My hair has posed me much drama and trauma throughout my life. Mama Cat used to blow dry it straight, right after my shower and immediately after she doused it with Johnson's No More Tangles. When I was nine years old, I got my first major haircut. It was Mama Cat's hairdresser, and Mama Cat was tired of having to deal with my locks, so out came the scissors and CHOP CHOP!!
Mama Cat's hairdresser chopped it from waist- to shoulder-length, and put layers in. Lots of 'em. Mama Cat had no idea what to do, so she put my hair in those Goody pink sponge rollers before I was sent off to bed.
Did I mention that Mama Cat didn't believe in mousse, gel, or any styling products?
It didn't help that I was the only girl in my class who had hair like I did. I longed, I mean longed for straight blonde hair like my friend Beth's. Or baby-fine hair like my friend Bethany's. Anything but my untamed mess of a 'do.
When I got to high school I did my hair on my own, but I was just as frustrated as Mama Cat was. My hair had absolutely no style. I'd wash it in the morning, and put up the top layers with a barrette, and let it air dry. My hair had grown long again, and it would try in little banana curls all around my neck. People loved to tug at my curls and watch them spring up once they released them.
In college, the situation got worse. I wasn't able to get off campus much; the town bus never went in the area of a hair salon. Hell, I could barely afford a haircut to begin with. The one time I got a mall haircut in college, during my sophomore year, it was...well, awful. Horrendous. Ug-lee.
Following graduation I went to Mama Cat's new hairdresser, who was a personal friend of ours. She understood my hair, and never failed to give me a bad cut. That, and I babysat her grandchildren, so we got along famously.
Then I moved out of the house. I found a hairdresser in New London whom I adored. I mean, adored. Not only did he understand my hair, but he was just an amazing person. We clicked on the first appointment. He and his partner were renovating a house when I went to see him, and he always showed me pictures of the latest updates. He also showed me many pictures of his little dachshund. I was absolutely heartbroken when I moved and had to leave him.
I moved to the M-town and it took me forever to find a new hairdresser. I found one, and stayed with her for three years, but after that time, I needed a change. So I went from hairdresser to hairdresser for about a year or two, never really...well, "feeling it." Ladies, you know what I'm talking about, n'est-ce pas?
Not to mention, I couldn't find a hairdresser who understood curly hair. I met many people who would not only cut my hair as if it were straight, but they'd blow dry it straight every time I got it cut. Then I'd go home, and wash my hair the next day, and of course, I would not know what to do with it because it had been cut as if it were straight.
I finally learned to accept my curls about three or four years ago. I also adopted a rawther unorthodox process of styling my hair:
- I usually washed it the night before. I'd go to bed with a wet head, but the curls would be about 75% dry by the time I woke up the next morning.
- In the morning, I used a spray bottle to mist my curls and prepare them for styling. I then used a combination of three products: leave-in conditioner, serum, and hair gel. All of these products were combined in the palm of my hand. I'd rub my hands together, flip my hair over, and distribute the cocktail throughout my strands.
- I'd get in the car, and, depending on the weather, either turn the heat all the way up, vents at full blast, or roll the windows down. During my commute, I'd use this air to dry my hair. I'd finger comb my hair at stop lights.
- Finally, I got to work and got out of the car. I'd look at my reflection in the driver's side window, flip my hair over, and shake my hair one more time before entering the building.
So that's how I used to do my hair in the morning. Note that I said used to. Because a friend of mine decided that it was time for an intervention...
TOMORROW: Part two of my story...