Me Myself and Ty

Ty Johnson’s Hair: A Short (relatively) History

Me auditioning for Herbal Essences in 2009. Not really. Photo by Michele Chandler

By now, you’ve noticed my hair.

Yes it’s blonde and long. No, I don’t straighten or blow dry and the answers to questions #3 and #4 are Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine and Suave Vibrant Blonde conditioner.

At this point, I’ve been growing my hair out long (as I consider it) since January 6, 2004. That was the first day since sometime in elementary school that I didn’t put product in my hair that made me look like the picture to the right.

Back then, I was as synonymous with that spiky hair look as I am now with my “golden locks”…something I’ve never had a problem with as it seems more people recognize you and remember your name when you have hair that makes you stand out.Me, at 15

So when I got to college and haircuts started seeming really expensive, my hair just kept growing and the attention just kept coming. I’ve had people stop me on Bourbon Street just to touch my hair, and among friends it’s become the subject eternal jokes, either as it makes me look or act feminine or whatever.

But now I’ve come to a crossroads and I’d like to put it to the Internetverse to help with a decision about my hair.

Typically, I wait until I’m mistaken for a girl or someone hits on me in a weird manner before I consider a haircut. Here’s exhibit A:

In 2006, I was in Philadelphia with my family where I approached an old fireman (55+) outside his station in Chinatown (House of Dragons Fire Department) to ask if they sold T-shirts.

For those of you who don’t know, my dad is a firefighter in Goldsboro and likes to pick up T-shirts from obscure fire departments, so I typically grab him one anytime I’m somewhere cool. If there’s a fire department near you that has an interesting logo/location then let me know because he’s impossible to Christmas shop for. I’ll send you money/shipping and I’ll even put your name on the card alongside mine! Size XXL, please.

Anyway, I ask this middle-aged man if I could buy one of his T-shirts. He turned to me after helping his engineer back into the station and said: “Anything for you Fabio.”

He makes small talk, as firefighters do, about why I wanted the T-shirt and where my dad worked and such, and eventually I got the shirt, but as I was walking away, he stopped me again, saying “I’m serious, son. Don’t ever get thrown in jail in this city.”

That advice coming from an old man who was clearly impressed by my tresses was enough to get my hair cut that time. Encounters at On the Border in Cary and a Chick-fil-A in the CNN headquarters in Atlanta have also convinced me to cut the mane, but now I’m kind of looking for some advice:

Ordinarily, my mom and/or significant other are the only opinions that matter concerning my follicles, but since my mom has given up and I’m single, I thought I would at least solicit some views on it, even though it likely still won’t matter.

So…take my poll!

Me with short hair.

Just ignore the goofy smile...I was ice skating!

To be honest, I have an idea in mind and all I need is a little encouragement, so don’t worry about actually altering my plans…you can only confirm them.


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