If I frightened anyone driving through town Friday afternoon, I apologize. But, maybe I shouldn’t say anything. Maybe you didn’t recognize me. Or, maybe you are trying to forget…
Hair is such a simple, non-essential, threat to a woman’s sanity. At the forefront of her effort to look pleasing to her man and fit into culture, her hair resists manipulation. If there is finally a degree of success in controlling it, the slightest humidity or activity will cause it to snap joyfully back into its natural mode. The only sure thing to do with it, is cut it very short or shave it off, which my husband has politely asked me not to do.
I knew all of this when I went swimming that day, stuffing my long, curly hair into a lycra swim cap. It’s not a water proof cap, because those silicone torture devices grab my hair from multiple directions while I try to put them on. I end up with half of my hair hanging out of the cap across my face, while the other half feels like each single piece is being pulled out by the root. So, my hair gets wet with pool water when I swim.
Unfortunately, I needed my hair to be dry soon after swimming for my appointment to get the color added where the gray roots had grown. I didn’t end up with enough time to wash it, but attempted to rinse the chlorine water out in the locker room shower. Then, I tried to use one of the cute little wall dryers there, like I have seen other women do. As I struggled to make use of the pathetically inadequate airflow, I recalled the short, silky straight hair of the women I had seen use it. I decided to make a quick stop at home to use my own blow dryer.
By this time, my hair was somewhat stiff from the residue of pool water on top of the left-over potions that had been on it to tame the frizz before the swim. Without the normal post-washing conditioner, it was beginning to kink around and attach to itself like velcro on a scouring pad. Blasting it impatiently with my hair dryer on high, I was horrified to see sections begin to spiral upward and outward, like fuzzy corkscrew stalagmites. So much for the idea that such formations take hundreds of years…
I was out of time. I headed for the car, hoping that some fluffing at scalp zone with my fingers, combined with the breeze from driving would aid the drying process. I slapped my sunglasses on and I hunched over the steering wheel, avoiding eye contact with other drivers in the heavy afternoon traffic. My peripheral vision noticed a few stunned drivers in my wake. Even the teenagers were too shocked to heckle me. Finally, I parked in the salon lot. I grabbed the bottom half of my hair to keep it from attacking passersby and power walked in.
When I walked out of the salon two hours later, the curls were again reasonably under control and all the same color. I had two delicate braids forming a headband across the top of my head. The products applied had the frizz in lock down and maintaining formation. No one had shown up to check out reports of an escaped jungle woman. Hopefully, I hadn’t traumatized any small children or become the source of nightmares, but my hair is NOT really totally under my control and I cannot promise that it won’t break out again.