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.