Harrowing hair

Good grief, my hair is getting long!

Long for me, that is.  I’ve never had long, luxurious locks that reached my butt like those girls in the Pantene commercials.  Perhaps my hair has some sort of aversion to my elbows.  Whatever the reason, it usually stops growing shortly after passing my shoulders.

For most of my life my hair has been chopped to just below chin-length.  I have let it grow out a couple times, notably in eighth grade, where it was at its longest.  I shocked everyone when I returned after spring break by donning a cute little bob that barely graced my jawline.

I’ve had bangs for most of my life, too.  While I would go to the salon to have my hair cut and styled every few months, my mom would trim my bangs in between visits.  I hated that.  For some reason I could never get used to that feeling of the line of freshly cut bangs against my forehead.  I rebelled in late middle/early high school by growing them out.

Even before the bangs rebellion, though, I had a much different idea of what looked good.  During second grade I desperately wanted crimped hair.  A girl in my Girl Scout troop, who was a year older and the epitome of cool at the time, crimped her hair.  My mom would never buy me a crimper, much to my dismay, so each night after my bath I would beg her to put my hair into hundreds of tiny braids before it dried. The result the following morning would be a poor girl’s version of crimped hair, and I thought I looked hot.

Fortunately, by the time I got to college I realized my mom was right when she said crimped hair was hideous, and that I had a forehead the size of Texas.  So, I decided on bangs again.  Last year I had a mild girl-crush on Zooey Deschanel and decided to emulate her hairstyle, particularly her bangs.  I brought a photo to my stylist, who deftly made me look glamorous.  When I returned home, my mother laughed.  I wondered if my stylist had made some sort of major error and made me beautiful in the front while leaving the back in shambles.  When my mom finally composed herself, she told me why she laughed.

“That is exactly the same hair cut you used to get when you were three!” She then found a photo of me in preschool, and doggone it, she was right.  It was as if by having my hair cut in the same way during my formative years that style somehow ingrained itself in me, affecting my grown-up hair style.

I did go for the extreme my freshman year of college, chopping it almost completely off, leaving about an inch all around, à la Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s Baby.  It was definitely one of the easiest hairstyles I have ever donned. Maintenance involved simply rubbing texturizing cream through it, creating the impression that I had just rolled out of bed a few moments before.  It definitely cut down on my morning bathroom time.

The problem with my hair is that it is incredibly fine, sort of wavy, and there is a lot of it.  It easily frizzes and never does what I want it, frustrating me to no end.  Far too much time is spent each morning with the hair dryer, the straightening iron, the curling iron, creams and serums. Even after all that, most of the time I give up and throw it into a pony tail.

I enjoy the length now, just below my shoulders.  I think it has officially crossed the line from “medium” to “long.”  Although I desperately need a trim (the ends are getting a bit ratty and my bangs are a bit too long), I’ve decided to grow it out.  My eventual goal is to have enough to donate to Locks of Love.  Donated hair must be at least ten inches long.  Since I’m figuring on going no shorter than a bob after it is cut, I’m measuring from below my chin, and I’m about halfway there.

Let’s hear your harrowing tales of hair!


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chadhend
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 04:42:34

    Haha, that is really funny – your ideal was a return to your childhood look 🙂 I was thinking about my hair as a child the other night (yes, I know), and I thought if I could go back and change it I would start shaving my head in the 3rd grade. I mean, I’m pretty sure my parents were still cutting my hair at that point, and not too gifted at it either, I have to say. And now I never have to think about my hair at all.


  2. nikki
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 08:13:04

    I love your writing..just wanted to say that!
    I have had the worst issues with my hair! I have VERY thick, curly, crazy frizzy hair. It’s always in a pony and I can’t stand that! I have almost always had long hair. It’s what I was known for as a child, long curly locks. I just recently cut 5 inches of it. I went in with the mindset I was getting it chopped off, I wanted an A line cut but without the stacking in the back. I got there and couldn’t do it. It’s right below my shoulders and still ends up in a pony! Exactly what I didn’t want! Here’s my delima, long hair ends up in a pony (I chase kids a round all day) and short hair requires me to style it or it’ll look like a big puff ball. I can’t straighten my hair everyday and I don’t want to style it everyday. Like I said I chase kids around all day, not really any need to be styling my hair all the time. I’m stuck in the middle as what to do next. If only I ould shave it and start over with straight, soft non frizzy hair!


  3. Otto Mann
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 10:39:57

    It’s very commendable that you’re donating it to Locks of Love.



  4. Joy
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 11:25:57

    First let me say that we all wish we had something different when it comes to our hair. I love your hair Nikki.

    My hair is so boring. It’s neither straight enough to wear straight nor is it “curly” enough to curl on it’s own. So no matter what “look” I want, I either need to curl or straighten. I look horrible in a pony tail and have NEVER worn them. I have a cowlick right center in the middle of my bangs so bangs are really out of the questions unless I spent more time on them than it’s worth. Humidity completely ruins my hair in under 10 minutes so I do need to keep it somewhat short in the summer.

    Aaawww…..I think it’s very commendable of you to donate your hair.


  5. megan
    Feb 04, 2009 @ 22:04:04

    Chad: With the exception of some pretty serious MPB, I’ve never understood why men shave their heads. I assume you shave yours, or else you wouldn’t have mentioned it. Why do you do it? And why would you start shaving it in 3rd grade? Do you mean a buzz cut, or a seriously close shave?

    Nikki: Thanks! What a nice compliment!
    You should talk to a friend of mine. She’s got some serious curls, too. Perhaps the good karma you accumulate whilst tolerating such unruly locks will pay off if you become reincarnated…

    Otto Man: Thank you for the encouragement. Although I love the praise I’ve gotten when I’ve told people of my plans (it’s always nice to be told you’re doing a good thing, as opposed to being scolded for doing something taboo), I’m really not doing it because of that. I figure, if I’m going to cut off my hair, of which I have plenty, why not give it to someone who actually needs it?

    Joy: Thank you, too!
    I have to agree – I often wish I had someone else’s hair. But, truth be told, I’m sure that if that wish came true, I’d wish for my own hair back.


  6. mollyschoemann
    Feb 05, 2009 @ 12:33:23

    I do think it’s funny that everyone wishes they had someone else’s hair. My little sister once had a hairstylist tell her that she had enough hair for three people. I have enough hair for about 2/3 of a person. Stupid thin fine hair. Every time I lose a hair, I think “Damn! I needed that one!”


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