It amazes me when people rock the same hairstyle for 30 years. Nostalgia is good. When it comes to hair, however, in certain situations nostalgia is best left to a good themed party. I get an odd, unsettled feeling when I see teased bangs and a piggy back perm when I’m out to eat on a Saturday night…in 2013. It does something to the time setting in my brain, which, if you’re wondering, looks a lot like a Back to the Future dashboard. The numbers flip and flicker…there’s a minute of confusion. It makes me curious. How do they not wake up in the morning, take a look in the mirror and not accidentally think, “Life is pretty good! Love my new tracksuit, milk is a buck fifty and Ronald Reagan is president.”
It’s not a superficial thing. I’m all for self-expression. It’s a matter of currency. I see a mullet and my initial sentiment is: this person is stuck. Someone help them. Get a shovel. To me clothes and hair are like technology. It evolves and it changes. So we evolve, we change. [Said the girl with a flip phone. Yeah, yeah.] But even putting that aside, I am impressed that for 30 years they simply didn’t get bored. They saw something that worked and they ran with it. And not like a 400-meter sprint…like long distance, cross country running. Even people who manage the same hair for 5 years, I think, man, that is some discipline. So, for 20 years of my life it proved virtually impossible to leave my hair alone and let it grow out (I’m the 400-meter sprint person). Some girls had crap tons of boyfriends, I had crap tons of hairstyles. I love a different look for a different time. Plus, my hair grows fast. 400-meter sprint fast.
When I was little I probably would have had the patience (definitely the will) to grow out my hair, but my mother was incessant on the bowl cut. I have a haunting suspicion that she just didn’t want to deal with it…or me. Justifiably so. The few times I begged her to put my hair in pigtails, I believe I said ow 10 times and complained that she wasn’t doing it right. I can only conclude she was really looking forward to me as a teenager.
By nature I have always been good at adapting, though. Making do with what I had, despite what I didn’t. In the case of Tana, 3-year-old, adaptation was a pair of tights and a ponytail holder. Loooong, nylon locks. Tah-dah!
Sheer volume…matte finish…hair tights. L’Oreal. Because you’re worth it, kinda. [Cue above photo.]
I wanted hair so long I didn’t have to wear a shirt, just like Daryl Hannah in the movie Splash. (I had odd, very particular expectations.) Surprisingly 20-some years later I have nearly, and inadvertently, succeeded. I have reached this point by virtually not caring to take the time to get haircuts. Rather, I say, “I really need a haircut” daily for 3 months before actually calling and making an appointment. Now, instead of going to get my hair cut every 2 weeks, I go about every 4 months. I’m sure if dad knew, he would demand retribution for the 100 he had to pay for.
I realize as an adult that wearing my hair as a shirt isn’t proper social behavior. I also am aware that I am not a mermaid. But every time I pull my brush through or whip my pony tail back and forth (which I do often…for the sake of my 3-year-old self), I smile inside. It’s a sense of victory. Like I have finally achieved ridiculous-lots-of-hair status and it’s not made of something that almost constitutes underwear.
I am well on my way to becoming one third hair, by ratio and possibly weight. Holler.
It’s the little things.