The other day, I went to the hair stylist and begged her to transform my do. I had been growing my hair for several months, in preparation of making a change. I was managing that awkward “growing out” phase fairly well until about a week ago. Then, I suddenly hit my personal wall in the hair-growing department.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate my hair. In fact, it is one of the few aspects of my appearance that I can say I’ve always rather liked. I have dark (well, with the help of a little gray-concealing enhancement), rich, wavy hair. It looks healthy and lush. My curls tend to spring and bounce, which makes me look happier than I may actually be. That, in turn, makes me become happier than I could be.
So, if I am so enamored with my hair, why this passionate desire to change it? Call it a need for a pick-me-up. I don’t think it was so much about my hair as it was just that I wanted some sort of change. Hair seemed like a relatively simple thing to change.
Or so I thought.
To be fair, I had mixed ideas on what I wanted. As I thought about what I wanted my new hair style to look like and wandered around the internet looking for inspiration, the precision cut angled bobs called to me. The art deco sleekness attracted me. On the other hand, I kept talking myself out of them because I was pretty sure my thick, curly hair would reject an angled bob as surely as a transplant patient rejects a mismatched organ. I went back to gathering pictures of shaggy, springy cuts similar to what I already had.
When I went to the salon, I shared the story of my hair angst with the stylist. She listened to my thoughts on a new coiffure. She looked at the pictures I brought with me. Somehow, she heard what I really wanted through all the self-doubt. She bobbed my hair beautifully. We were both kind of astonished by the result. The stylist started snapping pictures. I stared into the mirror, gaping at my reflection. My hair looked and felt great. It swung around cleanly and softly, but never moved out of place. No gel, no mousse, no hairspray. It was magic.
I turned to my hair magician and said, “I kind of love it, but I’m really depressed because I know I will never be able to get it to look like this again.” She immediately began to reassure me how easily I should be able to recreate the look at home. I knew that the key word in her exhortations was “should.” When she realized I was still smiling sadly at the woman in the mirror, she started suggesting that I could come to the salon to get a blow out if I couldn’t get it the way I wanted it by myself. I think we both knew that was never going to happen. I don’t have the time, money, or inclination to be one of those women who go to the beauty parlor twice a week for styling. She suggested that, if I found the straightening too difficult, I could opt for a curly bob. I’m pretty sure a curly bob would make me look like a brunette Bozo the Clown.
The day after my transformation, I said good-bye to the girl with the wonderful sleek new hair-do as I stepped into the shower. I was pretty sure I would not be seeing her again. Still, I wasn’t relinquishing her without a fight.
I did my best with my hair when I got out of the shower. The haircut was still nice and I managed to style it in a way that bore some resemblance to what it looked like when I stepped out of the salon…. But only the slightest resemblance. The curls still flipped up a bit and the part didn’t seem to want to part the way it parted so naturally at the salon. Everything didn’t look like it simply fell into place any more. It looked more like it was pushed. It was sort of like a new artificial Christmas tree. When you first open the box, the pieces of the tree fit so neatly together and the whole bundle seems so perfectly packed. After Christmas, you may be able to get the tree back in the box, but it is always a struggle and the pieces never lay quite right. There are always branches that seem to spring out all akimbo. So did locks of my hair.
When I decided I wanted to change my hair style, I never really intended it to be a battle. Still, I am fighting my hair and my hair is winning. I guess I knew deep down that this would be the likely result if I succumbed to the allure of those bob pictures on the internet. Sometimes, self-doubt is justified.
I’m not giving up quite yet, though. I haven’t thrown in the towel on hair diplomacy. I keep thinking that, with a little quiet negotiation, I might be able to end the armed conflict. With some practice, maybe I can figure out the technique that allowed my hair magician to tame my locks into straight submission. Maybe my hair and I can reach a détente. On the other hand, my hair may demand complete independence. If that happens, I am sure I will capitulate to the curls. Playing against type is pretty tough. I just haven’t the will to win a war with my hair.
It is a good thing that I like my curls.
What do you do when you just want a change? How has it worked for you? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a wonderful, springy day!
PS- Several days later…. It turns out my hair stylist is indeed a hair magician! The haircut has survived my ineptitude! I may not be achieving the same professional level of smoothness, but my hair still looks and feels good in “straight enough” mode. Even when I go curly on a given day (after all, it is June and I live in Florida, the hotbed of humidity), I don’t look at all like Bozo the Clown! Maybe there is hope for me yet.