Monday, April 15, 2019

The struggle is real

Grow your hair out, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

Crazy dog, sensible hair
That’s me in October of 2017, the day Phoenix finished his OTCh. I have short hair. Phoenix looks perplexed at why I would abandon this style and embark on a journey fraught with gnashing of teeth and staring into a mirror muttering, "WTF is it doing now?"

But I’d had that style or some variant of it for the last 25 years and embraced one of the most dangerous phrases known to womankind while seated in her stylist’s chair.

I'm going to grow out my hair!

Yeah. Because I don’t have enough things going on in my life to make me crazy.


As a survivor of the big hair decade of mousse and AquaNet that was the 1980s, I’ve never been one to spend a lot of time on my hair. I work from home. I consider it a personal challenge to see how little time I can spend in front of a mirror.

After years of wearing very short layers, I just wanted a change. When I told the Farmer I was going to grow my hair out, I’m pretty sure what he envisioned was this.

Yeah. No.

So began the inexorable process that saw me spending the next 12 months getting my hair cut without actually getting my hair cut. There was a great deal of scissor waving and I think my stylist said some magic words and a few tiny little tufties of hair fell to the floor but very little actual cutting was done beyond minor shaping as I pursued my goal.

My hair grows fast. This allowed me to move from one agonizing growing-out stage to the next with lightning speed. Didn’t like the way it stuck out over my ears? Wait a week, it would stick out somewhere else with equal annoyance. If you've ever grown out layers, you know they defiantly refuse to grow at a uniform rate that allows you to move easily through a series of adorable transition styles before achieving your final goal. Instead you look in the mirror each day and wonder, "What fresh hell is this?" And have to put your phone in the freezer so you don't make an appointment to have it all cut off.

I'd trim it myself but I
can't find the scissors. 

A year later, my hair looks mostly like this.

The root of the problem is the bangs.

I wonder who invented bangs? What clever person picked up a knife hundreds of years ago, turned to their friend and said, “Let me whack the front part of your hair shorter than the rest. They’ll always be too short or too long. You won’t be able to tuck them behind your ear or catch them back in a ponytail and they will be forever in your eyes, blinding you during a sword fight when the Vikings attack. Come on, it’ll be cute.”

And we all lined up.

Some women have adorable wispy bangs.

Adorable, wispy bangs are adorable only if
it is your job to look adorable and wispy.

In reality, I've got the female version of Norman Reedus' hair on The Walking Dead. Only I'm not nearly so badass, just cranky because my hair is always in my face. I'm serious. Different color. Same style.

Hair in eyes.
Never see him complain.

There are days when I take comfort in the fact the only thing remotely stylish about my hair’s current state is the fact if I were in the middle of the zombie apocalypse, I’d fit right in with the “trying to stay alive here, no time to schedule a trim” folks.

I have a lot of natural curl, which is both a blessing and a curse. When I wore it super short, the curl wasn’t a problem. Now that it’s longer, the curl is back with wild abandon, as if gleefully making up for years of being denied. My stylist delights in this. She can make it do all sorts of wonderful things and gets it to look scrunchy, wavy and adorable. Granted, she spends more time styling it in one session than I spend on it all week, which I suspect may have something to do with the end result.

As summer in the Midwest approaches, with its hateful heat and humidity, I can’t wait to see what happens next. I have a hat on standby. Right along with my stylist's number on speed dial.

A hat makes a lovely statement.

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