My Dream Hair, Miami Vice Style
I hate my hair. There, I said it.
I am not a particularly vain person. It’s nice to get dressed up every so often, put on makeup and cute painful shoes but generally I can’t be bothered. My job history is a testimony to my willingness to only work at places with a casual dress code. I wear makeup maybe once a week, but I am a sucker for lipsticks and glosses and I own about 94 of them.
My hair doesn’t play well with this equation. It is extremely high maintenance. Left to its own devices it is about 143% grey and frizzier than Barbara Streisand’s hairdo in “The Way We Were” (at the end, the “your girl is lovely, Hubble” part, not the “K-k-k-Katie” part). When damp the front curls into tight corkscrews but for some reason the back didn’t get that memo and remains stubbornly, lifelessly straight. It might be some kind of manifestation of my mercurial nature, like a personality mullet.
I have spent god only knows how many hours and how much money on coloring my hair, with everything from drugstore dye (much better results than you would think, especially Feria) to single process color to highlights and of course single process with high- and low-lights, which was meant to bring more “depth” to my color but I think was really meant to lighten my wallet. Between cutting, coloring, hair dryers, straightening irons and products, I estimate that I probably spend about $1200 a year on my hair. That’s more than a month of my daughter’s daycare. That’s 4 monthly car payments. A Coach bag. The annual tax bill on a condo I own.
And then there’s the time- getting my hair done is an extravaganza that once took 5 hours, but is usually somewhere in the 2-3 hour range. I have taken this Friday off to get a cut and color and go Christmas shopping. I try to view it as a little luxury for me- some time by myself, a little pampering- but honestly I would rather take a 3 hour nap or do dinner and a movie with my friends. With 2 small kids and a full-time job, 3 hours to devote to anything is a lot. I don’t think I see my husband for 3 hours total during the week. Yet my (delightful) hairdresser Dan gets 3 hours of uninterrupted Siobhan time every 3 months. I like to think he looks forward to it but he’s gay so our dates can only be so fulfilling.
A few months ago I got a half-off coupon for something called a Brazilian Blowout, a de-frizzing treatment that I was skeptical about but I thought I’d try given how cheap it was. I am not kidding when I say it has changed my life. I have true wash-and-wear hair now. I haven’t touched my flatiron since Labor Day Weekend. What used to be a 20 minute nightmare of mixing the right combination of product, blow-drying, then flat-ironing now takes 5. I don’t have to blow-dry if I don’t feel like it or don’t have the time. I used to see rain falling outside my window or the hellish August humidity forecast for DC and fight the urge to just shave my head. Now I feel like the Breck girl when I step on the office elevator on a rainy day. Of course this magical treatment has now been shown to consist of more formaldehyde than your standard neighborhood morgue, but I don’t care. My brain could use some preserving anyway.
I last got my hair colored at the beginning of October. I am thankful that I am tall and so the number of people who can clearly see the skunk-like stripe of silver extending a good inch from either side of my part is minimal. The blowout is starting to wear off (it lasts from 12-16 weeks) and I have another coupon that I will be using.
Maybe I am vain after all.
*Google It. You’ll feel smarter.