Last week, I got my hair cut for the first time in six months. The stylist was a take-control type, which I love. I don’t get my hair cut very often, and usually by the time I find the gumption and energy to make it to a salon, I end up slumped helplessly in the stylist’s chair, too beaten down and demoralized to make any decisions whatsoever about my hair. I don’t want to have an endless, wishy-washy back-and-forth about what I “want”. I have never once known what I want. I expect the cosmetologist to decide these things for me. That’s what they get paid for. To my relief, my stylist Pedro was an alpha, and after a few minutes of eye-squinting, mirror-peering, and hair-fluffing, he told me exactly what we were going to do, and how. I surrendered to his capable hands, and after an hour of obsessive-compulsive precision cutting, he went completely nuts with the blow dryer. He used four different brushes, a flat iron, multiple cans of mousse and gel, and some weird metal contraption I had never seen before. By the time he was done, my hair was in a state of transcendent perfection, and Pedro was beaming at his artistic masterpiece. I could almost hear the angels singing. I paid (handsomely and gladly), walked outside, and with two minutes, got trapped in a sudden, biblical rainstorm. I’m talking flooded streets, rolling thunder, storm drains overflowing, and hail—effin’ hail! I might as well have jumped head-first into Greenlake. My lovingly blow-dried hair was drenched and dripping, and my clothes were soaked in freezing-cold rain. But I want it on record that for two glorious minutes, I achieved hair nirvana.
Then, a few days later, I impulsively decided to dye it for the first time in my life. I bought a box of Feria “Power Red”, but I got really intimidated by the complicated instructions. Mr. Typist, not one to be daunted, encouraged me to venture forth, and we spend a good thirty minutes in the bathroom while he frantically coached me through the process: “You’re not getting enough on the back!!! You need to get the back!! Get the back!!!! Damnit, woman! Get the back!”
After shampooing (twice, as per the stern warning in the instructions), conditioning, and blow-drying, my hair was unnervingly, unevenly R68 Red. Nonetheless, it felt incredibly empowering. I have felt for a while that my hair was getting dull, and I was really, unfeminist-ly down about the encroaching grays, but I was conflicted about coloring it. I felt like that would be a capitulation, unnatural, a giving in. I should be okay with whatever nature has in store for me, but as it turns out, I’m not ready. The simple act of putting dye on my hair made me feel a little more perky and energized. As an added side-benefit, it’s a fun bonding experience with other women. A lot of woman excitedly asked me if I had colored it, what brand of color I used, and then in turn told me all about their dye adventures. It’s good, silly fun, and it brought me a little closer to some acquaintances and co-workers because we had something in common. I find it interesting how making a simple statement with a nine-dollar box of dye generates so much social bonding with other women, but whatever the reason, I’ve been having a grand time of it.
In writing news, I’m working on a new flash-fiction piece while I wait for my saintly friend to copy-edit my novel for no pay, and thinking about what my next major project might be. I still don’t know. I may just resort to a lifetime of writing experimental short fiction at this point. That’s all I got for today, folks, so here’s a video of a hair-less Sinead O’Connor singing “The Foggy Dew”.