The Hair And I

"You will finally develop soft, shiny, touchable hair, just moments before getting hit by a bus--which at first might seem unrelated. "

Although I've suspected as much in recent years, I now have full reason to believe the mop atop my skull is a completely separate being. Growing up, it was hardly a subject worthy of writing home about. At birth it was that shade of jet black that could easily generate controversy and curiosity as to the mailman's true reason for swingin' by twice a day. Luckily for all involved, it quickly fell out as a result of my habitually rubbing it against the carpet to pass the time. In it's place came something white-blond in color, wispy in nature, and generally pulled inhumanely into pigtails secured with yarn.

Through the years, it was braided, teased, crimped, permed, pulled into a side ponytail (man, I miss the '80's), and at the rather experimental young age of 12, dyed. Lacking any real worthwhile acquaintances, I began paying more attention to it. One might even say it became my imaginary friend....It truly did seem to take on a life of it's own. A defiant one, at that. If I attempted to curl it under, it would flip out. If I straightened it, it would suddenly transform into ringlets. If I cut it, it would grow faster and chaotically in protest. Curiously, it seemed the beast simply wished to be treated with some level of artistic care.

I began paying attention to stylists, barbers, and that guy in the dark alley sporting a rusty pair of shears. I watched carefully as varying results would come of dancing a razor along the strands or twisting it all into a knot and clipping bits and pieces in spiral movements. I took mental notes as gels, mousse, pomades, liquid silk, veneers, hairsprays and gadgets were applied. It became a sort of fun little canvas.


I have always admired and further envied my older brother, who holds - to this day - the level of artistic talents the word "genius" doesn't begin to approach. He can work in any and every medium known to man, even those the same man might warn against. He can pick up any instrument, hobby or language with the ease I would kill for if I thought that would get me anywhere. And then there is Annie. Well, when Annie falls, she looks around in the hopes no one was watching that clumsy tumble down the stairs, dusts herself off, and hops right back up on those platform heels. I can't draw, can't paint - played piano for over a decade and still can't read sheet music, aha.... but I still have my imaginary friend. And I was starting to get the hang of placating that friendship.

If I dyed my hair blue, the result would be the purest hue of Cookie Monster blue fathomable. I toyed with shades and brands, products and cuts. I slowly made connections between the color wheel and how to minimize brassy shades of blond. I browsed European stock photos, wig shops and strip clubs; piecing together something I thought would compliment my protruding jawline. Initial results would suggest all that piecing together was accomplished with magazine cutout letters for some ransom note - mistakes were made, oh my, how they were made - but it finally seemed as though I had graduated the equivalent of Elementary School for Hair.


Nowadays, I'm all too aware of this familiar I carry around. It's at once an ice-breaker, follicle carnival or invitation for debate. I won't pretend some remarks don't generate oodles of personal amusement: "Do you have to have fucked up hair to SHOP here too?", "Did those flying monkeys get you again?", "It's like a thousand tiny erections!".... Wait... WHAT??? My husband groans as complete strangers have a habit of leaping in front of our moving vehicle to get a closer look.

What was once a quiet coffee outing between two is now a group discussion about hairdressers and highlights. I don't pretend for a moment to be some omnipotent guru for all things hair. It was merely a personal journey to achieve what I like for myself. As an unfortunate side-effect, this personal journey pushes the door wide open in unstated welcome to the same world which causes me to recoil in fear. I have done nothing short of creating a monster. Yet in the same instance, my monster knows damn well I wouldn't hesitate in breaking out the Bic should it rise up against it's master. After all, I have always day-dreamed of dipping my toes in the cool (and time saving) relief of that pool of wigs....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Kitty

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Hair And I

"You will finally develop soft, shiny, touchable hair, just moments before getting hit by a bus--which at first might seem unrelated. "

Although I've suspected as much in recent years, I now have full reason to believe the mop atop my skull is a completely separate being. Growing up, it was hardly a subject worthy of writing home about. At birth it was that shade of jet black that could easily generate controversy and curiosity as to the mailman's true reason for swingin' by twice a day. Luckily for all involved, it quickly fell out as a result of my habitually rubbing it against the carpet to pass the time. In it's place came something white-blond in color, wispy in nature, and generally pulled inhumanely into pigtails secured with yarn.

Through the years, it was braided, teased, crimped, permed, pulled into a side ponytail (man, I miss the '80's), and at the rather experimental young age of 12, dyed. Lacking any real worthwhile acquaintances, I began paying more attention to it. One might even say it became my imaginary friend....It truly did seem to take on a life of it's own. A defiant one, at that. If I attempted to curl it under, it would flip out. If I straightened it, it would suddenly transform into ringlets. If I cut it, it would grow faster and chaotically in protest. Curiously, it seemed the beast simply wished to be treated with some level of artistic care.

I began paying attention to stylists, barbers, and that guy in the dark alley sporting a rusty pair of shears. I watched carefully as varying results would come of dancing a razor along the strands or twisting it all into a knot and clipping bits and pieces in spiral movements. I took mental notes as gels, mousse, pomades, liquid silk, veneers, hairsprays and gadgets were applied. It became a sort of fun little canvas.


I have always admired and further envied my older brother, who holds - to this day - the level of artistic talents the word "genius" doesn't begin to approach. He can work in any and every medium known to man, even those the same man might warn against. He can pick up any instrument, hobby or language with the ease I would kill for if I thought that would get me anywhere. And then there is Annie. Well, when Annie falls, she looks around in the hopes no one was watching that clumsy tumble down the stairs, dusts herself off, and hops right back up on those platform heels. I can't draw, can't paint - played piano for over a decade and still can't read sheet music, aha.... but I still have my imaginary friend. And I was starting to get the hang of placating that friendship.

If I dyed my hair blue, the result would be the purest hue of Cookie Monster blue fathomable. I toyed with shades and brands, products and cuts. I slowly made connections between the color wheel and how to minimize brassy shades of blond. I browsed European stock photos, wig shops and strip clubs; piecing together something I thought would compliment my protruding jawline. Initial results would suggest all that piecing together was accomplished with magazine cutout letters for some ransom note - mistakes were made, oh my, how they were made - but it finally seemed as though I had graduated the equivalent of Elementary School for Hair.


Nowadays, I'm all too aware of this familiar I carry around. It's at once an ice-breaker, follicle carnival or invitation for debate. I won't pretend some remarks don't generate oodles of personal amusement: "Do you have to have fucked up hair to SHOP here too?", "Did those flying monkeys get you again?", "It's like a thousand tiny erections!".... Wait... WHAT??? My husband groans as complete strangers have a habit of leaping in front of our moving vehicle to get a closer look.

What was once a quiet coffee outing between two is now a group discussion about hairdressers and highlights. I don't pretend for a moment to be some omnipotent guru for all things hair. It was merely a personal journey to achieve what I like for myself. As an unfortunate side-effect, this personal journey pushes the door wide open in unstated welcome to the same world which causes me to recoil in fear. I have done nothing short of creating a monster. Yet in the same instance, my monster knows damn well I wouldn't hesitate in breaking out the Bic should it rise up against it's master. After all, I have always day-dreamed of dipping my toes in the cool (and time saving) relief of that pool of wigs....

No comments:

Post a Comment