Horrible Haircut Short Story

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Read Luann's short story: 

The Horrible Haircut

Think Luann is going to become a writer?  Her bestie Bernice convinced Luann to use those painfully hilarious diary entries to write this short story.  Oh, and that $50 prize in a humor writing contest was pretty motivating too! Will she win it?

This storyline was inspired by Greg's efforts to write a LUANN novel.  Want to read Greg's novel?  You can't get it in a bookstore, but we'll share it, and some other goodies, when you sign up for LUANN Fan Mail!


A short story By Luann DeGroot        


Hi. I’m Laura. I’m 15. And I hate my wretched hair.

My hair and I have never gotten along. It’s selfish, stubborn and moody. It’s shoulder-length and has the color and charm of a potato. For my entire life my hair has just hung there, mumbling “meh.”

It’s Saturday and my friend Bea and I are outside a trendy clothing store at the mall. We look at the fashions modeled by the perfectly proportioned, perfectly haired, perfectly lovely mannequins who represent exactly no female ever.

        I point at a perfect model in a sexy $400 dress. "Do you think Andrew Hale would notice me if I looked like that?" I ask. Andrew Hale is The Cutest Boy In The 10th Grade.

"Of course he would," says Bea, in her usual brainy, snarky tone. "But I think they only sell the clothes here. You have to provide your own body.”

I look at her. “Could you say something optimistic for once?”

“Okay. You just saved $400.”

“I’d pay four thousand if it meant Andrew would glance at me for half a second.”

“Laura, you’ve been in school with Andrew since 3rd grade. That’s…” Bea thought a moment then said, “10,800 hours.”  (How does she DO that?) “It would take WAY more than a dress to make him notice you.”

“I’m not liking that huge “WAY.”

“It’s the unavoidable truth of the Law Of Attraction,” says brainy Bea. “You – and I – are on the lower end of the Attraction Scale and we attract those who are at our value-level. People like Andrew Hale are Deluxe Double Bacon Cheeseburgers. We’re bags of fries. So unless you know of a miracle that turns fries into cheesebur –”

“Hair makeover!”

Bea gives me a snarky glare. “You’re mixing metaphors –”

I’m looking past Bea to the shop across the way. I turn her around and point at Hair Miracle Salon. “Ta-da!” I sing.

Ten minutes later I’m sitting in the stylist’s chair. Bea is saying “Are you SURE?” for the 50th time. But I am sure. I feel a desperate need to do something about my looks. Why not start by giving my wretched hair a total re-do? It’s cheaper than a $400 dress.

“I want a completely new and attention-getting look,” I tell stylist Sophie.

Sofie lifts bits of my hair like it’s strands of algae. “Gotcha. So, with your face shape, I’d do that.” Sofie points her scissors at a poster of a perky girl rocking short blonde spikes. I stare at the poster. I look at my meh hair in the mirror. I look back at the poster. I say, “Let’s do it!”

“Are you SURE?” wails Bea.

• • • • • • • 

“Are you CRAZY?” wails my mom, followed by “Why would you do this, what were you thinking, why didn’t you discuss this, do you actually like it,” etc, etc. I have no answers for any of her questions except “Do you actually like it?” I answer that with a tortured, choked-out “NO!!”

My haircut is HORRIBLE and I’m a weepy mess of regret. Mom and I sit on the couch, her arm around me, as I blubber and moan. “Sofie was so confident, so positive! I let her dye my spikes dark blue with yellow tips! I look like a sea urchin!”

My mom hugs me, hands me a tissue and says, “Well, hair grows back, honey.”

“Yeah. I figure at least two years. I’ll get pretty restless living in my room and home-schooling but – "  I shrug and blow my nose.

• • • • • • •

Monday morning I’m standing in front of school. Sunday had been spent furiously arguing, pleading, reasoning, threatening, yelling, stomping and door-slamming. And that was just my dad.


Dad was actually the one who got me to come to school. I knew I couldn’t really hole up in my room for two years. He eased the pain by showing me an old photo of him in high school. On a dare from a buddy he’d gotten a full Mohawk – bald sides, five-inch top crest – and instantly regretted it. But to save face he wore it to school and quickly learned to answer jeers with a grin and a quip: “Jealous, I know.” Or, “Can YOU dust the ceiling?” Or, “Want me to brush that dandruff off your shoulder?” By the end of the day, he was the most talked-about, popular guy at school.

“People notice and admire a gutsy, good-humored spirit,” my dad said. “You have that, Laura. It’s one of your best qualities. Go show it off.”

So here I am, my yellow-tipped, spiked blue hair screaming “LOOK!!” as I walk into my first period class.

Right into Andrew Hale.

And Andrew looks. He looks for a long time.

Finally I say, “I know. It’s breathtaking.”

He grins. “I like your spirit.”

And it turns out my horrible haircut isn’t that horrible after all.


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