Friday, January 14, 2011

"Good Hair"

So today I am veering off the subject of food, exercise... and the other typical topics you usually see on this blog.  I'm gonna show you some pictures that might knock your socks off.  And take you on a little journey.

Last night, Ryan and I watched a documentary that I've really been wanting to see:

"Good Hair."  Have any of you seen this documentary?

It's actually ironic that we saw this last night... because today I went to get my hair cut.  I was awake for a long time last night thinking about hair.  My hair, in particular.

Now, the average white girl probably can't relate to this documentary.  But I can. 

Let me take you on a little trip down Hair Memory Lane.

My hair has always been curly.  I mean, when I was one, I had more (curly) hair than many adults out there.  All through my childhood, it was cute.  I mean, who DOESN'T love a cute little curly-haired baby?

Baby Pic... "Awwwwww!"

About 4-5 Years Old, With sister Meredith
But when I reach adolescence, I really despised my hair.  It was like this creature I had to carry around with me.  It wasn't just curly.  It was curly, thick, super-dry, coarse...

Middle-High School Years:  "The Beast" Unleashed
Strangers wanted to touch it in stores.  "Can I just touch your hair?" they would ask.  Hair dressers' eyes would boggle when I took my ponytail down and they saw what they were working with.  I remember my mom used to take me to this guy Michael to get my hair cut.  He would go around the salon and say, "Come look at this girl's hair!"  He meant it as a compliment.  People were always saying, "Wow.  Your hair is amazing.  You're so lucky to have so much body, so much curl."  But to me... it just felt like I was this circus freak.  I just wanted to be NORMAL.

Super Curly and Thick Hair+Short Haircut=Mistake
I didn't know WHAT to do with it.  I went through like a bottle of conditioner a week-- and at LEAST one bottle of hair gel.  Probably more.  All of my friends had smooth, shiny, STRAIGHT hair.  They could use a normal brush.  If their hair got messy during gym class, they just ran a comb through it.  For me... if it got messed up... I had to take a shower and start all over again. 

Senior Prom... Oh, how I would have liked a smooth "up-do..."

The girls from my graduating class.  Notice all the straight hair... except for one...
I wore it all different lengths.  Long, short, in-between.  (Short was a mistake, as you can see above!)  I tried every hair product out there.  If a hairdresser recommended it, I wanted to try it.  However, NOTHING worked.  I remember buying a straightener in high school.  Now, this was before ceramic plates, and tourmaline technology.  My hair just laughed at that thing. 

I was 28 when I walked into a new hair salon for the first time.  And I will tell you... this was a LIFE-CHANGING experience.  For the first time, my hairdresser Erica straightened my hair-- and showed me how to do it.  And it was, for the first time in my entire life... TRULY straight.  It was like having a religious experience.  I bought my first Chi Flat Iron two weeks later.  I am telling you... that Chi... it's like a second child to me.  Here are a few pictures from the straight hair phase of my life.

I'm on the left, with my sisters and my mom

With sister Adrienne, and Sadie (2 years ago)

Now, when I get my hair cut, it is just the best feeling.  It's probably equal to other people going to get a massage. 

As I was watching "Good Hair" last night, I was thinking... to your average white woman, this must seem crazy.  To spend $1000 or more on a hair piece!  More than once!  But to me... I was sitting there thinking, "I KNOW JUST HOW THESE WOMEN FEEL."  I would have paid $1000 for straight hair.  Probably more, actually.

Today, I love my hair.  It took me 28 years, a lot of product, a heck of a lot of experimentation, and many mornings of frustration to get to this point. 

So there you go.  If you've admired my hair at one point in time, now you know what I had to do to get to this point. 

Have any of you been through a similar experience?  Maybe not with hair, but with something else in life?  Tell me about it.

And rent "Good Hair" next time you're in the video store.  It's eye-opening, entertaining, most of all, informative.


  1. he he! Girl this post makes me laugh and laugh! I can TOTALLY relate to the curly hair! I've tried and am still trying new products out there for this crazy curly hair of mine. I invested in the CHI about 3 years ago. Although I have had several flat irons, the CHI is an amazing product and there is nothing like it. :) Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to watch the movie.-Kelly Northington

  2. Um, yes. I can relate. I am your sister and although there is an adult picture of me with straight hair on your blog post, I still faced the ever-changing cut, the ever-awkward styles, and even the ever-terrible bangs. So when you have hair like us and make a decision in your earlier years to cut it short, you just hope that one day your best looks will evolve and your hair won't be the biggest concern of your day. I hope (and think) we've reached that point. :)

  3. Wow, Liz. Those photos take me back! You should know that I always LOVED your hair in middle school. I thought it was so different and cool.


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