Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow?

And now, by popular demand (actually just by one person's demand), is a Hair Update.

FYI: I have curly hair. Growing up, I hated it. Let me reiterate: HATED IT. It was the 70s--the era of Marsha Brady and her super straight hair secured by one barrette at her temple. I begged my Mom to put my hair into pigtails like Tara who did have Marsha hair (is two considered pig tails and one a pony tail?), but she always said, "It won't look right," because instead of hanging in nice straight "tails" my hair curled up into a truly curly pig-like tail. I was sad. Oh, how I wanted super straight hair. But it wasn't meant to be. I was born with a 'fro. No lie.

Over the years I've sported some different hairstyles, but there aren't a whole lot of options with short, curly hair. It tends to always look the same. And if you cut it too short, you look like a Q-tip, especially in the summer when your curls adhere to your head in the humidity of Central Ohio.

The longest my hair has been before now was in grad school when it was nearly shoulder length. It wasn't a good look, but it was summer and I was traveling around Europe with friends so who really cared? We had hats on much of the time anyway. As an aside, ask Marci about why you shouldn't put your favorite hat in a backpack with a peach.

Anyway, not a lot of hair stylists can really work well with curly hair. If they don't have it themselves, I think they're somewhat mystified by it. And then we moved, and I found Nick. Actually I should say that Tara forced me on Nick, but it sounds better to say I found Nick. Nick is a hair stylist with curly hair. My life has never been the same.

Tara and Erin have both had mostly long hair throughout their lives. Right now they both have short hair because they cut it for Locks of Love already. So I, the usually short-haired one, am the only one with long hair now. It's been an interesting journey.

Two years ago we all, including my niece, Ellie, decided to grow our hair for Locks of Love. Tara and Erin already had long hair and mine probably wasn't even chin length at the time. So they had a little jump on me. I'll never forget when Tara told Craig we were growing our hair. Instead of commenting on his wife's efforts, he stared at her with his mouth open: "Natalie is going to grow her hair? Natalie? She'll look like Elaine Benes!"

That made me laugh. I figured he was probably right.

So now after all of this growing and not weaving of my hair--Locks of Love supposedly doesn't accept color treated hair--and enduring comments from my mother: "Your hair is so long. . .and dark," I think I'm almost there. Thank goodness because over the weekend I had to listen to some comments from people who shall remain nameless telling me I resemble an aging Janis Joplin. Or that I should be in an 80s hair band.

The cons: Long hair swings forward and gets in your mouth when you're trying to eat a sandwich. It gets in your mouth when the wind blows. It sticks to your neck when it's hot. It takes a long time to dry. It gets tangled and dreadlock-ish on a regular basis. It takes a lot more shampoo and conditioner to take care of it.

The pros: It is fun, however, to braid it, put it up in a pony tail, put it in pigtails for skiing, clip it up in some sort of twist, etc. After all of these years, doing different things with my hair every day is a nice change.

I've heard varying things about what length I need to go to before I cut it. I've heard as little as eight inches and as much as 12 inches. If it's eight, I'm there. If it's 12, I'm hanging on. I've got 12 inches of cutable hair, but it'll be right up against my head--a look I've had before and would like to steer clear of from now on.

I usually wear it clipped back because I can't stand having it fall into my face. Which basically tells me that once this hair growing folly is over, I'll go to Nick and have him give me some short, curly do again and order will be restored in the world.

The front view. . .

The rear view. . .

(I know it doesn't look like 10 inches, but with curly hair, they pull it straight to measure it.)

Not exactly Marsha Brady, but it's growing on me.


Lisa L said...

I LOVE your hair! Love it, and wish I had curly hair :) Marcia Brady hair would be cool too...mine is bushy, not curly...coarse and heavy....I guess none of us is really thrilled with our hair..

Leeann said...

My honest, from the heart assessment?

I like it better both long and dark. I love the way it looks in those photos. IMO, you look YOUNGER, no lie!

Anne said...

Ahhhh, now I can rest. Thanks very much for the full story, I was curious. And, I wholeheartedly applaud your efforts -- whoever (whomever?) gets your hair is a lucky person. Your curls are so pretty! We will need updated pics when you cut it, just fyi.

Anonymous said...

What a generous thing to do.....donating your hair. And it does look pretty, so you will miss it!

