Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm So Vain

I may have gone off the deep end with this self care thing. Or not. I don't know. How do "normal" women groom themselves? I have been fat and body unconscious for so long I have lost track. Heck, who are we kidding I never knew. I was raised by durable fat religious farm women. Clean and modest were their highest goals. Fashionable and feminine they were not. I wore either long dresses for church or jeans and men's flannel shirts for school. Throughout my teen years I looked like Euell Gibbons on weekdays and Granny Moses on weekends. Then I went to nursing school. Let me just say, white does not flatter anyone but angels. Twenty some years of various shades of white. It is enough to make a body weep. Then I was drafted. No I did not actually join the military, I just looked like it. Olive drab, navy blue, gun metal gray, why did I think these colors made me look thin and cheerful? Any way I have never really applied the concepts of fashion or femininity to my self. Now seems to be the time.

Clothing, cosmetics and body work come later. I will address hair in this post. Let me begin by saying I am no longer gainfully employed. We have also just moved. Money is not just outside sticking out of the snowbanks for harvesting. Keep this vital piece of information in mind. I do.

I guess this mania all started with my first hair cut after we moved up here. I was badly in need of shearing and coloring. Short and practical with a few blond highlights had been my style since my late twenties. I am now 50. Twenty five years of the same hair style. I never noticed.

I made an appointment at a salon for my usual do. I was not real nervous because anyone can cut my hair cap and slap a few light streaks on the top. I should have worried. I knew I was in trouble when the "stylist" turned out to be twenty and cute as a bug's ear. She was also self confident and aggressive. She took one look at my long (for me) drab hair and said you need color and shape. Did I? What precisely did she mean by color? More warmth it turned out. These ashy blobs are doing nothing for you she said, fingering my blobs like they were contagious. Your base color is also the wrong tint for your skin. What color is it she asked? My own I squeaked. "Ahh" was all she said. This child then took me in hand.

After quite a while I had red/blond hair with gold highlights. I looked in the mirror and recognized the person looking back at me. She was 28. To say I was pleased was the understatement of the year. I attempted to thank my baby benefactress. I told you, she said, you just needed some color. She then got out her razor. No, wait, I said, I want a little cap of hair and I know you can't give me a little cap of hair with that. She ignored me. You need length and some height on top. She began to saw at my dry hair. I almost fainted. Relax she said it will be fine. And it was. A modern haircut. I no longer looked like I should have a little white hat perched atop my head. I looked relaxed and sporty. Sexy she said, but I am not willing to go that far.

Did I mention I am not good with my hair. I had a hair cap for twenty years because I did not want to mess with it. This new "do", I was to find out, required more care than a newborn. I will begin with product. Not products, product. Product turns out to be glue. It is called mousse, root lifter, volumizing foam and spray adhesive. I needed a recipe card to tell me how and in what order to apply all this gunk to my hair. Turns out I also needed an iron. Check, I had an iron. Not that kind of iron. A flat curling iron. (Oxymoronic) Then I needed a blow dryer. Check, had a blow dryer. I quit using it when the shag went out of style. Old blow dryer would not work. Did not have a "directed end." Well...yes. Directed end = a nozzle deal with a slit it it. I also needed a round brush. Check, had a round brush, see shag comment. Not a plastic one silly, had to have a metal base with silicone bristles. I was certainly behind the times. What ever happened to Dippity Do and orange juice cans?

I left the shop a younger and wiser women. A wiser woman with a shopping bag full of product, tools, and an instruction booklet for my new hair style. Anyone care to guess how much all of this cost? I am not telling. I am too embarrassed.

There has been some fallout from this first enlightening visit. (Not my hair.) Mark promptly used up the $13 can of hair spray gluing a bunch of cardboard together. "It said spray adhesive and was in a silver can. Why didn't the darn thing say hairspray," he wondered? Why indeed? Root lifter makes my hair look spiky. I do not want to look like Sting. Mousse weighs my hair down and makes it oily. VO5 is cheaper if I desire oily flat hair. My old hair dryer did not work. I did need the directed end. The new brush gets caught in hair less often than the old one. Luminescent spray if fabulous. Makes my hair shine. Worth the $20. Have received tons of compliments on new haircut. Have begun wearing earrings again. Also makeup. Gorgeous hair seems to need it. Is fun fixing my hair. This is the real change.

But, have I gone too far? Much more on this later. Take care of yourselves. Love Bea.

8 comments:

Debra said...

Sounds wonderful, Bea. I don't suppose you'd be willing to post a "before" and "after" the haircut pictures? :)

Beula said...

Whoa. Have some one actually SEE me? Will need more therapy first.

Plus we don't have digital camera or even a printer with a scanner. But this is going to change. I am computer shopping as we speak. I am overwhelmed with choice. I think I want a laptop. I think I want a Dell. I am now trying to figure out what all I want on the computer. We are also going to get a real printer when I get the computer. Pics are definitely in my future.

Anonymous said...

I had been dying my hair for 20 years (now 38) - I finally said screw it and am letting it grow out. It's a pretty nice shade of sandy brownish hair which I'm sure will have more highlights during the summer. After drying my hair I don't really style it... I want my cut to do the "real work" for me. I use a big round brush for about 5 minutes. (I'm a little past shoulder length). I will say I was VERY cheap about "product" the last 20 years and my hair showed it. I now buy Biolage (expensive but nothing smooths my hair better) and use the Citre Shine products (for de-frizzing & shine). I still use cheap make up but I put at least something on daily.

With your hair it will get easier and faster as time goes on to "do it"! And it seems that younger kids (even my twin daughters that are 11) know about fashion, etc more than I do and I have been actually TAKING THEIR ADVICE. lol

Cindy in CO

BigAssBelle said...

i LOOOOOOVE this post. it's absolutely precious. i get the whole thing.

What color is it she asked? My own I squeaked. "Ahh" was all she said. This child then took me in hand.

Bea, I adore you.

Red7Eric said...

Lynette sent me over here -- loved the story.

A word from "product" from a gay man who knows a thing or two (because hi, I'm gay): salons will always try to sell you tons of product, but the stuff wrecks your hair -- so invest instead in a new hair dryer and see if you can't just style it the way you like it. If it goes flat mid-way through your day, a little scrunch spray (applied while the dryer is on, so it bakes in will usually do the trick. Hair spackle should only be necessary if the hair is really limp or fine.

Have fun with your glamorous self!!

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