A Day in the life....
Entries in hair (8)
It doesn't matter whether I'm going on a road trip to the desert or flying to Ireland.
The first thing I think about when I pack is my hair care, because the last thing I want to worry about when I get there, is whether my hair is going to behave... (and it's ability to misbehave is legion). And since I travel with TOG, no hair delays can be tolerated.
That means that two weeks ago, I went looking to restock my favorite hair products, Identity1.
Designed by hair care professionals who know the ins and outs of naughty hair, these products have stood by me from the heat of the Utah desert to a windy ferry ride across the North Sea to Amsterdam to a rainy pony cart ride through the mountains of Killarney, Ireland.
And because they're such smarties, the folks at Identity1 have come up with products I didn't even know I needed... like the quick dry spray. Because who wants to spend 20 minutes blow-drying their hair with a harried husband jiggling his car keys? On top of the fact that it really works, they played a trump card and put a leave-in conditioner in it. Talk about silky!! And don't get me started on the never-greasy nourishing oil which my hair sucks up like a sponge in sea water. Talk about calming it down after a blow dry. Manageable, brushable, touchable...
And then there's subtle products like the thermal protecting gel that provide a little 'slip' for easy blow drying or flat ironing. And let us not forget the illuminating mist to put the shine on your style.
I haven't even talked about the shampoos and conditioners, which are lovely... but here's the most important thing to me:
The products do what they say they will and they do not weigh my hair down. I can easily go two to three days between washes with polite hair. And in a pinch, I could use their hair powder to add volume and fluff the roots.
So, thanks Identity1! Your products are making yet another trek with me! This time we're going to do the humidity test!
As I was sitting here sipping coffee and planning my day one of those silly hair commercials caught my attention. One of those where the model is swinging her hair back and forth... and the stylist has rubbed it down with a combination of mink oil and petroleum jelly... and the camera crew has two lamps with about 55,000 lumens each pointed at her head to show how shiny the hair is. I know the goal is for me to say to myself "My hair could look like that if only I used Acme All-Natural Wasp Butter Almond paste organic tofu herbal shampoo. Alas..."
What it really makes me think is that most women would buy pretty much any product that promised to make their hair look better. This thought process starts when we're quite young...
I remember when I was about 5, my mother got the idea that I could look like Shirley Temple or Veronica Lake. She permed my hair, and every weekend I got shampooed and had to sit on the floor in front of her while she set my hair. It was so tedious and boring I used to pop my big toes back and forth out of joint to keep from slipping into a coma. And no one was fooled by the big giant scarf she tied over my roller set when she sent me out to play. There was full on mocking. None of the other girl's moms did that... probably because they knew that after a few hours playing outside in a roller set, their kid's hair would be a disaster. Eventually, my mom gave in. The perm and the roller set didn't keep my hair in place while I was tearing around the wilderness of Alaska.
When I was in elementary school, my hair style consisted of braids... braids that started out so tight that my eyes were practically pulled back to my scalp line (unless my dad did them in which case they fell out on the bus on the way to school). By the end of the day, my braids were lopsided, fuzzy and looked like the tail of a cat that had been pulled through stickerbushes backwards. I used to look at the junior high girls getting on the bus with their tidy bobbed hair and barrettes and wonder what magical thing was going to happen to me at the end of 6th grade that was going to make my hair look that good... all day.
Fast forward.... for um...many years. I don't wonder anymore. Nothing magical happened at the end of 6th grade. No ceremony, no mystical spell, no 'hair raising' revelation. However, I did start carrying a purse (made out of an old pair of jeans thankyouverymuch), with a comb and tending to my hair throughout the day. By that time, the bob was gone and I, like most girls could manage long straight hair. And the beauty industry responded by creating a product called Long and Silky!
Today I sit here with, you guessed... long straight hair. I've done the uber fashionable inverted bob, dyed it a variety of colors, highlighted it, cut it so short they shaved my neck, bleached it, permed it, layered it, grown out bangs, teased it to high heavens and sprayed it til it didn't move.
I've also grown it out and donated it to Locks of Love 3 times. Definitely the best work my hair has ever done. I sometimes think of my hair out there covering some little girls head so she doesn't get mocked.
I guess being hair brained goes full circle!
December 2008. When I look back at this picture, I'm not entirely sure why my hair is this long.
