My Hair

After exposing all of my issues with Hannah’s hair, it is only fair to turn the lens on myself. After all, I was a preteen in the late 80s. And while there are no spiral perms in my past, I did have my fair share of hair disasters. Crimping irons, anyone?



I have never been all that adventurous with my hair. My greatest fear has always been ‘ruining’ it. Ever since my first do-it-yourself cut when I was 4 years old, I have been keenly aware that you may be living with a split-second decision for a very long time. For this reason I have never had a perm or an all-over dye job, and there hasn’t been much variation in my ‘dos. You can see my cautious nature on top of my head.

You can also see that I don’t spend much time on myself these days. I only make it in for a haircut a few times a year, and other than washing or brushing I don’t really do anything with my hair. I mentioned in another post that I probably spend 10 minutes a day on my hair, and that’s about right. I could blame motherhood, but the fact is that it was this way long before the kids came along. Barring special occasions the most effort I’ll put in is a ponytail or hair clip. I’m sure someone somewhere is dying to give me a makeover, but I’ve made my peace with my look (if you can call it that).



My sister, on the other hand, is always perfectly coiffed. She’ll have this great look on some random Tuesday, and I’ll ask her how long it took. She’ll say something like, “Oh, not too long, only an hour or so.” I am blown away. I lack that kind of patience, plus I don’t think that I could replicate her efforts in twice that time.

The funny truth is that as a kid I was way more tolerant of having my hair done than she was. I didn’t exactly enjoy having it brushed (head yanked back, bristles on the back of the neck, ouch!). As I recall, though, it wasn’t a big deal to me. And I think I mostly sat still and let my mom give me pigtails or braids or what have you. Gretchen would run screaming and cowering to the corner of the bathroom when my mom took out the hairbrush. When she was 4 my mom threw in the towel and cut her hair short, which she liked. So I know that the kid who won’t let a hairbrush near her head as a preschooler may be a very different sort of adult, and vice versa.



When I was a little kid I always had really long blonde hair. It’s the sort of thing that gets you lots of compliments from old ladies at the grocery store when you’re 6. I think this fed into my fear of somehow damaging my hair. I may not spend a lot of time on my hair, but I have this underlying feeling that my appearance and my femininity are all tied up in it. I make a mistake, and I lose that thing that sets me apart, that one thing that I have unreasonable vanity about.

I finally cut my hair to bob-length when I was around 9 years old. I kept the bangs, though, because everyone had bangs in the 1980s. If you didn’t have bangs, what could you curl and feather and hairspray in the mornings? The short look didn’t last all that long. By the time that I was 16 I had a hair idol, Kelly Taylor. She could do no wrong in my book. When I finally cut my hair shorter in first year university it was in imitation of her ‘new’ look. You can imagine my disappointment with Jennie Garth’s infamous wedding hair in 2001.



For the past 14 years my hair has hovered around shoulder length. I grow it out for a while, and then cut it all off. I am currently in a growing out phase – we’ll see how long it lasts. The things is that I love haircuts. For me there’s nothing more liberating than leaving 6 inches of hair on the salon floor. You’re lighter, you feel the wind through your hair, you’re brand new. I may occasionally fight it, but I can’t resist forever.

There have been a few bad times, of course. There was this high school dance when Jon’s gum ended up in my hair. Laurie came home to find us in her downstairs bathroom, my head covered in peanut butter. Eventually I got it out, but it was a tense hour. Or my high school graduation when I planned to do my own up-do, and practised, but couldn’t pull it off on the day. I was the only girl wearing her hair down that night that I can remember. And of course in my big bang days there were curling iron burns and incidents involving too much product.

The photos below represent the good, the bad, and the ugly. Please enjoy yourself at my expense. 😉

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  1. I think I had that exact same Coconut Joe sweatshirt…and you have always had very pretty hair…long or short, it always looks nice and healthy! I do agree with how good it feels to cut it all off. Really, it is just hair…it WILL grow back (unless you have some rare disease that is).

  2. If it’s any consolation I have no recollection of your down at prom. I also have the same hair issues – seriously how do people make the time or have the coordination to do some of the things that they do to their hair?

  3. Love this flashback!

    You escaped the 80’s without truly bad big hair though – you look great in all the pix!

  4. The truth is that I escaped without truly big hair only because my hair would never co-operate. I tried, believe me, I tried, but my hair is hopelessly straight and simply won’t do big. It was the bane of my existence in 1989.

  5. Genetics are incredible. Now we have a curly haired boy destined for afro-coolness! Who would have ever thunk it?
    .-= harriet Fancott´s last post ..Weekly Update =-.

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