Friday, October 15, 2010


Almost perfect, post-salon hair

My hair has always been aggravation. It's so thick that I can never do one of those upswept, top of the head hair-dos without some major scaffolding to hold up the weight - then I have the hair equivalent of flying buttresses all over my head.

And it's insanely heterogenius - some hairs are thick, some are thin, some are blond, some are auburn some are wavy and some are straight - it can't decide what it wants to be. And it is a virtual barometer - you can pretty reliably tell the present relative air humidity just by observing how much my hair has poofed out. And the East Coast is well known for its high humidity.

I do what I can with it every day, blow drying it into some semblance of normalcy after my morning shower, but unless there is 0% humidity it will turn wavy. Even after I use a flat-iron on it. I can get it straight maybe three or four times a year.

But it's probably the unwieldy nature of my hair that makes it the perfect raw material of the hair dresser's art. Especially for the technique known as the blow-out.

The object of the blow-out is smooth straight hair. The hair dresser takes a head of wet hair and through a combination of hair clips, muted blow dryer and brushing with a round brush, transforms the matted mess into smooth straight hair.

Now I wish my hair had the blown-out look all the time. But unless I could afford my own personal hairdresser to do it for me every day, that's not going to happen. And the way my hair reacts to humidity, chances are the blown-out look will be gone in mere hours. So it hardly seems worth it, especially since it takes a good 30 minutes to do a proper blow out. So when the hairdresser asks me if I want my freshly-colored and/or cut hair to get a blow-out, I usually say "oh no, don't bother, it will only frizz out anyway." And they never listen to me. And I let them blow-out my hair out anyway because it makes them so happy.

They invariably have to spend 5 - 10 minutes just de-tangling my wet hair before the process begins. By then their arms are tired and they're getting cranky. But once the blowing-out begins they suddenly brighten up - you can see a glint in their eye and an intensity on their face as they amaze even themselves with the way the tangled mess becomes straighter and softer and finer until they have transformed my hair into the dead-cell equivalent of the finest, smoothest, silkiest spun gold, perfectly straight but with lots of body. My hair becomes Barbie hair.

They always stand back and admire the result, giving me a mirror so i can see how cool the back looks, and even calling other hair dressers over to admire their handiwork. And if the others saw me when I walked into the salon and are aware of the transformation, they are very impressed indeed. As well they should be.

And at best it will look that way until the next morning when I get my shower.

And today not even that long - I went to the salon tonight and had to walk home in the pouring rain - so as you can see in the photo above, although most of my hair is still fairly straight, the hair around my face is already starting to wave-up.

Well I guess there's always wigs...