This week after an extra eventful hair washing experience that I’m confident serenaded the entire neighborhood with your displeasure, I decided the time had come and you were going to get your third haircut in 7+ years.
I know it’s hard to believe you’ve only had three haircuts in your life, but our lack of hair maintenance for you isn’t because we don’t enjoy a healthy dose of being screamed at filling ourselves, it’s more the anxiety caused by using sharp scissors on a moving target – YOU! I mean clearly, that’s every parent’s dream evening, right?!
Blessing or a curse, your hair grows at an alarming rate. As a side note, I wish I had this problem, but seriously, trying to do your hair isn’t exactly the easiest task at hand. Most days it just gets twisted up into what we lovingly refer to as “the Tio flip”. Where’d that name come from? Well, your school teacher Ms. Tio has the most gorgeous long, red hair that she beautifully flips up on top of her head. While the flip looks adorable on you it’s secretly hiding a hot mess in the middle of it! For the record, Ms. Tio’s hair is hiding nothing I’ve seen her pull it down and it moves like it’s a Pantene commercial - literally straight out of being pulled from a rubber band! Clearly, she knows how to brush her hair appropriately and independently, and hers isn’t anywhere close to being as sweaty and windblown from swinging all day in the backyard, adorned with taco meat and yogurt stickiness. But hey if it ever was, we wouldn’t judge.
She also probably owns a more functional brush for detangling knots. Your favorite brush is literally the oldest bristle brush we own. It’s only your favorite because the bristles are so incredibly worn down it doesn’t even make it all the way through your hair, let alone anywhere near touching your scalp – well played Ad. It just ends up pushing knots around creating a larger, more matted mess for us to tend to.
Here’s the thing Ad your annoyance and anger toward hair washing, brushing, and cutting isn’t necessarily from a tactile sensory issue, its actually an auditory issue, but they go hand in hand.
With your Sensory Processing Disorder, the hypersensitivity of your auditory system makes you hear the sound of our fingers scrubbing your scalp, or the bristles of a brush stroking your hair at a whole new level, right up there with what nails on a chalkboard would sound like to most. Now add scissors snipping your hair so close to ears – it’s like a straight-up horror flick for you. Insert fight or flight.
We’ve tried everything to ease this process from fancy brushes and combs, to leave in conditioners and detanglers. Unfortunately, there’s no magic answer and with no motivation on your part, because you couldn’t actually care less about how your hair looks, all we can do is wait and give natural desensitization time.
The answer to all this you may ask?
Welcome to Salon Menzo. That’s right Ad, a home haircut done by your lack of any hair cutting knowledge parents – let’s do this!
Your last visit to Salon Menzo was back in April 2017. Being the Uber of salon services for you, it was then we set up shop in a hotel room on Marco Island with a cheap pair of (insert the cringe for any salon stylist or barbers) CVS scissors. Not to be outdone, this time we set up shop in our main floor bathroom with none other than Clara’s craft scissors – where do all my nice scissors go? My guess is probably the same place as the socks and hair ties. It’ll feel like Christmas when I find this hidden lair of missing goods, or maybe like an episode of hoarders…
Ok where were we, ah yes.
For whatever reason the past few weeks your tolerance level for any of your usual auditory distresses has been at an all-time low, so I knew going into this was going to be exceptionally challenging.
Not being our first rodeo, we’ve learned that this is not a one-person job with you either. It requires a distractor - that’s me, and an expert, eagle-eyed stylist - that’s daddy (he’s the jack of all trades I swear.) Don’t be fooled by his lack of long locks, he is the best at cutting hair around here!
With a deep breath by mommy and daddy, we were ready. You? Not so much.
From the first sight of those scissors, to the brushing and cutting, just as we suspected you hated every second of it.
Trying your very best to manage the sounds coming at you by firmly plugging your ears.
It was a straight up “Salon Edition” of American Ninja Warriors, but we got it done. Daddy managed to cut roughly 5 inches off giving you a beautiful new cut in a matter of about 4 minutes.
He’s amazing. Being the “distractor”, I got a front row seat to this experience, witnessing your face showing every ounce of anxiety, stress and then relief and joy when it was all over. But In addition to all that, I also saw a father who loves his daughter with all his heart and after a long day at work jumps in wherever needed without question. It’s in these moments that my mind starts to wander, and I’m reminded that this literally is our life now. You see Ad, your self-care needs with only continue to grow more complex the older you get, but we promise you we will do whatever we need to help you in any way. One Team, One Dream - always.
So, this week was a tough one and presented one of your least favorite auditory activities, but you managed and got through it.
No more knots. All smiles because it’s over, and a beautiful new haircut to show for it.
We did it Ad. Phew.
Love you always,