Getting your hair cut can be a traumatising experience. Staring into that mirror, you notice new things about yourself: the oily shine of your nose, the way your nostrils flare when you feel awkward, the darkness behind your eyes. And then there's the question of what you want. Do you ask for "just a trim", "maybe a couple of highlights", "some choppy layers"? Or do you go full Casino Royale, put everything on red and ask for "something a bit different"?
Crucially, what would it say about you if you did? If you peeled back the thick load of scalp, what lies beneath your chosen haircut? A love of Rick and Morty and a quiet resentment of the female sex? A penchant for spoken word poetry recitals and the inability to take a joke? Put the towel round your neck, sit down in the swivel chair, and let’s find out.
LONG GREASY MAN BUN
There are two kinds of man bun in this world: ultra clean Joe Wicks-type lads who very cheerfully fuck up every single pair of trainers they own by cycling everywhere and skidding to a halt instead of actually using their brakes; and then the greasier, murkier, very much more irritating man bun cousin: the guy who you don't remember inviting to your group day out in the park, but here he is, astonishingly dirty fingernails in tow, drinking an entire thing of Scrumpy Jack cider and swilling in the backwash.
After watching you barbecue a load of burgers, a thing of ribs and some steak for honestly 45 minutes, he kicks right off when it turns out "nobody thought to bring falafel? What?" Eventually someone asks him to leave after he's spent an hour explaining why Beyoncé "isn't real music", so he walks off and muscles in on someone else's quiet game of frisbee by kicking the thing out of someone's hand and shouting "ULTIMATE!"
THE 'HAVEN'T EATEN A CARB SINCE 11' GLOSSY BROWN HAIR THAT TUCKS INTO YOUR COAT
Your boyfriend is mostly mute, and you only ever really text him when you need someone to take highly saturated photographs of you posing in a floppy hat. Grazia once called your blog "chic but condescending".
WHITE GIRL WITH FRENCH BRAIDS
You wear Fila disruptors, Missguided blue camo pants and the snarl of someone who – even after consuming a Lemsip sachet-sized bag of MDMA – remains incapable of being friendly. Every one of your last three boyfriends has preferred "going to the gym" to "being with or interacting with you", and you've managed to alienate most of your girl mates by very transparently subtweeting them with a string of steam-out-of-nostrils emojis. One of the following two things is going to happen to you in the next two years: you get pregnant by a dude who gets his eyebrows waxed, or you get six months on probation after starting a brawl in a Yates.
BLEACH BLONDE BLUNT FRINGE
You're always talking about "space" – women's space, socio-economic space, safe space, online space, a co-working space – and asking people on Facebook to model for a photoshoot in the menstruation edition of your zine.
THE 'EVERY GUY ON BUMBLE' HAIRCUT
You work in recruitment. You can't decide which you love more – mum, or the free market. If you meet a girl with not much make-up on, you'll say, "You're the sort of girl I would bring home to my mother." If she's wearing a lot of make-up, you'll say, "You're naughty, you." Either way, you'll bring her back to your new-build flat, where there will almost certainly be a black-and-white canvas of the New York skyline, with nothing but the yellow cabs coloured in. You do not know that oral sex for women is a thing.
THE 'EVERY GUY ON TINDER' HAIRCUT
You knot your jumper diagonally across your chest when you're hot in nightclubs, and you get 80 percent of a boner every time a girl dances with you. One time, you poured a bit of Peri-Peri Vusa onto the tip of your finger and ate it to impress a girl you were with, but a Nando’s regional manager had to come over minutes later to tell you that you'd need to leave if you were going to keep crying. You have the maximum number of friends allowed on Facebook, but most of them are girls in bandage dresses you found by searching the name "Lydia-Rose", before sending them the eyes emoji and being roundly ignored. You've not! Had sex! For 16! Months!
