Here's a topic most women (and a few of you guys, I suspect) can relate to: hair issues.
To say I have problem hair is like saying Osama bin Laden is a little nuts. Both fall under the heading of "understatement of the century."
My hair is baby fine and straight. It does not respond to perming, mousse, gels or sprays. I suspect nothing short of Crazy Glue would keep it in place for more than a few minutes. When I was a kid, Mom insisted upon having it permed. I suspect she wanted me to look like Shirley Temple, which was a waste of time in spite of Mom's best efforts. Now, if her objective had been Cousin Itt from The Addams Family, she might have had a shot....
Come to think of it, Itt's hair was thicker than mine. Sorry, Mom.
For a while, as a teen, I embraced my hair's unwillingness to bend. I bleached it to a strawberry blonde (too many auburn highlights for platinum, my real peroxide dream) and wore it very long with a fringe of bangs. It nearly reached my waist and resembled overcooked spaghetti. No, scratch that. Even overcooked spaghetti has some bend to it.
It looked like a mop. A cheap mop.
By the time I went off to college and dorm life, I'd tired of being a blonde and dyed it back to its natural dark brown color. A few years out of college, I dyed it red. I was a published novelist by that time and matters of image were being pounded into my head. Red worked for me on so many levels. I was told--more than once--that I had a "redhead personality." Whatever that means.
Coloring was not a problem. Styling it, however, remained a constant source of irritation. Perms never turned out well. Either the hair went limp again or it looked fried. Once, it actually was fried. I had to wear a wig until it grew out enough so that I could have all the damaged hair cut off.
I did manage a Farrah Fawcett-like mane for a while, but I had to get up an hour earlier just to do my hair. When Collin was born, that was no longer an option. I was still getting up early, but hair was low on my priority list then.
I have finally accepted the reality that in the ongoing war between me and my hair, the hair is winning. I stopped coloring it four years ago. I gave up on perms. I'm not handy with styling tools--the only thing I do well with a curling iron is burn myself. And I hate the feel of mousse, gel or hairspray. What I needed was a simple cut that needed little or no work. Wash and wear. Easy, right?
Nope. I went through over a year of bad cuts done by stylists who, for whatever reason, couldn't even understand what "short in the back, longer in the front" means, before finally getting the cut I wanted last week: cut close to the nape in back, a couple of inches longer in front (no, it's not a reverse mullet!), with a slight curve on the ends.
The war is over!
I'm not going to be asked to do shampoo ads, but I'm happy. The demon and I have finally achieved a truce. And fortunately for me, I love hats....