Thursday, February 17, 2011
Hair's the thing...
HALLIE: Justin Bieber... what is it with the hair? A comb-forward with heavy bangs and feathered tresses.
Watching him on the Grammy Awards I was mesmerized by that hair in motion, reminded of the cast spell over me by Dorothy Hamill. Remember the figure skater whose apparently effortless hair sent us all to the hairdresser in about 1970 asking for THAT CUT. I gather it was called a Wedge and it was an aerodynamic masterpiece. Never mind that only about on percent of women had the incredibly thick, straight hair required to pull it off.
And five years earlier, perfect hair was Mary Tyler Moore's and "that girl" Margo Thomas's flip. Recently my husband found my high school yearbook for me on eBay. Here was my version of the flip: the helmet-head with wings.
Achieving this look required great determination, fortitude, and an unhealthy dose of masochism.
First you had to wash your hair. Then comb it out and divide it into segments. Piece by piece, each segment had to be rolled over wire mesh rollers that had prickly brushes stuffed into them. Stab the roller with a long, pink plastic anchors to keep it in place. Then put an enormous shower-cap hair dryer contraption on your head, tucking in bits of tissue around my ears. Turn the thing on high and the cap ballooned out with hot air.
Sit there, ears tingling despite the Kleenex, for at least 40 minutes to dry thick hair like mine. By the time you turned off the hairdryer, it felt like a thousand red ants are feasting on your scalp.
Then came the only part that actually felt good -- pulling out the anchors and taking out the rollers so that sausage curls sproinged out.
Now brush, brush, brush, brush, brush and back comb (aka rat, tease) the hair until it looks like a frizzy mess. I must have looked like Brillo on a Popsicle stick. Then smooth and shape it and Aquanet it to within an inch of its life.
To keep it in place required walking without moving the head.
What hairstyle tortured you. Was it Bo Derek's beaded cornrows? Farrah's feathered layers? Cher's long, parted in the middle, ironed straight? Meg Ryan's eggbeater? Mia Farrow's pixie cut -- the one that sent Sinatra (hard to believe she was married to Frankie) into a rage? Audrey Hepburn's French twist?
Did guys suffer from the same torture trying to emulate Elvis or the Beatles or Jimi Hendrix?