My Life In Haircuts – Elizabeth Bastos

This one was called “Badger Hair”



I came into this world with a fabulous head of straight black hair. It was barely apparent to me; I could focus on no object other than my mother’s breast that was all the time inches from my head. The things I could have done with my hair make me want to bite my knuckle (a breast substitute).


The glory that crowned me was greatly dimmed by my first haircut, in 1975. At that young age I could say some words, including, incredibly, “for the love of God, woman, don’t give me a bowl cut,” but she did anyway.


There is great value to a sweatshirt with a hood that draws in tight.


A hooded sweatshirt is still valued, and unlike the high school one that said, “Smiths” this one says “Smith: A Century of Women on Top” and, oh, by the way, I want to be a Marine Biologist.

Graduate School

I write a 40-page thesis on Museum Wayfinding Devices. Some of my hairs turn gray and find their way down the shower train, unassisted.  My boyfriend leaves me for a woman named Gail who has a mane that is, like, “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful.”

I bite my knuckles continuously for three months until finally, a friend suggests bangs.

Early Middle Age

Drawn to men with hair power and the glossy black locks that curl like the wool of a sheep and with my biological clock ticking, I invest in Latin dance lessons and within minutes I would like to introduce you to my husband. 

My hair looks the best it ever has because, of course, I am pregnant.

The Current Cut

My hair sits on my forehead like a mare’s forelock; I am that exhausted mother you see driving around in a beat-up old Toyota, appearing at ballet class late, without makeup, in a strange ensemble pulled together in the dark, before the sun rose, and with the kids covered in Cheerios, howling for juice boxes, and not one of them yet in their tutu.

So I rely on hats, scarves, headbands and distractingly large earrings. And whatever El Andre wants to do to create “movement,” “swing” and “texture,” I let him.

Elizabeth Bastos is a SAHM of two under five. She used to work in corporate and foundation relations, and before that, as a writer for the Museum of Science, Boston. Now she moonlights, writing, and in her free time, she cooks complicated French pastries to tempt her children into doing what she asks. In April, her new food column will be on the menu at FnS.


  1. Elizabeth: this one here was fantastic. Piqued my interest enough to go to your blog.

    Wow. I am ready to close my pathetic drivel driven blog up. That’s it. You are the queen.

    I love the John Malkovich entry. Fabulous. And the post on Mom Uniforms….everyone needs to read that, it’s so much fun.

    You are up there in the very few blogs that make me think, “what am I doing anywhere near a keyboard.”

    Fantastic, love that I found your blog. And I’ll keep doing mine, and maybe I’ll be rewarded with being close to you in talent in the next 5th lifetime from now?

    Truly, I am in love with your smartliness.

  2. I read this in your blog. I have had the same chic haircut for over 30 years. My philosophy is if it looked good when you were 23, why change anything? Plus, if I had to try to use a curling iron, round brush, or any other styling apparatus, the result would be disastrous. My rule of thumb is: if it takes one longer than thirty seconds to style one’s hair, one is MOST UNFORTUNATE. molly

  3. Her Royal Majesty is much loved around the world. It is sometimes hard to appreciate what a good job she does. She is worth every penny spent on the civil list. Long live Queen Elizabeth. Keep up the hard work.

  4. Thanks soooooooooooooooooo much for the article, This is exactly the thing I needed to read!!!

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  7. Antione Gorence

  8. You write very detailed,Pay tribute to you.Couldn’t be written any better. Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh what memories..I am 38 and I loved your whole presentation, give us more more more. I remember back , way back when all the kinds of hairstyles that we all loved so much to us. The curls, oh the hot iron look was so hot. Thanks for great post

  10. Thank you for sharing, I learned a lot of beauty knowledge.

  11. Oh what fun..I am 38 and I loved your whole presentation, give us more more more. I remember back , way back when all the different hairstyles that we had available to us. The curls, oh the hot iron look was so hot. Thanks for taking me down memory lane

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