my hair - my nemesis. my best mate. we've grown up together, been through it all. and what adventures we've had! i was born with a full head of hair into which my mother immediately placed a pink plastic curler to give me the ultimate alfalfa. florence's home beauty shop with my grandma in the summers - she would have her hair 'set' and i would pretend to read babysitters club books while listening out for the latest juicy bit of small-town gossip. when it wasn't summer my mama took me to mary ann's hair care, with the most amazing original leatherette seats and dryers straight out of steel magnolias. she would tell me how she'd never seen hair as thick as mine and that it would never hold a body wave - little did she know my ma and my aunt peggy had given me a home perm in the summer of '86 in my grandma's kitchen! it was a look i won't be revisiting.
my thick, heavy hair comes from my mom's side. my great-grandmother minnie suffered from headaches because of hers but still managed to rock the trends.
my mom went through hours to perfect her up-do's and beehives. her shoulder-length hair remained straight on her wedding day despite having slept in curlers all nite long - it was too thick to dry!
and then there's me. i've always wanted curl it seemed, i guess because my hair is so straight naturally. and so very thick. throughout adolescence i sported many a ponytail and didn't have the patience for bangs. i was so happy to have my hair french braided or rolled in curlers, i just lapped it up. it seems every hairdresser i've been to has said something along the lines of 'you have the thickest hair i've ever seen' which doesn't do much to appease my desire for fine curls! as a senior in high school i was so fed up with my hair (and let's face it, life as a high schooler in general!) that i went to a 'chic' salon and asked for a boy-ish cut like winona ryder's on the recent cover of vogue. there was no turning back - when i look at the pictures now (sorry i don't have any to hand over here) i look just like my little brother! i'd also always dreamed of going to beauty college, and when i spent a year in germany my friend maeve - who also dreamed of beauty school - would experiment on my hair and gave me the shortest fringe i've ever had. it was after that year that i let my hair grow out and went back to mary ann's haircare for a vidal sassoon-style bob that i would maintain for the next seven or eight years.
my linus blanket proved to be a long fringe in the front that i either pinned back with all sorts of accessories or let fly free for what i thought a 'dramatic' moment. i was so set in my asymmetrical ways that it was only after six years or so that i wanted to experiment with different textures, cutting the back hairline into different 'wavy' shapes and once even cutting the right side off severely short.
when i started going to camrin i really felt like i had someone i could trust - a haircut can make or break right? and she said more than once that cutting my hair was like making a work of art. so it was only camrin that i could trust to strip me of my linus blanket. and once we cut it there was no turning back.
i was in love, so happy that i'd finally let go of the long fringe and i felt like a new person. mind you, i wasn't quite ready to let go of the bob!
two years on (last summer), i was ready to wave buh-bye to the bob. and the bangs. and enjoy all the challenges and impatience that comes with growing out one's hair. which led to sleepin' in curlers (for the first times in nearly a decade!) as i tried to perfect a poufy front, and starting to experiment with braids as soon as it grew an inch. a lot of people ask me if i do the braids myself (yes, i do), how long it takes (about ten minutes max) etc. and as you may have noticed, the pouf and plaits have become my new linus blanket. i don't feel like myself without them.
this week, as i begin to think about turning 29 (on the 1st!), i'm having funn looking back at my hair - in photos and in my memories - and as of late i've even worn my hair -gasp! - down a few times or in a low-slung ponytail. it's a bit rewarding to take the braids down and have a few waves in my otherwise stick-straight hair - plus, i can see how much it's really growing! i've been contemplating cutting my fringe short again so i can have something 'new and different' (and secretly so my pouf can get a bit of it's pouf back!). it's crazy but i feel completely out of my comfort zone with my hair long and 'out'. so i don't know if i'm ready to let go of my linus blanket just yet ... i am, however, tempted to birthday-treat myself to a lush hairbrush and a trip to see the lovely boys at whites.