Friday, July 23, 2010

Bad Hair

I am not a fancy lass. I don't wear makeup. I prefer soap to perfume. I have no piercings to fill. I wear two rings and a 10-year old watch. I keep my hair long for two reasons: it's cheap and it's easy. Kinda like me.

Long hair doesn't have bad hair days. Worst comes to worst, you gather it into a ponytail and wait 'til the next day to try again. Actually, Phoebe Buffet and the late 90's are the best things that ever happened to my hair. With the emergence of decorative banana clips and artistically mussed stylings, I gained the confidence to try French twists, quick buns and dangling side tails. They were fast and they worked, two things I like in a hairstyle.

Earlier this year, I got it into my head to cut my hair short. The last time I did this was November 27, 2003. I'd just put my dog Wicket to sleep, and I performed the American equivalent of shaving my head in grief. I donated the hair to Locks of Love.

It was a great cut. I blew it dry with a brush, the hair curled under in a perky pageboy without effort, and I got loads of compliments I believed.

I let it grow out because...it's cheaper and easier. I have better uses for $25 a month than my hair. Feeding six cats to prevent them from eating me in my sleep comes to mind.

So, when a co-worker who is also a stylist told me she'd cut my hair for free, I considered it. What did I have to lose? I kept thinking of that famous philosopher from King of the Hill, Bill Deauterieve, the Army barber. He told Hank's niece not to worry about cutting hair because "it will grow back." No matter what happened, I thought, it will grow back.

I got the cut. I liked it. It was shorter, it was perkier, and I could still pull it away from my face if it was acting naughty. Then I got a little crazy. Hoping for a repeat of 2003, I cut it short. Very short. Too short.

My hair isn't what it was seven years ago. I've gained wave and coarseness and neither of those are inclined to settle into a perky pageboy. Add that to the five cowlicks (I just realized I don't know how to spell that) dotting my head and you have a recipe for disaster.

I should point out I also cheated on my stylist by going to someone else for this Very Short Cut. This daily exasperation may be my penalty for folicular adultery.

My bad hair day became a bad hair month, bad hair quarter and looks to be a bad hair bi-annual event. My hair is refusing to grow back. Shocking that The Billdozer could be wrong. I've had 3 cuts in the meantime to shape and trim the ends in the hopes that this will encourage new growth. These are little, bitty trims, too. I'm talking millimeters here, not inches. Nothing. I still have to shave my neck before I leave the chair.

The compliments I've received in the meantime only make it worse. Those who comment are either a) commenting because they noticed the cut (how could they not? We're talking 18 inches of hair gone) and know a comment is expected, b) not really looking at the hair or c) dumber than I thought they were if they think this is an improvement. Okay, "c" is snotty, but four months of bad hair has made me extremely cranky about the subject.

I've tried hair dryers, curling irons, flat irons, mousse, gel, hairspray, smoothers and leave-in tonics. My 60 second hair care routine has become 20 minutes of swearing at the mirror every morning only to finally pull the top section into a barrette anyway. The same barrette. Only one is the right size to hold such short hair. The rest of the hair curls and twirls every which way unchecked and infuriates me whenever I see my shadow. Have I mentioned it's been sun and clear sky since The Cut? Mr. Murphy had something to say about that phenomenon.

Commenting on my hair has become a life-threatening event. I think mom actually pulls people aside to warn them now.

I hope one day to awaken and find my hair finally brushing my shoulders. I suspect at this point everyone hopes that.

What have I learned? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. And, most importantly, if they have to shave something, it's too short. That's true for more than hair, by the way.

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