Making the cut: Centennial High School senior gets first haircut in 18 years

Making the Cut

When you're 18 years old, the hardest decision usually is what comes next in your life. But for Drizzt Garcia-Washburn, it was finding a barber.

He's had as many haircuts in his life as he's had people pronounce his first name correctly: two.

Drizzt -- it rhymes with mist -- was named after a fictional character in a series of science-fiction books his father used to read.

"The character actually has long hair too," said Garcia-Washburn.

His last haircut happened when he was 9 months old. The thought of even entering a barber shop scared him.

"I refuse to go in a barber shop," said Garcia-Washburn. "I refuse to because I knew I would never cut my hair."

As a senior at Centennial High School, Drizzt is well-known and well-liked, especially by the girls who loved to braid his waist-length hair on a daily basis. But it hasn't always been easy being the boy with the long hair.

"In elementary, it was very bad because, obviously, I would get bullied and called a girl," said Garcia-Washburn. "But it got easier through middle school. Everybody started loving it. It was what I was known for."

That's why everyone was stunned when, on April 21 Garcia-Washburn walked into the City Barber Shop on North Main Street in Las Cruces, sat down in a barber’s chair and had the barber hack off 2 1/2 feet of hair.

"I just started crying. I don't know why," said Garcia-Wasburn. "I wanted to control it. I was, like, 'This is not a reason to cry,' but I guess my soul really felt like it was,because I just started crying."

So why does someone get rid of something that means so much to him?

"The Marines," Garcia-Washburn answered quickly. “It’s a great honor and I'm very proud that I actually made the commitment."

At first, his father, Joseph Washburn, wasn't sure about his son joining the military. But the more he learned about the Marines Corps, the more he liked it and, eventually, he gave his son his blessing.

"If it wasn't for something like that, I would be, 'No, don't cut your hair, not unless you absolutely have to,'" said Washburn. "I'm glad he did it."

Garcia-Washburn said he chose the Marines because it's the hardest branch to commit to and finish. He heads to the Marines Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego in June. He knows it won't be easy but he's confident he'll make it through.

After all, making hard cuts is something he's getting used to.

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