some people like it

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Here’s a bit of an update…

The other week I was in Toronto, and got caught in an impressive downpour.  My hair was especially big and untamed, somewhat unusually so.  I ended up biking and walking around with a mega frizz-ball for a head, and tried to avoid reflective surfaces so as not to be too frequently reminded of this fact.  I was walking along Niagara St. when someone stopped their car, shouted, “I love your hair!” and drove away.


The moral of this story:  some people like the big and untamed look.   Maybe you should try it.

Possible moral number 2:  maybe big, unruly hair isn’t something that we need to be so vigilant or self-conscious about.

poofy hair

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

Here is the hair brushing video…

why I don’t usually brush my hair

For the record, people eventually did say something about my hair.  I ran into some friends downtown.  Mostly they seemed to be impressed by the amount of space my hair was capable of occupying.  They laughed, but in a friendly and bemused way.

Also for the record, I did go home and have a bath.  And let my hair dry all poofy.  A thorough washing didn’t help get rid of the grimy feeling.  So, I have deduced that the feeling of being kind of dirty when I have big and untamed hair has to do with all those little strands being around my face.  I find that it helps to tie a scarf around my head, headband style.  Even still, I don’t really recognize myself in the mirror, and feel generally strange.

Yesterday I went back to the average degree of (un)tameness, but I will experiment some more before this month is up.

the full enchilada

Monday, July 14th, 2008

So, after waking up without too many more noticeably poofly locks, I decided to just dive on into the world of maximum frizz this morning.

I brushed my hair.

You can watch the slightly painful process, if you’d like. My hair made a horrible sound as I tried to pull the brush through it.

(I will have to upload the video later…I’m having a few problems at the moment…)

The interesting thing is that I’ve gone about my day and nobody has said anything about my hair. I’ve even been wearing the badge in full view thinking that it might help in any explanations that may come up. But no one has said a word. Is everyone just too polite? Or is it maybe not so noticeable?


So no one has asked any questions, and no one has offered any judgements (positive or negative).

I mostly have just been noticing how strange my hair is whenever I pass by a mirror, or when the wind blows through it (that feels super weird).  Although, I did spent a good part of the day walking around feeling hyper-conscious.  When I start to think about it too hard, I also feel a bit grimy. Like I’d really like to jump in the shower this very instant and wash my hair have things go back to their usual level of (un)tameness.

I just might do that later on.

chip chip, peck peck

Monday, July 14th, 2008

So it’s quite cliched, but I believe there is something that maxim of “baby steps” when trying something new. Or, as my grandmother puts it “chip chip, peck peck…when you’re faced with a mountain, the only think you can do is chip chip, peck peck.”

I like just “chip chip, peck peck” for short.

Anyhow, I decided my chips and pecks would take the form of exposing myself and my hair to as many as possible of the natural phenomena that usually conspire to undo any efforts at tameness. These include, but are not limited to: wind, rain, sleeping, exercise, and hats.

So, I strategically put me and my hair through:

-two rain storms

-a 40 minute drive on the 401, windows down

-two sleeps

-a bicycle helmet (worn approximately 2 hours)

-a day of cleaning

-an hour and a half of yoga

-a long(ish) bus ride

I actually took pictures over the two day time period of this experiment, but there weren’t really too many differences that were easily observable incrementally. However, when taken cumulatively, these events did result in some pretty decent poofiness.  Or maybe just a little poofiness, but hey.

Chip chip, peck peck, right?

(this one\'s black and white because the colour was just too darn strange).

it’s already a bit unruly…

Monday, July 14th, 2008

and it pretty much has a mind of its own, yet I often do try to keep it in line.

My hair, that is.

Ever since I was a kid, if a person makes a remark about my appearance, it is usually to say something about my hair.  There was a time when this really bothered me.  My mom likes to tell stories about how as a toddler I used to respond indignantly to people (generally older women) who commented on my hair:

“Where did you get such lovely hair?”

“I was born with it!  What do you think?!”


“Look at your beautiful red, curly hair!”

“It’s not red, it’s blue!”

Anyhow, while reactions to my hair don’t bother me anymore (and I’ve learned to take a complement when it comes), I find that when I’m concerned about my appearance I tend to think about my hair.  I have learned over the years what helps keep it less frizzy, and developed various strategies that have become second nature:  not brushing it when it’s dry (which is rule #1 for curly hair.  I am sad to say that being from a family of folks with straight hair, this realization came quite late for me.  A good decade or so of my life was spent as a frizz ball), I also pin it up to dry, try to avoid over-washing it, etc.  While this routine doesn’t require very much effort or time, my hair is something that I am aware of perhaps more than I need to be.  I am interested in the challenge of pushing my comfort zone around my physical appearance by letting it (and making it) be really big and untamed.

[As a side note, I told my mom about this license, and she raised her eyebrows.  She thinks that my hair is already really big and untamed.  She obviously doesn't appreciate the vast potential that curly hair has for bigness...and it is vast.]

So…here is a picture of my hair on a pretty typical day.  Big, yes…and a tad frizzy, but believe it or not, I would say this under control.  In fact, this would be a pretty good hair day in my world.