I am on a mission…a mission to grow my hair out for my darling husband. I have never quite understood a man’s obsession with long hair, but I have decided to relent and give it a try. This is not an unfamiliar task for me because I have tried and failed many times since we have been married. I will last for a couple of months and then quickly grow tired of the inconvenience and extra time it takes to fix my hair in the mornings. Eventually I give up and schedule an appointment with my favorite hair stylist, my mom. This outcome has never failed to disappoint my husband and earn me a few hours of the silent treatment.
When I was a little girl my hair was so long I could almost sit on it. I can remember my mom giving me the “onion” head look by pulling my ponytail so tight that my eyes actually stayed in that surprised position. She has always told me that my hair was too fine to grow out long and it was nearly impossible to get it to hold curl. One year my baton class was chosen to march in a Christmas parade and mom thought it would be cute for my hair to be curled in pigtails. If memory serves me, I slept in those soft rollers the night before and kept them in my hair until about an hour before we left for the parade. Looking back at the pictures my hair was beautiful…for about thirty minutes. By the time we had reached our destination my bouncy curls were nothing but a memory…thank heaven for Polaroid’s.
When I was in the third grade mom had had enough of dealing with my stringy head and scheduled me a hair appointment. In all my years on this earth I have never gone through such a drastic change in appearance. I went from having long, straight hair to short, extremely curly hair. I had been introduced to the perm. I remember crying at school the next day because some boy made fun of my new “do”. We had Mr. Young as a substitute teacher that day and he took that boy out in the hallway and gave him a good talking to. When that boy returned to the room with his head held down he assured me that my hair looked lovely. Guess Mr. Young was just as convincing as an enforcer as he was at sounding like a human typewriter.
As I experimented with my new curly hair I began to understand the art of teasing and my love affair with big hair began. I was hooked. The bigger and fluffier I could get my style the better. My old yearbooks contain pictures of hairstyles so big they would barely fit into the picture. Aqua Net hairspray, or “Aqua Rock” as we used to call it, was the stuff for solidifying the perfect look; you just better hope it didn’t get rained on or no one struck a match too close to your head.
As I stepped out of pigtails and into the grown-up styles of the 80’s and 90’s I was given my first curling iron and then the ever popular crimping iron. Boy, oh, boy was I styling! Truth be told I probably burnt more hair than I curled during my learning years. I wanted to imitate every older girl I seen because their hair always seemed beautiful to me. There were a few styles though that I did not attempt. One in particular made a girl’s hair look like they had combed their bangs flat against the wall and then sprayed them until they dared not move. I’m sure everyone remembers the bat wing look too, but I never could successfully get my hair to stand out from the sides of my face like that.
I could not count the number of times I went to school with a burn on my forehead because I had either dropped my curling iron or simply didn’t pay close enough attention. Just the other day I was curling the sides of my hair when one of my boys hollered at me. I automatically jerked my head towards the sound of their voice which would have been just fine had I not had a hot utensil wound tightly into my hair. Well, due to my clumsiness I left the bathroom that day with a pretty bad burn just below my collar bone. I spent the next week explaining to anyone who happened to notice the very ugly scab forming there how my stupidity got the best of me.
Even though I have come to terms with the fact that my house is blessedly overrun with boy stuff there is at least one area I refuse to give up and that is my small space of the bathroom where I do my morning primp session. My boys still have to endure my styling of their hair in the mornings. I get several dodges and protests of “awe mom” when they see me coming with brush in hand. That may be one reason I do not have a girl because the good Lord knew if I did I would never make it out of the house to do anything on time!
Hairstyles change with every generation, but I’ve always been told that when you find one that looks good on you then you should stick with it. Whether there is any truth to that or not I don’t know, but I will be sporting the big hair as long as the good Lord lets me walk this earth.