In the spirit of full disclosure, you should know this post isn’t a philosophical look at change theories. I do not ponder whether humans can correct the character flaws of other humans.
Nope, this post is about my hair. Specifically, this post is about my ongoing negotiations about whether or not to actually fix my troublesome hair in the morning or to embrace my go-to ponytail persona. Ahhhh, finally a topic into which I can sink my journalistic teeth!
I do not consider myself a shallow person, but this post serves as a confession that my hair has guided a good portion of my decisions since about the fifth grade when I started caring about how I look. Since that time, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my dark locks. On the love side, I was blessed with a thick head of hair that is conducive to many different styles. On the hate side, I have a thick head of hair that is neither straight nor curly and any bit of humidity leaves me looking like a Chia pet who stuck her hand (paw?) in a light socket.
I remember accompanying my mother to her hair appointment and the stylist commenting with pity about the fact that I have enough hair for 2 people. She followed her comment with, “But at least you don’t have enough hair for 3 people like your mom does!” From that point on, I started to compare my poufy hair to the unfair prevalence of sleek and straight hair that existed all around me. While mine wasn’t made for the long, stick-straight style I desperately wanted, I occasionally fooled my hair into thinking this was possible (through a good hour of blow-drying and the application of dozens of products). The result was me spending the evening walking with a stiff neck so as not to mess up a single strand. Regardless of the fact I probably looked like a whiplash victim in need of a neck brace, I was pretty proud of my system. However, I’d inevitably come home to find that, even though I left the house looking like this…
I was returning looking like this…
Humidity aside, my challenge has always been that if I spend the time to dry, straighten, curl, re-straighten, spray, and straighten my hair again, I certainly don’t want to do anything to mess that up for at least 24 hours, sometimes 48 if I can swing it. This makes the decision to engage in any of the following activities far bigger than it needs to be: going swimming, going to the gym, going on a bike ride in temperatures in excess of 70 degrees, walking near a pool, and standing outside in temperatures in excess of 70 degrees. I should note this list is not exhaustive.
I look at other women who have perfectly coiffed hair EVERY DAY and wonder how they do it, in much the same way as many probably wonder how I balance a full-time job and several side hobby-jobs with family life. To-mA-to, To-mAH-to. I get up every morning and negotiate with myself about whether I’m going to expend the effort to tame the mane. Inevitably I decide that I’d rather spend an extra 45 minutes sleeping, playing “Hanging With Friends,” cuddling with my children, or watching paint dry. Even as I write this, I’m absentmindedly playing with a still-wet braid since this is my go-to style on the days I’m too lazy to reach for the blow dryer. Plus I’m going to the gym later, so what would be the point? (I just realized I’m applying the same theory non-bed-makers apply to their justifications for not making the bed….that they’re just going to get into it again later.)
If I haven’t concerned you already with how much I worry about my hair, let me share a few of my failed attempts at making the job of fixing my hair a little less painful:
- One time I decided that I shouldn’t have to actually ruin a perfectly good blowout just because my hair needed washing. I theorized that I could put my hair up in a high ponytail and wet and shampoo only my scalp, while the rest of the hair would stay dry. Terrible, terrible plan. If you don’t believe me, just try it.
- Several times I’ve cut my hair short in order to force myself to fix my hair in the morning. If your hair can’t fit into a ponytail, you are forced to whip out the old blow dryer and get to work. Right? While this is true, in theory, long-haired chia pets can be tamed far easier than short-haired chia pets. Inevitably, my short styles have been replaced with long styles within a couple of years at the most.
- Many folks have mentioned “miracle” products that “changed their lives.” Yes, I use the hair serum with the best of them and it helps. However, I also gave dry shampoo a whirl. Granted I haven’t played around with multiple brands, but my limited experience tells me that this stuff is whack! I might as well be dumping baby powder in my hair (which actually works a lot better at absorbing oil, by the way). Plus, it made my dark hair look like I had a dandruff problem. No bueno!
- In an effort to achieve the stick-straight look I’ve always wanted, one time I chemically straightened my hair. All I have to say is that straight horse hair is just as bad of a look as Chia pet hair.
As I conclude my self-indulgent and superficial rant, let me say that plenty of you who know me in real life are likely wondering what in the heck I’m talking about because you think I have beautiful hair. This just goes to show that rarely are we happy with what we have. I am disappointed with the hair I have been given. Others may be disappointed with another physical feature or a seemingly unfair life situation. Regardless, we are more critical of ourselves than anyone else will ever be and realizing this should take the pressure off of our ongoing quest for perfection.
I feel this is a nice message to glean from today’s post. I came up with it on the fly to redirect your attention from the conclusion you likely already came to, which is that I’m just super lazy!
I will not argue with you, friend, as arguing sounds way too exhausting. 🙂 Have a great hair day!