I missed the memo about how to deal with my hair.
(Left to right…age 5, nice bangs, thanks Mom…9th grade…again with the bangs, this time my fault, and for extra new wave credit, it’s crimped…couple of years ago–this is my hair in its natural state, note that its poofiness exceeds the frame…and alas, me with an “appropriate” hair cut and professional blow out.)
This might seem like a bit of vanity and folly, but I think I have what amounts to a serious disability when it comes to my hair. I have kind of a Samson Complex combined with a congenital klutziness when it comes to using blow dryers and other gizmos which are designed to keep one well-coiffed.
While many women enjoy their trips to the hair salon, I dread them. Nothing about the experience of getting a hair cut is pleasant for me. As a consequence, I get about two hair cuts a year. For a few weeks after the hair cut, I look polished and presentable. I vow that I will go back for trims and maintain my “look.” But as the weeks tick by, my resolve weakens. I begin to resemble a caucasian Diana Ross. And I’ll let you in on a little secret… I like looking like that. I like having long, crazy looking, curly hair. I feel more natural. I feel more feminine. I feel sexier.
Early in my professional life, though, I got the memo that my big, sexy hair was probably sending the wrong message. When I was a freshly minted lawyer, one day I came to work without torturing my hair into straightness and submission. A male attorney said to me, “Your hair looks wild…I like it!” And we all know that’s code for “You look like a whore…come to papa!” I don’t want people getting the wrong idea, so especially for big meetings and court, out comes the blow dryer and the flat iron.
But when I get home, the scene is something like this, except instead of a star-spangled bustier, it’s an old Oglethorpe University T-shirt and yoga pants:
The neat-haired girl is just the alter-ego I put on to disguise my true identity…
But perhaps some day I’ll ascend the bench and then I’ll have to care less what colleagues and clients think of me. Then I’ll just let my crazy locks fall where they may.
(Remember Dyan Cannon as the Hon. Jennifer “Whipper” Cone on Ally McBeal? I could sooooo rock this look.)
“Judge Jamie” does have a nice ring to it, don’t you think? Memo received.
© 2011 Jamie Walker Ball
Jamie, I’ve been loving your blog and reading avidly. But since I too once struggled with wild hair, this was the first time I really felt compelled to comment on one of your posts. Anyway, a couple of years ago, I read the book Curly Girl, started visiting naturallycurly.com, etc., and my hair life seriously changed (for the much better) when I gave up doing what I used to try to do to it. And I’m happier to boot. So, if you haven’t looked into that stuff, you might give it a peek. It’s not for everyone, but I thought it might be of interest. I’ve become pretty passionate about ditching the hair dryer and flat iron, though again I know it’s not for everyone. I no longer dread going to the salon now that I’ve found a stylist who gets curly hair, not using sulfates, etc. OK, soapbox over.
Thank you, Elizabeth! I’m so tickled that you’re reading. You’re not the first to preach the gospel of Curly Girl. I really do need to check it out!
Lucy’s comments, as we watched the Wonder Woman spin, were as follows:
“What just happened?…”
“I liked her the way she was.”
“Can we watch that AGAIN?!”
I love your wild hair and I hope see Judge You rock it with pride one day.
Thanks, Ash. I’m glad Lucy enjoyed the clip; it’s never too early to introduce her to the finer things in life!
I love the 80’s hair! BTW, I just found my crimping iron that I used in high school. No. Lie.
Oh my….if we could round up some banana clips, we’d be all set! The smell of Aquanet sets me adrift on memory bliss, seriously. ; )