While I have never grown Payot, I know what it is to have Jewish hair.
Indeed, like Jacob I have wrestled with the steadily thinning slightly wavy brunette mass of follicles on top of my head. In spite of my best efforts, it refuses to be tamed into any cohesive style. Though over the years I have tried (and failed with)the following:
The Butt Cut: Made popular by such 90’s teen heartthrobs as Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Devin Sawa, and at one point all three Hanson brothers, this hairdo was defined by one straight part down the middle of the scalp that resulted in two beautifully symmetrical waves of hair on either side of the face. Often the wearer would have to brush a perfectly fallen strand out of their eyes and tuck it behind their ear. When properly executed, the look was dreamlike with a carefree effortlessness that captured what it meant to be young. On me, the left side was flat and the right side was pouffy which made my head look lopsided. Apparently I’m not Moses and my scalp is not the Red Sea.
Spikes: Worn by punk bands and Japanese cartoon characters alike, this gravity defying look required a fierce amount of control. It was to this end that products with names like, ‘glue’, ‘freeze’, ‘hard’, ‘manipulator’, ‘paste’ and ‘cement’ were created. The ideal spike was pointy and immobile. The wearer looked excitable and rebellious. Mine were soft and curly. I looked sad and acquiescent.
The ‘Elegantly Disheveled’ look: There is a fine line between artfully looking like you don’t care and looking like a complete mess. For example, there is the tousled look of a James Franco and the homeless appearance of a late 2000’s Joaquin Phoenix. But what separates the two? The answer is intention. While the former has shorn his locks into a ‘Devil May Care’ mop, the latter simply hasn’t bathed since ‘Gladiator’. I unfortunately seem to vacillate between the two based on such factors as lighting, camera angles, atmospheric pressure and astrological phenomenon.
I may complain it, but at the end of the day, at least I still have it.