Well, one can’t discuss bodacious proportions and not include hair in the discussion.

Wait, not sure that came out right. Well, whatever.

As I was saying, hair. Most of my life has been hair fail, but I had no one to teach me how to do hair. I made it up as I went. I copied the styles in Seventeen magazine and got made fun of for doing so. I copied the popular girls’ hair and got made fun of for doing so. My mom took charge of my locks for a bit and forced me into a hateful cut and I got made fun of for her doing so (I’ve never forgiven her). I won’t talk about my hair during my New Kids on the Block phase (trust me, you’re better off not knowing), but I assure you that I got made fun of for it. I was never able to match my cousin’s hair panache, and never got that teasing and spraying just right. Then again, she has always been epic-level cooler-than-moi, so I wasn’t surprised. She also had an infinitely more awesome collection of metal tees to accessorize, so there you are.

When all my nasty layers in high school got long enough, I chopped everything to the same length, and started junior year with a bob. I didn’t get made fun of for it, but I loathed it. (I had already started growing it out when this photo was taken.)

It was long again for senior photos, and I swore I’d never destroy my hair again! No more bangs! (that’s fringe, for you UK folk – you can see some baby hair-ness though) No more layers! No more anything!

Which is why I promptly dyed it black, killed the length, and cut horribly short bangs in college. Goth, you see.

The post-collegiate grow-out put me off dye, I can tell you. I don’t want that immortalized, so here, have a photo of a blood-sucking belly dancer. (Best use of bad hair EVER. As long as one looks past the poorly styled costume. Look! Gothic French manicure!)

Or, perhaps me in a braless top, back when I still could do such chicanery. (Note, this was zip-front closure, and had an open back with five tendrils dropping from neck to back band. I can only dream of that now!)

But yeah, I left my hair well alone after this. Well, sort of. I learned to get my woolly mammoth eyebrows tended to. Thank goodness.

Then, I started to get told that I should do something with my hair. Like my ex who was with me during the grow-out: “All women do stuff with their hair, all women get dye jobs. You should do something with your hair!” I thought this was daft of him, since he’d seen the effects of the last dye job, but he took an hour and a half to get his hair done before we left the house (including strategic shaping in a towel), so maybe I was just making him feel prissy with my three-style stable (ponytail, bun, or down. No tricks). He wasn’t the only one saying this, though. But I never did do anything. A bout of henna dye does not count. Neither do the three trims I had in nine years.

I simply felt paralyzed when it came time for styling. I would try something new and get shot down for it. I never could get a curl to hold. I never could use hairspray without ending up with a helmet. I don’t have the fabulous curls that my husband does, where you can just run gel through them, tousle, then run out the door (not that he ever does such things). I have to actually make hair choices.


The past five years or so, I’ve been adding a twist here, a braid there, and I’m getting somewhere. I actually get non-ironic hair-centric compliments (even creative ones!) from coworkers. Male coworkers. You know, the ones who aren’t supposed to notice such detail? I even tried to go red, but the stylist refused. He said that he had women who paid him hundreds of dollars to get my hair color, so he wasn’t about to destroy natural beauty. (I’m still astounded that a hairdresser in Los Angeles of all places said this to me!) But I still have so much growing to do. I thought I’d share some of that growth and some of my experiences.

Like this from a few weeks ago:

It was a flyaway mess, and it was still hot out, so I kept nudging the main curl out of the way to wipe my brow. Curls don’t like to be nudged repeatedly. I know this via science.

Here was Halloween 2012 work night hair:

Not too bad, eh? The after shot was better, but you’ll see that eventually.

I am, however, delighted that the hair I had for my cousin’s wedding is nowhere to be found in the Facebook photos, so maybe that one died sans memoriam. One can only hope.