Sunday, July 1, 2012

Give me a head with hair...

Long, beautiful hair,
Shining, streaming, gleaming....


ROSEMARY HARRIS: Not any more. Some of you may know that last month I got the worst haircut of my life. Worse than the night my mother cut my hair - memorialized for all time because it was the night before my fourth grade class picture was taken. At least my mother didn't charge me $500+. Are you still with me? My first car only cost $400. The car was a Volkswagen 412. Metallic green and I loved it until one day I let a boyfriend drive it and he came home without it, saying it had died on the road. I never believed him and I never forgave him.

Nor will I ever forgive the team of stylists who perpetrated this mess on my head. Okay, the 500 bucks wasn't just for a cut. It was for something called An American Wave. On the salon's website it looked for all the world like a gentle body wave, something to give my stick straight hair a little movement. And it looked doable for my hair with my face. I wasn't hoping to look like Beyonce or Gwyneth Paltrow. (Or this model!)  Just my hair but better.

My hair has a little movement like Gene Krupa had a little movement. Like Parkinson's is a little movement. And the cut? if I blow it straight, I look like the Golem - with a mullet.

I left the salon in shock. It was Memorial Day weekend, my husband was picking me up. No fool he, he offered to take me out for dinner and a drink. In the car I couldn't stop looking at my hair. It was a cross between Tom Hanks in Castaway and Tina Turner in Mad Max.
I scoured the internet for solutions - vegetable oil and saran wrap seemed to be the one most people voted for. It was a good thing Bruce was going out of town for the weekend. Mayonnaise. Over the counter keratin treatments. Moroccan oil. Coconut oil. For the past three weeks I have put so much oil on my hair that all I need is some balsamic vinegar and croutons. Nothing has really worked. My American Waved hair was more like French Fried.
In a few weeks, the weird cut will grow in a little so that the too-short bangs no longer make me look like Margaret Mead or Keeley Smith. The rest of the cut will take a couple of years to undo. The Un-American Wave? I may try a straightening treatment at the end of the summer when my hair has recovered som ewhat from the shock.
I did complain to the salon, btw, and the owner,a celeb stylist, called me over the holiday weekend and told me to come back in, but frankly I think he made it worse. I did get a world class blowdry which apparently is the only way I can go out with this hair and not scare small children. So I'm keeping a low profile until Bouchercon. I'll be the one wearing the hat.

JAN BROGAN: Oh where to begin..where to begin....Should we start at the beginning, when I experimented with Sun-IN on my hair at about age eleven?  I had light brown hair and my mother was blonde, so I thought by rights that I SHOULD be blonde.  So I progressed from lemon to Sun-IN to Clairol highlights and often wound up with two large orange circles on the side of my head. So attractive.  I also once dyed my hair a color I thought was auburn, only to turn out like a Lucille Ball redhead. After that my husband and daughter staged an intervention and exacted a promise that I only have my hair PROFESSIONALLY colored from then on.   But I have to say, Ro, all my disasters were my own fault.  If I had paid someone $500 for it, I would have staged a riot at the salon.

ROSEMARY: I was calm in person. On the phone..less calm. I've tried to take pictures but who wants to have this head out there on the internet?
.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Oh, I did Sun-In, too, and lemon juice. It must have been a generational thing.  I'm a fairly dark brunette, so it just turned my hair orange. My mom, bless her, pretended not to notice. I have just enough wave to be neither straight nor curly, and always envied girls with hair like Ro.  I used to iron mine when I was a teenager.  Now we have electric flatirons, the greatest hair invention ever after the blow dryer. My hair disasters started by about the age of three, when my mom would cut my bangs in a perfectly straight line right across the middle of my forehead.  What was she thinking??? One time I got a pair of scissors and tried to improve them. Big trouble that time....
Recent hair disasters? Two years ago in London I went in Toni & Guy in Chelsea to just get a little trim for my bangs (fringe, in Brit speak.) The stylist mutilated my hair, short on the sides, longer in the back. I looked like I'd had my hair cut with a bowl over my head, but wavy. My friends in London were kind but it was horrible, and it took at least six months to grow it back to any semblance of a normal cut.  Someday I'm going to kill that guy off in a book...

