My son has inherited my ginger hair – and an antipathy to having it cut | Séamas O’Reilly

A trip to a child-friendly hairdressers ends in tears – for us both

For some time, we’ve known we’d have to do something about my son’s hair. It’s never been cut and is so long that it constantly gets in his eyes, and is almost constantly striped with foodstuffs, bodily disjecta and miscellaneous muck.

I have friends who cut their kids’ hair but I could never do that to him. I’m fairly sure some of my earliest cuts were done by whichever among my overzealous siblings had access to a pudding bowl. As a result, there exist no presentable photographs of my hair as a child. My teen years of spikes and curtains were worse, although these have luckily been obscured by the fact that my later school photos coincided with my father’s interest in digital photography, during which he eschewed expensive, professional shots in favour of taking his own with an early DLR camera. This was cheaper, but as our eyes have become attuned to the ever-increasing fidelity of high-resolution imagery, everyone else’s portraits have remained the same as before, whereas I look like a blurry, 4-pixel image blown up from a CCTV screen in a Bourne movie, waiting for a CIA commander to say, ‘Enhance.’ For the sake of my own self-image, it is a small mercy.

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