I don’t have any outstanding hair disasters. I just think it’s a disaster that I care about my hair.
My grandma – my dad’s mom – always used to say that curly hair is wasted on boys. My dad does have excellent hair. It’s wavy and thick and was once a nice deep brown the color of black coffee. (Now it’s turning silvery gray and he keeps it too short to detect any curliness.)
Did I inherit that hair? No, my hair is stick-straight, fine and limp. I’ve heard curly-topped friends sing the praises of straight hair that must seem sleek and sophisticated compared to an unruly mop. But my hair has never been sleek so much as flat, with an unfortunate tendency to stringiness.
Believe it or not, the early 90s were a high point in hair for me, because the curly perm was still in fashion. Perms were stinky, expensive and time consuming, but for that magic few weeks – after it loosened up from the new-perm poodle look, but before it started to grow out straight so that the roots alone were flat – my hair had life, it had bounce, it had volume!
Then it was college and grunge became the new hippie look, so I let my hair grow long, straight, side-parted, and didn’t care much that it didn’t do anything. We all wore huge plaid shirts and ugly shoes back then, anyway.
In the post-college professional world, though, I started hating my limp hair again so I succumbed to the curly perm. I thought this was just dandy until I overheard a choice comment when I was on assignment for the newspaper.
I was trying to interview somebody when I heard “mumble-mumble-mumble reporter.” My ears tuned in, and the next thing I heard, overly loud in the small room, was this: “OH! YOU MEAN THE GIRL WITH THE SCRAGGLY HAIR?!”
That was the last curly perm I ever had.
I’m now waffling between the short haircut I’ve had for the last five years and growing out my hair longer again. I’m bored of the short cut, but now I’m remembering why I cut it in the first place. As I write this, my half-grown-out bangs are hanging in my eyes.
I won’t resort to the perm again, though, no siree. Well, unless it happens to come back into style again, then maybe…. No, somebody stop me!