January 23, 2013
Once upon a time I had curly hair.
Wait. Let me back up.
Once upon a time I had weird wavy-ish hair. It was bushy, really, like I imagined Hermione Granger's was before the Harry Potter movies came out and Emma Watson clearly did not have naturally bushy hair but she was a good enough Hermione that I let that point slide.
My hair was bushy, though, even if hers was not.
Then I kind of figured out how to keep it under control. Kind of.
Then, in high school, I got a perm.
To be fair, it was the nineties, and perms were a thing. Not a scary-don't-ever-do-it thing but a legitimate lifestyle choice. Don't judge me. We've all done things we're not proud of.
Anyway, this perm took hold really well. Extremely well. Freakishly well, really, since it never went away. It was like the lady had done something to my hair follicles to make my future hairs grow in curly. For years afterward, every time I went in for another haircut, she'd say, "Man, that was a great perm!" And it was. It was the perm that wouldn't die.
Turns out I was just going through some awesome puberty-related hormone changes that made my formerly wavy hair curl up quite a bit more than it used to. It took me a long LONG LOOOONG time to figure it out, but I finally found a system that a) tamed the curls, b) left me with some decent volume, and c) wasn't very time consuming. For a few years, on days when I'd put in some effort (and put away the flat iron), I looked something like this:
That photo is from February 2010, by the way, which is significant only because early in 2010 I was still struggling with the fact that I couldn't get pregnant and we didn't know why.
Eight or nine months after that photo was taken, I did get pregnant. And then I had a baby (and she was awesome). And then I let my hair grow super long. And then I finally learned why it took so long to get pregnant (which is another story for another day). And then I got pregnant again. And then I chopped that long, heavy hair off, thinking it had been weighing my curls down. And now, with an almost identical haircut to the one above, using the exact same hair products and styling techniques, and wearing contacts instead of glasses, I look something like this:
Clearly we've got a reverse puberty perm at work and I'm not sure I'm happy about it. I don't hate the looser waves; they're actually a little easier to work with. But it took me almost thirty years to figure out my hair and make it look that good. It is so unfair that it would change on me like that, just because of some stupid hormones. I can't help wondering what will happen to it after this baby is born. And if I have a third baby will it go even straighter?
It's like I don't even know myself anymore.
Why is hair such a pain?