My hair runs my life! It all started about 10 years ago when I became pregnant with my first child and completely lost patience with washing and blow drying my own hair. You see, I have very thick wavy hair and, if not blown dry properly, tends to look like a frizzy, hot mess. For some reason, when my hair is good, all is right with the world. I might not feel my thinnest or my most stylish, but a good blow dry undoubtedly makes me feel more confident, more beautiful and definitely more put together. When I finally found a hairdresser who knew how to not only handle, but tame my hair, I was hooked, line and sinker.
Now, those that know me well know that I live for my weekly blow dries. My hairdresser only works 1½ days a week so my whole world revolves around her. The good news is that once my hair is blown dry, I do not have to think about it for the rest of the week. It maintains its shape and luster and I can get away without washing it in between. Sure a little maintenance is required and I can’t dunk in the pool, but it’s a small price to pay. When I tell you that people stop me all the time about my hair, I am not kidding. I was vacationing in Aspen a few years ago with friends and I was literally stopped 3 times in one day about my hair.
Okay, you get the point. My hair is my thing. So after reading an article in the New York Times yesterday about the debate over straight hair versus curly hair, it got me thinking about hair etiquette in general and all of the little sensitivities surrounding the issue.
Looks Like She Put Her Finger in an Electrical Socket. First rule of thumb, never speak ill of someone else’s tresses! We understand, hair envy is hard to shake. Those with stick straight hair want waves and those with endless volumes of ringlets desire silky and smooth strands. Hair is personal and whether you have fine or thick, curly or straight, we all have to learn how to embrace our natural look and stick up for our fellow comrades who may have less than perfect locks. The main concern is to keep things well-coiffed so that whatever you do, you always look your best.
Your Roots are Starting to Show. As we get older, our natural color starts to wane in favor of darker roots or, g-d forbid, greying hair. Most of us are careful to schedule our next appointment for a coloring, streaking or highlighting, but sometimes life gets in the way and we have a bit of a lapse. The worst is when a friend or relative notices that in-between stage when you are awaiting your next appointment and blurts out a less than flattering comment about your need for color. If you encounter someone going through this phase, tread lightly and don’t point out the obvious. I’m sure they are well aware of the need and have a date on the calendar already.
Once You Go Brazilian, You Never Go Back. The Brazilian hair treatment has turned into a lifesaver for those with extremely curly hair that want the straight look for months at a time. One 2-3 hour session offers peace of mind for up to 12 weeks and leaves the client with silky, shiny hair that can be washed and air dried to perfection. This is a terrific option for those who need professional looking hair without the fuss and time commitment of going to the salon on a regular basis. Although I personally have never tried it, my girlfriends that have swear by it!
Haircuts, Blowouts, Extensions, Oh My! Hair maintenance falls under the umbrella of manners, in particular, of our personal grooming and is an important part of our overall presentation. At the very least, haircuts should be scheduled every couple of months to get rid of damaged hair and help with reshaping. With the rise in popularity of blow dries, salons have been popping up all over the place to cater to those that jones for a regular blow dry at a reasonable price. Hair extensions should be reserved as a last resort and only in emergencies. Unfortunately, no matter how lifelike they are, they still never look right. They are usually too long and the hair gets knotty and matted very easily. My advice is to use them sparingly and if you do, take the time to brush them properly so that they look their most natural and becoming.
The bottom line – learn to love your hair. Cuddle your kinks, twirl your curls, stroke your mane and do whatever else it takes to appreciate your hair because no one else has hair like yours and the sooner you learn to love your hair, the easier your journey will be.