I Am Woman, Hair Me Roar

On Monday, I had the good fortune to go on Fox News Live to talk about my research into stay-at-home moms returning to work. I got across all my key messages in a three-minute segment and managed to breathe at the same time. At home later that day watching the show on Tivo with DH, all I could think was: My hair looked like soggy cardboard. On national tv.

I love that I care so much about hair. Finding joy (and agony) in your hair is a quintessentially female characteristic, like believing you can will cars to not hit your children, like believing a pair of new shoes can change your identity.

[For anyone new to On Balance, let me explain that Friday is reserved for light subjects, like hair, summer vacations and shoes. Solving the problems of the world occurs Monday through Thursday.]

I -- usually -- have pretty "good" hair, chemically-assisted blonde, reasonably obedient and manageable. I am incompetent in terms of doing anything with it, so I've never mastered any hair tools beyond a blow dryer. I am terrible with other people's hair, too. I once destroyed my little sister's self-esteem with a botched at-home haircut, so I steer clear of my two daughters' hair now.

So tell us about your hair. What does it look like? Was it different when you were a child? Did it change when you were pregnant? Has it ever fallen out? Are you good at styling it? Why do women care more about hair than men? What does your hair tell the world about you?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  May 4, 2007; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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Comments

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Is everyone still asleep this morning? I can't believe I might be first...

My hair in high school was kinky curly. As I grew up, I learned to use hair products and the ever-dangerous IRON. Now when I see people I went to school with, they ask "What happened to your curls". My response: I grew up and learned to use hair products.

Posted by: ParentPreneur | May 4, 2007 7:22 AM

So tell us about your "research"? It seems to me that you base your assertions on work life balance on your own life and on anecdotes from friends. Do you perform large scale cohort studies? Cross sectional surveys perhaps? Do you have a research team? Is your work peer reviewed? What journals do you publish in?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 7:23 AM

Oh why not? Short, no maintenance hair cut. Run a comb through it after a shower and it's ready to go. No significant changes with pregnancy, but I do have dreams where I have long, thick hair.

Posted by: Stroller Momma | May 4, 2007 7:25 AM

I'm all for light topics on Friday, but really...a discussion on hair??? And whether it changed during pregnancy? Yuck.

Posted by: londonmom | May 4, 2007 7:35 AM

Short curly dark hair--I am petite, and look like a pixie. Low maintenance kinda girl.

Posted by: Tomboy mom | May 4, 2007 7:36 AM

I'm lucky, I have great hair. Shoulder-length, slightly wavy, extremely thick, and there are basically three colors in it, depending on the strand you look at - blonde, brown, and red (all natural). Every hairdresser I've ever had thinks I get highlights. That being said, I'm all thumbs when it comes to my hair. I'm sure it could look great if I gave it the effort, but most days I just don't care enough. (If it will look good - not great - with no effort, why bother?) My husband is obsessed with his hair, probably because he is losing it. He's young (25) and it's almost completely gone on top. People have the gall to make rude comments to him about it. (There have been many times that I have turned into a very not-so-nice person to stand up for him and his lack of hair.) It really bothers him, and his self esteem is low because of it.

Posted by: Hairapy | May 4, 2007 7:56 AM

Leslie, you have me laughing this AM, thanks (solving the world's problems: currently scheduled for Monday through Thursday; Fridays it's on to more important topics: hair and shoes).

My hair is crap -- very fine, brown, won't hold a curl, can't do much with it. I tried all sorts of things (perms, highlights, you name it), but finally gave up and had it cut short. Luckily, I found a stylist almost 20 yrs ago who can give it a good shape (even when I lived across the country, whenever I'd come home to visit, I'd make an appointment with him). Now 2 minutes with the blow dryer and I'm done.

My kids, on the other hand, hit the genetic jackpot: they got dad's hair. The girl's is is thick and wavy and golden brown; the boy's is a mass of golden blond ringlets, which will darken and straighten as he grows.

So now I'm hyper-protective over my kids' hair. My husband keeps threatening to give the boy a buzz cut, and I know at some point he's going to have to have "boy" hair, but can't an 18-month-old keep those curls for a while longer? Meanwhile, the girl is old enough to speak for herself, and now she keeps talking about cutting it short. So I bite my tongue and try to be supportive mom, because I know it's going to happen some day, but I am seriously going to cry when it happens.

