Gimme A Head With Hair

Today, now that I am back from a frantic two weeks spent bouncing all over creation to DC and Phoenix and back for work, I’m picking back up the 30 days of truth where I left off. Today’s topic? Something people seem to compliment you the most about.

Growing up, I hated my hair. It was a constant irritation, an ever-evolving experiment in progress on my head. It is thick and curly, which you would think is wonderful if you judged by shampoo commercials alone. However, my mom, bless her heart, is possessed of the baby-finest, pin-straightest hair you’ve ever seen. She had no idea what to do with it. When I was small, she would blow it dry with a round brush, creating a lovely mushroom cloud around my head. With bangs.

By age ten, I’d gotten sick of the cloud and asked for a short pixie do. The stylist clearly thought I’d look better with something even shorter, and gave me a functional crew cut. Nothing makes a ten-year old girl’s day like a crew cut. It looked great with my giant plastic glasses and I’m-a-little-teapot frame. And my mother got to field lovely compliments from strangers about how cute her son was.

Once it grew out again, it passed through a giant bangs and mullet stage. At which point, my mother, once again leaving me to my own devices, let me get a perm. On top of my natural curl, the perm gave me a senior citizen secretarial look that kept me un-kissed until age 14. Hair as a chastity belt.

Then I started the dyeing. Adding sun-in to my strawberry blonde gave me a traffic cone color. Trying to dye it back to match my roots brought it to black. College saw it hot pink, burgundy, long, short, bobbed, banged, and un-banged.  My hair was like a super-spy, unrecognizable as itself from month-to-month.

I’m not sure when I finally figured it all out, but thanks to some strict hairdressers and a good few rounds of sensibly-colored dye, it finally settled down. Now, it’s shoulder-blade length, curly, and a human color of red. If I want to spend two hours with a straightening iron, I can get it shiny and flowy, but I’m just not that vain.It’s sort of like the picture below (but a little longer and without the crazy-eyed stare…)

At least a few times a week, when I can be bothered to take it down from a bun or ponytail, I get complimented on it. And after everything I put it through to get here, I feel like the poor hair deserves it.

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6 Comments

Filed under Daily Life, Style

6 responses to “Gimme A Head With Hair

  1. Kate

    Oh my gosh, I am right there with you. I am also a curly girl with a baby haired mother. The best was when my curly aunt caught my mom brushing my DRY hair with a BRISTLE BRUSH! “What are you doing???” she said. The adult me shudders at the thought.

  2. Oregon Sunshine

    Mine isn’t curly. It’s wavy, with a mind of it’s own. I try to keep it at shoulder length because if it’s much longer, I get incredible headaches!

    My stepdaughter and a couple of my nieces have baby-fine hair and I can’t figure out what do their hair. When I go to put it up in pony tails, I marvel at how very many times I have to wrap the holder around. Then again, there’s not much to be done with my hair, because the weight just pulls it out of most styles I try with it.

  3. I didn’t figure mine out until I was 16 or so and finally went to a stylist who knew both how to cut it and what product to use on it. Before that I brushed it regularly and was convinced that my hair wasn’t really curly but just sort of in-between. I had no idea that I was actually brushing the curl out of it every morning.

  4. Your hair woes sound JUST like mine! I got wild thick and wavy (not QUITE curly, but somewhere in the awful middle) hair from my father’s side of the family.

    My mother kept my hair long and in braids for most of my life simply because it was easier for her.

    Then when I hit puberty my hair just went crazy! I decided I wanted a pixie (which of course made me look like a boy, and this was also before straightening irons were a household item, so of COURSE I had little cowlicks all over the place).

    Ever since, I’ve never quite figured out what to do with my hair. I grew it out really long but it looked awful and took 4 hours to style every day.

    The last time I started to grow it out some awful stylist told me “sure, I can give you [this haircut you brought 10 photos of]” instead of “nope. I will only screw it up. Let me get someone else.” so instead of getting a slightly updated do I had to chop it all off at home for yet ANOTHER pixie. Which looked good, but is still not QUITE right for me.

    I am still waiting for it to grow back 😦

  5. Curly-haired people hate to hear this from someone with straight hair but….

    I wish I had some curl in my hair. It’s just so pretty! Especially those red curls – they’re gorgeous!

  6. Curly? Check. Strawberry blonde? Check? Adding insult to injury? Big forehead with no capacity for bangs since the 80s style of blowing out only my bangs with everything else curly? Check. My mom used to take me to her fancy salon when I was younger and the stylist would give me layers and some frizzy blowout she thought was trendy. Hello!? I was 9 and hysterical crying by the time I got to the car. I looked like a bear. In college, my friends would chase me around the dorm with a brush in the hopes they could brush out the curls and laugh at me. I think I did it once for Halloween. Some days I love it, but I still wish I could have bangs.

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