I’ve never had good hair. Scratch that— Almost never. There were a few years, during my neon-platinum-blonde phase where I looked good in accordance with “metal-chick” standards.
But for most of my life I’ve just had bad hair. It’s a boring color naturally. What they call, “Dishwater Brown”.
Isn’t that the sexiest? Who needs golden, chestnut, or espresso when you’ve got dishwater? In addition to having dish-hair, It’s really fine, like superfine, and we’re not talking 70s slang. All my hair pulled together in a bunch is probably smaller around than a dime.
So from the start, I don’t have much to work with, but also I simply cannot find a stylist who will listen to me. And it is not a matter of me under-articulating what I want.
Is listening NOT part of beauty school?
“I want it dark espresso brown, with copper highlights, and just trim the ends to even them out” is not ambiguous direction.
But when I asked for the exact above, the stylist chopped off about 5 inches and dyed my hair black with magenta stripes.
Or let’s take something more recent. The thing from about 5 months ago. I entered the salon with purple hair in the front with my natural brown color at the roots and in the back. I very VERY clearly told her I wanted the brown IN THE BACK darkened from dishwater to espresso and the brown roots matched to the purple. So she bleached out my purple to pale cotton candy pink, dyed on black roots longer than the brown ones I had, and didn’t darken the brown in the back. And then she did some weird hacking cut thing that looked like it was done with a bread-knife.
After that I decided no more “professionals”.
In the years we’ve been together, DH has used his electric clippers to sculpt one or two other really bad haircuts into shapes that looked actually pretty good.
But when I asked him to give me a trim to avoid the dreaded, “fluff pyramid” he was worried he would mess it up. He insisted that I go to a professional.
If he had just done what I asked to begin with…
The fluff pyramid was first mentioned in an early Violets Aren’t Blue, the one about what styles my hair will do.
Basically, it’s what happens when your bob-cut grows out and you don’t get it trimmed. The underside of the hair is lower down, because it grows from lower on the skull, so it looks longer and it puffs out the hair. This probably looks fine if you have a lot of hair, but if you’ve got very fine hair you get something that lays flat against the skull on top and then puffs out at the neck, creating a triangle, or pyramid of fluff.
Anyway, I went to a (supposedly well-respected) salon at the mall near our apartment and explained to the stylist in no uncertain in terms that I wanted her to get rid of the fluff pyramid.
She did not.
The cut looked okay after she styled it all fancy (even though I asked her not to) but once I washed it…yeah, not so much.
Why no styling?
I didn’t want the stylist to style my hair because I wanted to make sure the cut looked good air-dried. I wanted to see what it looked like air dried because that’s almost all I ever do with my hair.
I don’t style it because I never learned how.
Not that my dad didn’t try to teach me as a kid, it’s just, he’s, you know— a DAD.
Also I’m not vain, or fascinated by myself enough to spend hours primping every day.
I respect how great those fancy ladies look, but I’ve got comics to draw, music to write, jokes to make, a dog to walk, a DH to cook for, not to mention my “real job” of working for my sister. I put real job in quotes because I am greatly looking forward to the day that comics can be my real job.
Don’t favor the fluff
After I called the salon, they said I could come back in to get it fixed. I did.
But the “fix” was even worse.
She gave me a lopsided, wobbly mess with the back cut even more to FAVOR THE FLUFF! She trimmed the top hair and not the underside, so it stayed fluff pyramid no matter what.
The sides had even bigger chunks missing than before.
They are refunding my money, but I was still left with a bad haircut.
DH to the rescue
I already had a fourth of my head shaved on purpose, but the horrors of my bad haircut, and the even worse attempt at fixing it left us little choice but to extend the shaved fourth to a shaved half. The left side of my hair was salvageable, he trimmed it into a nice, sleek-looking a-line bob. But the right just had to go. Short of a bowl cut, it was the only option.
So I have half a head of hair at the moment.
I feel kind of like a badass. Or rather, because I am the least intimidating person on the planet, I feel like my hair looks sort of badass. And I learned that under my dishwater brown, I’ve got a cute little skull.
Way back in 2006 I had another hair disaster (bleach related this time) that resulted in me having no hair. NO HAIR. Just 1/16th of an inch of pure white, baby chick fluff.
So I bought a wig.
I have often expressed such frustration with my hair that I am tempted to shave all of it off, right down to the squeaky, pink skin and buy several wigs.
I haven’t done that.
But I do still have the brown wig I bought in 2006.
So, when I want to look “professional”, I can pop on my wig, and the rest of the time, I can sport my purple half head thing.
This Roses Are Read accompanies this comic.