Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's Just Hair ... Right?

This morning Aaron came downstairs after breakfast and asked me to help him put his hair up in a mohawk.  Hmmm.  A mohawk, huh?  Really?

Just yesterday we had the debate about getting a hair cut.  I wanted to trim up his hair - it was getting a bit curly over his ears and the back was a little scruffy.  He wanted to leave it long, "I like it like this, Mom".  Okay ... how about we compromise?  I got to cut off the back and clean it up over his ears and he got to have it long-ish on top.  We both walked away happy.

But now ... a mohawk?  There wasn't really enough to make an authentic spiky mohawk, but there was enough to goop together to make a spike down the middle.  We headed upstairs and applied the hair glue.  It's really called that.  Glue.  I started to pull the hair together toward the middle and I heard my mother's voice in my ear:  It's just hair.  And then the slideshow of past hair-do's began to run through my mind.  My mother must have repeated that mantra a lot through the years ... just about every time I came out of the bathroom!

Here's a little walk down Hair-Do Lane.  Proceed with caution!

When this is what I started with, it's no wonder it only got wilder from here!  I guess I was just glad to have hair!  My mom remembers taping bows to my head, just so people would know I was a girl ... when I was two.

But when I finally started growing hair ... it came in with a vengeance!   And still does!

It was long, pretty much straight with a few haphazard curls to keep things interesting.  I wore braids, pony tails, pig-tails ... and apparently hair pieces ...

I'm not entirely sure where the wig came from, but we have pictures of each of us kids wearing it.  It definitely adds a little something.  A little color.  A little curl.  A little curiousness.

Next we have a hair-do that I had a for a loooong time.  I think it was "in" at the time.  I guess I hope it was!  We had one side short and one side long ... and by "we", I mean my sister and I.

We had matching hair-do's ... only we were mirror images of each other.

This was the hair-style that for a while also sported rat-tails.  Yeah ... I'm hoping that was an "in" thing, too.  I remember braiding that little wisp of hair, putting beads on it and also just letting it curl and go free.  I'm sure the style was easy for swimming and for keeping up with ... but it is definitely the hair-memory that gives me the most hee-bee-jeebies.  I'm just glad that I share this 'do with my Sissy.  It makes it a tad bit more bearable!

Next, I went for an all-over even length ... and curl.  A lot of curl.  Fake curl.  This would be the era of perms for me.  Years and years of perms.  My sincerest apologies to my hair for the chemical torture endured.

Here we see the fan to either side of the face:  hair-sprayed and blow-dried into place.  The bangs also are curled, teased and lacquered to withstand any and all weather conditions.  And this would be considered my polished, permed look.  Every hair glued in place.  Next we have the perm on a regular sort of day ...

Eeek.  There is a lot of frizz here ... almost a "crimper" style.  But the big bow holding all those wacky curls back is truly the topper.  I imagine that there is a good amount of hair-spray in use keeping the top and sides slicked ... no wispy run-aways here.  But the cuckoo curls do not stop here.  Nope.  Here we have the coup de grâce of curls.

This must be an amazing combination of chemical perm, high-heat blow-drying, teasing and neglect of anything like a moisturizing conditioner.  Can you hear the pitiful little cry of each hair?  "please, please ... let us be ... stop the torture ..." :)  It pains me to say that this was "my look" for a while.  I have a number of pictures of me with this 'do:  playing the flute, going to prom, headed to school.  I'll save you the silliness, but suffice it say, this was definitely a look I was going for.  (head shake ...)

I'm glad to say that at about my junior year, I gave my hair a rest.  And look what happened.  It revolted ...

It's confused and doesn't know where to go or whether to curl or be straight!  I vividly remember this morning because I was trying to get my hair together and suddenly there was this cowlick that showed up right in the middle of my forehead.  It must have developed over-night because I had no idea what to do with it.  Some hairs wanted to go left while the rest wanted to go right.  I remember a lot of curling and squooshing and spritzing and hoping.  And then this is the picture that came back for the year book.  Oh, the horror! :)  Fortunately, I learned how to work with the cowlick and my senior year I enjoyed a simple, stylish hair-do that actually was complementary.  

But it was also a lot of work!  All that hair to dry and straighten so that I could curl it again.  Remember ... I had some curl, unpredictable curl, but still curl.  For many years I fought against the natural wave of my hair, mainly because it wasn't anything I could actually control.  I still can't.
As you can see from my adult years, I have continued to try new and different looks:

Straight and short ...

Curly and shorter ...

Longer and a bit wavy ...

And finally ... living with the curl and letting it go!

So ... I guess it really is "just hair".  It grows.  It does it's own thing.  It endures all attempts to control and  tame it.  I guess it will also survive a mohawk.  But, I'm still not sold on the idea.

Actually, this morning I got Aaron's hair all gooped up and slicked together in the middle ... and stopped.  I just couldn't do it.  We compromised (again) and he went to school with his hair standing up - spiked and looking sharp (ha, ha ... pun intended!).  Maybe over the holiday break he can sport a mohawk and I can get used to the idea ... or maybe he'll have another hair-do in mind.  Trends change pretty quickly!


I wrote this post a few weeks ago ... and as of day 11 of our break, we are still mohawk-free. :)

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