RHYS BOWEN: Oh Ro, I feel for you! And $500 too. Talk about adding insult to injury. I've never had a disaster of that magnitude but I did have my hair permed in Italy and it turned my super-straight hair into something like an Afro, and so dry and brittle that it snapped when I brushed it. And there was one cut.... the hairdresser didn't speak English well and when I said "I'd like it fairly short on top" he heard "I'd like it very short on top."  I watched as he cut a large section to within an inch of my scalp. I screamed but it was too late. A large section was within an inch of my scalp and the rest had to match. I think Pinhead described the look.
But the good thing with hair--it grows out.





HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Well, hair disaster? Had to be when I was fourteen-ish. I decided I wanted a Sassoon, and since Vidal Sassoon was on Carnaby Street and  I was in Zionsville, Indiana, my solution was to do it myself. SO I cut off one whole side of my long brown hair, up over my ear, and cut the other side shoulder length. I don't even want to think about how I handled the back.


My mother came in, SHRIEKED, and left the room. I mean, from her point of view, I must have looked completely nuts, right? I'd cut off one whole side of my hair. What else would a nutcase do?


We compromised on a sort of serf-like bowl cut. 


A more recent disaster, which wasn't recent, was the colorist guy who decided to take the gray out of my hair-- be this was twenty years ago, and he make it ALL BLACK. It was horrific. And do you know how long it takes to grow that out? And there's nothing you can do but wait.


Ro, it cannot be that bad.


ROSEMARY: I got my hair cut in Spain once. Corto, no mas corto. They understood better than the guy in NYC.



LUCY BURDETTE: I think my most traumatic was in seventh grade. I looked for the photo but mercifully couldn't find it. All I wanted was the stylish cut that slanted from back to front like the cool girls had. But my mother wanted more for the money I guess, so I ended up with yet one more pixie cut. You will see that this picture (maybe 2nd grade?) is a close runner-up: The home-cut bangs with divot in front and the Toni permanent wave in back. I should say half a Toni, because my sister and I always had to split a box:).

ROSEMARY: Lucy, you look adorable!  And look you already had your Author pose with your chin resting on your hand!





What was your worst hair disaster?

38 comments:

Reine said...

Ro, I'm still laughing at the photos!

My worst haircut... so many. Picking one I have to say it was the time I decided to save up my allowance for a whole month. Not just any month. I picked a month with 5 Fridays so I could go over to Newbury Street and get the best haircut ever. Ah... was there ever a time in history when teenage girls wanted wings of curls coming out the sides of their head? Really!

The worst? I had to go to my babysitting job at the Spooner's on Beacon Hill. If any of you from Boston knew Susan and John, well... she was my ideal of a gracious and beautiful woman, and he was a handsome stockbroker and writer who let me read his galleys. I was in awe, and I wanted to look good in their house. Sophisticated. Soak up some of the charm.

John is funny. But he was a big tease when it came to things like me wearing weird clothes. Susan, never made fun... always set the example, the standard was so high, but she made it look achievable. And there I went to climb the hill with curly wings sticking out the sides of my head, flapping in the breeze.

Susan let me in. Smiling. Lovely. Kind, but not overdone. Yes, I took notes. Then John saw me. He smiled, and I started to cry. He got very serious then and told me to sit down and wait a moment, because he had just the book for me to read. When he came back he gave me a copy of Margaret Forster's GEORGY GIRL. Perfect.

I just read that John's latest book is about the stock market and grandchildren? Only John could do that I think. It's called NO ONE EVER TOLD US THAT: MONEY AND LIFE LETTERS TO MY GRANDCHILDREN. Grandchildren? Really? John? My hair looks better now. It's just older. Thanks for the book.

