Hair Barrettes

You guys, I was totally going to write something last week and instead I got shots in my back and was an irritable sweaty rage monster and had to hide myself from the world. Like the Phantom of the Opera. Only without the kick ass face mask and broadway musical score.

Image result for phantom of the opera

But I am feeling better and awaiting my second round of shots so I’m ready to share a story of emotional heartbreak from my childhood.

When I was a kid my little sister, J, and I shared everything. A room, a bed, a pillow at times. But the one thing we hated sharing was our toys. Is there anything worse than sharing toys as a child?

Okay, yes.

But as a kid, that shit is the fucking worst. And my sister and I fought constantly over…well…basically everything.

There was one thing we seemed to fight over more than anything else though. Our hair clips.

These EXACT ones!!! I’m not going to lie, I moaned when I saw this picture.

Our collection of them was extensive and impressive. You guys know what I’m talking about. Little plastic hair barettes.

I don’t know what they look like now. But when we were kids we had everything. There were days of the week in multiple colors. Clips with puppies and kittens. Glittery gel clips. Clips with hearts and stars. The more traditional bow and ribbon style clips. And, best of all, rainbow clips!

It was a cornucopia of cheap plastic and tiny rows of gripping teeth.

We were obsessed with them. An outfit was not complete without matching hair clips. And god help you if we both wanted to wear the same ones on the same day.

These images are making my heart ache

We kept them stored first in a toy sized plastic garbage can and then eventually in a kaboodle. Do you guys remember kaboodles? They were like tackle boxes for little girls. I am not even joking when I say I would have one right now if I found one.

My father always has very long grey hair growing up. In fact, my father looked like Jerry Garcia. He looked so much like Jerry Garcia that my mother once bought a Grateful Dead bumper sticker and I thought it was of my father somehow.

This is basically a portrait of my father

My mother laughed at me for that for about three weeks. Like I would have known who the Grateful Dead were at that age. I was a 14 year old honor student, not a stoner college freshman.

Anyway, my father would get drunk and watch football on Sundays and my sister and I would sit behind the couch and try to put every clip in his hair that we could. He wound up looking like some sort of creepy old man Medusa.

It was fun.

I don’t remember the exact fight. But sometime around the age of 9 my sister and I got into a massive fight over a specific hair clip. I’m going to guess it was the rainbow one. I always had a thing for rainbows.

My father confiscated the barrettes.

In my house confiscation was like death. It was the equivalent of taking the aging family dog to a farm upstate.

I don’t know what happened to the things he confiscated. But we never saw those barrettes again.

I still have not emotionally recovered. Those barrettes man. They were plastic gold.

And, because I love all of you so much, here is a rare picture of me at that age. With a barrette in my hair. Also you need to know this outfit consisted of a pastel leopard print button up, an acid washed denim skirt, fucking SUSPENDERS, and sneakers with socks.

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Going Grey

I just wanted to have grey hair so bad. I mean, it looks amazing on everyone. It is so in right now. And I truly think I could pull grey hair off.

 

So I innocently made an appointment to my local hair salon. All my misadventures start with the best of intentions. How hard was it to get a hair dye?

 

Here is a picture of me before. In case you guys forgot how fantastic my hair is.

 

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I don’t know why I look so emo here

 

I brought a book and some water (which I cannot go anywhere without) and was ready for it to take about 2 hours. That was normal for the intense bleaching and then toning I was looking for. But I was willing to wait and brave chemical burns for my new found sense of style.

 

That first night we bleached my hair. And I wound up looking like Thranduil.

 

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I hate my hot elvish son

 

But my hair refused to lighten enough to go grey. The hair stylist decided to try foiling my hair. The process was fascinating. Not least because she mistakenly thought kitchenware would help where probable cancer causing chemicals did not.

 

But I wound up looking like some sort of gingery blonde. I have to admit. It was pretty cute.

 

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So happy and smiley.

 

But five days later, I returned to her chair with my book. And we bleached it again. My hair did not like the bleaching. But I really did not care. My hair would be tamed.

 

And I wound up looking like Draco Malfoy.

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My father will hear about this!

 

It actually looked pretty cute for a week. But it still was not grey.

 

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Doctor Who in the house!

