Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen: Hair

I'm a planner. I don't go out without knowing where I'm going, how to get there, and what I want. This came in handy when taking day trips into Manhattan when I was in school. It also makes me a little neurotic. Before college, when preparing for summer vacations visiting my grandparents, packing usually lasted at least a week, and even before then I was making lists of what I wanted to bring and which books I would read. Sometimes I think I take half of my pleasure in just the anticipation of something happening.

I take the same careful approach when it comes to haircuts. When I have an appointment coming up, I starts to take over all my spare brain power to try and decide what I want. I Google haircuts for pictures, and always bring in at least one for my stylist to go from. I have delusions of grandeur; or at least delusions of straight hair. I'm told people with straight hair wish for curl, but I don't believe them. I think everyone of the female persuasion has a very personal relationship with their hair. It's an expression of self, something you can control (in theory) when nothing else will submit to your will. You love it, you hate it, you perm it, you gel it. But you've got to live with it.

When I was a child, I was very blond. The kind of blond that creates a halo effect when the sun shines behind you. Golden curly locks fit for a fairy tale. As I grew up, though, my hair seemed to lose its luster and became more mousy brown than golden. I believe I was a dirty blond, which is such a flattering description. At first I fought the onset of brunettry, dying my hair back to the natural order. Then I saw 'Moulin Rouge' and decided that I wanted to be a redhead. That of course, translated to turning myself into walking carrot fuzz. But I didn't realize that at the time.

But even before I tried to salvage my blond or venture into red, I had already made a major hair decision my sophomore year of high school. After years of long, and frankly unmanageable hair, I made what might have been the most impulsive decision of my life and cut my hair. It was an idea that was born of a single afternoon. I decided, and we went to SuperCuts. This wasn't a minor trim by any stretch. They took off a full ten inches so I could donate to Locks of Love. And thus began my life of relatively short hair. And I never looked back.

It took a few cuts before I perfected my short hair self. The first cut was really more of a slash and go job, no layers. That left my hair just this side of poof-tastic. But soon I was embracing a hair style that cut my morning brush time to under ten minutes. And then I began embracing my darker side, opting for a warm brown hair color, still with that touch of auburn. Eventually, I found a hair dye that somehow matched my natural color, because it never grew out. Since then I've only ventured into semi-permanent colors so I don't have to worry about messing up or roots.

Coming to terms with my hair was a process. It was yet another test of surviving high school. I'm much happier with my hair these days, though I still sometimes curse the poof and it's indecision as to whether it is curly, wavy, or straight. I still get antsy about it though, and I always want to change it, just a little. It's one of the only times I look forward to change. Normally I'm the type of person who is always defending their rut. But with my hair, I'm always scoping out the new cuts and imagining how they would look. I suppose I see my hair as almost another accessory, like my oh-so important shoes. With the right haircut, it seems that the perfect life could be just around the corner.

I have a hair appointment later today. Rest assured, I am armed with plenty of photos and glorious expectation.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Joanna!
    Such grinning occurs when I read your writing! It is all so you!