This might seem like an odd subject for our “World Without” series, but we’ve reached a point where we need to jump the shark. You know, like when The X-Files replaced Mulder and Scully, or when Fonzie literally jumped a shark on water skis. Plus, as I wrote this one, I realized it was pretty interesting.
So, without further nonsense, in a world without haircuts…
…Pantene Would’ve Produced “The Rings of Power”
In a world without haircuts, we’d have a lot more hair. And in a world with more hair, shampoo products would become even bigger than Silicon Valley tech giants. With their surplus income, I can imagine Pantene entering the streaming game with their own service: Pantene+ (just $7.99 a month, plus tax).
What’s the first IP they would adapt? Lord of the Rings, of course, because everybody has long, silky hair in Middle-Earth.
…Except Aragorn. His is kinda greasy.
…Edward Scissorhands Never Would’ve Found His Calling
Or maybe he’d put his scissorhands to different use. Why not circumcision?
…Wigs Would Become Obsolete
This would give my wife, Sara, and I quote, “extreme mixed feelings.” Let me explain.
According to Sara, French aristocrats of the 18th century used plaster to keep their big hair looking big. Apparently, this attracted rats who’d burrow inside the plaster while the aristocrats slept, inspiring the French to develop hairpins not for fashion, but for skewering nesting rodents.
This claim seems dubious to me, especially when Sara says they’d go about their days with dead rats rotting in their hair. There must be more to the story, but the ending always dissolves into unintelligible giggling. I’ll circle back if I ever hear the rest.
…My Hair Would Be Extremely Fluffy
My hair doesn’t grow down—it grows out. I’m fortunate that it grows at all, especially considering my grandpa began balding in his 20s, but headbanging to “Mars for the Rich” just isn’t the same when your hair has the approximate shape of a cream puff.
…I’d Have No Newsletter Subscribers
While we’re on the subject of my hair, I once sent a newsletter about it to all my subscribers. This was during the early days of the pandemic, so I, like many, hadn’t gotten a haircut in far too long.
My subscribers were not amused. In fact, 26 of them unsubscribed, which is a personal record.
Without haircuts, I’d probably send tons of newsletters about my crazy hair, losing more and more subscribers until I had none left. But hey, at least I’d save on my Mailchimp subscription.
…Scaling Towers Would Be Way Easier
Rapunzel’s hair is her calling card, but without haircuts, there would be a lot more Rapunzels. Hence the ease in tower-scaling.
…Long Nails Would Be the New Countercultural Statement
It was against the law to have fun in the 50s, so if you were a dude, society demanded you wear your hair short. That’s why the 60s countercultural movement embraced the flow. (For more information, I recommend the 1973 Who song “Cut My Hair.”)
However, long hair would be far more common in a world without haircuts. That’s why I think long nails would’ve become the new countercultural statement instead. “My nails are like my spirit, man: Dirty and untamed!”
…The World at Large Would Endure an Abject Tragedy
Aside from bellowing, cursing, and general lunacy, a hallmark of Nicolas Cage’s career has been his ever-changing hairstyles.
Compare the receding mullet of Con Air to the jet-black quasi-Pat Monahan spikes of Ghost Rider. And we can’t forget the California surfer flow of Season of the Witch. At a rough estimate, Cage’s unpredictable haircuts provide 28.9% of the fun of his performances, leaving the other 71.1% to the aforementioned lunacy. He’d still be great—just not as great. And if that’s not tragic, I don’t know what is.
…I Might’ve Avoided Not One, But Two Traumatic College Memories
I’m a bit of a cheapskate, so when my college chum Jason offered me a free haircut during our freshman year, I said, “Sure, buddy!” I should’ve asked for his credentials because, as it turned out, he had none.
I requested a cut like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Departed. What I got was Friar Tuck from Robin Hood. Jason kept clipping my sideburns, and, deciding they weren’t even, continued to clip them up and up and up until I no longer had any. He also left me nearly bald in the back, for reasons that remain unclear.
The result was so heinous I hid it beneath a hat for weeks on end. You’d think I might’ve learned something from the experience, but when senior year arrived, I asked my friend Erik to cut my hair next. In my defense, he cut his own and it looked good, so I figured he could do the same for me.
Again, I was mistaken. Erik took chunks from my scalp at random, making me resemble a head of broccoli nibbled by a rabbit. I still don’t understand how this happened. Sabotage, perhaps?
Whatever the explanation, in a world without haircuts, I might’ve been spared several weeks of people asking, “What happened to you?” (Also, this makes me think Ithaca College should offer a degree in hairstyling. Seems to be a common gap in our education.)
…The World Would Be Far Less Interesting
Haircuts are pretty important, I’d say, especially after writing this article. Good thing they’re still a thing.
Kyle A. Massa is a comic fantasy author living somewhere in upstate New York with his wife, their daughter, and three wild animals. His published works include three books and several short stories. When he’s not writing, he enjoys reading, running, and drinking coffee. You can read more from the “World Without” blog series here. And if you want to see a specific topic, email email@example.com.
Originally published at https://kyleamassa.com on April 16, 2023.