Looking back at old photos of myself throughout my younger years, there is one glaring flaw that kept me from looking as put together and pretty as I would have liked: I had bad hair. There were never any crazy styles or anything; my hair has, for the most part, been of medium length, and I spent the majority of my childhood with a bob, or whatever a bob becomes when it grows out a bit. In my teens I would occasionally go to my hair dresser with a picture of a pixie cut and instruct her to lop off all but a couple of inches, but I never had a hot pink Mohawk or crazy big hair or a bad perm or anything like that.
No, the problem wasn’t the style, it was the lack of style that the previous paragraph clearly indicated. My hair was always just there, a separate entity, not a part of my overall outfit or look. I did practically nothing to take care of it. I’d get it cut every now and then. I washed it and combed it and let it dry. Eventually I cared so little about my hair that I would let pretty much anyone cut it. Friends who wanted to practice their hairdressing skills would snip and style it. I figured a free haircut was worth the risk of a bad haircut. What did I care?
Somewhere along the line I started caring. Tired of never being completely pulled together, I wandered into a Rite Aid one day and bought a bottle of John Frieda Daily Nourishment Leave-In Conditioning Spray. It was on sale and seemed about as low maintenance as a hair product could be. I went home, took a shower, sprayed some of the frizz fighting potion in my hair, and went about my day. Hours later, I looked in the mirror and noticed that my hair looked… good. What had formerly been a kinda wavy, slightly frizzy mop was a soft and shiny, still wavy, head of hair. I was hooked.
But fighting frizz was only part of the battle. You see, my hair is very dark, very thick, and very prone to a condition that I call triangle head, where, upon reaching a certain length, my hair ceases to increase in length and instead increases in width, giving my whole head a very triangular look. Suddenly giving a damn about my hair, I resolved to get a real hair cut and start getting them on a regular basis.
The cut I chose was not earth shattering, but it worked. A trim, some subtle layers and a blow-dry later, and I was actually feeling pretty. My hair actually looked like it belonged on my head!
Since that day I’ve been getting my hair trimmed and restyled regularly, and I won’t leave the house without blow-drying my hair. It adds that bit of polish and style that my hair was definitely missing in my younger days. And I’ve graduated from the John Frieda spray to some fancier frizz fighters. Until about a week ago I was hooked on Frederic Fekkai Glossing Cream, which protects hair from heat damage, keeps frizz at bay, and leaves hair nice and shiny. Lately I’ve been using Living Proof Styling Cream, part of the brand’s no frizz line. The new product keeps my hair almost completely frizz free and also makes it incredibly soft, but it lacks the shine that the Glossing Cream provides. I still have bad hair days, but simply putting a little effort into my hairdo makes me feel a lot better about it, and sometimes I actually feel proud of it.
One night while out having drinks at my favorite bar, a girl I barely knew came up to me and said,
“Your hair always looks perfect. I hate you.”
I couldn’t help but smile.