI says:

    Well, thank God you weren’t using garden clippers, which is what I thought before I watched the video.

  13. maxine says:

    Excellent decision Alison!

    I have to put on my hair artist hat and clarify, that was the number 4 guard. The number 4 blade is an entirely different animal.

    I buzzed mine off in November, first time ever that short, and it is indeed totally liberating. It’s just hair…

  14. Kate L says:

    Recently, I found a men’s barber shop that cuts my hair the way I like it. However, the last time I wore it this short, it had an uninetended consequence (the man who sexually assaulted me five years ago seemed to think that my short hair was some sort of provocation). Sorry! I hadn’t intended to go there, but the anniversary of that event is next week.

  15. Kate L says:

    On a much lighter note, I have a friend who calls haircuts like these “lesbian haircut # 3” or “lesbian haircut #24”, or some other randomly-selected number!

  16. Bechadelic1 says:

    Loved it! And you must feel sooo freeee. Wish I had the guts to do that.

    The way you ended your post, I think all of us were absolutely certain about what we were going to see in the video, LOL. It was sort of cathartic to watch.

    @ Kate L # 14: Sexual assault? I’m so sorry to hear that Kate. The scars of any kind of abuse go so much deeper than the physical. I hope this one heals over completely, at some point.

  17. Marj says:

    Beautiful, beautiful, thick, dark hair – you look like a mole! How come you’ve got no greys? And how did you acquire that little scar?

    I had this done once; first it was liberating, but then it was boring. That was nearly 30 years ago, I haven’t cut it since.

    Kate L, strength to you.

  18. kate says:

    omg I thought I was the only one that got possessed that way…. I never know when I’m going to wake up and feel the need to buzz it all off … and I don’t tell my girlfriend till after I’ve done it …

  19. Kate L. I’m honored to be entrusted with your anniversary. I know what it means to break silence and am glad to see you loving yourself that way. If you give us a date, I’d like ti burn a candle that day to send you love.

  20. Kate L says:

    Thanks, all. 🙂 I’m actually much better than I was right after it happened. I started working at the campus Women’s Center at about that time, and that was the only source of support that I had back then. Now, thanks to the DTWOF gang, I have even more! 🙂

    Maggie… thanks! 🙂 it was June 5, 2005.

  21. Kate L, thanks for telling us what’s going on for you. I’m so sorry that happened. And I’m very glad you found that barber.

  22. makky says:


  23. Kate L says:

    makky, all,

    Please don’t worry about me, I survived! Never thought it would happen to me, though. How many others have said that, I wonder. It’s still weird, sometimes. I was watching a Law & Order Special Victims Unit re-run over the weekend, and I heard the character of Olivia Benson say things about her assault in therapy that could have come out of my mouth. But I’m ok. I’m the very same person who has been posting here for some time; you just know a little bit more about me, now.

  24. Kat says:

    Kate L, I’ll be thinking of you this week.

    Boyfriend walked into the room while I watched this video….He heard the audio before he saw my computer screen, and wondered what the hell I was watching! Teehee…..

    I’ve cut my own hair a few times, but much longer than Alison’s. The beauty of curly hair is that it hides any number of terrible cuts.

  25. Dr. Empirical says:

    I considered doing the same thing when I took the corporate job and had to cut my glorious shoulder-length locks. Instead I went to Supercuts and told them “Make me look like a mindless corporate drone.”

    Kate L, Power to You.

  26. Eva says:

    Love me some spontaneous hair cutting! I cut my longer than shoulder length hair last spring to maybe two inches all around, and it felt great. Haven’t had the buzz cut since…1988. It was as short as Alison’s is now, and it was scary for maybe half an hour and then fantastic! I’ve kept my hair relatively short since that big jump last spring…but I’m letting it grow a bit, so now it’s 4 or 5 inches all the way around, and curly as all get out. Happy hair y’all!

  27. Ian says:

    Anyone else remember that long-ago DTWOF strip where Mo is deprived of sex for a looooooong time?

  28. Antoinette says:

    I cut my own hair, but wish I had the nerve to buzz it. My head is sort of pointy-looking.

    One of my favorite things is petting my s/o’s hair when it’s freshly clippered. It feels like extra-soft velvet.

