“Who knows,” he said “I might grow it long again some day”. After years of long, pony-tail length hair, Nick now cuts his hair with clippers – no guard. “Yeah,” I respond “but then you’ll dreadlock it, right?”
We got quiet for awhile. I wanted to tell him that if he were to grow his hair longer and dreadlock it, that I’d recommend he wait until we’re out of the corporate world. Dreadlocks in the corporate world are a constant conflict between the carefree, low-maintenance idea of dreadlocks and the ever-present need to make them look neat and tidy for the office environment – and the work that comes with it.
But I didn’t tell him this. Corporate hippy has become my persona. Dreadlocks and facial piercings are my ‘fuck you’ to corporate society. The look I carry requires confidence.
But lately, I feel like I’m loosing that confidence. Some days, I look at myself in the mirror and think, “god, you look like a lazy slob” or “these just look ridiculous”. I’ve been thinking, if I didn’t have to go to an office, if I didn’t have to wear kakhi pants and unwrinkled shirts to present the right appearance every day, I could let my dreads go, and not worry about how they look. They could be that low-maintenance hair that I’ve been longing for. But instead, I have the most high-maintenance hair style I’ve ever had ..
Some days, I just want to cut them off. Once or twice, I’ve seriously considered it.
But I need to remind myself, that being a hippy is not just about simplicity and being minimalistic. Hippys also stand up for what they believe in. And what I believe in is this: It doesn’t matter what I look like or what clothes I wear. Extra metal in my face and frizzy hair does not have any affect on my ability to do my job. Traditionally, hippys are against big-business and ‘working for the man’ .. But its been 40 years since traditional hippys fought their fight. My hippy movement empowers me to ‘work for the man’ without becoming the man. And to me, that is what’s most important.