*This blog entry ended up being almost 1700 words long, so I broke it down into three, bite-size pieces.
If you are a woman, and reading this, you know all too well the pressure we feel to have magnificent hair.
“Your hair is your greatest accessory.”
“I make hair contact before I make eye contact.”
“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge.”
“High fashion begins with great hair.” – Vivienne Tam
Those are just a few quotes about hair that I found online. It’s a big deal, this “crowning glory” that we females carry on their heads.
I, for one, have a very complicated relationship with my hair. I have a photograph of myself and my first dog, when I was 5 years old. It’s one of my favorite photographs. I am wearing a 70’s inspired polyester shirt with brown corduroy jeans. My hair is a glorious red, and curly.
Before junior high, my hair became a more strawberry blonde, and had become more wavy than curly.
In high school, my mother, whose own mother owned her own beauty shop, and was a beautician, would give me permanents. I graduated with short hair, bangs, and curls brought on by small rollers and chemicals.
Thankfully, perms went out of style. I spent college growing my hair to just past my shoulders. It was still the decade of the 80’s hair, and I rocked it as much as an unskilled hair owner could.
Let me back up a bit. Somewhere in junior high, I realized that hair was kind of a big deal. This posed a bit of a problem for me. I grew up playing football with my male next door neighbor. I learned to ride a small dirt bike, taught myself to ride a skate board because the same neighbor boy had one, and weekends found me on my Schwinn, exploring the woods and any creeks I could find.
The other next door neighbors were two girls. A few years older than me, but I vividly remember that they were always dressed so “girly”, took gymnastics, and their hair was always immaculate. Stacy & Christy were their names. After all these years, I still remember. I also remember that boys liked them.
Although my mother was the daughter of a hairdresser, and cut her own “Farrah Fawcett” hair for a few decades, she never taught me the ways of hair styling. Most likely because I showed zero interest in learning.
I never learned to braid hair, or fix my hair in various styles. Unless my mom rolled it, and I slept on plastic rollers, my hair pretty much styled itself until a little past puberty. I will note that my mom did make sure my hair was very presentable on Picture Day. (reading that back, I sound like I looked like a hot mess growing up, but I didn’t.)
My grandmother’s hair legacy to me was giving me this nugget of advice: “Never bleach your hair.”
Thankfully, things like “hair combs”, the “Banana Clip”, and “Scrunchies” were invented. Personally, the Banana Clip was my accouterment of choice for a couple of years. In college, I rocked a Banana Clip, 80’s bangs, and glasses with lenses so large that I looked like I had magnified eyes.
Continued in Part II