Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Adventures in Hair

Well folks, I’ve finally arrived at a point I thought I would never see since I embarked on my latest journey of hair growth. I actually like it. It’s at a decent length where I can pin-curl it, brush it out, manipulate some rolls into it, and leave the house with confidence of some sort.

That being said, I have to stop and reflect on the long and rocky history of the relationship I’ve had with my hair. Let’s go back to the beginning…*harp music plays- key the dream sequence*

As a little girl, I had wild, soft, light brown, angelic curly ringlets. Then in first grade, I was one of the lucky children to get lice (quelle horreur!). My hair was chopped short in an effort to rid my scalp of the little pests. It was never the same after that!

I had a mess of unruly waves and curls that neither myself nor my mother could make sense of. I started dying it in junior high thinking that if I couldn’t be happy with the texture, at least I could have some fun with the color. I can remember experiments using Kool-aid and Sun-In. There came a point where my mom paid to have my hair chemically straightened. It was BEAUTIFUL…for a day…then I washed it…and it went back to the same mess.

Then came that golden day- the day I received my first straightening iron. *angels sing* My life changed. I could do anything with my straight hair…but it got even better. I saw a documentary about Bettie Page on the E! Channel. Black hair and bangs became my mantra.

You’d think once I found something that worked I would have stuck with it. Heavens, no. I jumped on the rollercoaster and away I went.

Short black bob with bangs. Bleach out the black. Brown-blonde hair with bangs. Grow out the bangs. Cut the bangs back. Red hair with bangs. Back to black hair with bangs. Cut it all off into a spiky pixie. Grow back out to black bob with bangs. Cut short again. Add dread-lock extensions and shave back. Grow back to bob with no bangs. Cut bangs again. Grow out into shaggy bob, let color go back to brown. Dye black again. Cut completely short. Bleach out. Dye a billion different shades of red. Grow out. Dye black again.

I’m sure I missed something. 30 years of dye, damage, and chaos!

A brief (and incomplete) history of my many hair-dos (and dont's)

Anyway, now, here I am! I suppose the most interesting part is that I never thought I would actually be encouraging my natural curl and while I feel like I’ve finally stumbled onto something new and sublime, I recall a conversation with grandmother. When asking her how she managed to accomplish her beautiful and sophisticated hairstyles in the 1940s, she laughed.

“We never knew what we were doing, we just curled it and pinned up any old way.”

…and can you guess how many hairstyles and shades my grandmother has been through in all her 89 years on this earth?

Something tells me that even though I’m happy with my hair now…tomorrow is yet another day…

My Grandma with her lovely hair (and my handsome Grandpa) on their wedding day in the 1940s.


  1. Awesome! I love finding vintage girls that had as many hair colors/styles as I did growing up! How I'm not bald now, I have no idea :)