Thursday, June 14, 2007

Turn me loose.

I have curly, messy hair.

I'm never even sure that I like it that much. It gets tangled up in my shirt buttons and last week a woman at work had to cut me out of my earrings. When I wake up in the mornings I look as though I've been pulled backward through a knot-hole. Sometimes, when I absent-mindedly run my fingers through it, I can't get loose--it's like one of those locking Chinese finger traps; the harder I pull, the tighter it grips.

On days when the humidity is especially high (and that's most days in my part of the world) I look like Magenta (of Rocky Horror Picture Show fame). But even on the driest days, it was never bouncy and ringletted. As a child, I ran with all the other children in a pack like so many wild animals. Every other Thursday, my grandmother would notice me and order me to fetch her brush so she could "do something with that mess." There would be wiggling, crying, and always--always--the eventual beating. To this day, I am afraid of hairbrushes.

But I'm so easily swayed by public opinion, that when someone says, "I really like your hair," I think, "Well, maybe it's not all that bad. " What's actually happening though, is that the observer is imagining that if she had my hair on her head, she would look sexily bedmussed; she would be wearing an I've-just-been-crawled-all-over-by-someone-else look. In a good way, as opposed to an I've-just-come-out-on-the-losing-end-of-a-tussle-with-a-feral-cat kind of way.

This, despite the fact that in the relationship between every woman and her hair, the hair is always in control. Our hair calls all the shots--and regardless of what we tell ourselves to the contrary, we have absolutely no say in the matter. If your hair ain't working, you may as well call it in. Nothing good ever happened to a woman on a bad hair day. I defy you to name just one instance.

Having hair like mine--great, swooping loops of fizzed up mess--is very much like living life with a giant, exotic bird sitting atop one's head. When calm, it's easy enough to ignore. But when that bird decides that attention is what it wants--well, let's just say that there are days when it beats me into the room.

So last Saturday, after one too many bad hair days, I took that mess to the beauty shop down on Tyler Street and paid good money for one of those cute little boy haircuts. For the moment at least, the bird has been tamed. It's quick and easy and remarkably predictable and I'm fairly certain that my odds have gone up in my quest for a few good days. And don't you know, my grandma would be proud.

4 comments:

fjohn said...

Your daughter met me on a bad hair day... At least she would say so.

Shannon said...

Hey my name is Shannon and I too have an exotic bird on my head! It's hard to manage and I can never do anything with it. And I can never get a perfect hair cut. Can you give me advice on a perfect hair cut?

Jane who? said...

Shannon, If you've seen my pic then you know that, alas, I've no advice. When my hair gets too wild, I whack it off. For me, the only perfect haircut is the short haircut.

Good luck. And I'll see you at the support meeting on Thursday.

mj

Cindy said...

Story of my life. I have wild curliness that I don't think I have seen the same on anyone actually. I have found one hairstylist that has cut my hair a way I liked.

I am highlighting some curls purple when I find my debit card!!! can't wait.