 

So I went back a third time. I finished my novel. I was reading Gulp by Mary Roach. As an aside here, if Mary Roach is looking for a 31 year old friend that lives in Florida I am available. All her books are amazing, hilarious and informative. And Gulp is also fascinatingly gross.

 

After two more bleachings, my hair was finally light enough to go grey. In case you lost count, that’s four bleachings in two weeks. Yes, my scalp was angry. My hair still has a bit of a weird texture to it. But not even a nuclear explosion could make that shit fall out. (Though actually it could since that is one of the symptoms of radiation poisoning).

 

We both realized that the reason we struggled with my hair so much was that I had auburn hair as a kid. Apparently red heads have difficult hair to bleach. Who knew?

 

So I had grey hair for one hot minute.

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I dare you to tell me I don’t look fantastic here.

 

But the bleach has been working on my hair over time now and a few weeks later, I am blonde again.

 

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Me now. Making some weird face.

 

I think next time I will go back to my childhood roots and dye it red. Sorry for all the pics of myself! 

Hair Envy

A few years ago I worked out of a different office at my company. I worked in the field with mostly men. There were quite a few women that worked at my office, but we didn’t really get along.

 

The women there were older. Serious. Kind of uptight and in my view, not very interesting. They would never talk about their vaginas in the workplace or split their pants and flash everyone their underwear or any of the other things I haven’t even shared with you guys yet.

This sums them up pretty well. Older, white, and with awful fashion sense.

I mostly avoided them and they mostly avoided me. It was a fine arrangement.

 

And then one day, there was a new employee, E. She was close to my age and exactly the kind of person I like. She was sarcastic and loud mouthed. She was funny and cool and witty and she laughed a loud infectious laugh that was irresistible. We immediately liked each other.

 

Every morning I would stop by her desk to talk and crack jokes. She was great.

 

One day that first week of meeting her, I went to lunch with a group of the guys and I met another new employee, C. He was so cool and funny too. He was a big, burly, biker type, but laid back and sarcastic.

 

He and I really hit it off and in my head I was totally shipping C and E. By the end of our conversation I was convinced they were soul mates. So I asked him if he had noticed her. He had noticed her. It turned out E was his wife. I secretly take a bit of credit for their marriage, even though they were married before I knew them, because I would have made it happen if they weren’t already married.

I do this in my head to literally everyone. I don’t even care if they are married, straight, gay. You are all shipped with other people!

Have you ever had a crush on a couple? I had a major one on them. I’d talk to E every morning and have lunch at least once a week with C. They were from New York city and had recently moved down to Florida.

 

I heard the story of how they met and got engaged (which are my two favorite stories to hear in case anyone wants to share). I heard about how they were trying to have children. We grew fairly close over the period of about six months.

 

One day I was talking to E and she brushed a strand of hair back off her face. Normally I am hesitant to compliment women. They almost always take it as a come on. Maybe I don’t know how to do it in a way that seems platonic. But I had to tell her.

 

“Your hair is gorgeous!” She had the kind of hair I always dreamed of having. It was milk chocolate brown. Silky smooth without a hint of frizz. It was was shoulder length with perfect body and shine like something in a hair commercial. If she hadn’t been so cool I would have hated her for her perfect hair alone.

Like this adorable one right here.

She gave me sort of a bemused at my compliment and I worried I had overstepped my bounds. Or come across as flirting.

 

She reached up, grabbed a fistful of hair, and yanked the whole thing off her head. She was completely bald underneath.

 

I have no idea what kind of look I had on my face. It took about 45 seconds for my brain to catch up to what my eyes had seen. I was beyond dumbfounded.  I was completely confused and speechless.

 

My expression must have been good because E laughed for about 5 minutes until her face was red and tears were running down her face. She was gasping for air when she she finally replied.

 

“For $200, you could have a gorgeous head of hair too!”

 

I managed to say something totally smooth like “Why…what… It’s a wig?”

She laughed again and told me all about her alopecia. And then she asked, “Haven’t you noticed the days I wear other wigs? Or the days I don’t wear one at all and just do a bandana?”

Stan Sitwell. Also, I think my real hair generally looks like this terrible wig.

And do you guys know what? I hadn’t. I don’t know if she had never worn anything other than that wig around me or if I am just the most unobservant human being on earth.  But I’d had no fucking clue.

 

It was a complete mindfuck. E immediately called C and told him all about it. And they never let me live it down.