Posted by: Laura | May 4, 2007 8:00 AM

Yes, I have lost lots 'o hair after having both kids. My hair got so thick when I was pregnant that it literally hurt to put it up in a ponytail, and when it came out it was like a dog shedding. It was quite scary - and I had to hack it off each time - but it did grow back in.

What about premature graying? Does anybody else suffer at the hands of this horrible gene?

Posted by: cmac | May 4, 2007 8:00 AM

Have to admit - this made me laugh - We had a female associate farewell lunch for an upper level partner who is leaving the firm for greener pastures after more than 30 years - during lunch, we had a 20 minute discussion of where we get our hair done, etc. All I could think was, you can tell there are no males at this lunch - too funny!

Posted by: Betty | May 4, 2007 8:03 AM

I guess we men don't care about our hair at all until we are at risk of losing same.

Irony hiding on the barbershop floor?

Posted by: Fo3 | May 4, 2007 8:07 AM

I have no hair (at least on the top of my head.)

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 8:10 AM

Love today's topic -- hair and shoes. I am "blessed" with high maintenance hair -- it is extremely thick and curly BUT if I work at it it looks great. And in the hands of skillful hairstylist it looks wonderfull and can hold the shape for a week. BC (before children) I spent tons of $ and time on my hair. (I also spent $ on my shoes but I was able to shop a lot and always found great shoes on clearance). With two little kids I tried different looks to find out what I can accomplish in as little time as possible. It came down to either sleeping or having a good hair day. I chose sleeping. So, after a lifetime of blow drying and using a flat iron, I have gone "natural" and feel liberated. I also started coloring and doing highlights myself because I can't justify spending $$$ on this anymore. I am progressively getting better at it but sometimes I end up with "orange" hair. Speaking of hair stylist, any excellent super curly hair stylists in DC area?

Posted by: fedmom | May 4, 2007 8:10 AM

I got my first paycheck job as the "shampoo boy" at a HairCuttery and worked there from when I was 16 to 20 years old.

the most common mistake, especially for girls, is the conditioner they used. Almost all cheap drugstore bought conditioners have a waxy substance, usually balsm that coats the hair and fills in the pores so after you use it, you can get a comb through it easily. Nice, at first, but the problem is that this waxy substance builds up, sticks to the tangles and over time you literally cannot get a comb through the knots after you shampoo, unless, of course, you apply the conditioner again to literally "melt" the wax. See how this works? In fact, most of the store bought conditioners actually dry out and destroy the natural luster of your hair. When you combine this with a blow dryer and don't like split ends, you are much better off not using the conditioner at all.

A decent conditioner will do just as it claims - add moisture to your hair and bring out the natural beauty, color and highlights. Ask your styalist, he/she will know or be able to suggest what's best for your type of hair. The professional conditioners are about twice or 3, 4 times as expensive as the cheapy brands, but well worth it.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 8:10 AM

I am sure that someone will post the words to Hair. (Long beautify hair, Shining, gleaming, streaming Flaxen, waxen)

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 8:14 AM

Alright, no one hate me, at least not anymore then some of you already do. I have straight, thick, black hair that I can do absolutely anything with. When I was younger I got perms and it hung in spiral ringlets down my back. When I moved from my small town to a bigger city I went to a man who gave me a "Rachel" and dyed and highlighted it. In DC I cut my hair for locks of love and had a short bob. I can do anything with it, it holds a curl, can be flat ironed straight, holds up in all weather and pretty much looks okay whatever I do to.

That being said, I am Black Irish, which means I am prematurely grey, so I have to dye it about every six weeks.

