Mom didn't like my shaggy hair.
The more it grew,
the more she despaired.
She begged me just to use a comb,
but shaggy was in,
so I left it alone. 

When I went out searching for a job,
Mom worried they'd think I'm a slob.
"You won't get work with scruffy locks."
"You really ought to trim that top."
But what does Mom know?
I got a great job
as a mop.

-B.C. Byron
If you grow your hair shaggy enough, you can always find work as a mop.

Every generation of teenagers has its own rebellious hairstyles. In the 1980s, mohawks were the pinnacle of naughty hairdos. Shave off both sides, use and entire can of hairspary every morning to hold it up, spray it green and purple, and enjoy the shocked looks as you wander the mall with your rebellious friends. Mullets are an older one that’s coming back into style now. It’s like a limp mohawk for those that can’t afford all the hairspray. The 1990s (when I was a teen) had several bizarre hair conconctions, including wearing a pair of boxer shorts on the head with one leg sewn shut and hair handing out the other leg. Underwear hats wasn’t even the oddest thing in my high school. Why do teenagers insist on making their mothers worry about their sanity? I don’t know, but at least some grungy hairstyles can be useful as we’ve learned from the poem above. This kid is living the sweet life as a janitorial tool. Shaggy hair is good for cleaning floors, wiping noses, clogging sinks, storing snacks, and keeping warm in winter without a coat. Surely there are many careers to be had with that.

Shaggy hair has long been on the list of rebellious hairstyles. I think it all started with Rapunzel, which the movie Tangled represents as a clean-cut singing princess that brushed her hair meticulously every day. The real Rapunzel, however, was just a 16 year old stinker who didn’t like baths and got a kick out of making her parents fret. Sure her hair was long and golden, the parts you could actually see through the grime, but it was also full of dirt, bugs, half-eaten food, and her prized chewed gum collection. In Rapunzel’s time, the favorite teenage rebellion haircuts were things like a braid done starting with right over left instead of left over right, or parting the hair on the wrong side – Shocking to some of the uptight medieval noble parents – but it was just too tame for Rapunzel. She set the new moody teen trend with her quarter-mile long grease trap and it landed her a great job as a tower lookout as a bonus. The town got advanced warning of enemies approaching and didn’t have to smell her hair, she got a good salary along with free room and board.

Published by B.C. Byron

I’m a children’s author, poet, father of 3 girls, and electrical engineer. My first book, A Cat Named Lump, is available on Amazon,, and Google Books. I post new poems and illustrations every week.

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