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Monday, July 14, 2008

Hair-(fund)Raising: The Best Contest Ever!

Do you know Moosh in Indy? If you don't, you should. Casey is a great writer, wonderful photographer -- fun, thought-provoking, droll, all the things you want in a storyteller. She's also an incredibly generous human being. Having won in quick succession both a TJ Maxx spending spree (through the luck of a random drawing) and a $1000 prize from GE Caulk Singles (through the skill of writing a hilarious post), she has teamed up with Sarah from Whoorl and Hair Thursday to offer a magnificent hair makeover to a lucky reader. I KNOW! The world is filled with good, good people.

Wait, you don't know Sarah?! Hair Thursday is the hair makeover site. Readers submit photos and fill out a questionnaire about their haircare practices (or lack thereof), and Sarah magics around the internet and finds hair choices for them, compiles styling tips, and generally provides the best hairvice you've ever read. Then readers vote on what the lucky featured head of hair should turn into.

I, sadly, discovered Hair Thursday too late (as have you if you're just learning of it now). Sarah had been featuring one lucky reader each week, then bumped it up to two, but the waiting list is still hundreds of people long. And my mad math skills tell me that's somewhere near two years of waiting for a hair makeover. And as you might recall, my hair is sadly in need of a makeover right now. If I wait several years before I see a stylist, I will certainly look like Cousin Itt by the time I arrive at the salon. UNLESS, I win this contest. Because, you see, the prize for winning is that Sarah will bump the winner right to the front of the line at Hair Thursday, and then Casey will fund the winner to actually get the hair fabulosity that Sarah and her readers recommend. And then I will be the happiest woman in the whole Northern Hemisphere. *ahem* If I win, I mean.

And here's what Casey wants for an entry: a little blog post about my hair. The good, the bad, and the ugly daily. So without further ado, I present you the hairstory of my head.

Once upon a time there was a girl with very long hair, so long that if she tipped her head back just the tiniest bit, she could sit on the ends of her hair. When she became a mature 8th grader, however, she decided that her hair was too juvenile, and so she had it cut short. She was hoping for something stylish, something that said, "I am practically in high school! Take me seriously." What she got was this.

The wings took quite some time to achieve every morning with her brush-tipped curling iron. But certainly not longer than it took for her to don blue eyeshadow, large, dangly, mismatched earrings, sporty perfume, and pink lipgloss.

In an effort to harken back to her curly-headed moppet days (she has the toddler pictures to prove it), she had several home perms in 10th and 11th grades. By the time she was a Senior in highschool, she had come to the realization that long hair simply suited her better -- as is so clearly obvious from this, her yearbook Senior picture.

The pouffy triangle and large bangs are casualties of the 1980s and can neither be helped nor apologized for. They simply are what they are. Bad hair at its very best.

Her hair grew longer and longer in college, and during the year she spent in damp damp England looked the finest it has ever looked on a daily basis, making it clear that her curls and humidity are excellent companions. Sadly, the quality of one's curl can only go so far to make up for utter lack of perception that a head containing two eyes, two ears, two brain hemispheres, and other symmetrical features is perhaps not best suited to asymmetrical hair -- but her penchant for sweeping all of her very long hair to one side of her head can be explained by noting that this was 1990. Her favorite picture of her hair ever taken comes from this period. She is sitting on a London street next to a friend, laughing and eating some kind of pasty, and the corkscrew curls cascading over her shoulders look sublime. Of course this photo, like every other vestige of the bad British boyfriend phase of her life, has disappeared into the sands of time.

And so as representative of good hair, she presents the second best photo ever taken of her head. To be fair, it is taken on the very best hair day of her life. But then again, having paid for a serious professional updo in which to get married, it's only fair that her hair looked good.

For reasons a geneticist might be able to explain, but she cannot, her hair never got straight again after those two high school perms. And since it is now 23 years since her last home permanent, and she has never had her hair chemically curled in that time, she thinks it is fair to call her hair naturally curly. Hence, long curly hair was her preference for close to two decades. It was easy, always looked reasonable, cost almost nothing to maintain (why trim it if you're just growing it and living on a student budget?) -- and so her graduate school days were marked by long locks.

When she finally got a real job, the first thing she did was cut it all off. But, having spent most of her life doing next to nothing to style her hair, she could not bring herself to take the requisite 30-odd minutes every morning to straighten her hair to look like this -- which, anyway, was the blowout achieved by her stylist, and we all know how often that gets replicated. If she let it air dry, it was its usual tousled mess, only shorter.

And so, she has grown it out again. Which is certainly easy. But which means that most days -- what with the exercising, and the kids, and the summer weather, and the general laziness, and the fact that she has now spent 30-odd years of her life not really doing much to her hair every morning except drying it in the winter so that it won't freeze to her head -- it normally looks like this:

(Yes, the sleepy baby and the turquoise sea of Hawaii are included here as general distractors from from unkempt state of the five-second-twist-it-up-into-a-barrette that passes for a hairstyle these days.)

Lest anyone argue that a picture taken three years ago (that baby is Son) does not count as Hair Right Now (a photo of which is one of Casey's requirements for entering this contest), I would like to point out that this hair hasn't actually changed one iota in the last three years except to get longer and hence require larger barrettes to accomplish this messy twist every morning. Heaven forfend that she be disqualified from being able to win the contest that would change her life, however, so here is a very unartistic, unadorned with a cute child, not redeeming in any way photo of the hair right this very second (with apologies for the glare of the morning sun).