  29. ksbel6 says:

    I’ve had my hair buzzed that short twice. Once was to get rid of the oh so cool Batman symbol that an art friend shaved into my very dark hair before a family event that was better for me to show up with a shaved head than the Batman symbol. The second was about 2 days after giving birth to my daughter. That was 13 years ago. I’m due.

  30. Duncan says:

    This reminds me of an “unfortunate haircut” that Mo underwent, early in the days of the strip.

  31. Calico says:

    Here’s a haircut funny – I hope no one here takes offense – I’m a lesbian and I thought this was really cute:
    (Mo Collins is the woman who recommends the shop)

  32. Alex K says:

    Trop de zele. Shoulda stayed with the four, innit…

    Mind you, I enjoy my own two-and-one, but it does feel chilly walking out of the hairdresser’s afterward. This is England, where we are lucky to clear 50 degrees on the first of June. Sodding weather.

  33. Ian says:

    @Alex K: You are such a wuss – I buzzed mine (albeit a No. 2 all over, no tapering) 3 weeks ago! Of course I now look like Grant Mitchell unfortunately (UK soap character you really don’t want to know about).

  34. Alex K says:

    @32 / Ian: I glory in my wussy shame.

    And I know PERFECTLY WELL who Grant Mitchell is. Tsk! GERROU’ A MY PUB ! ! !

  35. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Kate L, June 5 will see a lot of candles lit for you.

    I just got a haircut today, but very tame compared to the buzz AB gave herself with some help. No animals were harmed in the making of this haircut, nor was any bacon involved. It’s still wussy.

  36. Marj says:

    Calico #31: Aaagh! Mullets!

  37. Ian says:

    @Alex K(34): I knew you’d know perfectly well who Grant Mitchell is/was. I was attempting, badly, to explain who he is to the non-British readers.

  38. Dweeb says:

    I learned the hard way that if there are “lines” in your hair when using clippers, it means you should have oiled them first. There should have been some oil in the kit. Lacking that, in a pinch I’ve used a quick blast of WD-40 on the blades. It’s a learning process.

  39. Mercy says:

    I did more or less this last summer. I got my husband to take his beard trimmer to my hair after 22 years of growing it out from an actually disastrous haircut and trying to make it look less like my hair (more straight, less frizzy, etc.). Two weeks later, I had him do it again, shorter, and a month later shorter still. Now it’s a regular thing, I cut his hair (with scissors, it’s too fine for the trimmer) and he cuts mine to about half-an-inch with the trimmer.

    (that reminds me, I’m overdue for a trim.)

  40. Calico says:

    I totally need a haircut…need about 6 inches, maybe a bit more, taken off, esp. with the warm weather we’ve been having.
    Shoulder-length works for me!

  41. Cyn Stern says:

    I’ve been cutting my own hair for a very long time, although the method that I use is suitable ONLY for a medium-to-longish shag ‘do. About 40 years ago, “Glamour” magazine ran instructions on a one-snip cut using a rubber band. One bends over from the waist, gathering ones hair evenly in a rubber band at the forehead. (The exact placement of the rubber band is crucial to ones resulting bangs length.) Sometimes I’ll do a second cut, with the rubber band placed at the nape of my neck, if I want it shorter in back.

  42. Stephen Gordon says:

    You look beautiful.

    Mullets are evil.

    Long, thick hair is my preference, although 100 strokes/night is sometimes annoying, as is getting all of the shampoo out of it in the shower.

  43. Suzanonymous says:

    There seems to be an element of speed in this urge people are having. I’ve been cutting my hair for many years, but I know it’s always going to take 45+ minutes — still a time savings over the trip to and from the hair place, not to mention money savings. I just did this yesterday by coincidence. But it’s still longer than the length AB’s is at the start of the video (about 2″ long all around).

    I, too, want to know about the scar’s origin.

    Best to Kate L. And to all here in general.

  44. RachelB says:

    It has been a long time since I buzzed my hair, but I remember the ear guards tickling.

