Friday, October 2, 2009

My Hair: A Love Story

Not sure why I feel the need to share this. Maybe because it’s Friday afternoon and my attention span is about the length of a nanometer. Maybe it’s because deep down I’m sort of kind of flattered and want to have a moment of being fabulous. Then again, it’s probably because I’m an attention whore and want to make something all about me.

At the beginning of this relationship, I was young and my hair was long. We’re talking really long. When I was about 5 or 6, I believe it may have reached my butt, but it was also thick and hard to wash and brush. Not for me. I was a little girl, I didn’t wash or brush my own hair. But I apparently cried a lot and made it hard for my mom and grandma to do that particular chore.

So they chopped it. My memory is hazy, but I think it was my grandma who took me to have it hacked at the beauty salon one summer when I was visiting. I remember that for the next several years it remained this weird boy cut. Seriously? Yeah…take a chubby girl with glasses and red hair and give her a boy cut. I don’t blame anyone for this, obviously my family hadn’t mean to cause me anguish. In fact, I’m sure most of them thought it was cute (maybe), but the truth is, I look at pictures now and wonder why I’m not in therapy.

Eventually it grew out. I’ve had a few run-ins with bangs, but eventually I let it all grow to one length. In high school I tried to go sans bangs and my mom said it looked weird, so I got them back. When I realized how horrible the growing out process for bangs was, I said screw it and let them grow out again. The second time around seemed much better. In college, I went very short and fairly long. I always preferred the short look myself. When I did go long, it was up in a pony tail all the time and it was so heavy, especially after a shower, that I would get a sore neck and headaches. I guess those could have been attributed to bad posture or hours in front of the computer…but it was the hair, I tell you! The hair!

Sometime in college, I finally came to terms with being a redhead. Enough people obviously mentioned that they coveted red hair, and I was finally able to say “Okay, I actually do have something cool going on here.” It didn’t change the fact that it was a frizzy, thick mess that had absolutely no styling capability. Curling iron curls wouldn’t stay when I wanted curly hair, and when I wanted straight hair, waves and curlicues would pop up all over the place.

In the past year, this relationship between me and my hair has changed for the better. First, I’ve received more compliments on it. People seem to think it looks styled when it isn’t. What prompted this blog today was a comment by a co-worker. Not that it looks good every day, and I’m in no way fending off fan mail from people wanting autographs from me or my hair, but even one compliment a month is more than I’m used to.

I wash my hair every three or four days, sometimes less if the weather is really dry. After two days, I’ll generally do a vinegar rinse or I’ll condition it. I let it air dry no matter the weather. Sometimes I brush, but most days it’s a quick finger comb through to get out the tangles. I never get trims, I only get it cut when it’s long enough to bother me, and the past two times I’ve had it cut, I’ve just given the scissors to the fiancé and said “Do your worst.”

So it’s not the best way to take care of hair, but remember that it was never the “crowning glory” most people have. Truthfully, if someone asked me to shave my head for a good cause (like charity or winning a shortcut challenge in The Amazing Race) I wouldn’t hesitate. I don’t have a lot to work with in the looks department as is, so what difference would a bald head make. Besides, there’s a little part of me that wants to know what that would feel like, though if there’s not a good reason to do it, I really can’t justify it. I’m not a crazy wild rebel…I just know I could if I had to.

Now at 30, my hair and I have come to an understanding. If I don’t stress it out by trying to actually make it look good, it’ll generally be nice and behave. Once in awhile I’ll give it a head band or a barrette for something new, and I’ve promised to stay away from perms (though we’re still debating on highlights). We get on well enough, even if I have to break out the scissors once in awhile and the hairspray for special occasions.

Let’s hope the good times are here to stay because it’s been a long journey that I am now too old to make again.

1 comment:

  1. I <3 you and your hair! :) I too, have given up the blow dryer and reclaimed hours of my life back! :)