My hair and I have had a long journey together. It's always been stick straight, yet unruly. For many years I fought against it. From junior high all the way into college, I permed the living bejesus out of it with varying results (mostly all unattractive.) After college, I decided it was time to make peace with my hair. It was going to be straight, dammit, and it was time to work with it, not against it. I grew out the last perm and cut it short. I kept it that way for quite some time. But still, I wasn't satisfied. I played around with a number of lengths, from boyishly short to down at my shoulders and I would occasionally add layers in an attempt to give it some volume and style. But here's the thing. There's no point in adding layers unless you plan to "do" your hair. You know, things like putting in "product", then blow drying it with a round brush. I hate blow drying. It's boring and it makes me sweaty. What's the point in showering, shampooing, then intentionally adding in a sweat-producing grooming element? So, instead, I shampoo then let it air dry. At some point, while it's still damp, I brush through it. Voila! It's done!
When Juliana was a baby, I decided to grow out my bangs. I was 33 and I'd had bangs my entire life. But here's the thing. I'd also had a cowlick in the front of my hair my entire life. This cowlick was a part of my bangs. All those years, my bangs were nice and smooth except for that spot just off center where they split from the cowlick. I don't know why I tolerated that cowlick for so long other than I'm a slow learner, I don't handle change well, and it was the closest thing to natural curl that I had. (I may be the only person who ever considered plastering my worst bed-head with hair spray because at least it had some volume and wave.) Baby Juliana had an unruly mop of hair at this point and I vowed she would learn from my mistakes. She and I grew out our bangs together. She with fountain-like ponytails and bows on the top of her head and me secretly wondering if I could pull off that look. After a long painful process, my bangs blended into the rest of my hair and I couldn't have been happier.
I had finally found the perfect style: straight, all one length, and bang-less. I suppose you could call it a bob, but when I think of a bob, I think all swingy and turned under. That, of course, would require use of the sweat blaster. My hair has a fine texture, but it's healthy (no heat damage!) and when it's the right length, it's smooth and shiny. Note that I said "when it's the right length". But here's the thing. I am notoriously bad at scheduling hair cuts. I know that I should just schedule the next one when I'm leaving the salon, but who can plan that far ahead? Grownups, that's who. Apparently, I'm not quite there yet. Since I don't schedule that way, it comes down to me having to call for an appointment. Quite the stumbling block, that. Wow, do I ever hate making phone calls. But that's a whole separate blog entry there....
When my hair gets too long, the weight of it makes it look lank and limp. If it's long enough to touch my shoulders, the friction makes it fly-away and full of static. Multiple times a day, I end up catching it under my purse strap, swearing, and yanking it free. When my hair gets too long, I get cranky all over.
One of the hardest things about moving as frequently as we have is finding and building a relationship with a hairdresser. I finally found one after living here for about a year, but then she got a boyfriend and a life and stopped cutting hair. I languished for awhile and finally decided I just couldn't bring myself to pay upwards of $40 for a haircut. Who the hell pays that much for a haircut? Grownups, that's who. But my hair is perfectly straight and all you have to do is cut it in a straight line. It takes about ten minutes for a complete haircut. So, I started getting my hair cut at the same place I take the kids. While I'm too big to sit in the Barbie Jeep, I still enjoy going there and I can choose a lollipop when I'm done. And it only costs $18.50. We have a really nice young woman, Kendal, who now cuts our entire family's hair. I fell in love with her when she was able to consistently give David a great haircut. (Poor David. He has multiple cowlicks and two crowns. Thetwo crowns grow in opposite directions, like fingerprint whorls. Where the whorls meet, the hair collides in a battlefield-like patch.)
Fast forward to today. I'd finally gotten it together a few days ago and called for an appointment. Kendal had time to cut all four of us this afternoon. Just before 9:00 AM, the phone rang. It was the salon saying that Kendal was sick and did we want to reschedule or have somebody else cover for her? These were desperate hair times, so we stuck with our appointments and agreed to the substitute. When we got there, I informed the sub--let's call her Crappy--that Kendal kept a notecard on how to cut David's hair. She found it and did David first. I was pleased to see that his hair looked quite nice. Juliana was next. She wants to grow hers long after a year of having it short, so all she needed was a trim. Again, it turned out cute, especially with the addition of spray on silver sparkles. Ritu went third. Over time, he's had less and less to cut, but still it requires some technique and, while it was quite short, it looked nice. Finally it was my turn. I sat in the chair and told her I wanted to take it from shoulder length to about chin length, but just that same blunt cut. She started to cut and it seemed awfully short. I figured she was cutting the underneath a little shorter, like they sometimes do for a little bit of volume. She kept cutting. At this point, I debated saying something, but it's not like she could click on "undo" so I rolled with it. She worked on it for the requisite ten minutes, then started to take off my cape. I stopped her to point out that THE LEFT SIDE WAS CLEARLY LONGER THAN THE RIGHT. Should that really be MY job? Shouldn't a stylist be the one to notice that? Had we somehow traveled back to 1984 and asymmetrical cuts? Here's a little hint as to how obviously uneven it was: even Ritu noticed. She hacked at the left side for a bit. I could see Ritu again making a face that indicated it wasn't right. I glared him into silence and pulled him aside to hiss in his ear that there was no way I was letting Crappy McHewer play even the table legs with my hair. So, there you have it. I'm left with a jaw-length uneven bob. My face is long and narrow to begin with, so basically I look like the Little Dutch Boy's horse. I'm not sure what else to do besides hide at home for the next six weeks. Maybe there's some special shampoo that I can use just on the left side to make it spring up and look even with the right? I know there's a lesson here somewhere, I just don't know what it is. Please, y'all. Say a prayer for me and my hair. And send hats.