Friday, January 14, 2011

Revelations of a Wavy Woman

“What after all is a halo? It's only one more thing to keep clean” –Christopher Fry
So, I’ve revealed that I have hair issues. I vowed at a tender age to never, ever dye, perm, bleach, crimp, straighten, or otherwise abuse my hair. The challenge hasn’t been too difficult. I’m kind of a blue jeans and basics girl. I change my hairstyle every few decades and then only under extreme duress, but I must confess that I have not always been true to my vow. I was a teen in the late ‘80s and I am guilty of mass hair spray consumption. Yes, I too had poofy bangs teased to humiliating heights with a blow dryer and curling iron. I even sported a spiral perm for my wedding. Then, for the next decade or so, I settled on soft, feathered bangs and tamed long locks, courtesy of blow-dried, hair-frizzing heat. I was perfectly content. Until…
I partied like it was 1999. Nah, not so much. The dawning of the millennium found me heavily pregnant with twins. It was then that I first began to notice it- the first signs of betrayal. It was subtle at first. The color shifted. My auburn locks were turning blonde on the ends. I looked like I was growing out a dye job. My hair was mocking me! Gradually the changes became more aggressive. My soft feathered bangs wouldn’t behave at all. They wanted to…GASP!...CURL! My hair was becoming coarse, multi-colored, and un-manageable. Well I was not about to go down without a fight. I applied more heat. I spent more time brushing and coaxing and pressing my hair into place, but the battle was on and I was losing.
Finally, several years later, a friend (and supervisor at the time) convinced cajoled coerced inspired me (yes, that’s it!) to let my hair do its thing. I worked up the courage to just step out of the shower one day and sure enough (how could she have known?!) my hair dried in soft, spiral curls. Well…I’ll be damned. All that time I thought my hair was misbehaving and it was actually transforming.
I set out to learn how to handle my curls and stumbled onto Lorraine Massey’s Curly Girl method. Now I am a born again poo-free curly girl. That’s right. I said poo-free. I haven’t used shampoo for over two years. I step into the shower every morning, rinse, condition, scrub my scalp, rinse, finger comb, and leave it alone. I plop my curls in an old t-shirt to dry, which by the way is a fabulous way to embarrass your teenagers. I add a little clear gel to tame frizz and I’m good to go. I confess I love to set my curls with a bit of diffused heat (I know Lorraine, I am hanging my head in shame) but that is the limit to my hair care.
I finally embraced my hair and let it do its own thing. I was at peace with my curls. Until…
I shot a glance at the mirror one day and holy crap! There was one, defiant, solid white curl plastered square on the front of my forehead. For the love of all things, where the crap did that come from?! In an unforeseen instant I was back to coaxing. I separated the white hairs and poked them back into other, more pigmented curls and added a bit of gel to keep them in place. I thought I had conquered the curl, but occasionally, without any warning it would just reassemble itself. It was totally unpredictable. Two, three days would pass and then out of the clear blue sky whoop! There it is, right smack in the middle of my forehead. I was mad. I was grumpy. I was beginning to consider…GASP! dye. And then one day it occurred to me- this little white curl- it’s my halo. That’s right. Some days I’m a handful. Some days I wear a white halo.  
I am again at peace with my curls.     

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