Enrico Sposato vs. The Brazilian Army (A.K.A. The Fall and Rebirth of my Hair)

Have you ever looked at something and thought to yourself “Man I really did made the right choice”? Recently I’ve been looking at myself and thinking this exact thing, my hair has been growing probably since September, I wanted to let it grow for quite some time now but sadly couldn’t do it because I had “military duties” I had to attend.
So on today’s post I’ll talk about my army enlisting experience and the story of the fall and rebirth of my hair.

Enlisting in the army isn’t a military duty Enrico, what are you talking about?

Well my dear non-Brazilian reader, here in Brazil it’s mandatory for every Brazilian men to enlist in either the national army, the navy or air force on the year of their 18th birthday, If you don’t there are a few consequences attached to it, like not being able to get a passport, In most cases people who don’t want to join the one of those divisions are discharged on their first interview, I had to cut my hair and shave so that my forehead, neck and chin are visible, and I really, REALLY hate having short hair.

What’s so bad about having short hair? It’s such a popular hair style with guys nowadays.

I don’t have anything against short hair, I know people that look great with it, but here’s the thing, I don’t feel comfortable with it and I definitely don’t look good with it, especially when combined with a clean shave, it feels weird, people who wear glasses regularly may relate to this, it’s kinda like when you take your glasses off and you,or someone, thinks you look a bit off without them, I feel exactly how I feel having short hair.

I still remember the initial reactions towards my haircut, my girlfriend at the time did her best to cheer me up even though we both didn’t liked the way it looked, one of my friends took a few minutes to find me in the school’s hall even though I was sitting really close to him and my other friends were a bit shocked by the difference.

I wasn’t discharged on the first interview, months passed and they kept pushing me towards the other phases until I ended up on the selection phase, I was getting a bit worried, most of my friends were discharged already and my other friend, who actually wanted to join the army, told me that it was going to be pretty though, without other options I had another haircut as I waited for my fate to be revealed.

The day was dark and it was drizzling outside, I was afraid of the unknown,
thankfully my experience in there was quite pleasant, I only saw one case of soldiers being rough to a guy but it was because he failed to follow orders without complaining.

The soldiers were friendly towards me, only instructing me on where to go and explaining how the process would work, when it came to the selection itself I got discharged during the medical exam, they asked me if I had any sort of handicap, though I wasn’t sure if it would be considered one or not, I told them about surgery I’ve had in both hands and showed it to them, after a few looks they asked me if I wanted to join the army, I said no, after that they lead me through the steps of being discharged, on the outside I was emotionless, but on the inside I was filled with joy.

I went to the stadium that they asked me to go and was assigned a line to wait on, after what I think it was an hour we entered the stadium and sat down, we only had to sing the national anthem and make a vow that we would always protect our country and never betray it, the usual pleadging alliance stuff you expect.

After all that was done, I made a promise to myself, I promised the next time I went to a barbershop I would only shorten my bangs, the year passed, I graduated from high school, my girlfriend broke up with me and I was down emotionally for probably 2 months until I’ve recovered it, the special event I keep mentioning over and over was just an idea brewing on my mind, I was still at the process of getting my drivers licence while still letting my hair grow.

It was probably on may that I finally went to the barber, my bangs were already covering my eyes and it was really annoying to live with, after I think it was the first time in many, MANY years that I was actually happy about the final result.

Currently my hair is slightly short on the front and while the back and top are full of hair, before this I think I’ve only heard a single compliment about my hair, but now I got lots of it, people really liked the way it looks now, but what’s more important, I like the way it is.


It was quite a journey to finally get the hair I’ve always wanted, it really sucks that military service is mandatory in Brazil, it will probably stay this way for a while now, still, I’m glad it’s over now.

Was it worth going through all that and finally let my hair grow?

Good question, and I shall answer it in two parts.

Was it worth going through the whole enlisting process? Well it’s mandatory here so I didn’t have much of a choice on the matter, if it wasn’t mandatory I definitely wouldn’t bother going through all this, but since I was discharged I won’t complain.

Was it worth making this change? Absolutely, my change definitely wasn’t a common one, usually when you hear people making changes to their hair they usually mean dyeing it,let their natural curly hair grow, shaving it and so on, I wasn’t sure if mine was worth mentioning, I was afraid people may think the post is boring, but I did it anyway…

Why is that?

Because I know there’s someone out there who wants to make a change to their life and may be afraid of it due to some challenges in their path, whether it is because their parents are opposed to the idea, being afraid of the reaction others will have to it, a military obligation similar to my case, or some other thing, before going through this change one thing must be on your mind, the final result. Is this change going to be healthy for your life? Do you think this change will make you happier? If both answers are yes, you should definitely give it a try, maybe your new look will grow on people similar to what happened with me, maybe it won’t, what truly matters is that you’re happy with it.



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