I got my hair cut yesterday. This was the first time I'd done any official grooming in almost six months, and it was long overdue. I was beginning to be crushed by the emotional weight of my unruly hair.
My cousin, Dee, is my hairdresser. Unfortunately, she only works part-time at a salon, and our hours never seem to mesh. Every few months I go through a phase where I call her, begging for a few minutes of her time, and she sets a date where I can go to her house. I hate to bother her like that, but by the time I actually call her, I'm desperate.
I got two inches cut off and fresh highlights. I washed my hair upside down in the bathtub with her luxurious $25.00 shampoo and matching conditioner. She did her fancy blow-dry technique, turning my normally "bumpy" hair smooth and straight. The finishing touch was to create lots of little flippy things at the bottom. A very fancy look for the normally un-fancy me.
(I know there are people for whom this is just an everyday look. Me? I'm not one of them. My daily hair routine is as follows: wash with whatever shampoo was on sale that month; condition with whatever conditioner was on sale that month; let hair air dry. Hair dryers are like power tools to me. I just can't figure out how to work 'em.)
When she was finished, I went into the bathroom to get a glimpse of the new, clean, me. I stared at my reflection and was slightly stunned. "I look... like somebody's mother."
In the kitchen, she sounded worried. "You don't like it. Do you want me to do something different...?"
"No, no, I do like it. I mean, I am somebody's mother. I should probably look like one, right? Better that than the ratty mess I was before."
Yet somehow, even though I looked like somebody's mother, I could see a 5-year-old version of myself hidden underneath.
Oh, 1980. Velvet shirts. Gap toothed grins. Dorothy Hamill haircuts. Where have you gone?
This morning, I walked into work and got immediate compliments. Actually. A few too many compliments for my liking.
"Wowwwww, look at you! You look great!"
"Did you see the new girl on our team?"
"I loooove the new style. So shiny!"
"We should all go out drinking tonight! Celebrate your new look!"
Even my boss, a man, who rarely notices anything about anyone's hair, makeup or clothing, said, "Hmm. I like the highlights."
What the heck, people? It's a hair cut. I didn't get an extreme makeover or anything. Tone it down a notch or two.
But thank you all for affirming the fact that, yes, my feelings of frumpiness weren't imagined. I was a scraggly mess. Clearly, I need to up my hair regimen just a bit.
So, what? Every five months? That should do it. Right?