Because April seems to be a big month of realizations for me, today I’m tackling the biggest issue of my last 40 odd years.. hair.
Yes, I know I’ve been there before. Like I said, big issue for me.
After growing out my hair for 5.5 years (excluding the one bad foray into a blunt bob in 2009), I finally reached Jennifer Anistonville, golden brown long lock-dom, high and low lighted to perfection, long enough to hide my tattoos and detract from my crazy Colorado crows feet. It reaches my chesticals (handy if I’m ever naked and riding a horse) and its a color which doesn’t make me look like the Bride of Frankenstein or a hooker on Colfax. I’ve had three guys tell me this month that my hair was ‘pretty’. A first.
And I hate it.
Its stick to my neck
It makes me sweat
It looks good for about 50 minutes after I finish ‘do-ing it’
It looks stupid when I take off my helmet (and I spent an inordinate amount of time in various helmets these days)
I wake up looking as though I’ve escaped from Bellevue mental hospital
I regularly rip my fingernails in it
If I don’t blow dry it I look like a Cathy cartoon of ‘depressed singleton’
My roots are a stern grey and appear 0.001 seconds after I leave my hair appointment
Its becoming a second job, and one which doesn’t pay
But most of all.. its just not me.
I’ve not had long hair since I was 13 and I finally figured out the reason.
I’m just not one of those ‘play with your hair’ type of people. I didn’t spend my teendom twirling and curling, braiding and pinning. I was more interested in getting it to stand up vertical and not be brown. I never wished for long curls and twirly bits to stick in my mouth. I couldn’t give a stuff about my Barbie’s hair.. I cared way more what adventures she was having and her shoes. Go figure.
I wanted Billy Idol hair.
And I had it for many years.
But as you age, short hair doesn’t let you age easily. Less hair means more focus on your face.. and those dreaded lines and brown spots. The softness in your neck, the old acne scars and of course my large neck tattoo. After my last short cut I suddenly felt a need to move to LA and have my face stretched out and tied behind my ears I looked so ‘saggy’. My girlfriend rocks a short pixie and has done for years, but she’s gorgeous and has the skin of a twenty something even as she wades into her 40s. Me, not so much.
So I decided to embrace the cute chicks with the long hair and decided I could be one. After all, how hard could it be? Its just hair right? Almost 6 years later I am finally, painfully there.
Cue Saturday afternoon spent watching youTube videos (at the age of 41) in order to learn how to use a curling iron. And watching the chick burn her hair off. Armed with my $60 curler I managed to bend kinks into my hair which later turned into frizz and hung lankly around my face. I tried again – more hairspray, more backcombing, more ‘root volumizer’. Result? Sticky mad person with slight waves at odd angles.
Next I tried an ‘up do’ which roughly translated to ‘a can of hairspray, lots of pieces sticking out and a head full of pins’. That’s not hair, it’s an art project. And mine fell down 3/4 of the way through my can of Elnett. My hair was starting to resemble a helmet and I still couldn’t make it resemble anything on the internet.
Finally I found a site on ‘Dos for Dads’ aimed at ‘Dudes without a clue’ who were tasked with doing their daughters hair for school. So kind of me.
After trying all 12 options I decided that the one I could confidentially master, the one which I could actually leave the house with in under 30 minutes was…
With a fancy elastic wrapped around it. (the elementary school aged kid wore a side pony, but at 41 I figured I had to drawn the line somewhere.. like 1981)
I tried. I played around with pins and accessories but all I come back to is this. Long hair is all about the chick who wears it, maintains it, plays with it and works it every day. And loves doing it.
I’m not that chick.
You can put the tomboy in 4 inch heels and a tight dress, ask her to run 5 miles with a laptop in her hand.. but don’t ask her to do an updo. Last week I was forced to pay $70 to have someone blow dry it.. (yes, that $70 didn’t include oral or free hair.. just heat).. just so I didn’t look a absolute horror. 2 inches of hair and I can rock 20 hairstyles. 14 inches of hair and I’m left with a ponytail and a sweaty neck and now I’m out $70.
So here it is. My name is Rachael and I hate long hair. Despite my appearance I’m actually a short haired chick. And once I can afford more Botox and potentially some filler, I’m chopping this mane off and donating it to someone who actually wants to play with their hair.
Plus on the way back from my work convention I saw the best Gwyneth Paltrow ‘Sliding Doors’ crop ever…I was practically salivating over the woman’s ease, the confidence with which she ran her fingers through her hair without losing a nail or finding a dog toy. And her neck didn’t look the slightest bit sweaty.