Monday, October 18, 2010

Straightening Out My Life

I had a rather eventful weekend. I did get a new smart phone and am now learning how to use it. Oddly, making a phone call seems to be the most challenging task for me. It was a gorgeous weekend, so I went with my friends to a lakeside restaurant and sat out on the patio over the lake. When I got home, I still wanted to be outside, so I went to the park across the street and sat by the pond, then later sat on my patio and had a glass of wine. And then had to repair my screen door when it got out of the track, which was really interesting after a glass of wine. Sunday morning, my children's choir sang, and they were just too cute for words. At that age, "cute" covers a lot of stuff, but I think they were actually good while being incredibly cute. We did have a few who refused to wear choir robes. Sometimes I wish I could get away with that in adult choir. And then I took a nice, long walk Sunday afternoon. The leaves are just starting to turn and there was a smell of wood smoke in the air (probably more from grilling than from fireplaces because it was too warm for a fire).

But the big thing about the weekend was that I spent it with straight hair. I went to a new stylist, and for some reason they always want to straighten my hair on the first appointment. I tried objecting and said I didn't want it, but this guy kept going, and I figured it wasn't worth making a huge scene and stalking out of there, which it would have taken, since I could undo it by taking a shower (still, it may be my last appointment with him because I don't consider it a good sign when a stylist blatantly disregards the client's preferences). It was the first time a stylist has successfully straightened my hair, so that it actually looked straight and did that swingy thing straight hair does. Before, it's always just come out kind of weirdly frizzy. At first, I was all ready to take a shower as soon as I got home, but then I decided it counts as research. I haven't really had straight hair before, and definitely not long straight hair, so I didn't know what it was like, and yet I've written all these straight-haired characters. Since it's best not to wash your hair for a while after getting it colored, I decided to keep it as long as I could and see what it was like having straight hair.

Here I am right after I got back from the stylist. Compare it to the photo in my books:

One thing I learned is that my hair is really, really fine. The only body it has is from the curl. Without the curls, it's like baby hair. It won't hold hair pins, barrettes or ponytail holders. I tried putting it in a ponytail for a walk, and the holder -- one of the supposedly "no slip" ones -- just slid off my hair. I did enjoy being able to swing my hair. I felt like I was in a shampoo commercial. And I could run my fingers through my hair without getting trapped. There was one minor challenge when I realized I don't have a hairbrush. You don't brush curly hair. You can comb it with a wide-toothed comb when it's wet, but after it's dry, you don't touch it. With straight hair, a brush is necessary. I finally found a travel-size brush that came in one of those makeup bonus packs, where you get sample/travel-size makeup and accessories when you buy a certain amount of makeup.

I think the most interesting thing was the reactions from people. I posted a picture on Facebook, and everyone seemed to love the straight hair on me, while I felt it wasn't even really "me." Even my mom loved it. I guess I shouldn't have expected my friends and family to say it looks horrible, but no one said anything about liking the curls better. That then reminded me of all those movie makeovers where the woman is considered less attractive while she has curly hair, but then when she becomes beautiful and glamorous, she has straight hair. I've always felt like the curls are one of my more striking features and I'm just ordinary without them. The straight hair feels really alien, like a costume, almost. I expected some reaction from the little kids because they have no filter, and if they think something, they'll say something, but none of them said anything. A couple did give me funny looks, like they thought there was something odd about me but weren't sure what. Oddly, none of the adults I saw Sunday commented on the change (and the color also changed pretty drastically).

I'll be going back to normal tonight because I'm taking a make-up ballet class, and that will require a shower afterward. Today the straight hair probably looks its best because it seems to be trying to revert to normal, and that means the ends are curling a bit, so it's not stick straight and flat anymore. It's not the individual ringlets I normally have, but it does have body. If I could get it to this point, I could probably deal with it occasionally, but the straightening process isn't something I'd want to go through very often. It took at least half an hour of blow drying and then flat ironing, and then it was more than two days before it got to where I like it, just before I'm going to have to wash it.

I'll have to post an "after" picture, and maybe the daily progression pictures, tomorrow.

No comments: