Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Hair Rebellion

My hair has declared its independence from my head.

My hairdresser says, “Our hair changes texture over time,” but she’s being nice. My hair is in its Third Third, and it’s become a behavior problem.

My expectations are not unreasonable: I don’t expect to have cheerleader hair. You know, the hair that falls magically into place after the high school cheerleaders twirl and tumble. My hair snarls if I turn my head quickly. I’m used to that. And yes, I know if you look at my self-portraits, it looks like I’ve always had a wild head of hair. The color is deliberate. That’s not the problem.

The problem is the direction my hair has taken. As in, it aims away from my head instead of lying down on it. It has become very, very straight, with no bend or curve to match my head. Bangs stick out like porcupine quills. I look like Raggedy Ann. (Comparisons to Bozo not appreciated.) Observe.
So my hairdresser recommended a leave-in hair conditioner to “nourish” my hair. As with all things food, there’s a line somewhere between nourishment and obesity. My well-nourished hair got lazy and listless. It no longer flew off in all directions; it just laid itself out on the couch and declined to move. It hung from my head, flat and apathetic, as if it had been trapped in a bike helmet for two thirds of my life (with no intention – ever – of getting on a bike). It is the helmet.

The option of mechanical aids came up. While I may not, in fact, be a technological dinosaur when it comes to computers, I am a resoundingly inept dinosaur when it comes to … curling irons. I hold the hair up, look in the mirror, and proceed to burn the daylights out of my hands. My brain might correct for the reverse mirror image, but my motor skills don’t get the message. Too many welts and not enough motivation, and I abandoned the curling iron.

Which leaves my hair styling equipment of choice: electric rollers! Yes, me and Barbie. You put them in, wait a bit, and pull them out. Drab, flat, fly-away hair is transformed into bouncy, peppy, springy curls! Just seconds and you’re a Sandra Dee/Gidget/Donna Reed facsimile.
Since the flip went out somewhere in our First Third and even looking in the mirror you know the word is “dated,” you have to do something. You shake and shake your head till it’s a jumble of … hair.
I call this the “rumpled but smoldering” look. I actively sought this look in my 20s. I aspired to look as if I’d just jumped out of bed after sex.

Other people might just have called it “bed head.”


  1. Replies
    1. I have been astonished at how many people experience this! I thought it was just me.... Thank you!


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