Monday, July 02, 2007

Midnight Haircuts of Yesteryore

Hey kids! It's first-grade Midnight Shoveler. By popular demand, I've decided to dig a little into old photos to show the many transformations of Midnight Shoveler's hair since...birth. Well, almost birth. And along the way we get to see the changes in American culture , like, in the change from 'scrunchies' to 'no scrunchies'. It's pretty revolutionary. So hang onto your mouse buttons, kids, this could be a long post.
We'll start with the very beginning. This is me, circa first grade! Note the lovely hairdo which emphasizes that my face has yet to expand to the rest of the front of my head- I think it shows how big my brain must have been. A stylish cut, I must say, for not having a choice in the matter.
The gray striped shirt is around my eleventh year. I discovered 'the part', which is big news for an 11-year old. School photographers also discovered the ladder as the pre-eminent prop on school photo sets. I kind of want this haircut again.

My teenage years entered a long era of neo-hippiedom. I loved the tie-dye. I embraced all that is wonderfully New Age. I started to grow my hair long and wear lots of great retro items, like bellbottoms and a necklace with a holographic eyeball on it. I had the power to seem like I knew what it was like in the 1960's though I had little clue. Unfortunately, in the process of staking my own claim into my own hairstyles, I allowed my mother to have a say on one last haircut, which apparently gets its inspiration from either Swedish milkmaids or by placing a colander on one's head and then trimming all around. Don't forget really awkward bangs, either. But I think in this photo I was really excited about this flower arranging book I just got at a sweet bargain, so I'm showing it off in front of the local five-and-dime. A few years later, the hair is starting to grow, and I have one of the best mullets I have ever seen.
Seriously, I think this is one of the best pictures ever taken of me. If I had this much hair again, I'd probably have this haircut, because I could have the shaggy confidence to pull it off. Back in 1997, though, I was unawares at how many cool Scandinavians would be wearing my haircut a decade later! Here I'm just babysitting (note the pudgy baby). I also am wearing a delicious gold brocade vest without a shirt on underneath and canvas moccasins. Hot.
Okay, this time around, I'd skip out on the moccasins and the jean shorts. I'm just sayin'.

This picture's a little tippy, but it shows teenage me at equal-length long hair before it got really long. I like this length on me, and should have stopped when I had a good thing going.
It reminds me of some angsty teens who have good guitar skills and you know that down the road they'll do something interesting with their life. But for now, they just brood a lot. I wasn't that angsty, but I sure wanted to be.

Senior high school photos!

Rockin' out with the longest hair I've ever had, partying like it's 1999. I took some of the poses from art photography, but some, like 'Tiger in the Woods' type photo, were sort of improv. The theme of senior year was that I have some pretty cool shirts and my hair was too long, but I'm a better person now because of it. And I always keep my hair clean.

As college arrived, my hair went for a hike, and I came into the 'wings' period. I generally like this hair for its 1970's qualities. And its sheer abundance, which I now lack.

From then on, my hair sort of changes every few months, with several home-made haircuts and let-grow-outs of varied success. I went from a 'Farrah Fawcett' to a 'gay ninja' (complete with safety pins) to a 'Rufus Wainwright' to a quasi emo look with a scruffy beard within a year. This is also the first emergence of the facial hair for Midnight.

Of course, there was that one crazy night in college that I was a piano-playing drag queen with a platinum bob, but that was nothing compared to my freshman year roommate's hair.
There was also about five minutes where my hair stood straight on end.
I look pretty rough and tough here, n'est pas? Like I could rock-and-roll your face right off. That short phase didn't last long either. But the goatee did.
These hairstyles revolved a bit but pretty much stayed the same for several years, as my hairline gradually recedes and all the hairs I lose from my head get transplanted to my back. But I do think I will make a fairly stylish bald man, and I can wear a short beard pretty nicely, so I'm not too worried about the day that I run out of my warehouse supply of Rogaine.
In the recent past, bringing us up to present, I've had black hair:
And a sort of faux-hawk, which I cut myself:
And most recently, I've just been enjoying a 'do it up, do it down' kind of ease, especially good in hot summers.
I miss having thicker, non-receding hair. I feel like my hair is a part of my personality, like a good pair of glasses or a unique watch. But I know that no matter if I have blue hair or two-foot long hair, I'll probably still be friends with the same great people who don't feel afraid to tell me if I've missed a spot on the back of my head that I couldn't see to trim. If I could get a hair phase back for just a day, I think I'd ask the Hair Gods for circa 1998, when I could have put birds' nests in my long hair and braided it all crazy, but I was too shy then to try. One can only be so daring when there are gym class bullies around. Then again, maybe I'll soon be fed up with shampoo and I'll enjoy waking up with a freshly-shaved head, moisturized with baby oil, and all I need to do to wash it is slap a paper towel across my noggin', and I'm out the door. I'll probably be on my way to look into wearing hats. I hear hats are the new hair.

Photo credit where credit is due: the Hall household, Kate Casolaro, Jaime Gullotti, Erik Reuter. All images copyright 2007 Nathan Hall/Midnight Shoveler.


kh said...

ever beautiful, ever unique. hugs!

(and you totally stole my idea! i have an album on facebook called "the evolution of a hairdo")

Amy said...


You've had more hair incarnations than anybody! And this post is awesome. Just when I thought your hair was pretty long, it got longer. And then it turned black. Not to mention the "rock your face off" phase. Oh man!

But I definitely think you and your hair look the best now out of any of your previous hair eras. (Hairas?) That last picture of you is really good!

Midnight said...

I'm so glad you like it!

Panda Brigade said...

This is my most favoritest post ever, not just because you used my photo, but because I love you and all your bobs, wings, shags, hawks (faux and otherwise) and yes even the platinum wig. I also enjoy being able to say I knew you back when you had long hair. I can't wait for the shaved chapter in your hair-story. Bald is beautiful.

Andy said...

Suddenly I'm whisked back to freshman move in day where I panicked over not having my ID card and the kindly guy with winged hair told me to relax.

I'd be tempted to do a similar retrospective with myself, except the only change would be that time in 2003 when I decided to start combing my bangs down.

melissa said...

oh this is amazing! strange how i met you when you around age 11 or perhaps before (via piano lessons with mr. palcic) and yet i don't remember you with that hairstyle at all. every memory i have of you prior to college involves you having long hair. i think this post has inspired me to share my "fashion crimes of the past" photo album with you. i'll reassemble it and next time you're over you can check it out.

Kate said...

What a walk down memory lane! I'm in silent hysterics here trying not to draw attention to myself as I read in the office. You know, the first moment I saw you the first thing I noticed was your braided long hair in which you wore a flower and I thought "I want to be friends with that guy!" Little did I know what I was in store it all!

Jess said...

moral of the story: it's okay to put your baby in a box and trust it to the guy with the awesome mullet. Who knew?