How Erik the Red Gave Me a Haircut: Bad Hair Days

Anne Marble
4 min readOct 15, 2022

Our childhoods are full of bad hair days. Cheap trimmers. Awful haircuts. Bubblegum. And Erik the Red once cut my hair.

A woodcut illustration showing Erik the Red in armor.
A Woodcut Depicting Erik the Red. (Not the Actual Barber!) (Source: Wikimedia Commons; public domain.)

The Hair Clipper From Heck?

Hair clippers might remind you of the poor Henry Huggins getting an awful haircut in one of Beverley Cleary’s Henry Huggins books: Henry And Ribsy.

Just like Henry Huggins’ parents, my folks bought a hair clipper to save money. But, so the story goes, the blades got dull, and Dad kept insisting it was fine. Because he could fix it.

Luckily, my brothers made enough noise (literally!), and the hair clipper finally disappeared. Maybe my mother secretly put it in the trash and made sure she buried it under the coffee grounds. My father later admitted he should have thrown that monstrous thing away long before.

A Few of My Bad Hair Days

My hairy experiences weren’t quite that bad.

Sure, I’m told that one time, my mother brought me to a hairdresser, and I cried and cried because that evil woman dared to cut my hair.

Another time, I went to sleep chewing some bubblegum (I must have smuggled in the contraband). Naturally, it ended up in my hair and my PJs. Mum tried putting the PJs into the freezer to make the bubblegum easier to take it off. Luckily, she couldn’t do that with my hair.

There was the summer when I got a “bob” cut before attending a summer fair held at my elementary school. At a booth, I won a tinybow and arrow made of colorful wood. Nifty! Then, a woman pointed to the cheap plastic bracelet (yuck!) next to the bow and arrow and said, “It’s a good thing you didn’t win that prize. That’s for girls.” Sigh.

The Scotch Tape Trick

People my age just had a Scott Corbett flashback with that title.

For a time, Mum used the old trick of cutting my bangs by putting a piece of Scotch Tape across my bangs and cutting across the tape.

A vintage ad showing a smiling girl’s face on the right. She has a piece of Scotch Tape in her hair, and someone’s hand can be shown using the piece of tape to trim her bangs.
A Scotch Tape Ad Demonstrating the Haircut Technique. (Source: Vintage News Daily.)

Hey, it worked. Sure, it wasn’t the most stylish haircut, but it was a quick fix.

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Anne Marble

I’m a writer and a copy editor with experience in editing science and engineering articles. Click Lists to find my most popular articles. And hidden gems.