Tag Archives: style

Big Hairy Deal

If I had to classify my relationship with my hair, I would say “it’s complicated.”

I’ve gone from disinterested (childhood) to horribly dysfunctional (middle school) to high-maintenance (college) back to ambivalent tinged with annoyance and a strong desire to try and bring back the stylish babushka of my grandma’s youth (now and forever going forward.)

But it turns out I have a long history of hair animosity.

I’m told I didn’t have hair until I was about three years old and was often affectionately referred to as a cue ball with kielbasa legs. While all the other babies were wearing little butterfly clips in their hair, I had a bandana stylishly tied around my noggin.

busi

One vote for the babushka.

When I did finally get hair, I still wasn’t that fond of it. One afternoon when my grandpa was “watching” me, I took the scissors and cut off my ponytail, along with several patches of fur from our dog Grover. Ever the organizer, I carefully placed the hair into envelopes and then proceeded to deliver them to my mom upon her return.

As you can imagine, she was thrilled.

hat

I resorted to more headwear.

My Barbie dolls and any other toy unfortunate enough to have anything resembling hair suffered a similar fate, albeit without the advantage of being able to grow their hair back. This left several scalped carcasses to be used as the perfect plastic projectile for when I was feeling ignored.

But there was a brief period of time in my early 20s  in which my hair was my “thing.”

I went to an overpriced salon and spent $120 every six weeks to get tinfoil wrapped around my head and eavesdrop on the conversations of rich people while I sipped my glass of sparkling water with cucumber.

I’ve done everything from platinum blonde to a dark purple shade called “Orchid.” Now when asked what my natural hair color is, I swear the “Jeopardy” theme song plays in the background.

I stopped going to that salon almost seven years ago when things like mortgages took priority over foils and fancy trims. My natural brown hair is simply there, annoyingly so, mocking me with it’s thinness and a wonky cowlick that prevents me from that trendy side-swipe bang look that would cover my large forehead.

But as long as I don’t look in the mirror, my hair and I get along fine now.

You learn to pick your battles and I waved the white flag years ago—and now might just use it as a babushka.

americas-next-top-babushka-cycle-158

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Banana Blast from the Past

I had a serious post in mind, but something else came up that needed my urgent attention. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you saw the following status update last weekend:

“Among the beautiful flowers at the botanical gardens, I saw a very rare, thought-to-be-extinct species this afternoon: a woman wearing a banana clip in her hair.”

Yes, a banana clip.

bananaclips

In case you missed the five minutes they were popular in the ‘80s, a banana clip is a cross between some type of comb and a ponytail holder. It allowed you to pull your hair back from each side, with the clip (in its banananess) following the contour of your head in the back.

If you were lucky, the effect was like a mane of hair running down the middle of the back of your head.

clipmodel

As I recall, actually getting the banana clip in your hair was a tricky maneuver, especially if you had stick straight hair (as I did.) You had to flip your hair over and slide the banana clip into place slowly, flipping your hair back at just the right moment.

It took me forever, mostly because I usually had straight hair and banana clips kicked butt only if your hair was curly. Plus, I was completely uncoordinated even at an early age, so trying to simultaneously “work” the toothed banana clip before my hair fell out of it resulted in a convulsive dance of head flipping and fashion futility—the first of many.

Once I did actually get it clipped, my straight hair would refuse to hold it in, resulting in a crooked style that looked like a bastardized side ponytail/Joker’s smile. But when I had a perm or crimped my hair—both options that resulted in the smell of noxious fumes, singed hair follicles and a decade of pictures that could now be used as blackmail if ever unearthed—I had a much better relationship with the banana clip.

And while my relationship with the banana clip was turbulent at times, a constant in my childhood was the scrunchie.

hairscrunc_070815-57f

The scrunchie needs no explanation or description, as it simply speaks for itself. I will admit that I had about 3,532 of them strewn about my drawer when I was younger, just in case I had to coordinate my scrunchie with my socks or my Swatch watch.

Even if I didn’t have a scrunchie in my hair, I would often wear one on my wrist (the one not covered in plastic bracelets or aforementioned Swatch watch) just in case.

Today a banana clip sighting is much more rare than the appearance of a scrunchie, but it’s still a rare treat to find a woman with a scrunchie—especially if it’s patterned and coordinates with her Day-glo leg warmers.

But even though we laugh about the absurdity of these hair accessories now, let’s be honest— have we really come that far, people? Today we have the Bump-It and feather hair extensions, and people wear them on purpose.

The only way I will wear something called a Bump-It is if it promises to bump up my chest, not my hair, but to each their own. This is coming from the girl that gets wine and hair color from a box, so take it for what it’s worth.

And if it’s a banana clip, it’s probably worth about 75 cents at a garage sale—and a good laugh.

Were you Team Banana Clip or Team Scrunchie? What other hair accessories were you rocking in the past?

(Or now. No judgment, of course…at least not that much.)