Most mornings when I am awakened by NPR, I pull the covers back over my head as one sad story after another makes its way out of the radio. On Thursday, however, I was treated to two back-to-back pieces about hair — specifically two of my biggest hair issues. (Yes. My hair has issues. Is that a problem?)
I’ll describe them in the opposite order they appeared, since for me, that’s the order they presented in my life.
So, first is the hair that turns from curly to straight all on its own. My hair has done this a couple of times, yet people look at me like I am daft when I say this. I had corkscrew-curly ponytails as a child, and in grade school, my natural waves gave my feathered hair bigger wings than Farrah Faucet had. During middle school, though, my hair got straighter and straighter and stayed that way until my mid-20s or so, when the curls started coming back. My hair is now on some unholy border between wavy and curly (the land of frizz, we’ll call it) and I spend a lot of time trying to straighten it, at least in the non-humid winter months.
Which leads to the other part of the story — the growing phenomenon of American women washing their hair less often. It seems that for some, this is a pro-environment choice, but for me, it’s all about the tedious waste of time it is to blow my hair out straight. I have an absolutely unreasonable amount of hair and to do it properly requires about an hour with the dryer and flat-iron. I barely have the patience to manage this once a week, never mind more, so about five years ago I started spacing out my washes more and more, and at this point, I do my hair once a week, at most. It’s a far cry from the month or more cited as the norm for our forebears in the story, but it shocks people if it happens to come up in conversation. And the sad part is, it looks better the dirtier it gets.
And so, here are two stories that make me feel a little less alone in my hair misery: