Each morning I point a hairdryer at my head to dry and style my hair. That’s a generous description since I doubt it ever looks as good as when my hairdresser does it. After a few minutes of brushing and lifting I have to stop because I’m now so overheated it’s canceling out the shower I just took. When everything looks in place – though I can’t really see the back of my head – I add a spritz of hairspray and I’m ready to face the outdoors.
I leave the building, braced for the gauntlet I have to run to get to my office. It can be humid summer air, wrapping around me like a steamy blanket, or cold wet wind undoing my careful coiffure. My hair is relatively straight, but a wonky wave emerges with humidity. After a few blocks walking to the train, I probably look just like I did rolling out of bed, or possibly even wilder.
As a toddler, I sported a cute pixie haircut. I suspect my mom favored this because I’d be easier to groom. After wrestling with my own daughter’s long thick hair, I completely understand that motivation. Somewhere around 4th grade, I grew my hair out. Long straight hair gave me options: braids, pony tails, buns, or loose and flowing. Occasionally I experimented with curling my hair, but no method could overcome the length – curls would just fall out in no time.
I got a dramatic Dorothy Hamill cut in college, but eventually grew that out as well and succumbed to a popular 80’s perm. Yes, I was finally going to have curly hair! I kept up the smelly, harsh treatments for years, and finally went back to a shorter cut. Shorter is supposed to mean easier, but it never seems that way. I’m still adding “product” to try to give my limp hair some body, and propping it up to withstand a breeze.
Maybe it’s just not short enough. Some women who have a really short cut say they only have to run their fingers through their hair after a shower, and they’re done. A spiky ‘do that tells the world that you’re cool and won’t be caught dead in a salon. Right now, I think that childhood pixie is looking mighty good.