It's time for another edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Be sure to visit Alex J. Cavanaugh and the rest of the talented bloggers who are always willing to lend a helping hand.
My mom's entire life revolved around her hair. From a young age, she fought by any means necessary to keep her hair from getting wet. Mom was the only one in her high school gym class who was able to talk her way out of taking four years of swimming.
Beginning in her 20s, Mom had weekly beauty shop appointments. She would patiently watch her beautician dry and style her hair. Then she would primp in front of the mirror with a pick until her hair was teased and coiffed to perfection, adding enough hairspray to choke an elephant. Fortunately, her saintly beautician didn't take it personally.
Is hair obsession hereditary? Though I suffered through four years of swimming in high school, I admit to being traumatized by bad hair days. Then fate stepped in.
The night before a haircut appointment last April, I received a text from my beautician informing me that she had a bad case of the flu and wasn't sure when she'd feel well enough to reschedule.
I hate change which is evidenced by the fact that I've had slight variations on the shag hairdo since I turned double digits.
As much as I adore my beautician of over 20 years, I felt that maybe this would be a good opportunity to finally try something new.
Not only was I able to get into another highly recommended stylist two days later, but she was just steps away from our apartment building.
Our first meeting prompted her to ask, "Why do you have a Carol Brady hairdo?"
Carol Brady was the mom played by Florence Henderson on the popular sitcom The Brady Bunch. Shag hairstyles were all the rage in the 70s and Mrs. Brady was quite a trendsetter. The series ran from 1969-1974.
Though almost 50 years later, this was clearly not a compliment, I was in dire need of a stylist who wasn't afraid of hurting my feelings. Boy I miss my mom!
The beautician explained that I could have a more contemporary look by simply growing out my top layers, while trimming the surrounding longer layers. She styled it straight for the first few haircuts which looked great, but I had trouble working with it. Even using a flat iron didn't help.
When I pleaded with her to bring back my shorter layers which had morphed into wings, she assured me that if I just held out a little longer, my hair would be easier to handle. I told her that she was like having an AA sponsor.
Like any good sponsor, she could relate to my frustrations, as she also has curly hair. I decided to follow her lead and stop fighting the heat and humidity by embracing my curls. I'm happier and my husband's happier, so it's a win-win.
Now I have the best of both worlds, as my former beautician (who's also a color expert) moved into a shop just blocks away from where we live, so I still see her whenever I need highlights.
Hair obsession doesn't only effect the women in our family. Years ago, a close relative joked that he was a member of the "Balding Men's Club," after one of my sons saw him talking to another balding man, and assumed that all men experiencing hair loss knew each other.
One day after being traumatized by the worst haircut of his life, the close relative ranted to the barber in vivid details about what a terrible job he had done.
Finally, the barber asked, "If I don't charge you for the haircut, will you promise never to come back to my barbershop again?"