What’s hair today may be gone tomorrow

While Patty Kimerer is on leave, we present this Classic Kimerer column originally published Oct. 2, 2005:

I saw a commercial today that really scared me. It was an ad for Troll dolls.

Remember Troll dolls? They’re the questionable-looking little figurines with the wild and wooly hair that spirals out of control when you shake it about; in fact, that’s the whole charm and purpose of the toy.

Now, I’m not afraid of Troll dolls, and I’m not particularly disturbed that they’re apparently making a comeback in this millennium.

But I DO fear that I have become the human equivalent of a Troll doll, at least from the hair line on back.

You see, while it’s true that big hair like mine was once quite vogue, judging from the looks on the red carpets of today; straight hair rules. And, without giving away too much about myself, let’s just say I’ve been having an extremely bad hair day for about two decades.

What can I tell you? All my life, I’ve wished for the kind of soft, smooth hair that actually moves in a breeze. You know, the sort of hair that my husband could run his fingers through without losing a knuckle.

I’ve always longed to have a placid lake of hair; one that only ripples appropriately. Instead, I’m stuck with temperamental oceanic activity atop my noggin, a tidal wave that scoffs at singular barrettes, combs and hair ties.

I mean, what I wouldn’t give to be one of those gals who could go to the pool and not worry about lugging along four cans of hair spray, two containers of mousse and a gallon of gel — and that’s just to combat the humidity, people. Heaven knows if I were to actually allow WATER to touch my hair, I’d need to also pack a fire extinguisher, plaster of Paris and some hardwood varnish.

The clearest advantage fall has over summer –in my big-haired opinion– is the reduced air dampness. Suffice it to say, all bets are off (and ‘dos destroyed) in the snow-filled days of winter.

All you ladies out there with wiry, wavy or otherwise twisted hair know what I’m talking about: the bane of my mane, also known as my never-ending struggle to possess presentable tresses.

It’s a rather long-distance tussle, since I live here and my hair is firmly rooted in that same burg where my 5-year-old has established secondary residence: Defiance.

In any event, I know that it’s a fight I ultimately cannot win. The handwriting is one the wall. Actually, it’s on a sheet of paper — beneath some scrawling my son made just the other day.

“Oooh, that’s a very scary monster. Are those snakes coming out of its head?” I said, surveying an artwork Kyle had drawn recently.

“Don’t be silly Mom. That’s a picture of you, see? I wrote your name underneath it,” he said, not realizing how lucky he was he hadn’t turned to stone when his gaze met mine.

Hmph. I had hoped MOM was an acronym for “My Outrageous Monster” or something.

For years, I did my best to fight nature. I used blow dryers, straightening irons and even “reverse permanent” chemical treatments.

If I was lucky, the resulting sleek look achieved by the lattermost would last for about an hour — or until I moved sufficiently so a single bead of sweat penetrated my scalp. Invariably, that tiny drop of wetness was always enough to mushroom the entire deal, whereby morphing my hair’s length and width into a perfect square.

But that was the best case scenario. At worst, my hair fell out. Seriously, literally fell out.

Once, after a particularly intense session at the salon during which my hairdresser tried in vain to straighten my curls, I found that they were actually breaking off — in clumps.

“Mommy, there’s a mouse in the bathroom!” Kyle screamed in terror when he mistook a thicket of my mop top for a brown rodent.

“No, no, that just — fell off my brush,” I said, cringing as I realized one of my worst fears — my hair was actually frightening small children.

Oh well, there are advantages to having unruly, flyaway hair. For example, I don’t need to wear a wig when dressing like certain characters for Halloween, such as Tina Turner or Bozo the Clown.

And hey, I never need to bring a sponge with me; for the quick cleanup of unexpected spills I merely need stand on my head.

Sure, at any given time I could have a small litter of kittens nesting in my hair and not even know it, but just think, I’m giving them warmth and shelter, right?

Yes, I’ve finally come to terms with the big brown Brillo pad atop my head.

Besides, I’m thinking that most other style trends resurface to popularity at some point, so big hair will eventually enjoy a comeback, too — at which point all those style mavens with the gorgeous, tidy tresses will look ridiculous while we wild-haired maidens will be all the rage.

At least for a few minutes, I’m sure.

Pull your hair out with Kimerer at pkimerer@zoominternet.net.


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