Blue

I had this brilliant idea a few weeks ago. I am not totally sure where this idea came from. I really don’t know where most of my ideas come from. It is the curse of being creative and imaginative.

Some of you may know that I am not a big fan of shaving. There is nothing wrong with other people shaving. I think everyone should do what they want with their own bodies.

 

I personally like to shave my legs, because it feels good between the sheets or when I wear trousers. I don’t like to shave my armpits or pubic hair. I actually think armpit hair looks sexy on me (and it is rare for me to use that word to describe anything I am even remotely involved with). And I get razor burn too bad on my pubes. Especially when I am sexually active.

Although, I would wear these. I bet they are warm.

Yes, sometimes people get weirded out by it. Never someone that I am actually having sex with. They never say shit about it. But casual strangers who really don’t have a right to an opinion of my body. Or my co-workers.

 

There is no legitimate reason why women should shave but men shouldn’t. If it is unsanitary for a woman to have body hair then it is just as unsanitary for a man. And if a man likes the feel of smooth, hairless legs then he should shave his own fucking legs.

 

But anyway. I wanted to jazz up my appearance a bit but, as mentioned, my boss is conservative and wouldn’t approve of me dyeing my hair. Not to mention I wouldn’t be able to donate it if I dyed it. So I decided to dye my armpit and pubic hair.

Women have body hair. Get over it.

Some people have told me that that is a very weird idea. Well, here is a whole tumblr about it. So, it isn’t that weird.

I had thought about doing it once in the past but was discouraged by a sales girl at a beauty supply store. I was determined this time. I decided to buy women’s mustache bleach to dye my hair blonde and then buy Kool Aid to color it something interesting. Like blue, or purple.

Apparently you can dye all kinds of things with Kool Aid.

I went to Target and couldn’t find mustache bleach anywhere. I wound up asking a very young employee. She didn’t think they carried it.

 

So I wound up back at the original beauty supply store I had started this whole journey at. It was like a some kind of beautiful, hair dye, circle of life.

 

The woman there this time directed me to the mustache bleach. I explained to her why I was buying it and she started dying laughing. She even asked if I would come back in to show it to her (my armpits, I presume).

 

I wound up buying both a lovely, vibrant blue and a fuschia. As I hadn’t had any luck finding unsweetened Kool Aid packets anywhere. And then, I had no excuses. It was time to dye.

I got the dark blue and the purple.

I made myself a wine slushie to help keep me entertained. If you want to make one yourself, just freeze some wine in an ice cube tray. It won’t fully freeze due to the alcohol content. Put the cubes in a wine glass and crush them with a spoon. Wine slushie!

It tasted better than a regular glass of wine too.

I applied the bleach to my tender bits and moved on to my armpits. It only took a few seconds for the tingling to begin and I realized something was terribly wrong. The bleach was strong. It was starting to hurt. I looked down at my crotch in horror. It felt like I was burning my fucking clit off with acid.

 

My hands were all gunked up and by the time I got them clean, the burning had subsided. Or I had burned off all the nerve endings and could no longer feel any more pain.

 

I applied it to my armpits and experienced the same sensation. I knew the directions on the bleach were for a normal woman’s body hair. Not for my stubborn, Eastern European hair. So I decided to leave the bleach on for twice the length of time as recommended.

 

And lucky thing too. When I finally got it rinsed out, I wasn’t even a blonde. I had a ginger crotch and armpits.

 

I laughed, and in my head I kept thinking of the phrases “do the curtains match the drapes?” And “do the cuffs match the collar?” They didn’t anymore.

 

I waited a few days for my poor, sensitive skin to recover before applying the blue.

 

One tip: Do not apply blue hair dye without wearing gloves. It will look like you have been fingering a Smurf.

 

And there would be no easy way to explain that to my boss. Especially after the whole vagina incident. I could just imagine the conversation.

 

Boss: “Why are your fingers blue?”

Me: “I was dying my armpit and pubic hair blue.”

Boss: *curls into fetal position and cries*

 

So I spent the evening sitting on a towel on my couch. Trying not to get blue on everything.

 

When I washed it off, I saw that it did a fantastic job of dyeing my skin. And a really good job of dyeing my hair.

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My actual blue armpit.

But maybe don’t try this at home. Go to a salon and leave it to the professionals. Unless you’re me. Because I am totally going to try this again at home.

