Beauty and the beast: Hair

Hair / Long beautiful hair / Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen … 

Hair can be the bane of a person’s life.  Too much, too little, too straight, too curly, too thick, too fine, too unmanageable.  An enormous industry is built on thousands of products of must-haves to curl, volumise, texturise, smooth, straighten, condition, tame, tousle, gloss, silken. 

Then there’s all the tools – ionic hair dryers with names that sound like James Cameron movies, ceramic hair straighteners and curling irons, I don’t know what else [no, really, I don’t know, have no idea].  And the hair stylists, who probably are the most important element in all of it; if you don’t have a good cut to begin with, it doesn’t matter how much gloop you put on your hair.

[Personally I don’t think it matters what gloop or how much you put on your hair in the first place, because hello, it’s dead material.  You can’t bring it back to life, like some furry Lazarus.  You can change the appearance of it a little, adding colour and equally fake shine, but that’s it.  It reflects some outward signs of inner health, but that’s it.]

Anyway the relationship between you and your hair-dresser can be a deeply personal one.  I know how much angst girls can get into over whether to leave a hair-dresser or say they didn’t like a style, and I’ve never been able to understand the attitude.  Maybe they wouldn’t care if you went back and said “hey, this really isn’t working for me, can we fix it please?”  Or maybe they wouldn’t even notice you hadn’t come back?  I’ve always been pretty dismissive and easy about who I got to cut my hair [I was highly permissive in that respect] but over the last few years Tux and I have gone to the same salon where all the stylists are brilliant and knowledgeable, and our current “Art Director” is really nice, no bullshit, perceptive about personal style and maintenance levels, a very talented cutter and we always have loads of fun chatting.

Growing hair out can be a traumatic procedure as all women know, especially when transitioning from a short layered cut.  Managing all the stages in between, the wispy bits and frizzy layers, can be a right pain in the arse.  I’ve gone through many changes in length over the years, from waist length mane to above the ears shaggy bob.  I think I’ve figured out what suits and what doesn’t; fortunately for me my face shape and hair type are such that the possibilities are limited so I don’t have to agonise much.

I have a round face with chubby cheeks; my hair is wavy and while fine, but there’s loads of it.  I’m extremely low maintenance in my approach to styling [ie, none at all] and in fact my hair seems to respond badly to too much interference.  I also shed like a —, well, like a mad shedding thing.  Handfuls and handfuls.  It doesn’t seem to make much difference to how much is actually left on my head at any one time, and isn’t caused by anything in particular [it’s quite common for people to experience major shedding about six months after a stressful event; maybe my entire life is six months after a stressful event?].

. . . . . . . . . .

Currently my mane falls beneath the shoulder blades at the back, with choppy layers around the face at above-the-chin level.  I’ve been growing it out from a shorter more layered cut, which looked pretty cute but didn’t really suit my personal style or lack thereof, and it required this stuff called product to make it look really good.  So there have been lots of in-between stages but it looks fuller and much healthier right now at one length with the chunky layers surrounding the face.

I always used to dry it via the scrunching method – whether drying with a towel or hair-dryer I’d scrunch it up into it’s natural curls and waves.  Very much the tousled bed-head look.  Lately I’ve been drying it smooth and combed out – not dead-straight as it’s far too wavy and uncontrollable for that, and again, I’m too lazy to spend the time and product.  While it lies smooth and full there’s still plenty of full waves and little ringlets.  I like it heaps better as it looks a lot tidier, shinier and in better condition, and – dare I say it? – just a little more sophisticated than The Muppet ‘do.

Tux likes it better because he can run his fingers through it without getting tangled in a Little Shop Of Horrors scenario and several birds pecking him half to death.

I’m considering a colour treatment at the moment.  I still don’t have any grey hairs, but the colour is a sort of tawny-auburn-brown and is a bit blah at the moment, so a bit of a lift would be nice.  I’m thinking along the lines of a deep warm chocolate brown with a few gold-red highlights as contrast.  What do you reckon?  What colours and styles have you “played” with over the years?  [Boys can answer this too!]

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  • Scary  On Monday 17 March 2008 at 12:55 am

    I don’t have enough hair. You can see my scalp and I HATE it. I got it from my Mum and it is only set to get thinner.

    Jeremiah likes it long which makes it look even thinner, my natural color doesn’t suit me but I can’t bring myself to pay all the money it costs to get a decent color when there are starving people in the world (and it would put me in the red) and short hair doesn’t suit me anyway.

    Wow! That came out awfully fast. I didn’t realize I had such a problem with it!

  • jules  On Monday 17 March 2008 at 1:20 pm

    Ahh Scary, you poor thing! I know how you feel, b/c a few times I have lost so much hair I looked like I was going totally bald; had to cut it all off to ear-length & start again. Both my bros. are prematurely bald, & they shave their hair almost off! There’s nothing you can do, really … wear a lot of hats / bandannas maybe? Extensions? [save up all the mustangs’ tail-groomings …] Hey at least it’s not so heavy it gives you headaches, right? I’m with you on the hair colour thing, too, it really is a shocking waste of money; le siiiigh … I think your hair is really pretty, if that helps!

    Aren’t hetero guys funny about the long hair thing? They ALL go for it. I know the anthropological / sociobiological reason for preference-for-blondes, but don’t get the long hair thing at all. Maybe b/c it’s a sign of general good health? Or b/c men are such visual creatures & it’s sexy, all swishy & tumbling around shoulders & breasts? Tux prefers mine long too [but then so do I … it’s not just for his sake — truly, honest!].

  • desperatehorsewife  On Monday 17 March 2008 at 4:27 pm

    Scary, I shall share my hair with you! I’ll pick up the stuff off the shower floor and mail it to you…you can tape it onto your head. It may look funny, as it’s not long and straight and beautiful; rather fuzzy and a bit of red and gray mixed together…but I’m happy to share, lol!

    As for long…well, City Boy likes mine when it’s not so long. A guy I used to work for once said, after I came in with a new hair cut, “I usually like long hair on women, but you look better with it short.” It’s because it’s so big and curly…you can’t run your fingers through it and it’s just such a mess.

    As for color…hey, I do it myself! Saves me soooo much money!

  • Sue  On Sunday 4 May 2008 at 5:26 am

    Yikes, Jules, I think we have exactly the same hair! I am, however, an avowed user of product, and squirt all kinds of shite into my locks to encourage the curl. I am seriously relieved that I don’t ‘have’ to blow my head dry anymore— more time in the scratcher!
    I also shed like a Husky, you could weave a blanket out of what I drop in a day. I’ve taken to combing out my hair whilst still in the shower, it seems to minimise what clogs up the drains and what clings to back of my coat… but not by much…

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