Below is a recent writing assignment for a writing class I am taking. We had to "free write" and then base a first page of a potential story on the free writing. Since we are supposed to write what we know, I picked the subject "bad haircut." Recently I took Ian to get his hair done by my friend Maya and she did a fantastic job. Which I knew she would. I've decided to make the drive to Baltimore from now on and see if she can "fix" the damage of a dozen bad haircuts. I think she will and am actually a lot more optimistic about the future of my hair than this writing lets on.
Bad Haircut free writing
I have a love/hate relationship with my hair. It is a vibrant red that has always defined me. I read somewhere that only one percent of the population has natural red hair. Knowing that I am a member of such an exclusive club is something that makes the other stuff that goes along with being a red head tolerable. You know, stuff like the freckles and the nicknames (carrot-top comes to mind…ugh!).
So, I love the color but truly detest the texture. It is coarse and frizzy and ever since I was a little girl, I would dream of having silky, smooth hair like many of my friends. As I got older and discovered Google, I learned that the frizz and fuzz was not something that I had to live with. All I needed to do was use “natural” hair cleansers (shampoo is WAY too harsh) and conditioners without any s sulfates or silicones. If I did this, my hair would supposedly revert back to its natural state of soft, frizz-free curls. Oh, and I had to find a stylist who knew how to cut curly hair.
To do this, I had to break up with my current stylist. Clearly she had no idea how to deal with naturally curly hair. She had been using silicones and sulfates on my hairs for years! The problem is that virtually every stylist I talked to claimed that they knew “exactly” what the previous stylist had done wrong and that it could easily be fixed “without sacrificing any of the length.” This pronouncement is almost always accompanied by a slow sad shake of the head as my hair is lifted and held out at various angles and studied.
The end result is hair that went from mid-way down my back to just below my ears in length and “long layers” that resemble Billy Ray Cyrus’s mullet circa 1995. I think that instead of spending any more time trying to “fix” my hair, I am going to just let it be.
It always starts the same way. First the newest stylist circles me, eyeing me as I go through the spiel.
“I am really tired of the frizzy hair, you know?” She nods her head and lifts a lock of my hair and narrows her eyes. I continue “I read this book about how to be a ‘curly girl.’ That is the name of it, Curly Girl, anyway all I need to do is avoid sulfates and silicones; basically stop over washing my hair with detergents and then coating it and keeping the dryness locked inside…”
This is where I always lose them. Stylists are big believers in PRODUCT. I can tell by the expression on her face that she has no idea what I am talking about and is gearing up to try to sell me some sort of curling cream that will coat my hair in silicone. She lifts another piece of hair by my ear and looks at it like it is a puppy who has poo’ed on the carpet.
“I can see exactly what the last stylist did wrong here and I know exactly how to fix it.” These are words that I have heard before. “All you need are some long layers to frame your face, really bring the curl out, and I’ll finish it with some glistening curl enhancing spray.” I sit there in the chair and close my eyes. When am I just going to let my hair grow?