Monday, June 11, 2012

On having long hair

The other day, it occurred to me that I finally have long hair.

The last time I received a serious chop was in January 2009, shortly after I was both laid off and involved in a motor scooter accident in the same week—admittedly, not an ideal time to be making big beauty decisions. But I did it; I lopped off six inches of hair and I've been paying the price for my impulsiveness since.

I guess I didn't realize I now actually had long hair. Perhaps I forgot I was actively trying to grow it out in the first place. Maybe I'd just become so accustomed to this transition period that I didn't realize I'd arrived. I mean, it's not like you get a certificate in the mail when your hair falls past your shoulders. I think I was waiting to feel like a 1960s era Brigitte Bardot, with cascading locks of luscious hair, only red instead of blonde. Instead, with a stubborn cowlick and bangs that always seem to desperately need trimming, I didn't feel quite there yet.

I've never been particularly kind to my hair. As a preteen, I treated it most horribly, stretching it into tight ponytails held with hideous neon-colored scrunchies and lacquered smooth with White Rain extra super duper mega hold. I'm not so much better as an adult, either. I regularly force my bangs back with tight headbands and metal barrettes so I can practice hot yoga without sweat pouring into my eyes, and lately I've been wearing a good old fashioned Hairstyle-B-Gone helmet whenever I ride my bike to work. (If you've ever wondered why cyclists keep their helmets on even when they're stopping to grab coffee or something, it's vanity. Or, at least it is in my case.)

So now that it seems I've achieved the coveted "long hair," I do like it. It's smooth and silky and if I don't mind spending the time to blow dry and flat iron and apply a number of overpriced lotions and potions, I think it looks pretty and feminine, and I dig how it swings back and forth when I walk. But it sticks to my back when I run, it falls out everywhere in long strands, and no matter what I do it just sort of hangs there sometimes, as if it's upset with me. Not to mention all the times I accidentally dip it into my dinner. Then I remember how long it's taken me to get here, grit my teeth, and grab my helmet for another ride.