We haven't talked about the disaster that was my hair in 2009.
I got this cockamamie idea to grow my hair out last Spring. I thought that I might be able, with the assistance of a really good ceramic straightening iron and an unreasonable grasp of my own limitations, to grow my hair long and still have it look good. There was also a theory floating around about still growing it out while I was young enough to pull off long hair.
So it was that I sat in Patrick's chair in April and informed my favorite stylist that I would be growing my hair out. He snickered, "You?"
"Yes, I think I should try it."
"If you say so."
"No, really, I'm going to straighten it!"
"Everyday!" I enthusiastically agreed. He went back to shaping my hairs and changed the subject. Good man.
See, I have really curly hair, loads of spirals and waves, but the kind that is fine, thin, and can be straightened. It's also the kind of hair that if it's not straightened, and is long, would be the envy of 1987. Yes, I naturally have 1987 hair. I have not had long hair since the late 90s. I cut it all off in 2000 and haven't really looked back. That's not true, I've looked back aplenty at photographs and most of the time yelled in futility, "SELF, you should have CUT YOUR HAIR a LONG time ago!"
However, I felt brave. I could do it, right?
June came by and went, and I held steady. July arrived. I was overdue for a cut. I would put my hair in hot rollers, then straighten it, then into velcro rollers to cool. The hair took on a slightly newscaster-type vibe. And then, because it was summer, the slightest bit of sweat would start curling my roots, frizzing out tendrils, and tightly curl my ends. I held strong. August I felt uneasy. Well, who wouldn't? It's August, the worst month of the year. I couldn't possibly straighten my hair even every other day. I started wearing it up in desperation. I drove past the hair salon and rubbernecked. By September I was in such dire straights I bought a Bumpit. In October I started wearing it. In November my friend Tiffany asked me, "How much longer are you going to grow your hair?"
"I'm not sure."
"Don't let it get any longer than that, OK?"
Inversely, the longer my hair got and the more despondent I felt, the more Other Half encouraged me. I wore my hair up all the time in an effort to get out of straightening it. "You could wear it in a pony tail!" he suggested.
"I don't think I can," I whined, knowing that my thin, straight hair in a pony tail looked flat and unflattering. And curly hair in a pony tail? 1987 in a gym.
"Keep going! You can do it!"
My hair was below my shoulders and I hadn't felt that miserable in years.
"When are you getting a haircut?" My mom asked forcefully one day as I walked in her door. I sighed in relief and called to make the appointment. How would I tell Other Half? I wouldn't. Maybe I could wear a hat for a while.
A few days later Other Half said without prompting, "Your hair has gotten so long, but if you want to cut your hair, I guess you can."
"Mmmm," I responded noncommittally, not mentioning I had already booked an appointment.
Two days later I drove as fast as I dared to Shep's, I ran down the ramp and burst into the salon. "HELP ME, PATRICK!" I yelled.
Short hair. Curls everywhere. The world as it should be.