Friday, July 14, 2006

It's All About the Hair



No matter how I try to fight it, in the end it's always about the hair. Straight-haired people (you lucky lucky humans) have no idea what it's like to be at the mercy of the weather, to plan your day around the humidity level, to watch shoulder length hair morph into an above-the-ear bob before your very eyes.

Over the years I have set it on empty beer cans, ironed it, poured chemicals over it, dragged flat irons through it, slept in rollers the size of SUV tires, wrapped it in scarves, corraled it in scrunchies, pinned it back, pulled it up, and wondered what on earth I'd done to deserve inheriting my father's hair genes (crazy curly) instead of my mother's (smooth and straight.)

Something came over me yesterday. Maybe it was the hideous temperature outside. Maybe it was the mind-melting humidity. Maybe it was the fact that I am way too old to keep walking around with this Pebbles Flintstone hairdo. Whatever it was I suddenly knew that the time had come to embrace modern living through chemistry and make an appointment for a "softening."

You know I meant it if I was willing to show up in Basking Ridge at 9 a.m. for anything short of -- well, I can't think of anything.

So I did it. And it really wasn't bad at all. It was more like getting my hair deep conditioned. I watched as the frizz gave way to smooth normal human hair. I gasped as the stylist waved the blowdryer over my head and my hair didn't leap into a style I can only describe as the product of a mating between Don King, Bernadette Peters, and Bozo the Clown.

The stylist says this is the real thing, that while I've retained my curls and waves, I will no longer be a slave to barometric pressure. July in central NJ without the sensation of my hair curling its way into my cerebral cortex? I can't even imagine it.

Of course this brand new me with the brand new hair might have to rethink a few things. There's a line in Working Girl where Melanie Griffith's character says, "If you want a serious job, you need serious hair," and proceeds to shear off her late 1980s mall 'do. She's right. When was the last time you saw a curly girl in a position of power? Any curly-haired rocket scientists? Diplomats? Nope. We're usually stand-up comics or trailer-park residents. Ask yourself this question: what's the first thing makeover artists do when they get their hands on a curly-haired woman? That's right. Buh-bye corkscrew frizz; hello, smooth and sleek. Look at Nicole Kidman. We had the same hair and then suddenly we didn't.

Hey, Nicole, guess what? Me too.

I tried to some editing on Just Like Heaven while I was at the salon but didn't accomplish too much. I was far too busy eavesdropping on a conversation about a fifty year old woman who was trying to get pregnant before her newly-married twenty-eight year old daughter did.

Now it's time to get to work.

Barbara

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Barbara, I laughed til I cried over this post. Laughing with you, not at you, because I was also 'blessed' with Little Orpan Annie' locks. I've done all those very same torturous things you put yourself through.
Donna

July 24, 2006 at 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Barbara Bretton said...

Oh, Donna, only another curly girl could possibly understand! I actually sat out on the deck today in 99% humidity and laughed as my hair did . . . ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!
Thanks for visiting! --BB

August 7, 2006 at 11:51 AM  

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