Unfortunately for my head, I am pregnant and haven't dyed it in three months. Everyone in my family except my father and sister has gone prematurely grey. I plucked one from my 18 year old nephew last time I was home.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 8:15 AM

To the Tune of the 59th Street Bridge Song

(you know, Feeling Groovy)

Hello cold bag of peas
I need some comfort if you please
Gonna' put you above my knees
Sitting down and feeling snippy

Da, da, da, da ,da, da, feeling snippy
La, la, la, la, la, la, getting snippy

Hello doctor what you knowin'
Gonna' have my wife glowin'
Those daily pills, not gonna' be knowing
Sitting down and feeling snippy

Da, da, da, da ,da, da, feeling snippy
La, la, la, la, la, la, getting snippy

That IUD, it gotta' go
Rubbers and foam, you must know
I am finally taking total control
Sitting down and feeling snippy

Da, da, da, da ,da, da, feeling snippy
La, la, la, la, la, la, getting snippy

Posted by: Not Chris but another Regular | May 4, 2007 8:21 AM

Love this topic.

The main reason I wrote this one was to figure out what Scarry's hair looks like so I can "see" her. Thanks, Scarry!!!!

And Fo4 thanks for the the conditioner advice. I have heard that too.

I have genetically prematurely gray hair (mom went gray at 30) but since I am blonde it doesn't show. But my grandmother had such thin red hair she had to start wearing a wig at 40. This is kind of happening too. Devastating.

Anyone who thinks hair has nothing to do with balance is: a) in denial or b) a man.

Posted by: Leslie | May 4, 2007 8:21 AM

Scarry, I knew there was a reason I fell in love with you.

Now I know. Your hair!

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 8:24 AM

I have had almost the same hairstyle for about 15 years. No bangs, all one length (no layers), total length varying from chin to past shoulders. Boring! I finally colored my hair for the first time ever about 18 months ago. It looks better than the dead- or rapidly aging- mouse brown that it would be, but it is bloody expensive to maintain.

The most I ever do with my hair is put gel into it when I'm feeling adventurous or it's been looking unusually awful, and blow it dry. I would rather wear the basic ponytail almost all the time, but I realize it doesn't look professional.

Dang, this is twice in the last couple of weeks this blog has made me realize I need a MAKEOVER BIG TIME!!!

Posted by: WorkingMomX | May 4, 2007 8:25 AM

Men don't care about their hair??? Please! My father is so vain about his hair (what's left of it, anyway!) that he's been known not to leave the house until every last hair is in its place! The women in the family know better than to worry so much about their hair.

Posted by: Murphy | May 4, 2007 8:28 AM

Well, father of 4, I would love you with or without hair. Leslie, that is too funny. I wish I had my dad's hair he didn't go grey until his late 50s, which was when I was in high school. My uncle, his younger brother used to accuse him of dyeing it.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 8:31 AM

"Anyone who thinks hair has nothing to do with balance is: a) in denial or b) a man."

I pick "B"


Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 8:31 AM

- Hair Lyrics


She asks me why
I'm just a hairy guy
I'm hairy noon and night
Hair that's a fright
I'm hairy high and low
Don't ask me why
Don't know
It's not for lack of break
Like the Grateful Dead
Darling

Gimme head with hair
Long beautiful hair
Shining, gleaming,
Streaming, flaxen, waxen

Give me down to there hair
Shoulder length or longer
Here baby, there mama
Everywhere daddy daddy

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Let it fly in the breeze
And get caught in the trees
Give a home to the fleas in my hair
A home for fleas
A hive for bees
A nest for birds
There ain't no words
For the beauty, the splendor, the wonder
Of my...

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy
Snaggy, shaggy, ratty, matty
Oily, greasy, fleecy
Shining, gleaming, streaming
Flaxen, waxen
Knotted, polka-dotted
Twisted, beaded, braided
Powdered, flowered, and confettied
Bangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied!

Oh say can you see
My eyes if you can
Then my hair's too short

Down to here
Down to there
Down to where
It stops by itself

They'll be ga ga at the go go
When they see me in my toga
My toga made of blond
Brilliantined
Biblical hair

My hair like Jesus wore it
Hallelujah I adore it
Hallelujah Mary loved her son
Why don't my mother love me?

Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 8:33 AM

Very timely topic for me!

I got my hair cut yesterday after about 5 months and the first word out of my 8 year old DD's mouth was "Ew. You look awful." My normally long, full, wavy hair (a la Brooke Sheilds) is now shorter than my shoulders and was blown so straight it looked like Jennifer Aniston's.

DH loved it but I have to agree with my girl. It's just not me. This has made me depressed this morning and is throwing off my day.