Superbowl, February 2009. I don't remember who played. I do remember that I got my hair cut off the day before the big game. At the time, I didn't have a hair plan so much as a sense of relief that all that length was gone, a sense of frustration because I wouldn't be getting my hair in a pony tail anytime soon and a huge sense of satisfaction in donating my hair to be made into wigs for cancer patients.
April 2010. A red letter day. Not for any other reason than I'd been reading a friend's blog. A young friend who'd developed breast cancer. Ironically, while I've met Blends (Blog+Friends) from all over the east coast, this blend lives in the same city as me and we've never met. .
I had all the usual reactions when I heard that Judy had developed breast cancer. I knew I wanted to help somehow. But not knowing her or having had any other contact except through our blogs, I didn't know how to help. And I didn't want to intrude. But on this day, I had K3 take a picture of me, because I knew without a doubt that I could grow hair. And as Judy was about to lose her hair, it struck me as being entirely appropriate I could commit to growing my hair on her behalf.
So while Judy went through surgery, and then chemo and then radiation... my hair grew, and grew. [chanted with the rhythm of Shel Siverstiens 'She would not take the garbage out'] It wrapped around my neck at night and got caught in my arm pits and bra straps. It got shut in the car door and retracted into the seat belt dispenser. It got static cling during cold snaps and went frizzy in the rain... And still it grew. Even as it frustrated me, all I had to do was read Judy's blog and remember why I was doing this.
Superbowl 2011 came and went. My target date. Two years since my last hair cut.
Saturday morning, I woke up and knew it was time.
I washed my hair and blew it dry one last time. I had TOG take a picture of my hair before he drove me to the salon. (Yes, I get overheated drying that much hair!)
I welled up a little when they braided it, cut it off and bagged it up for donation.
Conversely, it was also one of the best feelings I've ever had.
I'm adjusting to my new hair. I don't love it yet. And I don't miss my long hair yet.
But I do need to thank Judy for inspiring me to contribute in a meaningful, everyday way. More than a check signed, mailed and forgotten, donating my hair was a process. Every time I brushed it, deep conditioned it or threw it in a pony tail, I was reminded that ultimately it wasn't my hair after all. It was destined to be somebody else's.
Well, one answer anyway. The life span of a hair dryer? Less than one day.
I brought the new one home from the store. I washed my hair yesterday morning. Plugged the dryer in. There was a whirring sound, a puff of smoke and then nothing. I didn't even get to warm my hair up. There I am with soaking wet hair and I have to leave for work in 15 minutes.
So I took it back to the store on my lunch break. The lady at the exchange desk took one look at my hair and refunded my money. I won't even post a pic. Dreadful.
Hopefully this new one is up to the task.
Have you ever been worried about washing your hair?
On surgery eve, it's completely appropriate to eat pizza (not pictured) and chocolate cookies... especially since you'll be living on cream of wheat, baby food, fruit smoothies and chocolate milk for the next week.
Although I've hesitated and hoped things would work out, it's time to file the paperwork for legal guardianship. As much as I wish it were otherwise, I'm clear that we can't rely on others to make decisions that benefit K3. As her best advocate, I'm ready to step up and help her get the most out of her opportunities.
I really appreciated my friend Judy's comment yesterday on my tongue-in-cheek decision matrix. Judy is getting ready to undergo more treatment for her breast cancer this summer and will be wearing donated hair. She doesn't have the option of keeping her hair, much less dithering over whether to cut it or not.
So I'm committing... I'll finish growing my hair out and donate it again. This will be the third time in the last 9 years. It's the least I can do on behalf of Judy and the other women that need to borrow it for their journey. Here's a current pic of the length (as well as Bad Girl the cat and Maddie... up at the top of the stairs). I figure the hair might be ready to go by end of summer, fall for sure. I feel really good about the decision.
I'm setting this to post while we're downtown doing K3's final surgery. Sending y'all kind thoughts and warm hugs! Thanks as always for enriching my life!
It's the day before the super bowl. Last year, I cut my hair off the day before the superbowl and donated it to Locks of Love. That's what I looked like after donating my hair. I could not get my hair into a pony tail even though that was a criteria I expressed that I needed for my summer activities.
This is my hair a year later. It is long, but not long enough to donate. However, I'm still considering cuting it because last time it was long, there were consequences...
And I like the blower dryer I have now, so I don't want to do this again... But I want to donate... but I want it to be long enough to donate... but my stylist says long hair makes me look 10 years older...
My decision matrix looks like this...
Help a girl out... what do you think?