YOU HAVE SHORT GREY HAIR AND A TATE MEMBERSHIP
You wear dangly, bright, beaded earrings bought from a museum gift shop, black A-line linen tunics and a Daunt bookshop tote bag. You read The Times, "but only for the culture section". Your entire Instagram feed is black-and-white photos of you doing a tongues-out mirror selfie either in an art gallery lift, or a mirror mounted on the wall of the Tate. There's something infuriating about your unbelievably good posture. I'd love to rugby tackle you. I would actually donate money to charity if you let me rugby tackle you into the Thames.
You do something mildly unconventional – a goofy dance move, a last-minute booking for Latitude Festival – and think this makes you interesting. "God, sorry, am I freaking you out? Haha. I know I'm a bit mental. Don't worry, you'll get used to me!" You somehow make other people's birthday parties all about you, every single time.
THE 'MIGHT THINK YOU'RE A PRINCESS, BUT REALLY YOU JUST FISHED A BAGGY OF POWDER OUT OF THE TOILET YOU JUST PISSED IN' HAIRCUT
You watch Love Island so you can calls the girls on it "slags". You go to the only club in town and totter around, sour-faced, saying, "Ew, why is she wearing trainers? Is she off for a jog?" Big chat for someone wearing a black New Look blazer like the one your geography teacher would wear to parents' evening, isn't it? The pinnacle of your humour is stealing a boy's cap in a club and posing in it while holding a sideways peace sign. .
BLEACH BLONDE HAIR AND A TRILBY
You go to Glastonbury and take your own guitar. Come on, mate – nobody takes a football to the World Cup, do they?
NEON GREEN BOX DYE FROM SUPERDRUG
You spent the whole of secondary school having bits of crumbled up eraser thrown at you during class, and you wear corpse-y black metal-font T-shirts with slogans like "SHE BLED FROM EVERY FUCKING HOLE" on them. But really, you're unbelievably lovely. You can't bring yourself to look anyone in the eye, ever, and you have a weirdly encyclopaedic knowledge of every antidepressant available on the European market, and also you say "fursona" slightly too often for someone who says they don't have a fursona. But yeah: you're really, really nice.
THE 'FOURTH MEMBER OF THE FRATELLIS' CUT
You put on a mock Mancunian accent even though you're from Hull. You think Kendrick Lamar playing Reading and Leeds is the "death of culture". You always talk about battering Justin Bieber, for some reason, even though everyone else has accepted he's actually kind of sound. Forever saying you don't like "the whole make-up thing", even though the girl you're staring at over your pint of Carling has drawn her own freckles on with brown eyeliner pencil. Sometimes you go to the pub with just, like, a silk scarf trailing out of one of your pockets?
THE SHAVED SIDES AND LONG ON TOP
You're incredibly shy, yet you post photos to Instagram of yourself posing in a bath with a caption like, "Ya'll can't afford this." You drag your mum to Palace on your birthday and then pretend you don't know her once you're inside the shop. One time, your Uber turned out to be a Merc and you tipped the guy £2.50 to let you pose on the hood of it for your Facebook profile picture. Every couple of weeks you bump it for likes by commenting "exciting things to come……"
Nothing exciting has ever come.
THE 'I LOVE SHOUTING "STEVE… ALLAN!" AT FESTIVALS' CUT
Your name is one of the following: Matt, John, Ben, Tom. You're always wearing plaid and navy adidas Gazelles. You are Prezzo incarnate. Your profile picture is you posing euphorically next to Dave Grohl at a meet 'n' greet. You've never had an original thought or idea ever in your life. You. Are. Oatmeal.
You're always lurking outside Footlocker, congregating in packs with your mates, like starving pigeons pecking at Subway wrappers. You wear luxe tracksuits from brands modelled by the Geordie Shore cast. "I never do this, but – you are so beautiful," you say to literally every woman you meet. "I'll treat you like a princess." You won't: dates will involve sitting in silence during All Bar One's happy hour, scrolling through Facebook, so bored you can't even be arsed to read the statuses flickering by.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.