Kathy Lynn Emerson said...

Let me count the ways. Mom was a beautician. She and her pals at the beauty salon liked to experiment on me. It was the 50s. Think perms and pixie cuts and sleeping on beer-can size rollers. And pin curls. I finally rebelled and started doing my own hair. Not necessarily an improvement but at least the disasters were of my own making.

Kaye Barley said...

Ro, I have to say how very impressed I am that you were so calm about this in the salon. I believe you were in shock or it would have been an entirely different story I do believe. You do have really beautiful hair, and this is a temporary thing. (Not helping, am I?)

I was one of those kids whose parents thought would never have hair. I don't know how old I was before it finally decided to show itself. Then it was thin and fine and pitiful, made worse by my mom's constant quest for a way to make it better. Followed by my constant quest for a way to make it better.

Jumping right along over all the boring stuff to the present, my hairdresser, my mother, my husband (and me!) are all wondering what on earth has happened because my hair is now thick and shiny. So I'm letting it grow. Not long long, but longer than the very short hair everyone's used to seeing me with. NO idea why it's happened. A total mystery.

Lucy Burdette said...

Great stories this morning you all! Reine, didn't they leave you with the perfect memory? Kathy, I remember every one of those torturous hairstyles...And Kaye, how fabulous! your hair always does look great in pix:).

Sandi said...

When I was very young, my mom didn't want to deal with my hair so it was always a pixie cut. I had very fine, very blond hair, and honestly the pixie was adorable. One day when my hair was very slightly longer, mom sent me to school with a stubby little ponytail coming out of the top of my head. I looked like Pebbles. I remember hiding my head during the bus ride. When I got a little older, I insisted on wearing it long. Mom offered to give me a "trim" and I foolishly accepted. She took off about six inches. The worst, though, was in eighth grade. Does anyone remember a commercial back in the early 80s that started with the line "Remember that sticky bouffant hairdo?" That's exactly what I looked like after my first - and only - home perm.

Rosemary Harris said...

So glad I'm not alone in my misery. The weird thing is that my hair does grow fast but somehow the bangs seem even shorter than they were a month ago.

I do remember friends ironing their hair or using orange juice cans and Sun-in. Oddest thing I can remember was this pink scotch tape that held your bangs down. I think you slept with it on - but who cares what her bangs look like when she sleeping??

Aimee Hix said...

My worst haircut, self-done, age 5. My mom had very coarse, very dry, very thick, very curly hair that she hated. I had/have medium thick hair with perfect curls.

My mom LOVED blowing dry my "perfect hair" every Sunday night (my much older sisters did it the other two nights of the week when it was washed).

One day coming back from a visit to my father's parent's house in the country, the windows were all rolled down in the car (my parents were smokers) and my hair was blowing in my face. No pulling back my perfect hair into a ponytail. My mother would hear of no such thing.

My grandparents had given me an art set and out came the little scissors and out the window flew first wisps and then clumps of my perfect hair.

You know what does not look good on medium thick hair with perfect curls ... a pixie cut.

First and only bad cut as I have an amazing stylist now.

Karen in Ohio said...

Ro, the pink tape was for, in the era long before straightening irons were available (except the kind you heated in an actual fire, yikes), keeping one's bangs straight overnight. We took baths and washed our hair at night back then, since hairdryers were monstrous affairs that required sitting under some ridiculous hood for hours. Who had the time?

My mother, and apparently lots of mothers in the 50's, fantasized that her little girls were Shirley f'ing Temple, and she tortured us nightly, trying to make us look the tiniest bit like the adorable one. Ha. We instead looked utterly silly, with flat-to-the-head sides springing into perfectly round curls at the end. Every one of my school pictures until high school reflects my mother's frustration with her actual hideous children. LOL

In adulthood, the worst was during the faux Afro perm period in the 70's. Not as bad as Phil Spectre, but certainly not good. (shiver)

Kaye Barley said...

