Thursday, January 26, 2012

The "Hair" Post, or how I've been agonizing about hair since 1977 ;)

Here's the plan, folks. I'll write the post, then I'll take my time and make a photo album & link to it. And then, maybe I'll insert photos in the post later. I'll do this because I've been writing this post in my head for at least four or five years, it's hard time I get it out, isn't it?! 

I think it must have been 1977, the year I turned six. I don't know for sure. All I know is that my mom must have overreacted and been so upset about it that now I remember details from that day. Walking down the street and entering a door that led to the hair salon and leaving the place afterwards.

Problem was, the hairdresser cut my hair way too short, not exactly what you call a "pixie" cut here, but short and ugly. And I think that my (yes, that's unfortunately true) "unfulfillable" lifelong wish to have beautiful, long hair must have started that day. Alas, it was not to be!

I don't think I cared much about the short haircut, but I most certainly remember it. My mom kept my hair at "bob" length for most of my life. And she always carefully combed it and tried to straighten it, so it didn't look that great, but it was OK. What I never understood was why my mom never let my hair grow long (and I don't have the answer to this question, I never asked her, but I can speculate why).

At 13 I rebelled against my nicely combed curls. For the first time in my life I tried what was called (in Brazil, in English!) "rinse" cream (creme rinse). I distinctly remember the first times I put it in my hair and rinsed it off. I hated the sensation in the skin down my back, I got all slippery and sticky and even after the shower, it still felt strange. But... it made the hair so soft!!

And I quickly found out a secret! If I washed my hair, got out of the shower, shook my head like a wet puppy, and let my hair air dry like that, I would have a head covered in curls! That was new and pretty much it consisted the bulk of my "teenage rebelliousness."

From that day forward (I think it was 1984, time for the "New Wave" fashions, bright colors such as neon and lime green, hot pink, strong lavender... sigh... it was fun), my mom never touched my hair again.

A few years later I was able to proudly wear my hair in a short bob, parted on the side, kind of puffy, shorter in the back, just like a famous actress, I felt so cool!

That must have been my "high point" as far as hair is concerned. After that, I could never find a good hairdresser and I had a series of bad haircuts. The one I hated the most was the "mullet," which is how my hair looked when met K. I started growing it out soon after we met, though, and let it grow long for our wedding. Sigh.

My hair cannot be grown long, though. You  may think that such a thing doesn't exist, but that's becaue you don't know my hair. It's curly, so it looks like a lot, but I don't have that much hair and... the worst part of it, it's extremely, horribly fine, super thin. So... I can let it grow all I want, but it will thin out at the bottom and just look bad. (I rarely did it throughout my life, only now in the past 3-4 years -- but blow-drying the hair straight just make it look even thinner and lifeless).

After I moved to the U.S. I never cut my hair. Lack of money, fear of having a bad haircut. I went for years without haircuts, literally. I know. Horrible. The worst was during my pregnancy with Linton, I think it was the longest it ever got in my life. And it didn't look good, no, it did not.

I found some wonderful hairdressers in Brazil, though, and they cut my hair short and I realized it that I could even blow dry it (only during late Fall, Winter and early Spring) because the heated and dry environments here in the U.S. would keep it nice.

One of my favorite jokes (with just a hint of truth in it) is to say that I cannot go back to Brazil because that would mean living constantly with "bad hair days" (and, summers are one looong, never ending "bad hair season" for me, I have the photos to prove it, many of them).

In conclusion, I'm writing this post to document this angst with hair that has followed me all my life. There's obviously more to this topic (not to mention tons of photos documenting every single thing I say -- remember the day of my 40th birthday, for example?), but I'll stop here for now.

The reason I wrote this post? I am always 100% decided that I will have the most radical haircut of all my life, in which the back will be really short and the front longer, which is the total opposite of how I've had my hair for the past 7 years when I began to have a "bob" most of the time.

You have no idea how "brave" I need to be to do this. This post cannot convey all that I've felt about hair and having haircuts over the years, but... you know what? I think it's time to "rebel" again, enjoy my forties, enjoy my dark hair before more white ones starts to crop up and when getting highlights won't be just an option, but a need if I want to disguise them. ;) I have this crazy "dream" though, that like my dad, and his mother before him, I will have very few white hairs. Except that I've got my mother's genes & everyone in her family gets to have gorgeous silver hair...  Well, the future will tell what will happen to mine!

1 comment:

Ink said...

Do it! ASAP! Because if you don't like it, then it will grow back, but you may LOVE it and wonder why you waited so long to do it.

I can relate to the Hair Stress because pretty much every haircut I've ever had has sucked. (Mine is curly, too, though it's too thick and, well, enormous if I grow it very long.) People always try to layer it and it just makes it stick out more. So I have resigned myself to a life of The Shoulder-Length Bob at this point, though...all one length and I can pull it back, which I do every day. No blow drying or anything required. Boring but easy.

However, my greys have just started REALLY coming in and they're sprouting from the center top of my head and sort of weird looking since they'r not all grown in yet. After a few years of trying highlights and coloring, I've decided just to let it be natural. I'm quasi-fascinated about what it will look like grown in. Thank goodness academia is rife with salt-and-pepper heads. Am going to think of them as free highlights! Silver ones, but still: free! ;)

Sorry for the long comment--guess I had a lot to say about this subject.

I hope you do go for the cool new style!