  45. chriso says:

    You look great with a variety of haircuts, Alison. But if you’re ever in San Francisco and in desperate need of a chop I would gladly do the honors so you don’t have to! 🙂

  46. butchysmurf says:

    My friend Cin-D, 47, and her niece, 12, each have collections of mullet photos on their phones. Some of the mullet-sporters have fantastic hair. Not all mullets are evil.
    Buzz cuts have a sharpening, cleaning effect on the wearers. It makes them seem exposed in a powerful way. Perhaps this video might inspire my mullet collectors to branch out.

  47. Cori says:

    Great video: Birds singing and lesbians cutting their hair in the cool green outdoors!

    I have to be careful about hair length: The combination of babyfine hair and asymmetrical cowlicks can make me look like Dennis the Menace.

    I’ll be lighting a candle in a few days too…

  48. NLC says:

    This is a bit off-topic, but I have a purely linguistic question, and I’d be interested in hearing what this group has to say.

    Specifically, the use of “lesbian” as a noun/vs/adjective when referring to an individual.

    This came up while I was reading an article in which the author used the sentence:
    “Susan is lesbian.”
    whereas, I guess, I would have expected:
    “Susan is a lesbian.”

    Clearly “lesbian” is commonly used as both a noun and as an adjective (witness discussions above on “lesbian haircuts”, etc) but, while it’s not really a big deal, the author’s phrase in this context just bumped against my ear.

    Does this sound strange to other readers? If not, would you consider this a common usage? Or, am I just betraying my ignorance of such things?

    For that matter, do you detect any difference in the meaning of the two sentences above?

    (Perhaps, given the author, might this be a britishism?)

  49. --MC says:

    NLC @ 48, this isn’t helpful but after reading your post I have “Suzie Is A Headbanger” by the Ramones in my head, with lyric changes.

    Susan is a lesbian, her mother is a geek ..

  50. Elaine says:

    Oh yea, brings back happy memories 🙂

    had mine done this week although fairly conventionally (ie at a salon) Just as the stylist finished with me her manager came up behind & said “Your hair just gets shorter & shorter every time you come here” hmm, some ppl are just quick on the uptake eh?!

  51. Jan says:

    I cut my bangs with the scissors on my Swiss Army knife a couple decades ago. It was a mistake. So was doing it right before I had my driver’s license photo taken.

  52. meg says:

    I’ve done my own hair for years now; the last time I had it cut by someone else, I was in Armenia.

    And I’ve had more than my share of bad haircuts (done by myself and people I paid to cut my hair – the latter was far worse, since it *cost*). Plus the dye mistakes… the blue was intentional, the bright orange was NOT.

    and it always grows. 🙂

  53. MidSouthMouth says:


    I’m femme-of-center and Black, and although I like to think I’m edgy, I really wouldn’t go for the totally-buzzed look because a) my face is pudgy and it would make my head look small b) my hair takes years to grow out again!

    However, when my salt-n-pepper partner buzzes, I cannot resist the urge to touch her head!

  54. mcp says:

    I’m doing chemotherapy this summer, and about half my hair fell out early on. Rather than pretend it wasn’t happening, I got it buzzed right down to the skin. My 20something son said I look like Bunsen Honeydew.

    Wigs are not really on my radar, and complicated scarf/wraps are surprisingly hot. I mostly wear bandannas in bright colors and a careful selection of baseball caps, from Top Gear and Miyazaki’s Totoro.

    But I find that down to the skin actually feels great … it’s like having a new sensory organ. I feel temperature and air currents much more intensely, and stroking the slightly grown-out fuzz is amazing.

    Too much information?

  55. LondonBoy says:

    Heh, I feel a poem coming on…

    “Susan is a lesbian, her mother is a geek,
    They hit the clubs together,
    Maybe once or twice a week.
    Susan always picks up girls, her mother never scores,
    She’s not so unattractive,
    But her conversation bores.”


  56. misnomer says:

    I’ve been cutting my own hair for years. I started much like you did here.. but inside. If I can set up sufficient mirrors I may take it outside, that’s a great idea! It’s time to invest in your own clippers, there is no going back now.

  57. Peter VE says:

    I’ve been wanting to do that for years, but my wife threatens me with bodily harm.
    My top of the head scar came when a friend dropped a hammer on my head whilst we were building a tree fort when I was about 10.