The Wonderful World of Disney misled me horribly as to what Hair should really look like. The Princess Hair folly.
In Disney movies, the hair flowed, the hair shined, it bounced and floated, it never frizzled, it was all things beautiful and mystical. I wanted that hair.
We’ve all got it.
At some point in each of our lives we’ve had a love/hate relationship with hair on some part of our body.
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had issues with my hair.
When I was younger, it was lovely. Long and smooth, more red than brown, it would start to wave half way down my back and end in these lovely smooth curls. I had a huge amount of this hair. It was a wonderful asset in the cold eastern winters and a hateful bane in the humid summers.
My mother and her mother were both hairdressers. This meant that all the new ideas in Hair Care were tested out on me and my cousins, of which I had four…all girls. Two had what my Mom called ‘dishwater brown’ hair. Two had dark, curly ringlets hair my Mom called ‘impossible’.
I of course had that lovely more red than brown wavy ending in curls hair down my back. Scads of it. Perfect for cutting, coloring, perming, straightening, rolling and streaking. All of which my Mom and Grandmother took grand delight in doing to my hair.
My ‘dishwater brown’ cousins also got roped into the Great Hair Care War, however since their hair was thinner and a ‘cool’ color, they didn’t get half as much torture as I did. They got different shades of blonde colors and razor cuts that seemed to frame their faces perfectly. Also, they got blue contacts to cover their brown eyes. My eyes were green, the envy of the family. But my Mom was blonde with blue eyes, my Grandmother had auburn hair this is true but she also had blue eyes, so did my Aunt. And now my cousin’s too? Why couldn’t I? Nope, the green stayed. Fine. Whatever.
My hair was more red than brown. The exact shade is called Auburn. Did I mention it was beautiful? This is what my hair originally looked like….I think. I no longer remember but my mother says that it’s close.
Now let’s look at what my cousin’s hair looked like, or at least a close representation. I don’t have pictures of theirs previous to the blonde invasion and they never looked back afterwards.
Pretty narly huh?
Here’s the after the Hair Care War for my cousins…
Little wonder that I hated their guts with a blinding white hot passion. They got to look like blonde bombshells and I looked like a streaked poodle.
So, in an effort to combat the ministrations of my Mother and Grandmother, I also declared war on my hair by coloring it colors not necessarily suited for my own skin tone. Like Black. Or the time I tried to go blonde and the closest I got was a crazy light strawberry blonde color and about 3 months of severely dried out permed, funky colored hair.
Then my Mother or Grandmother would come along and fix whatever I had managed to do to my hair (in which I might or might not have liked) and reinvent a new hair style. After some time, my hair would be so short from their tireless scissors that I would break down crying to “Please PLEASE let me grow back some haaaaiiir!!!”
I absolutely put my foot down when they thought that the Bee-Hive was making a comeback and they should test their latent skills for it on my hair. Amy Winehouse may rock that style but no way was I going to.
Another no-no was frosting. That was because this was the 80’s and in the 80’s Hair Dressers did not believe in less is more ideology. They believed that there must be a tool to each and every thing you wanted done to your hair. Half of which are listed with the Geneva Conventions as being torture devices.
You people today have it lucky; they use a frosting comb or brush and tin foil to frost your hair.
Back in the 80’s and 90’s they use a special frosting cap made of rubber. First, they wet your hair and put plastic over your head, then they forced on this tight little rubber cap with holes evenly spaced over the entire surface. This fit over your entire scalp. Then they used an extremely small crotchet hook and poked it through one of the small holes, the plastic and half of your scalp, grabbed up some hair (and skin) and pulled it back through the cap. Viola! A strand to be frosted. They did this all over your head. My Mother called this her Frosting Cap; I called it the Butt Clencher.
I was an 80’s rocker bad girl and I wanted the hair to match. Give me some streaks, tease my bangs up two whole inches and don’t spare the hair spray was my motto.
And occasionally my Mother would be gracious enough to give it to me. After she had cut my hair into the newest style, which at that point and time was the reverse of your sex.
This meant that if you were a boy, you were getting hair extensions or letting your hair grow long and perming it if you were brave enough.
If you were a girl you were getting the boy cut of long on top and short in the back. Occasionally it was long on top and one side and short on one side and the back…with a perm. I think they called it the lop-sided bowl cut. I also had a female version of a mullet. Business on top, party in the back.
This particular cut she did for my Junior Year Picture. You know. The one that goes into the yearbook? I spent the whole year with fabulously fab hair and she did that crappy mullet two days before the photo was to be taken. And she frosted my bangs. And she made me wear a black sweater turtleneck and a crotchet collar with a brooch. If you think I’m kidding you’ve got another think coming. I’ve since destroyed all traces of the photo except the few remaining yearbooks that I couldn’t get my hands on after graduation.
So, what does my hair look like now? Depends on when you mean. Before India it was long again, half way down my back. Still full and thick and unruly. Much more curly than when I was a kid. Depending on my mood it was either dark brown, auburn or light black.
Since moving to India it’s a lot thinner. That’s because India kills your hair when you first arrive from another country. The water, change in climate and change in diet along with the pollution and need to use a helmet almost daily wreak havoc on your hair. Special care is needed. I had to resort to going to a beauty shop twice a week for oil head massages, electrified comb massage, hair packs with henna and herbal shampoos. The rest of the week, I oiled my hair every other night and only washed with filtered water.
Now my hair is beginning to get stronger, healthier and thicker again. But I had to cut it to above my shoulders in order to go through the constant care that is needed to bring it back to life. Bye Bye long hair. Hello shorter, but getting healthier, henna tinted hair.
At least here in India, I am far away from that contemptible frosting cap and my Mother’s tireless scissors.