P.S. Elaine Benes' hair was awesome! :)

Mary Z

manda said...

Adorable! Love it!! And it makes you look like a teenager!! :-)

Marci said...

ok--i am totally with you with never having long hair and now having it....it is always in my mouth! And you forgot to mention that after you dry your hair there is long hair al over your floor! But i have to admit i love my long hair now too!

PS--i still have my b-ball hat with the peach stain! And i can never get rid of it!

Missy said...

I have to tell you - I honor what you're doing for Locks of Love. But I LOVE your hair long and dark. You look younger. LOTS younger - not to say that you looked old, but you know what I'm saying? It's just really, really pretty on you.

erica said...

I donated my hair to locks of love and they told me it could be colored, just no bleach (since I color it darker it doesn't have bleach). If you color your hair lighter they might not accept it, but I would check into it.

Anonymous said...

10 inches is the length needed.

Robin said...

Very cute-- I agree! And I'm jealous that you could set out to grow your hair, and have it that long sometime in the same century!

For different reasons, because my hair is fine, has little body, and doesn't grow, I too have worn the same styles for years at a time. My eye-opening experience lately has been highlights, which changed the texture of my hair, a revelation!

Mom2Toribug said...

I have the straightest hair ever and of course I wish mine was curly. I went to school with a girl with curly locks like yours and she always wanted to put a straightner on it. It would have fried her hair and thankfully she didn't, but your hair is gorgeous. I am a pediatric nurse and am glad that you want to donate it though. My daughter grew hers out when she was 4 years old for Locks of Love. She had a 5-year-old friend with leukemia at the time. Good luck in whatever length, but I think you look younger and you are gorgeous no matter what!

Jane Copes (Professor Sepoc) said...

When it's really long, it gets caught in the car door. It's beautiful, Natalie! My other friend Natalie in Massachusetts has very curly hair too. Interesting how genes work, isn't it? Name and hair. Hmmmm.

My mother tortured me with home permanents in the search for curly hair. Guess we're never satisfied! Jane

1dreamr said...

Boy, I can feel your pain. I, too, had horribly curly hair growing up. I swear when I hit puberty, it *really* went haywire!

When I was in junior high, my mom took me to someone new to get it cut. Gawd, that experience scarred me for years.

This woman had no business touching ANY hair, let alone CURLY hair. It was awful. No lie, I hid under a hat for WEEKS until it grew out enough to do something with it. (And, you know -- the self esteem of a 13 year old girl is so high ANYway!)

But.. that said, I *love* your hair long. Honestly, I think it makes you look YOUNG!! You're right about the versatility, too -- I miss being able to throw it up in a clip or pony tail!

So cool that the four of you donated/are donating to Locks of Love. :-)

Laura said...

I think it looks great! And this curly-haired girl would like to know what you use to combat the frizzies.

Kathy said...

FYI on donating hair.

Don't let a little color deter you from dontaing your tresses.

I faithfully color my hair and did not know that Locks of Love wouldn't take it until I was sitting in the sytlist chair with scissors perched for the first cut. It was then that the stylist asked if I colored my hair...ummmm. ya think?? My lovely mother chirped from her perch that she had seen a news article on the Today Show about a different organization that was accepting color treated hair.

The sylist and her peeps got onlne at the salon and did some quick research and discovered that in fact there was a program called Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Here is the link for more information http://www.beautifullengths.com/en_US/requirements.jsp.

Needless to say, the next day I mailed them 10 inches of my hair.

Love your blog!

Kathy in Oak Ridge, TN

Natalie said...

Everyone, thanks for saying I look YOUNGER! I definitely needed that. Good thing Aunt Kathy didn't zoom in on my crow's feet or you'd have to take it all back :)

Here in Colorado, because of the dry climate, my hair is very rarely frizzy. Of course, it's not as curly, either. The pictures were actually taken in Chicago and it wasn't too humid that day. The day before--another story. It was pouring rain and I was a little frizzy. The shampoo I've decided I like the best right now is Nature's Gate Organics. Their conditioner really seems to control any frizz that might occur. My stylist says less is more--he likes the Kertase shampoo and conditioner. But frankly, I would need to take out a third mortgage my house to keep buying it, so I stick with the less expensive stuff.