Karen in Ohio -
Shirley f'ing Temple.
you made me snort.

Rhonda Lane said...

Ro - My condolences on the stylist-induced hair disaster. Going to an NYC celeb stylist is not only a major investment but a unique splurge treat like going to an exclusive spa. I'm so sorry your experience turned out so badly.

Hands down, the worst haircuts I ever had were the perms my mother made me get with I was a child. She didn't trust the home-perm option, so she'd take me to the "beauty shop" just around the corner from the county courthouse. My hair would come out short and tight: short like Martin Luther's but with curls.

Jack Getze said...

Oh, come on. Rosemary. We want a photo of the crazy hairdo. I know Bruce took one.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Ro, you're a saint not to be blowing up that salon. $500 and ruined hair? And they didn't make it better when you complained?

The only consolation is that hair grows out eventually, and I know that's not much help right now. Well, the other consolation unique to you is that you have such a pretty face that perhaps you can cover the hair and make that the focal point.

I always had "bad hair," according to my mother--"Indian hair." Straight as a stick. Came in handy when everyone else was sleeping with juice cans tied to their heads or ironing their hair. Mine was straight and shiny and long.

Then I developed lupus. Some of the lupus drugs are chemotherapy drugs. I lost my hair. When it came back in, it all didn't. Turns out lupus alone can make you lose hair. So now I have large bald patches on my head when I don't have to take the drugs that make it bare. I bought a wig that looked like my old hair the first time I took the chemo and was surprised at how comfortable it was. (I've never been able to stand hats.) So I just wear wigs all the time now. And it's great. No bad hair days. No bad haircuts. No expensive coloring/perming/whatever. I just slap on a wig and run. I'll never get my hair back the way it was, but if I did, I think I'd keep the wigs anyway.

If the way it looks really bothers you for some public thing you have to do, Ro, pick up a wig to get you through until the real hair grows out.

Joan Emerson said...

Oh, Rosemary, I can so relate . . . and sympathize. Envious of all the lustrous waves and gentle curls those models exhibit, I have longed for something that would coax my hair into a similar look. After one particularly disastrous salon permanent wave debacle, in which I left in tears [after paying an exorbitant amount of money], I swore off all salons. Suffice it to say there was lots of frizz and not a single gentle little wavy tress in sight.

Unfortunately, my quest for that elusive curl, that "just a hint of wave," has been a dismal failure . . . even the latest hairsetter, promising to "create amazing curls . . . waves . . . volume" yields only a stingy crimp that, if I am lucky, lasts long enough for me to walk the thirty or so steps between the bathroom mirror and the front door. I am learning to love my hair just the way it is --- in all its stick-straight, baby fine glory.

Jutta said...

Oh, the flashbacks! Many home perms from my mom to "fix" my stick straight very fine hair. The worst time -- just 2 days before leaving to live in California -- I thought to get a "body" wave... my hair was so fried, all the treatments the salon tried didn't help... so it was cut to the least damaged length, about 2 inches? On a date weeks later, I was briefly mistaken for a 'gentleman'. Never again.

norab said...

Ohh...hair...I had such straight hair the closest thing I came to wave was the ocean...so I had a "body perm"...my thick, shoulder length hair...became an explosion of crinkles...it took 3 years to grow out...it was horrible...hubby'a family greeted me at their door with mops on their heads (dog too).Just a horrible experience)

Marie said...

In the seventies I went from a perfectly good shiny head of hair to a wacked out perm.
I have Christmas morning pictures immortalizing me in my flannel nightgown and my perm holding on to my two girls for moral support and smiling bravely as I hold up my Christmas present.

Jeffrey Marks said...

Deborah, I had a similar experience with my hair. Turned it orange as well. My mom didn't pretend not to notice. She slipped me a folded $50 and said "get that fixed -- now." I did.

Deb said...

