I hate my hair. I know, I should be grateful I still have it, and I am. Nevertheless, I would like to change it. My Grandmother Puckett had really beautiful hair, red with a white streak (we’re of Scots descent- red hair, blue eyes, striking cheekbones. My cousin Garyn is the one that got all that, drat her.) Grandmother wore her hair long, down her back until she lost it to chemotherapy in her seventies. When I was in college I used to sit on the daybed in my grandmother’s bedroom and watch my Aunt Molly brush Grandmother’s hair and put it up for her. I remember she always looked more vulnerable with her hair down.
But it’s not my grandmother’s red hair I want. It’s my Libby’s.
If you’ve seen Libby’s hair, you know what I am talking about. It’s a thick and heavy mass of golden ringlets, a solid mass of perfect corkscrew curls. I like to look underneath all of it and find the wee curls and wrap them around my finger, pull them out, and let them go. They bounce like springs.
Libby loves her hair, but that was not always the case. When she was little, it took an act of God to get her to sit still for me to brush it, and she would not even consider letting me put it in a pony tail so that it would get less tangled. When she was about five, she wanted it cut into a bob. I refused, so one night on the way to “Hello, Dolly” rehearsal, she gave herself that bob with scissors in the back of the mini van. When we got to rehearsal, I opened the van door to discover piles of curls and a very unrepentant daughter. She got her hair bobbed the following day at a salon.
I have been threatening to cut my hair into a pixie. My girls veto this. What I really want to do, though, is get a perm. I want a salon perm from a pro who can give me Libby’s perfect corkscrews. I can just see it: I wash my hair, mousse it, dry it a touch with a diffuser, add some cute feathers like my friend Mel, and walk my sassy self all over town. I work those curls in the school hallway. I work those curls in my fairy costume. I work those curls in private for Trav.
The last perm I got was in 1990. I splurged for a salon perm, though still in college, but I didn’t leave enough time in the appointment to let it process. Trav and I had an Amway meeting with Dr. Hinds (some of you will get that reference) and no way could I be late. Much to the stylist’s dismay, I had to have him pull out the rods about halfway through. The stylist was nearly in tears and made me promise not to reveal his identity (no lie). I looked awful. The pictures of me from this time are a mess. I have thrown all photos away except for the ones with Hilary.
But I have faith in modern technology. If we can build a space station, if we can carry around digital devices that connect us to each other instantly, if we can have hybrid cars, by the goddess, I can have curls.
I found just the right look on Google images last night. It’s perfect. It’s the haircut that would absolutely change my life. Isn’t it funny how we ladies get that in our heads? The right hair, dress, or shoes will grant immediate contentment. But I find that the buzz from the new ‘do or outfit lasts just one evening. Then I still crave true intimacy and the adoration of someone who could not care less what my hair looks like. That’s when I look at my husband and know that he’s seen me through every imaginable hairstyle, the good, the bad, and the ugly (for the record, he likes it super short). He will lovingly watch as it turns gray. He will love me if I am ever bald. He will love me no matter what.
And that’s the best beauty tip I have, to see myself through his eyes and know that nothing else matters.
Does anyone have the name of a great hair stylist who specializes in perms?