I left work early last Friday to get my hair did in Santa Monica a day before the reunion, and I was fully aware what an unbelievable risk that was. I am only asking for trouble by scheduling a hair cut the day before a big event.
It's an even greater risk for me because historically I have the worst luck with anyone that touches my hair. I have the straightest hair known to man, and because it is super fine, trying to style it is like dealing with a possum playing dead. My hair is wondering, Is the curling iron gone yet so I can stop playing limp? Because my hair is so straight it seems deceivably easy to cut, but as soon as the scissors snip shut, the ends of my hair react by looking like cut hay; like if you placed my hair on a cutting board and just chopped down the blade. It has baffled almost every stylist I've ever been to.
Winter of 1974: My mother gives me a perm. Why must we all go through this rite of passage? Immediately the home perm turns into a frizz fro. Two weeks later, every kink has succumbed to the will of the straightness. I again have the coveted Dorothy Hamill cut.
Summer of 1975: My mother trims up my Dorothy Hamill. Mother + Scissors = Me Justifiably Nervous. She tells me to STAY STILL. I am still. "STOP MOVING because every time you move, I have to even it out shorter." I stop breathing. When she is finished, I am an inch away from being a skin head. My mother thinks it looks uber hip. I stare in disbelief. My mother suggests I let her shave me completely bald because it would look fantastic. I want to kill myself.
1981 - I start cutting my own bangs with foot-long arts & crafts scissors. I end up with killer, uneven spikes that I rock through junior high.
1996 - I take a picture to a stylist near my job. I say, "Can you do this cut?" He says, "That's a fairly simple style." Cool. Then he proceeds to chop the shit out of my hair and somehow makes me look like Carol Brady if she were to grow her hair out two inches. As I cross the threshold of the salon I swoop my hair up into a banana clip and do not remove that clip for an entire year. Mandy still calls it The Year of the Clip.
1999 - I find Annie at some random salon in Irvine. When Annie touches my hair, my head illuminates and an angel gets its wings. I cannot believe how effortlessly and easily she finesses my hair to do her will. My hair bows down to her and behaves even after I leave the presence of Annie. Annie leads a rocker-chick life and dates only men that are wild stage divers and have tequila for breakfast. Annie quits the salon never to be heard of again. I cry real tears. I still have hopes that I will find Annie. Annie, are you out there? call . . .me?
1999-present - I only cut my hair now when the ends are at risk of spontaneous combustion. That's about once a year. Less, if I can help it. Eight months ago, I walked into a Carlton Hair. "Does Annie work here?" "Who?" "Is anyone available to cut my hair?" I stopped trusting anyone with color a decade a go. A bad haircut you can hide, but the color? Hell no. I only do the color now. So, some hip girl with spiky hair trims my hair and blows it out and I leave feeling hopeful and pretty fabulous. And as soon as I wash and dry it myself, I see that one side is chopped an inch shorter then the other. FUCK ME.
Friday - I use the Enee Meenee Minee Mo on the internet and pick a salon in Santa Monica and book an appointment with "Raz" for a trim and a blow out at 4:30. I leave the OC at 3:00, later than I wanted and go nowhere on the 405 freeway for one whole hour. I am livid especially since my cell phone has died and for some (still) unknown reason my phone charger and my car stereo take a shit simultaneously. I can't call Raz to tell him/her I'll be late. And I certainly can't go to the reunion with my split-end situation as epidemic as it is. At 4:30 I just get off the fucking freeway because I utterly hate every goddamn thing on the planet at this point. I am on the border of the lovely city of Hawthorn and El Segundo, and I call Raz from a coffee spot. I am shit out of luck. And if I wasn't so out of my mind I probably wouldn't have done what I did next. I walked into the Fantastic Sams next to the coffee joint and asked a 60-year old woman that was stoked to have a job to cut my hair. I sincerely thought, Raz had just as much of a chance to fuck up my hair too. You can't tell my hair is butchered while it's wet. It's seems so healthy and innocently limp after a cut so when Dinaria (my grandma stylist's name) started blow drying my hair I knew my hair was just as choppy as every other hair cut I've had in my life. I said, "Can you blow it under -- try to get a little bend to the end?" Mama Dinaria said, "Under? You don't want it flipped up?" For the love of god, flipped up? "No, I don't want it flipped up. Under." And she literally did not know how to dry my hair under with a round brush. It was an act of god how she tried to go under and it still flipped up a little. When she got to my long bangs, I took the hair dryer and brush from her hands and did it myself.
Whatever. For the reunion I soft curled my hair which takes cans of mouse and a sacrificial lamb, but the curl hid the chop chop of the ends. And right now I'm on the internet trying to find a course called Learn To Cut Your Hair Yourself. At this point, I think I can already achieve the staggered, faux layered look I have now so anything beyond that will be an improvement.