Ro, I know I read this before, but I laughed so hard this morning reading it again. Poor you! Have you tried a flatiron? Babyliss and Chi are good ones, and it might make life more bearable until your hair grows out. Thankfully, hair does grow.

Lucy, your picture is adorable!

Deb said...

Ro, I know I read this before, but I laughed so hard this morning reading it again. Poor you! Have you tried a flatiron? Babyliss and Chi are good ones, and it might make life more bearable until your hair grows out. Thankfully, hair does grow.

Lucy, your picture is adorable!

Shamrockgirl61 said...

OH the worst haircut I was about 20, anddecided to become a very very hip blond, it was 1967. Soooooo went to the salon and they stripped my fine light brown hair of all color and put the blond color in....did a very good blunt cut.....and well within 24 hours the whold top of my head in big circle broke off to about an inch. So there I was with a crewcut on top and straight sides. Took a year to grow into something normal, needless to say I was very careful with any coloring after that.

Shamrockgirl61 said...

OH the worst haircut I was about 20, anddecided to become a very very hip blond, it was 1967. Soooooo went to the salon and they stripped my fine light brown hair of all color and put the blond color in....did a very good blunt cut.....and well within 24 hours the whold top of my head in big circle broke off to about an inch. So there I was with a crewcut on top and straight sides. Took a year to grow into something normal, needless to say I was very careful with any coloring after that.

Shamrockgirl61 said...

OH the worst haircut I was about 20, anddecided to become a very very hip blond, it was 1967. Soooooo went to the salon and they stripped my fine light brown hair of all color and put the blond color in....did a very good blunt cut.....and well within 24 hours the whold top of my head in big circle broke off to about an inch. So there I was with a crewcut on top and straight sides. Took a year to grow into something normal, needless to say I was very careful with any coloring after that.

Shamrockgirl61 said...

OH the worst haircut I was about 20, anddecided to become a very very hip blond, it was 1967. Soooooo went to the salon and they stripped my fine light brown hair of all color and put the blond color in....did a very good blunt cut.....and well within 24 hours the whold top of my head in big circle broke off to about an inch. So there I was with a crewcut on top and straight sides. Took a year to grow into something normal, needless to say I was very careful with any coloring after that.

Rosemary Harris said...

Without a pro blowdry I blow, flatiron (super ion whatever)and then use a big barrel curling iron. Then I put the hat on.

Linda, always good to put this stuff in perspective...and I guess I should feel lucky that it didn't all fall out!

Jack, not a chance on the pic.

Deb Romano said...

I have the following conversation every six weeks:
Someone else: "Deb! Your hair looks great! You should wear it that way all the time. What did you do that's different?"
Me: "Um...nothing. But I have an appointment to have it cut the day after tomorrow."

Also, people will tell me that my hair looks great "today", and ask what I did that day that was different from the day before. I did NOT wash it. That's what I did that was different.

My hair is poker straight and I am also cursed with cowlicks near my forehead. So some of my hair grows straight in a different direction from the rest of my straight hair. It is NOT in a place where a person might choose to have a part.

My worst haircut of all time: the hairdresser I had been going to for a few years had a baby and decided to work reduced hours when she was ready to return to her job. She was only working during the daytime when I was at work myself, so I was not able to go to her anymore. I decided to try out a hair salon at the mall. I live just a few blocks from there, which made it convenient. I tried out a couple of different hairdressers. At that point I had been wearing my hair short for several years and wanted to make a change, let it grow out a few inches. Straight hair is pretty difficult to work with when it is short...it sticks out all over the place. To make it lay down straight while it was growing out,the hairdresser was shaving the bottom layer of my hair closest to the scalp and that would somehow help the longer hair that was growing out not go off into all sorts of directions. (I was also letting a perm grow out at that time...the very last one I ever had.) In 1997 Christmas was on a Thursday. The Friday before, I went to the mall after dinner to do some last minute shopping and to get my hair cut. I had a different hairdresser that night. I told her I was letting my hair grow out and that I just wanted the ends trimmed. My back was to the mirror. When she was done and twirled the chair back so I could see her handiwork I did not recognize the woman in the mirror.The hairdresser had shaved the sides of my head to a couple of inches higher than my ears and cut the top, back,and sides so short that another couple inches off would have made it a crewcut! I was so angry that I could not find any words to say! I can sympathize, Ro. The next day I was supposed to work on a volunteer project for my church and then in the evening I was supposed to go to a party. I decided I would do the volunteer thing...it was at a nursing home and nobody would know me. (Also,my mother had organized it and drafted me into volunteering and you do not say No to Mom!) But NO partying for me that night!

