Thursday, July 19, 2007

Amen, sister.

When I was in college, I won a writing contest (Two, actually. Note: I am brushing my shoulders off.) for an essay I wrote on the adventures of my curly, curly hair. At the time, my hair, when wet, was past my shoulders, when dry, was about jaw length. I never wore my hair "down" as was often requested of me because, my hair didn't do "down" my hair did "out and up." My hair had a mind of its own, curls that could not be contained, would not fall into tumbling thick ringlets. No no no, my hair is something like if I had slept with 42,000 tiny curlers on my head.

My essay was about one afternoon when I was in my early teens and my mom took me to her hair stylist to get my hair "relaxed." It was the least relaxing experience one can imagine. The stylist put an Elmer's Glue-like substance on my scalp and it burned. Oh, how it burned. It burned for hours. Maybe I just have sensitive skin, or maybe the process was diabolical, no matter the blame, I ended up with scabs on my scalp for several weeks. Charming, I know.

(damn you, Paul Mitchell)

For most of my youth, my hair had been a constant enemy. I grew up in a Midwestern suburb where all the girls at school had straight, blond hair and I was the one with the, pardon my use of this term, rats nest, on my head. I remember being in girl scouts and at the end of a weekend camping trip, our troop leaders did a "tick check" of everyone's scalp, except mine. They told me to go home and have my mom check it out. My hair was too difficult to bother with even attempting the use of a comb.

But the thing that bothered me the most about my hair, aside from the constant urging of everyone I know for me to "wear it down," was my inability to try new hairstyles. Oh, how I've longed for a severe bob. Or bangs, oh my, bangs would be (and could be) a whole post of their own! Damn those bangs-sporting girls!

During the long, curly hair, era of my life, I was able to try some "funky" styles, I used to twist my hair in to mock dreadlocks or put it into those little buns on top of my head like the ska girls. But, overall, no, "funky" does not equal "versatile." Curly hair limits one's style, when it comes to hair. And, dear readers, that's a whole lotta b.s. for this gal, right here.

So, one day, I went to the hair salon with a picture in my hand:

and I said, who wants to have some fun?

One $12 haircut and 10-ish inches of hair later I was the happiest girl in town! I had never felt so free.

All this is to say that, today, while I was reading Jezebel, I came upon this post, and the whole time I was reading it, my only thought was, "Amen, sister."

One more note, that essay that I wrote won in the Humorous Writing category. Yeah. Har-dee-har-har.


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