As you can see, the hair needs all the help it can get. Sure, it's long and curly. But it's getting an alarming quantity of grey up on top, and the shocking style-less-ness of this much hair is starting to make even the queen of wash-and-wear hair a little queasy. It's so long and heavy that it's flat on top, and while it balances out the hips nicely by giving some added girth to a pea-sized head (can you say, extra-small sized bike helmet with extra pads inside?), something drastic must be done soon to give it some shape. Otherwise, I might just take scissors to it myself, whack off a foot-long ponytail, and donate it to this amazing organization instead. Which won't make the hair look any better, but would at least be a nice thing to do.

So, please help me, Casey and Sarah. I would love to get back in the classroom this fall with hair that isn't an embarrassment.

And, just in case by some miracle of bad luck and cosmic injustice, a different one of the eight bazillion people who have probably entered this contest wins it, would you, my loyal readers, tell me this: should I go for auburn to cover the grey? I've always wanted to be a redhead...

P.S. I'd tell you to enter this contest too, but I don't want you diluting my chances. Unless you REALLY need the makeover more than I do. (If you are Cousin Itt, then enter.) But hurry, contest entry closes today.


pb&j in a bowl said...

I also have curly long hair and have been trying to figure out for the last 12+ years what to do with it. I despair of ever figuring it out.

All Adither said...

Well aren't you a stunner. Judging by your early pics I think we're about the same age. The exact same thing happened with me after two perms! Curly hair forever more. The hell?

I wear mine a little past shoulder length with some long layers. It works most of the time...

OHmommy said...

That self portrait is just awesome. Seriously awesome, my friend.

One thing we do not have in common is great hair. So flexible in it's ability to look great in many styles. Sadly, I have adorned a bob for over 30 years.

Mrs F with 4 said...

I have the fuzziest hair in the entire Western Hemisphere - think Alice in Wonderland - and just had about 8 inches chopped off (still long though...), so I'm in no position to offer advice - except on the hair colour.

My hair has been white since I was in my late teens - and not elegant silver, just dull white, so I dye it. Be very, VERY careful about auburn over white - you can end up with an unexpected nuclear-orange glow. Not perhaps the most attractive look, unless you are a Teletubby. Trust me, a three foot long fuzzy day-glo halo is certainly a conversation piece - but not a dialogue I want to participate in.

Definitely go for a professional job, at least the first time!

zoeyjane said...

I will totally trade you hair. Please?

Nicole (SAHM Ramblings) said...

Even your bad pictures look awesome. Laughed at the '80s picture though because this past weekend was my 20 year high school reunion and I was checking out my old yearbook. Man some of the girls had hair so big it got cut out of the picture!

Good luck with the contest!

Don Mills Diva said...

Can I just say one thing about that photo of you and the morning sun? SEX-SAY!

BusyDad said...

Um, I cannot speak with any expertise here. None whatsoever. But I had to chime in to say that a few summers ago, my sister chopped off her waist length hair (no, she shaved it off and looked like me for a few months, and in the process really really really scared my mom and grandma if you catch my drift) and donated it to Locks of Love.

auds at barking mad said...

I agree with All Adither...stunner doesn't quiet capture it though! You are absolutely gorgeous!

I too have seriously curly long hair which I hate and punish into submission with a flat iron and too many products. Well sometimes. It takes too long with a toddler underfoot, to do all that.

Im badly in need of a makeover but every time I utter those words I either end up with purple hair (last summers disaster!) or really short hair!

Personally, I love your hair.

Judith Shakespeare said...

Ummm... Ummmmm... Can I just say that that last picture is simply GORGEOUS? Because it is. Seriously. (Good luck with the contest, hon!)

MommyTime said...

PB&J, if I ever figure it out, I'll let you know. (Though I do think yours is a little curlier than mine.)

All Adither, maybe there was something in those Toni perms that they're no longer allowed to use because when it said "permanent" it meant that literally?

Mrs F, I am grateful for the warning (because you know I so would do that coloring myself!). Thank you.

BusyDad, your sister rocks! I'll bet they could make a whole hair prosthesis (yes, that's what they call wigs these days) for a needy child out of that much thick Asian hair. That's awesome.

As for the rest of you: thank you for the very nice compliments. Perhaps you didn't notice, due to the over/under exposure (nice that a photo can contain both, thanks to the sunlight streaming through the window) that I am wearing a waffle-weave tank top, no makeup, and have the dreaded fuzz-hair halo that affects curly hair that has seen neither comb nor brush since awakening. Whatever glasses you're wearing as you read this, please have them on if you ever meet me in person. I will so appreciate their revisionist lenses. :)

Amy said...

Okay I think the last pic is super cool too!
I don't know what to do with my hair either. That's why 9 times out of 10 it's up in a ponytail. Although it has only taken me 32 years of living in extreme humidity to finally embrace the curls and make best friends with my diffuser. Good luck to you and I hope you win!

Kimmylyn said...

That is the first "now" portrait I have seen of you on your blog.. you are stunning!!!! I love our hair.. LOVE IT.

Lipstick said...

OMG, I am SO happy to read about the hair site. I have an appt on Thurs and am all undecided. In fact, it is the subject of my post tonight.

You look absolutely gorgeous in those pics!

ashley said...


MultiplesMommy said...

I am sooo sad that you didn't post the pixie hair cut that you sported when you came to visit after Big Sis was born...pllllleeeeasssee don't do that one again! It DID look great on you at 3, but you're too tall for it now :-) Congrats on winning the contest, and I'm so excited to see the final results!


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