I showed up at her house the next morning and exclaimed that after I finished up at the nursing home I was going to go back home and go into hiding! Mom tried not to laugh. About an hour or so later I was in a room with a nursing home resident and one of the other volunteers came to get me. She told me that my mother was not feeling well.To make a long story short,she was having a heart attack. She had emergency angioplasty that afternoon and went into cardiac arrest. She never regained consciousness and died the following Saturday,two days after Christmas. I can laugh at this now,but at the time,one of the thoughts in the back of my head was that if she regained conscousness she probably would not recognize me with my nearly shaved head!

I now wear my hair in a straight bob.

Darlene Ryan said...

Oh Rosemary, you have my sympathy. There isn't enough space for my hair disaster stories. They start with my mother giving me a Toni that left me with a huge afro. I'm talking Tito Jackson in the Jackson 5 heyday, on a scrawny little white girl.

Reine said...

Ro, your hair story is very noiresque. Can you see it finding its way to a story with one of your brilliant anti-heroes?

Linda, I love that you wear wigs. I am trying to move to them for a similar reason. With my arms getting weaker, I find it very difficult to style my hair on my own. I am aiming at being independent, and hair is a big issue, as this blog testifies soe well to. So, Linda, once again you inspire me. xo

Mar (aka mar annabelle jacob) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mar (aka mar annabelle jacob) said...

I think the 1" bangs was a 1950's thing, my next door neighbor, Cindy, and I both had blonde hair and same haircut couldnt tell us apart, we still laugh about those cuts

Recent worst cut - Fla,a week before I was to finally meet DEBS in Person!!!!!!!

The woman killed my hair,I wanted a few wispy layers around my face - OMG straight layer all around my head, so I looked like I had a 2 layer bowl cut!!!

I freaked, she'd fix it, I think NOT - no way was she touching my hair to try to fix it.

Of course I'm in Fla at MIL's hadnt lived there since '95, didn't know a stylist

I went to another salon, got owner who looked at my hair and said "OMG hon, whatever did they do to you"

UGH, she did what she could to fix it.

I was presentable (just) to meet DEBS

I think I will be growing this mess out for about 2 years - at which time Ro and I can post pics of our grown out, "never letting a stranger touch my hair again" Pics !

Love all the pics !

Mar

Mar (aka mar annabelle jacob) said...

http://s19.photobucket.com/albums/b161/luvchoclabs/AB%206yrs%20old%20%20may%2015%202012/?action=view&current=daddyandme.jpg

THE DREADED 1" BANGS

storytellermary said...

After a particularly bad perm, one of my students felt the hair of everyone in the room and declared my hair the nappiest, "and you PAID someone to do that to you." They had colorful suggestions of what I should do to that shop, but I told them violence seldom works out well . . . and my hair came out in clumps until finally it grew out long enough to start over. Now I don't perm, or hot curl, or even blow dry . . . I just let my delicate wisps of hair do what they want . . .

storytellermary said...

After a particularly bad perm, one of my students felt the hair of everyone in the room and declared my hair the nappiest, "and you PAID someone to do that to you." They had colorful suggestions of what I should do to that shop, but I told them violence seldom works out well . . . and my hair came out in clumps until finally it grew out long enough to start over. Now I don't perm, or hot curl, or even blow dry . . . I just let my delicate wisps of hair do what they want . . .

