First-World Hair Woes, Written Dramatically

This is going to be a ridiculously vapid and shallow post.

Please brace yourselves.

I cannot reconcile this state and my hair. I have spent the better part of an hour each day we have been here doing battle with my hair, and almost every day I’ve given up and put it in a ponytail. And not a pretty ponytail, either. A half-wavy, half-straight frizzy ponytail.

When I was a child, and also when I was a grown up, I had stick-straight, unbelievably fine, extremely thin white-blond hair. My mother kept it cut very short because if it reached below my chin I started to look like the little match girl.

Less blue, though.

And then came the years of the Bearing of Children.

I had Sienna, and my feet shrunk a size (unrelated but odd detail). Then I had Charlotte, and my hair tripled in thickness. There was literally three times as much hair upon my head as there had been before Charlotte was born. Gone were the days when I could blow-dry my sopping wet hair in ten minutes flat. Upon me were the days when the drying of my hair became an epic thing, a black hole that absorbed all my time and caused no end of discontent between the Ogre and I. And the pain! Oh, the pain. Alas, the texture of my hair remained unchanged. Fine hair, in case you are not cursed with it, tangles extremely easily. And now I had three times as much hair, which meant three times as many tangles. I began to use three bottles of conditioner to every one I used of shampoo. I had to brush and de-snarl my hair constantly during the blow-drying period. I had to use hair products, for the first time in my life, because for the first time in my life I had hair that didn’t hang on either side of my face like limp, diaphanous curtains on a sweltering August day.

At the time, we lived in Las Vegas, so the increase in volume was not accompanied by an increase of frizz. Actually, frizz is something I had only understood as an abstract concept, something that happened to other people and that seemed bothersome, much like spider veins or dark arm hair. Something I needn’t concern myself with.

Shortly after Liam was born, I began to notice something a bit odd. My hair, when I didn’t blow-dry it, had a wave in it. Just one. One wave, in the back, nearly bisecting the back side of my skull. Basically, it looked like I had just taken my hair down from a brief stint in a ponytail holder.

It didn’t phase me because I only let my hair air-dry when I didn’t go out in public, which was basically always.

Then we moved back to Dallas. And humidity.

The wave began to elongate and multiply, so that if I air-dried my hair it had enough ripples to make 1/3 of my hair actually qualify as Wavy. Not the sides, though, nor the ends. They were still stick-straight. Just the back portion, between my ears, beginning at the roots and extending within four inches of the bottom of my hair. Which remained straight as a broomstick.

I don’t need to tell you how confused and slightly horrified I was. While it was an interesting phenomenon, considered abstractly, and while the waves themselves held some promise, it was actually happening to me, and it made me look like I had had a run-in with a bad home perm kit.

So I began to lather on the hair gel, dry my hair wet instead of letting it air-dry for a bit, and use the Chi, daily. It. Was. Exhausting.

Luckily the Chi did a pretty decent job. One or two quick passes would straighten out most of the unruly waves that remained post-blow-dryer. I also managed to compensate on time by figuring out how to apply daily make-up in seven and a half minutes.

Then we moved to Florida.

I don’t even understand what is happening to my hair now. It’s become someone else’s hair entirely, not my familiar old hair. And whoever replaced my hair with theirs neglected to give me the owner’s manual.

My hair, it frizzes. My hair, it waves and kinks. But not the front right side, and not the ends. Everywhere else, though. My hair, it will not straighten. No combination of straightening shampoos, conditioners and gels, no new and varied blow-drying and Chi-ing techniques will entirely smooth the odd kinks and random waves.

I. Do. Not. Know. What. To. Do.

I’ve tried to use “Tousled” shampoo and conditioner, followed by some sort of curl-enhancing, frizz-reducing gel, scrunch it, and air dry it. The back and left side look great. The front right side is still straight as a board. The ends are limp, lank and refuse to hold a single wave.

I’ve tried to use straightening shampoo, a hair mask/conditioner, and straightening gel. I’ve dried it nearly straight out of the shower, carefully smoothing each strand with a paddle brush before attacking it mercilessly with a Chi. And yet, the back ripples and will not stop.

Seriously, though, I don’t know what to do. I’m not good at up-dos. A ponytail, a Picasso-inspired bun, and Pocahontas braids are pretty much the extent of my repertoire. But I figured some of you would know. Some of you even live here in southern Florida! Some of you have probably been battling hair issues for years! Some of you  must know how to make stubbornly straight hair curl, or how to make stubbornly wavy hair straight. Please, share your wisdom?

Oh yeah, and yesterday I noticed that I have spider veins on my knees. I’m eagerly awaiting the appearance of dark arm hair on my arms so that Karma can be fulfilled. 

  • Anonymous

    girl get a serum you put on while your hair is wet, like john freida (sp?) anti freeze serum or something similar. puts the slip and silkiness back in to avoid tangliness. i also have fine strands but a ton of them! also little kid (or grownup i suppose! haha) detangler is nice. also i dunno if you are already doing it but use a WIDE tooth comb when it is wet, none of that super tight teeth combs that people w/o much hair use. when mine's wet i let it air dry as long as possible, then flip my head upside and dry the roots, then brush it all out upside down, flip over and use a round brush to do what i want with the top. good luck! :) one last thing, braided pigtails when it's wet, then let them out later..doneeee. lol ;)

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