Monday, April 22, 2013

Hair in Four Vignettes

Let Your Hair Down:

Why do people say "let your hair down" to mean cutting lose, getting wild, relaxing? Why do bear skin rug sessions always have a dramatic hairdo takedown as the fireplace heats up? Don't you people realize that, if my hair is up, it's up for a reason? You really want me to release the kraken on you, bobby pins springing free, curls breaking windows like Clark Griswold's Christmas tree?

If my hair is up, you can assume one or both of the following is true:
1) I was having a bad hair day, which is to say, I didn't have time to straighten my hair.
2) I spent time and energy making it look just right, at times testing the limits of my finger dexterity wrestling with bobby pins, using my teeth as a third hand.

I'm not going to get all care-free and "let my hair down" in a moment of reckless abandon. It wouldn't be like an Herbal Essences commercial, trust me. It would truly be reckless.

This is what I have to work with. Excuse the doofy face. We're only criticizing hair right now.


An Ode to the Flat Iron:

O, Hair! Wherefore art thou so voluminous?
No, I did not insert my finger into an electrical outlet.
I recall ripping bristles through you daily,
the brush turning you into a puffer fish,
tucking the volume behind my ears.

I recall parting you like Moses with a fine-tooth comb,
a straight line from my forehead to my crown,
symmetrical, neat.
I smoothed the bumps and wrestled the thick mane into an elastic ring,
high atop my head, a shih tzu.
The undefined waves crashed down around my ears, framing my blunt-cut bangs.

"You might be pretty if you just straightened your hair," she said.
I believed her.
I believe her.
Instead of running brushes and combs through my tangled curls,
I roll hot ceramic plates down each strand,
top to bottom,
top to bottom.
I might be pretty.

12 years.
5 irons bought, 5 irons died.
Wash, dry, straighten.
Shower cap, shower cap.
Wash, dry straighten.

Exercise? No, my hair is straight.
Swim? My hair is straight.
Kiss Ryan Gosling passionately in the rain? I already straightened my hair.
Maybe next time.

Straight hair is out. Beachy waves are in.
Hooray! No more flat iron.
No, I said "beachy waves."
Not Cousin It. Not Phil Spector.

Purchasing a curling iron.


Famous Hairstyles I Have Tried:

The Baby Spice: 
 Image via Popdust

Make a bun on either side of your head. Start over when you realize one is larger than the other. Start over again when you realize the other is larger than the one. Start over again when someone says "Oh, the Princess Leia hairdo!"

The Phoebe Halliwell: 
 Screenshots via Youtube

Make a bunch of skinny braids on either side of your face, connecting them intricately in an impossible braid labyrinth. Add ribbon and/or beads. Feel really earthy and bohemian. Look really early-2000s.

The Carrie Bradshaw: 
 Image via weFASHIONny

Start with a ponytail, then roll a sock onto it, creating a larger-than-life bun that is more sock than hair. When people compliment you on how much hair you have, smile and say "thanks, it can be hard to handle, but I manage." Spend the day making sure your sock doesn't become visibile, because you stupidly chose a lime green sock instead of one that matches your hair color.

The Adele: 
Image via

Decide to invest in hot rollers. Go to Sally's, balk at the price, and buy Velcro rollers instead. Wrap your damp hair in rollers, focusing on getting the most volume near your roots. Spray the f*** out of your head, remove rollers, back comb the f*** out of your strands, add more hairspray. Lament the fact that you'll never look like Adele. Discover that she wears a wig. Briefly consider buying a wig. Research wig prices online, just out of curiosity. Decide to just not look like Adele.

The Carrie Underwood: 
Image via Woman's Day

Search Pinterest for "hair ideas." Click any photo that comes up, because it's guaranteed to be Carrie Underwood. Develop delusions of grandeur about your hair's untapped potential. Do whatever the hell you want with your hair; it truly doesn't matter. Give up because Carrie Underwood, specifically her hair, is a freak of nature, and we all know she sold her soul to the devil for that mane.


Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow:
  • Hair on my head: Beautiful, feminine, necessary for attracting male attention. 
  • Eyelashes: The bigger, the better. 
  • Eyebrows: Make sure to keep up on the current trends, lest you embarrass yourself with too bushy or too sparse eyebrows. 
  • Arm hair: Not much of a public opinion. 
  • Leg hair: Get rid of it or you're a dirty hippie/dirty feminist/just plain dirty. 
  • Armpit hair: Ditto.
  • Facial hair: Bleach it/wax it/pluck it/electrocute the ever-living shit out of it. 

  • Hair not connected to my body: Dis. Gust. Ing.
  • Hair in your pizza: Well, I'm never eating there again. I knew that guy looked unclean.
  • Hair in your shower drain: What kind of sick people shower in this purgatory of grime? Bits of bar soap mingle with detached, spindly hairs. You pinch the hairball, which resembles a furry spider or owl pellet, and drop it in the trash with two fingers, unable to hide the look of horror on your face. Two days ago you straightened this strand with your flat iron. Today, it makes you wish you could afford a cleaning service.


  1. "Kiss Ryan Gosling passionately in the rain? I already straightened my hair."

    Best poem ever.

    1. thanks, I'm hoping to quit my job and become a full time poet very soon.


    So many things I can relate to in this post, the last part is my favorite though. Shower drain hair is probably the most disgusting thing ever.

    1. I, too, was in shock and disbelief when I found out. It's sad.

  3. Preach woman!!

    Sucks that they don't make hair-colored socks. I use a stupid lime green sock too, and I end up making hourly bathroom checks to make sure no one knows I'm wearing an old fluorescent-colored sock in my hair.

    And who the eff is born with beach waves? I've tried curlers, curling irons, and even the curl-with-your-straightener method, and I inevitably look like Shirley Temple. Or the curls fall out after 30 minutes.

  4. I did a weird combo of baby spice and sporty spice's hair in middle school. Half down, 2 tiny buns on top of my head like antennae. Why didn't my mother tell me how stupid I looked?? You better believe I'll tell my not-yet-existent daughter that she looks like and idiot when she tries an ugly hairdo someday. Or maybe I'll just take pictures. Depends on my mood.

  5. Kari, you are hilarious. Gladi followed you here from weddingbee.

  6. Also, why does it take SO long to straighten my hair?! Because I have to straighten my hair but then it looks dead, so I have to curl it, too. And I'm too cheap to invest in a Chi when my good old Conair was only $25! Damn my need to not frighten small children with my monstrous mane! And it doesn't help that my head is freakishly small, too.


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