DIY: Haircuts

You guys probably have realized at this point that I have super short hair. I feel like my default mode is short hair. I think it looks better on me. It has mostly been short for my entire adult life.

 

Lately I have been growing it out and donating it. It’s kind of a never ending cycle of that awkward growing out phase. Which is fine by me, because I am never pleased with my hair. If I am looking in a mirror, know that I am spending 99% of that time hating on my hair.

 

At the same time, I can only imagine my shitty hair is better than being bald. And since I am not doing anything useful with it, I donate it. It takes about two years to grow out and then I chop it all off and start all over again.

 

Though if I were this gorgeous I could pull off the bald thing…

 

I used to cut my own hair for many years. I really don’t like people touching me. And I am incredibly awkward at banal chit chat. And I really don’t like having someone massaging my scalp with their cleavage in my face unless we are dating. Plus, I am pretty cheap and don’t really care if I give myself a shitty haircut.

 

Which I did. Many, many times.  But let me tell you about this one time…

 

It was about 5 years ago. I was 25 and in the worst relationship of my entire life. I had shoulder length hair and was so bored with it. I was unhappy with a lot of things, but I stupidly thought a new hairdo would resolve the issues I was having.

 

He was off at the gym when I took a pair of scissors to my head. Now, keep in mind, I had been cutting my own hair for YEARS. I was self taught. A few YouTube videos and a hand mirror were all you really needed. And the courage to not give a shit if you looked awful.

 

I didn’t have special hair cutting scissors, which I do now. These were just normal craft scissors. Growing up in a crafting family with a mother that made clothing, I respected scissors. I knew that there were rules. Scissor rules.

 

Only buy Fiskars. They are the best.

 

The classic

 

Pinking shears are not to be touched ever. Don’t even fucking think about touching them!

 

Scissors can only cut one thing. There are yarn scissors, paper scissors, fabric scissors. Crossing materials will seriously jack up your scissors, so don’t do it.

 

I still live by the scissor rules. I have a pair of pinking shears and I don’t even let myself touch them.

 

 

 

So, I was standing in the bathroom with a hand mirror and my Fiskars. And I started cutting. The secret to giving yourself a cute haircut is patience. You can always cut off more, but you can’t add what you cut off.

 

As you all know by now, I have very little patience. I started out in the front going slow. I wanted some adorable short pixie cut. And I think short hair suits me.

 

I always love her hair!

 

But the longer it took the less patient I got. I started grabbing chunks and cutting. I knew what I was doing. I had done it a dozen times.

 

When I was finished I was really impressed with myself. I looked fucking adorable. And I don’t say that about myself often.

 

T came home and I ran out to show him my mad hair cutting skills. I had put a cute headband on and I just felt adorable. I twirled for him.

 

“Wait a minute. Turn around again.” His voice sounded strange. Serious.

 

I felt a sense of foreboding in the pit of my stomach. I turned.

 

“Did you use a mirror?” He asked.

 

“Yeah. Why?”

 

“Um, I think you cut it too short. Here.” He touched my head. He was literally touching my head.

 

I had cut my hair too short in one spot. There was a quarter sized bald spot right in the back of my head. I ran into the bathroom and got up on the counter and looked again. Yep. There it was.

 

I don’t know how I had missed it. But now it was all I could see. That giant glaring mistake ruining my adorable haircut and my cuteness.

 

Basically this

 

The next day at work I wore a baseball hat. There was only a skeleton crew and one of the people working, M, was a new guy I had befriended. I sat down next to him and tried to play it cool. I asked him how he was doing.

 

He burst into tears and told me that he and his wife had decided to get a divorce. You’d think I’d be better at handling emotional outbursts based on the number of times I have them. But I’m not.

 

I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Should I hug him? Pat his hand? Tell him that his wife was a total skanky bitch? I really didn’t know.

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This is me. Only I hate touching people.

I was an awkward deer caught in the headlights of human emotional interaction.

 

I panicked and yanked my hat off. “I gave myself a haircut last night and fucked it up so bad that I look mentally challenged or deranged!”

 

He looked at me silently for about 10 seconds and then started laughing his ass off.

 

We had a few more serious talks about his divorce after that, but any time he seemed like he was going to cry I would just point out my weird patchy bald spot that was trying to fill in. And we would both crack up all over again.