Monday, November 8, 2010

Haircut Hell

I'm so jealous of my daughters. All three of them can just randomly state "I'm cutting my hair.", do it and there's never any drama. Even with Rachel's waves, which did create a little bit of discomfort when she chopped off her hair earlier this year, she can still cut and go. The last haircut was a bit of a 'screw you' to her ex who disliked the idea of short hair entirely. After 2 years of broken promises, she felt entitled to do something for herself without checking with him first. Considering all the ways a hurting woman can get revenge on an ex, I think Rachel chose the most productive and healthy route. I wish she'd been able to leave her hurt on the floor with the 4 pounds of hair she shed. But I digress...

This is supposed to be about me!

Kidding... just kidding.

Well, only slightly. Just haven't gotten there yet.

Rachel has been straightening her hair. She has an audition for an acting scholarship (among other things) on Sunday and her hair looks far more polished and dignified straight. So, with that in mind, she had Krys trim her hair to just slightly shorter than chin length. It looks awesome. She'll do a great job this weekend going from the slightly scorched (physically and emotionally) animalistic character she plays in Saturday's competition to Sunday's poised and polished young actress doing a monologue.

Here's where some of the jealousy kicks in. As Krys put it, "With your face, short hair makes you look butch, Mama." I really wish I could wear the style Rachel has right now... I mean without looking like the stereotypical white, southern grandmother... or like the male in my relationship. Now you know my stand on negative sexual stereotypes but come on... when someone says 'butch' does a feminine picture come to mind?

*sighs*

After Krys finished Rachel's hair, she started on her own. She's taking 6 inches of length off her hair and it's still shoulder length... it still goes from auburn at the tips to blonde in the center to dark blonde/light brown at the roots. Somehow she carries that look well. It's been less than 2 years since she cut her hair chin length and this is how much it's grown.

If I wore my hair this length, it would look like Dark Helmet... not the look I'm shooting for.

Becka's hair is currently past her backside and longer than a micro-mini skirt. She's cutting 22 inches of it this week for charity and her hair will STILL be past her shoulders.

She could cut her hair shorter than it's been since she was a thumb-sucking toddler and it'd probably be past her shoulders in 6 months. Don't hate her because she's beautiful. Hate her because you want her hair.

Did I mention that not only does their hair grow with above average speed, it's as thick or thicker than their Daddy's hair? The same Daddy who decided to grow his hair long when Krys was a toddler and had a ponytail halfway down his back by the time Becka was born? The boys are the same. They need to see the barber monthly or I lose track of their facial features.

Becka's hair is totally straight... so much so it won't even take a curl for more than a few minutes. Krys has waves but not curls. Rachel has a lot of curl but manages to tame it down to waves.

My hair... well, my hair was once upon a time as straight as Becka's. Then I hit puberty. With each successive child, it has grown curlier and curlier. Something I dreamed of as the only straight haired child in a curly haired family. And I admit, it has it's moments now, when it's finally below my shoulder blades. It's back to the length it was when cutting it short was a necessity because i couldn't lift my arms long enough to even gel my hair, much less braid it or blow it dry. It's taken many years to get back to this length. My hair grows at the rate of a sloth on barbiturates.

I like this length.

Except when I don't.

Now that summer is over and keeping my hair off my neck and out of my face is no longer an issue of survival, I still can't get out of my head the image of the halo of frizz surrounding the too sweaty face that has been my visage since mid-March.

Plus, I'm lazy. If I can wear my hair up and out of my face, I will. Except it rarely looks good that way. Whether I wear it up or down, it requires lots of gel, and smoothing... stuff and anti-frizz spray or pump oils and prayers and contortions and it feels like I'm using my head as a cauldron and getting the curls just right requires a particularly difficult potion and if I get the mixture wrong, I'll end up looking like I have a head full of slightly rusted steel wool... texture included. (or if that offends, my hair is a souffle and if not handled properly it falls flat. Sorry. That analogy just doesn't work) No matter how perfect the look when it's done, if it goes up in any sort of style, wings sprout from my temples and wave to draw attention to themselves.

Which brings me to mumbling something about "just shaving my head". Which, if said within Charlie's earshot, sets off a PTSD like reaction from him where he curls in a ball and puts his hands up to protect himself from the memory of the crazy woman raging through her tears about the idiot at the salon WHO CLEARLY FAILED HER COSMETOLOGY COURSES AND I'M NEVER LEAVING THE HOUSE AGAIN!

When he's able to relax himself enough to regain the powers of speech, Charlie usually begs me not to or attempts to forbid me getting a haircut without planning weeks in advance and providing him a prescription for a powerful anti-anxiety drug.

It's been 20 years since a haircut reduced me to tears but the reaction is the same.

Usually, I end up hiding in the bathroom while he's out or sleeping and trimming away the split ends that only enhance the Professor Trelawney look I so try to avoid. Then, when he doesn't notice, I casually mention I cut my hair and wait for his brief spell of hyperventilation to pass.

Did I ever mention he doesn't do well with change?

Wouldn't it be cool to wake up and not have to worry that only my autistic son sees the merits of my 'morning curls'... to be able to run a brush through my hair and go? Better yet, wouldn't it totally rock to not have to worry at all? I mean, like, without shaving my head at all? I'm pretty sure that would send Charlie into a genuine cardiac event... or psychotic episode. Neither of which I'm willing to risk.

So what are my options?

Learn to like what I have as it is... high maintenance or no... I prayed for curly hair like my sisters for years. It'd be silly to try giving back the gift.

I'm going to take pictures and post pictures of days and moments when my hair isn't up to scratch... and I'm going to deal with it. If I can learn to accept my face, I can accept the hair that goes with it.

Or the clippers will come out and it all gets shaved off.

Either way, It'll be a change.