Now that I am currently bald, I found myself reflecting on the relationship that I’ve had with my hair. It has been a tumultuous union at best. At birth I had hair much like corn silk. It was practically white as a child and for the first ten years of my life I sported a bowl cut. Yes, my mother put a bowl on my head then cut whatever protruded past the lip of it.
I could well have lived with that but mom then sat me down every night before bed and put pin curls in my hair. I slept with a head full of bobby pins for years. And the kicker was within 1/2 hour of having them removed in the morning my hair was bone straight once again.
When I hit my late teens ‘Charlie’s Angels’ graced the television screen for the first time and like many young girls the desire to have Farrah’s hairstyle became something of an obsessive mission. And it was a futile mission, one with all the banality of a root canal and often a hell of lot more painful. Curling irons, teasing combs and a can of AquaNet Hairspray were my weapons of choice to try and achieve said look. As my daughter as pointed several times, I often looked like I had wings and was trying to ‘take off’.
(Insert sigh…as any good drama queen would).
At nineteen years of age ‘Derek of London’ set up shop in Vancouver. It was one of those mythical places that I had heard about that could make a woman look AMAZING! The word ‘perm’ was bandied about, and while my mother had given me home perms known as ‘Tonys’, they never had any staying power. A salon of this caliber, in my mind, must have magical abilities. I fantasized about walking out of the place looking stunningly gorgeous? Dare I dream it? It was expensive. $80 back in 1979 was a lot of cash to cough up for a hair-do but I did it and well, not so successful.
They burnt my hair then still wanted to charge the fee of $80. And I just stood there and cried. The dream of having glorious hair once again slipping out of my reach.
The 1980’s came along and BIG hair was the order of the day. The Gods sent us new products like Joico’s Ice Mist. I praised all higher beings that day. This hairspray was the mother of all helmet head products. Once applied your hair stayed in whatever arrangement that had been concocted. Now there in lay the task to simply mold it into an arrangement that was presentable.
Ah, the memories! I left for work one morning quite pleased with my efforts. We lived in a basement suite at the time and a hedge ran along the perimeter. Morning Glory ran through it as well, an attractive weed for pollinators.
As I walked toward my car that morning a bee flew into my hair! Screaming, I tossed my head upside down and proceeded to beat the hell out of it. The bee disappeared at some point and whether it lived to tell the tale, I can’t say. It was too late in the morning to go back in and try to salvage something of my hair. I soldiered on and went to work looking like the wild woman of Borneo. Now I’m not 100% sure what that would look like but it sounds frightening and I was.
Walking into the courthouse that morning my co-workers tried valiantly not to laugh. I ducked into the bathroom and tried to correct the damage that had been incurred to no avail.
The last perm I tried was a spiral perm. Oh yes, having my hair burnt the first time out of the gate was not the deterrent it should have been. And yes, it takes me a while to learn certain lessons from time to time. So I went through body waves, and various other attempts to have life breathed into my hair. The spiral perm looked awesome for one day before falling out on the next day.
I then found a stylist who told me that I should never try to perm my hair. It would never hold she explained. For a time I kept it all one length at her bequest. Looking back, my hair was healthy and looked pretty good but then I think I have been conditioned to never be satisfied with it.
And also as I aged having long straight hair made me look older. When I hit 50 years of age I had my crisis. I got up one morning and my boobs and butt dropped. They were giving into gravity and all the working out since then hasn’t resurrected them and I am okay with this aspect of aging now.
Looking back through the years at the many hairstyles that somehow always ended up looking eerily similar I will admit that I protested far too much and yes, I was far too dramatic about the whole thing.
What I have realized as well is just how that shaped me to some degree. An odd relationship with this entity, also known as hair, that I somehow viewed as a bane to my existence. A curse of sorts.
And now that it is temporarily gone I can smile at my foolish behavior. I will keep my locks short when it does grow back in. The stocks on hairspray have likely taken an economic hit now that I am no longer purchasing these products.
Will I complain about my hair once it does grow back in? Oh, most likely I will. I won’t be too dramatic though. The lesson has been learned. I’ve just gotta work with what I’ve got.
Not such a bad thing really.
It is a rainy Saturday morning. We have a storm brewing outside so I’ll head off to Yoga then lunch with a friend.
Enjoy your day.