Rosemary Harris said...

The 1" bangs...I had them too when I was little (loved the pic of you and your dad.) I've got weird layers too Mar, so you're right - NEVER AGAIN!

Jess Lourey said...

I wanna see pictures!!!

Leslie Budewitz said...

My mother was not talented with hair -- I inherited that lack -- so the woman next door permed my hair when she did her daughters' hair. Didn't notice my hair has a completely different texture -- soft & fine. Even Mr. Right has not seen my 7th grade school picture!

In my first law firm job, I splurged and went to the trendy salon in Seattle. Took a picture from a mag of a cute short cut. Put my glasses back on & burst into tears. At least the salon had a policy that if they customer cried, they didn't charge her. And it was very efficient -- I didn't need another cut for months. People actually thought my hair was growing out after chemo. Some women have the features for a crop like that; I'm not one.

I went to a Hassidic wedding once, and the women were talking about their wigs. I said the wigs sounded almost as challenging as real hair, and every woman at the table turned at me, the only non Hassid & non Jew there, and said "WORSE."

Bad hair days: a universal language!

Deb Romano said...

Forgot to say earlier that I had the same bangs as Lucy until the summer between second and third grade. That was when my mother cut my long braids. I think sh regretted it for a long time because my straight hair was never easy to manage except in braids. I hated them and was glad t be rid of then. Then began the era of the Home Permant. Oh,the smells! When I was in seventh grade Mom cut my hair AN0D gave me a perm. "But now I look like a French poodle!" I exclaimed.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Ro, sweetie, I wasn't trying to say "You think you've got it bad--" I do sympathize with having your hair ruined like that. If it's damaged (and it sounds as if may be), you may need to have it cut short and might find a wig useful. Even if not, they're more comfortable than hats. xoxo

Reine, in that case, do go to wigs. When I'm in flare, I can't raise my arms very high which made fixing hair, or even just brushing, a problem. You will love the convenience of a wig. When I was in despair at my hair falling out, I remembered the wigs my mother used to wear in the 60s when that was fashionable. So I thought I'd try one. I've never looked back. xoxo

Lynda said...

One of my childhood nicknames was Strawhead, due to my thin, stick-straight blonde hair. The only deviation came from several cowlicks, which made it impossible for me to have well-behaved bangs. Not being a girly-girl, I never gave much time or thought to my hair. My mom, however, was determined that I have curls, and and her ally was Toni Home Perms. For the first few days after a perm, I'd look like Harpo Marx, but walking to school in the California coastal morning fog quickly left me looking bedraggled and pathetic.

I can't remember now if Toni came out with a stronger perm, or if Mom doubled up the solution (OMG, that smell!!), but the last time I let her give me a perm, I think I was in 6th grade, when it came time to take out the curlers, my hair was so tightly wound around them she had a terrible time removing them. When she finally removed three or four I could see my hair coming out with them, and the hair that was left was impossibly kinked against my head. That did it. I locked myself in the bathroom and stayed there for over two hours, refusing to come out until she apologized AND promised she'd never ever ever again perm my hair AND go get Bonnie, my best friend, to come sit with me and talk me down.

In 2008 I had my shoulder length hair buzzcut to about a quarter inch as part of my grieving process. I actually had to talk the SuperCuts woman into doing it. She kept saying, "No, you don't really want that!" Yeah, I did. After about 6 weeks it'd gotten too long for comfort. I LOVED the ease of caring for it, my husband thought I looked cute, one of my girlfriends said, "You look kinda badass and cute at the same time!" My husband and I go to the same barbershop, and the guys there are very sweet to me. You have no idea how many friends say they wish they had the nerve to cut their hair this short. I tell them to do it, if they don't like it, it'll grow back, bus so far none of them have taken me up on it.