I’m not saying who, but someone wasn’t taking care of their hair. I’m not pointing fingers, but they thought that long hair would be easier than having to go to a hair salon twice a month to have it cut. I’m not here to place the blame, but someone thought that “out of sight, out of mind” meant that if they couldn’t see what was in the back of their head, the problem would just go away.

Here is the thing about knots: they grow. Even if a knot is tied, put in a box and abandoned for a year, when someone unlocks that dusty box, they would wonder: “was that knot really that messy when I locked it away?” “I could have sworn there wasn’t that much string…” And when on the road—with fierce winds and tight quarters—knots compound. Without brushing to maintain control, chaos reigns.

There was a rat king in the back of my drivers head. Dread locks are the groomed version of what had amassed over two and a half years of free range hair farming. Technically, this hair could be long enough to donate to Locks of Love or some other charity—making wigs for children with cancer. But even a charity has its limits. It exists to make wigs, not tease out tangles. A hair salon also wants nothing to do with resolving this follicle thicket. There were two options: just cut it off and throw it away or untangle it myself.

I bought oils. I bought conditioners. I laid out all the different sized brushes and combs I could track down. As a final resort, I placed a pair of scissors in front of the hair-monster’s host. Too much complaining, and I would just cut all the hair off and be done with it. With the stage set, it was time to begin.

It took three days to untangle the hair.

Day 1

On the night I started, I spent over an hour testing the lay of the land and experimenting on a few tenacious knots. I washed the hair, rubbing in oils and conditioners. I plucked at errant hairs with the delicacy and determination of a cellist. But it got late, and we got tired. We would try again tomorrow.

Day 2

The next night, I started with the low hanging fruit. I picked at one small tangle of hair at a time with a fine toothed comb. It took me three hours to comb out the majority of the hair. What I had successfully untangled, I braided and tied off. They would not return to knots in the night. I gave up on one knot and cut it. Another, I left for the next day.

Day 3

The third day was the day of reckoning. I eyed the final knot. Was it even worth trying? Yet, believing that every hair deserves a second chance, I picked up my comb and went to work.

In the end, I finally accomplished a proper man bun.

Lexi lives in a truck camper down by the river.

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