Adventures in Hairstyling
I sometimes (see: often) have these quarterly year crises. They involve me getting restless. When I am restless I crave change. When I crave change I sometimes (see: often) dramatically alter my physical appearance by changing my hair. So, should one look at the date stamp of any photograph of me of any certain year, one will find upwards to four different hairstyles. Four! 2000 boasted the best of black to red to burgundy to brown. I was a blond in Japan, and a brunette in Japan. And what my hairstylists dubbed my “sakura (cherry blossom)” phase in Japan. 4 colors all at once in Chicago; one at most in Florida. All told, I am not immune to impulsivity.
Okay, so a proposed hair adventure is weak. I understand this, except that it is always good to take routine, no matter how harried (hair-ied), and make it into something new. So I did just that. I scoured the streets of Boston for any salons willing to take me on as a test patient (aka: hair model), and in turn offered them this freedom: complete and total control. Therein lies the caveat: I had, for the first time ever, absolutely no say in my own makeover. I could not suggest. I could not request. I could not betray my opinion. I was to remain stoic, impartial and ready to receive… anything.Two salons took me on. One in the more WASPish neighborhood of Brookline, MA, and the other in Boston’s rough and tumble Southie. The former was billed as a convenient chain salon with a maude-chic web presence and an admirable address. The latter, a tattoo playground known for their choppy indie cuts and community ‘edge’. They have been featured on MTV, the website says. Needless to say, with both salons, their was ample room for error.
So yes. Okay. Perhaps this still doesn’t seem like the most adventurous of adventures, and I’ll be the first to agree. I was reticent to even declare this my weekly adventure. But perhaps because I’ve never taken stock of just how controlled I am in controlling my life, I failed to realize how difficult an undertaking this would be.
I discovered: I am a serious control freak.
My family thinks me a free spirit and I’ve always revealed in the namesake. In contrast to their more secure and stable lifestyles I always thought myself so loose and malleable. And I have life history to show for! I’m nomadic. I go against the grain and dye my hair wild colors. I have been known to wear curious ensembles in my youth. But even so, these were all decisions of my making. With each choice came self imposed consequences. I had to be better. I had to somehow prove something to him and her and them. And the best way to punish oneself to to tightly control every aspect of one’s own freedom. That’s to say, the pursuit of perfection has little room for adventure and autonomy.
And now? This year has scared the shit out of me and I’m not even a quarter in. But the year of adventures asks that I let down my guard, lessen controls and… trust. And I did. I trusted my Brookline stylist who dyed my hair a darling three shades of copper, red and blond. I trusted the super tattoo’ed novice who nervously razored my hair in three hours because she had to consult with the manager with every lock she altered. As for the final product? Eh, I’ve had better, but, but, but I have never had such a moment of relaxation. I let my guard down. I trust someone(s). And I’m no worse off than when I started. In fact, I’m better. My Florence Hendersonesque mullet is removed and I am learning life lessons. In style.