Hear Me Out

Feburary 24, 1997

It had to be done. I was out of control.
Intervention was the only way.
I had to get a hair cut.

My hair and I have a bad history together. There's been angry words, desperate attempts, control issues and violations of trust on both sides. No one is innocent in a situation like this.

I'm not an unreasonable person. I never wanted to look like Farrah Fawcett. I've simply wanted to avoid looking like Bozo the Clown. The combination of curl, frizz, thin hair and not a lot of that thin hair gives people the impression that I'm either recovering from chemo or that I tried a $3.99 home perm.

It started when I was born. They washed all the goo off and dried me and I had a beautiful head of hair. It was dark brown, almost the color of mink, cascading halfway down my back with a wave and a slight curl at the ends. False promise is what it was. It gave my dad the illusion that I was going to be his little feminine angel in the horde of barbarians that is our family.

No one realized that the light baby fine texture would never change. I've had the same flyaway frizz all my life. Sure, that lighter than air texture is cute and touchable on an infant and maybe even on a toddler but on a 29 year old woman, it's just plain creepy.

My father decided I was going to have long hair, even if it killed me. I was a muddy, tree climbing, active kid with this huge main of hair trailing along after me. Washing it was not a big problem. My mom used Johnson and Johnson "No More Tears/No More Tangles" Shampoo. It was very good at getting the spider webs and twigs out of my hair but the no more tangles bit was a big, fat, hairy lie!

At one point my hair and I parted ways. I stopped brushing my hair. It hurt and it never looked any different. My mother noticed after a day or so that my hair was getting really thick. I screamed when she ran her fingers through what had become one huge tangle.

My poor mother, (always dancing on that tightrope between doing the right thing and selling us for medical experiments) decided she would brush my hair. Since it was not attached to her head, there was no way for her to understand how painful the pulling and tugging and ripping through tangles was. That is, until I started screaming and crying and running away from her.

Eventually my big brother brought peace to our house. He wanted to play barber shop; he stole three dollars from me, held me down by sitting on my chest and cut my hair. I'm not sure how my parents punished him. I do know my mother didn't get her way because he was still in the house when we returned from the salon and not in a small cage testing saccharin.

My brother, always the fashion maverick, shaved his head when he was in high school. After a week or so, there was a dark brown, almost black fur over most of his head. We hadn't realized what a perfectly round head he had. It looked like a honey dew melon. The effect was only completed with the scar on the crown of his head that looked exactly like a melons stem hole. The temptation to grab his head and thump on it to see if it was ripe was hampered only be the realization that he would kick the rind out of me with out hesitation.

A Hair Peace Treaty was signed in college. I found Shannon at the Grateful Head in San Luis Obispo, California. I'd sit in his chair, tell him to do something and walk away looking like a real person. Those were times of beauty and great joy in the land.

All good things come to and end and so Shannon left the small town and headed for L.A. I never heard from him again. I've searched and searched for someone to take his place. Some idiot, I think his name was Blue, wanted to color my hair to give it body. I looked over at the board with all the little hair pieces on it and asked what color he was thinking of. He had the gall to pick "Ash Brown" which looked EXACTLY like my own color. He also wanted to put in extensions to make it fuller.

"How much is this all going to cost?" What the hell, I figured I could try it once.

"$140 every six to eight weeks." He didn't even flinch or giggle when he said it. This man had nerve. Then he added, "Don't you think you're worth it?"

"No. Not even if I get a blow job with it." I walked out.

After searching I've come to the conclusion that I will always look like I'm on the down side of a bad perm. I no longer expect miracles. After all, I've paid $50 for a mediocre hair style that looked stupid the next day. I've also paid $9 for the exact same effect. You do the math.


Please send me your comments and suggestions. Email me at lmjimene@ix.netcom.com.

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Copyright, 1997 by Laura Jiménez.