It’s Not Just Me

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:

9 thoughts on “It’s Not Just Me

  1. Eileen March 22, 2009 / 9:46 am

    Now that I have a blow dryer necessary cut to look styled, I too have gone the every other day route (for days when it is blown dry on day 1). I’d love to go longer but since I have ultra thin hair, I can’t go longer without looking horrible.

    And Sarah, Gram would be so proud…now you just need to transition to “getting” your hair done once a week 😉

  2. Joanne March 22, 2009 / 10:30 am

    I too am trying to avoid washing my hair every day. It does look better most times when I go a day without washing/blow drying. I can’t believe that its good for your hair to be stress like that every day. I almost never blow dry my hair on the weekends–just can’t be bother to take the time.

    Going a month, however. Ewww. I couldn’t do it.

    My hair went from pin straight to wavy, and it annoys me. Bah.

  3. Susan March 22, 2009 / 12:42 pm

    Arghh! I had straightish hair most of my life…some wave to it, but could easily blow dry it and it would be straight. After kids…curls. Lots of them. Now I go for the crazy, spritz it and let it go look…I have no control over it anymore….so sad! I started doing the every other day thing, and my hair DEFINTELY is Day 2 hair. But day 3….ughhh!

  4. Mom March 22, 2009 / 1:12 pm

    Now, this makes me wonder what my hair issue is! Once a week — I can’t imagine! I MUST shampoo every day & blow dry or have the flat, greasy look. And, then again, I still get a ZIT every now and then and I’m 65!!! Help???

  5. common loon March 22, 2009 / 4:01 pm

    OK, do you really not wash your hair after a workout??? To not wash after the sweat I work up would be just gross (oh, and pretty darn smelly)! And yes, I do my best to workout most days. When I skip a day (tried it per Sue’s advice some time ago), I look like a drowned rat by the evening of day 2 and get pimples on my forehead. And I tried it for a good month to see if it was just an oil productin balance thing that needed to settle itself out – nope. All of my life I have had baby-fine, straight hair. The closest thing I’ve ever had to a wave is when it’s just long enough to touch my shoulders, and thus, “arc” at the bottom. Now, I do not blow dry or curl (why bother when it only lasts for 2 hours?) or any of that stuff…with the exception of when it’s -25 (without windchill) and I have to get the kids somewhere – THEN I’ll blow dry.

    But I already know that I am a freak…it was confirmed during the panythose blog discussion.

    And if you read this, Sarah: YEAH! YOU’RE THERE! Hope you’re rested and ready to have fun!!!

  6. Eileen March 22, 2009 / 4:21 pm

    @CL…seriously, do you have to ask what we do after we work out? What is that? But thanks for noting that, cause I have been working on formulating a work out plan, so now I have another good reason to delay.

  7. Rudi March 22, 2009 / 4:24 pm

    It’s all well and good if you’re not engaged in endurance sports that:

    a. put an awful lot of salt (via sweat) and oil into your hair in a very short amount of time; and

    b. buffet the hair around to the point where it gets “mangled in tangled up knots” (thank you, Grinch).

    That’s the main reason I’ve lopped my hair back from the ponytail to something quite a bit shorter: less exposure to the wind factor. But with all the sweating, I need to wash it more frequently than I’d like.

    The one thing I do is alternate between harsher, anti-dandruff shampoo and something really mild. During the peak of cycling season, it’s an every-other-wash or every-third-wash cycle for the ‘druff stuff.

    And no, I’m not tempted to shave it off. That’s only a good look on certain people, and I’m not one of ’em.

  8. Joanne March 22, 2009 / 10:48 pm

    CL—LOL! Working out! Hah, that’s a good one.

    snigger. I’m going to giggle all night now.

Comments are closed.