Friday, October 28, 2011

How My Flatiron Ruined My Life

Do you ever have those moments when you realize you've been saying something for a really long time that is completely untrue?  Only, you kind of forgot that it wasn't true? 

Recently, I was having a conversation with some of my life-support mommy friends about hair.  About how, even with the best intentions and perhaps even a special event to attend, my hair always ends up in a messy bun at the back of my head.  At some point, I stated that a quick flip with the rubber band is just loads easier than pulling out the flatiron.  Not to mention that my children care more about how fast I can get their food on the table than what my hair looks like.  Someone exclaimed, "But I thought your hair was perfectly straight?!"  To which I replied with something like, "No way, man.  It's like half kinky, half wavy.  It's always been such a pain.  Without the flatiron, I'd  look like an amazon woman!"

Later, as I was brushing my teeth, I was also staring at my hair, which I had just pulled out of its 15 hour bun.  Pretty stuff.  Anyhow, I was thinking about a picture I have of me and my friend in high school and I realized I was a liar!

Lie #1: It's always been such a pain.
Lie #2: Without the flatiron, I'd look like an amazon woman!

When I was a baby all the way through about sixth grade, I took a bath at night and slept on wet hair.  And my hair was straight and soft and manageable.  After that, I started taking showers in the morning, usually blow drying what portion of my head was still wet before I ran for the bus or my ride to school.  And my hair was straight and soft and manageable.  In college, I usually showered at night to avoid the morning bathroom craze and if I was feeling groovy, I might use a fat curling iron to spice up the ends of my long hair.  The rest was straight and soft and manageable.

We interrupt this post to admit there were a couple poodle perms in there somewhere, in which case my hair was NOT straight, but scrunched to crisp perfection.  It 'twas the late 80's/early 90's after all.

Back to my lament. 

So I'm standing there in my current-day bathroom thinking to myself, "Huh.  I used to have straight hair."  And then I am wondering, very confused-like, when my hair became unstraight.  You might guess that it was when I became pregnant or had a baby, since a lot of us know what those demons we call "hormones" can do to every last inch of our bodies.  But would be wrong. 

I had straight hair until Fall of 2002.  I was 24 years old.  I had a newish job and a girl I worked with had what seemed to be thinner, totally sleek hair.  I complimented her on her runway looking hair and she said to me, "Oh, thanks.  It's because I use a flatiron every day.  It helps it stay super-smooth all day." 

I had no idea what she was talking about, but probably something like the next day I owned one.  The very first day I used it, I got complimented on my hair by several people in the office.  So then I straightened my straight hair.  Every day.  For many, many, many days.  Since I had an office job, my hair had to look nice from Monday to Friday and then of course I had to look nice for Jesus on Sundays.  I can't really remember that long ago, but I'm assuming that I probably wore a perfectly parted ponytail on Saturdays, all sleeked back thanks to the ironing I had performed on my hair the day before.  There were a few times, I showered and left my hair wet (only on a Saturday, of course) and **shock** there was a bit of wave to it.  So I put some mousse in it and scrunched it up! 

Of course, then I kind of looked like I tried to perform an at-home perm my myself and forgot to attend to half my hair.  Anyhow, suddenly, my hair was weird.  It wasn't straight, but it wasn't curly.  It was kind of a hybrid.  And not like the efficient car.  More like those crazy monster-hybrids you hear about on shows like the Vampire Diaries.  So I continued to flatiron my hair.

This practice went on religiously for almost four years.  Then I had a baby.  And if you are a new mom and have time to shower AND flatiron your hair, then either YOUR mom lives with you or you're rich and have a nanny.  Pretty much, since mid-2006, I have lived with hair that is not straight, soft or manageable.  It is kinky and frizzy and out of control.

I still occasionally iron my head for church on Sundays, and that is pretty much limited to Sundays where I'm standing on a stage in front of hundreds of people who might feel pity for me if I didn't spend half and hour making my hair look like it just IS that way.  Yes, half an hour.  20 minutes if I'm in a hurry.  I can't do anything at 50% (except clean the house or finish painting or okay maybe it's just about vanity in this case) so I iron my head in layers so each individual strand is perfectly straight. 

Ugh.  It doesn't even look friendly!

So.  In conclusion, I hate my flatiron.  It ruined my ability to let my hair air dry without looking like I walk around in a humidity bubble.  I sentenced it to daily burnings for years and it won't let me forget it. 

It showed me.

Also, did I just blog about a flatiron? least I blogged.