Rat’s nest, bird’s nest, tangled mess, etc.
These are words that others have used to describe my naturally curly, crazy hair.
When I was a kid in the eighties, it was a little disappointing not to be able to feather my hair Farrah Fawcett style, but since I was more of a pigtails girl I got over it. Sometime around third grade, the world was seized by temporary insanity in the form of the “spiral perm.” Curly hair was the norm, nay it was more than that, it was The Style. For one fleeting season in the sun, I was the envy of the neighborhood.
Sometime around fifth or sixth grade, I started to feel the need for bangs. You remember the ones, right? Curled down on the bottom, up on the top until the bangs resembled a tropical flower. Peer pressure at it’s worst, and only achievable by spraying your hair while it is wrapped around a hot curling iron. You know you’ve achieved the look when your hair starts to steam and crackle. Comb it out briefly with a pick (remember those?) spray it until it is as solid as a cement wall and you’re ready to go.
And that was junior high.
In high school, stick straight hair was the look du jour. I tried to blow dry it, used an attachment, paddle brush, straightening iron, and in one particular fit of frustration actually laid my head down on the ironing board and ironed it.
Once I moved to Japan, I discovered the straight perm. And they do a fantastic j job. As they should, considering it takes close to four hours and hundreds of dollars. Once the hair is straightened it stays that way forever. Trouble is, though, that the roots grow in curly. You have to go every couple of months to get the roots done, which takes a couple of more hours and a couple more hundreds of dollars. Not exactly an option for a busy mother of young children without reliable child care and an indefatigable bank account.
So I’ve gotten friendly with my goody ouch less rubber bands and pretty much given up on doing anything with my hair.
There was this thing on TV the other day, with a hair stylist advising women to “love their hair.” She had perfectly straight, shiny, long raven locks. My first instinct was to yell at the TV and say “Easy enough for you to say!!” I’d love my hair, too, if it looked like that.
But then she went on to say that you have to show love to your hair. Most women would never dream of going to bed with their make-up on or forgoing their moisturizer, but how many of us sleep with product in our hair or don’t rinse well? I’m guilty of both. (I realized I wasn’t thoroughly rinsing my hair until we had to use the lice comb and I kept finding moisturizer residue behind my ears. Yuck!) She suggested massaging your scalp and making sure to thoroughly rinse your shampoo out, etc. Plus talking to your hair, the same way you do to plants.
Because we all do that. (?)
Well, I tried the massage and thorough rinsing, but not talking to my hair cause that just seemed nuts. And the result?
My hair looked worse than usual.
But I felt a little better about it.