"That little one, that's Gretchen Weiners... she knows everything about everyone."
"That's why her hair is so big, it's full of secrets."
I would have done really well in the 80s, hair-wise. Like, really really well.
If I had to classify my locks, I would say that they are naturally curly. But that might give a false impression -- one of softly spiraling ringlets cascading in gentle waves down my back.
Instead, I have patches of intense, tight, unbeatable curl -- like right behind my ears, and often along my hairline. There are also sort-of-straight-but-still-wavy areas -- and when I try to get those sections to curl along with the rest of my locks, they defiantly fall in limp rebellion.
Seriously, hair. Make up your mind.
The reality is that, even when portions of it lay wanly, my hair is big. Strand by strand it's incredibly fine, like cotton candy or a spider web -- but lawdhavemercy, there is a LOT of it. And it's all poof around the scalp, so the sections that aspire to lay like normal hair, against the head... well, they don't stand a chance.
I know it's very tiresome to read this sort of thing, because... wow, a woman complaining about her hair, how original. These are first-world problems, I'm well aware.
But you probably haven't seen it in its natural, air-dry, do-what-you-will state. Unless you're Kyle or a member of my very immediate family, your eyes have been spared the debacle. Until now...
Either because he's heard enough about this issue for an entire lifetime, or because he's tired of waking up to the pretty picture you see below -- Kyle remembered how I'd discussed the expensive but intriguing Keratin treatment, and he thoughtfully booked an appointment for one at my favorite salon.
And then we took before and after photos on the hottest day of the year in our un-airconditioned house.
Thar she blows!!!!
What the what?!
That second photo... that was after walking through town back to my car, which was 100 degrees when I climbed in. My hair, left to its own devices, would never, ever, ever behave itself in such a situation.
I was so happy!!!
Of course, reality has already started to creep/frizz back in.
First of all, because my hair had never actually laid flat against my hair like a normal human's would, I didn't realize exactly what lengths we were dealing with. It was insanely long when the treatment was applied. The stylist made me stand up so that she could trim it, and though I usually cringe at having more than half an inch cut off... this time I agreed to two. TWO WHOLE INCHES, YINZ.
And while I love the idea of long locks in theory, it is quite a different thing in practice. I've been walking around with a perma-ballet-bun for the past two or three years, so I'm not used to my hair being absolutely everywhere. It's constantly getting caught -- under my arms, twined around my purse, clinging statically to my chair. It's crazy.
Also, nothing compares to a salon blowout. While my hair is definitely less curly/frizzy than before, it certainly isn't silky smooth and straight like it was in that after photo. Maybe it stays like that for five or ten minutes after blow-drying and straightening it, but the waves and frizz are apparently indomitable.
In fairness, I chose the least drastic smoothing treatment. There are three levels, and when she told me that the strongest one (which I was seriously considering) would absolutely remove all curl from my hair, I chickened out. After all, I'm a little bit fond of my curls -- when they behave. Which is almost never, but still.
Even worse, with the more intense treatments, you can't wash your hair for 72 hours. While I might put up with that if I could remain in almost complete seclusion for that time period, we were visiting family that weekend. Hair slicked with oil is not quite the fetching look I was after.
Maybe some other time.
For now, I'm enjoying my at-least-less-frizzy hair. It's more fun to style, and I can safely leave the house without 10 bobby pins. I need to decide on some kind of haircut, though, because it's long and blunt and boring right now.
This one caught my eye -- kind of casual and breezy, no?
I'd probably have longer layers, because I'm not willing to chop off another 4-5 inches (TOO MUCH CHANGE!)
It'll probably take me another year to decide on a haircut, at which point we'll be back to this:
Tomorrow we'll return to our usual highly intellectual discussions about serious topics and world issues on this blog.
Probably (not). Vacation plans are serious business, right?