And what makes me crazy is that I am a tough negotiator at work, have an advanced degree from a prestigious university but CANNOT, for the life of me, stand up for myself at the hairdresser's! I'm now trying to work up the strength to go back and say "fix it" because I just don't like it.

Posted by: Alexandria Mom | May 4, 2007 8:34 AM

My hair is pretty much like Helena Bonham Carter's (though I don't wear it like her current incarnation ;) ).

Because of the curls, I pretty much wear it long or very short. In between, all I get is poodle-head or triangle-head (think "Alice" in Dilbert). So it needs to be short so the curls don't show, or long enough that the weight of my hair pulls them out a little bit.

I wore it very short for years, but once my stylist moved, I went from one bad haircut to another and got tired of it. So I grew it out, which I hadn't done since high school.

Right now I've got some long, face-framing bangs and length to just below my shoulder blades.

I also gave up fighting it years ago because everyone likes my hair better curly and without all the blow drying and product, my hair is shinier and healthier. I just have a professional put it in an up-do for a serious occasion (my simple french twist for my wedding took one hour, hot curlers, a curling iron, 42 pins, and three or four products).

So now I just have good hair care products, let it air dry, and use the large collection of heavy barrettes I've collected over the years that match the volume of my hair.

But mostly I wear it in a ponytail or french-braid, though - keeps it out of my face and off my neck.

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 4, 2007 8:35 AM

I've been growing my hair out and I plan to donate it to Locks of Love soon. Does anyone have any experiences with that or recomendations of places in Fairfax, PW or Loudoun that participate with Locks of Love?

Posted by: dogma | May 4, 2007 8:36 AM

I have thick, wavy-ish red hair. Right now it's quite long, because I haven't gotten it cut since the traumatic chop job I got right before DD was born (I tried to look cute for her birth, ended up looking like a pumpkin).

Pregnancy (or, more precisely, its aftermath) wreaked havoc on my hair. All of a sudden, the shampoo I'd been using for years didn't work. I'd wash my hair, and two hours later it'd look like I hadn't washed it for a week. I had to resort to the cheapest, harshest supermarket shampoos I could find just to get it clean. It's finally back to normal, just in time for us to be trying again.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 4, 2007 8:38 AM

I have long, thick hair (halfway down my back) as I am on my second growning out project for either locks of love or pantene's beautiful lengths program. The first donation was a happy by-product of post-break-up hair redo. This time it was a more conscious decision. I actually have the length needed... just need to get to hairdresser and get it done. If you're ready to part with long hair and can't bear the thought of seeing it swept up off the cutting floor consider donating. It's a great feeling!

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 4, 2007 8:41 AM

Fred -- thank you! That's one of my favorite songs.

I also agree with the guy thing. My husband's favorite phrase is "beat it down," as he smushes the brush through his hair to try to flatten out the waves (he refuses to acknowledge that the little curl in front is SOOOOO sexy -- the minute it makes an appearance, he's off to the barber's to have it chopped off!).

He's let me manage the girl's hair, but he is asserting himself with the boy. Makes for a nice underhanded power struggle -- after bath, he tries the "beat it down" approach, then I sneak in and try to fluff it so it curls. Alas, my husband is fighting genetics, so even when I can't sneak in I STILL win. :-) Of course, I know I'm going to lose in the end, when he sneaks the boy off for a nice little buzz cut. :-(

Posted by: Laura | May 4, 2007 8:45 AM

My wife's hair used to be reddish brown, but it has now turned silver! She doesn't dye it for the same reason Scarry doesn't (not pregnant yet, still trying), and it's down to the middle of her back.

Mine is light brown, thinning in front, and down to nearly my belt in the back. What's odd about that is my dad had black, coarse hair that my mom always said dulled the scissors she cut it with, but none of his sons have hair anything like that. Both my brothers have reddish hair, one fine, the other thick and wavy, and both are going bald. Last time I saw them I said I'd won the hair lottery; mine is starting to get thin but I've got more than either of them!

Posted by: John L | May 4, 2007 8:46 AM

Far better than having a John Denver song running in your head all day!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 8:46 AM

I have pretty much resorted to lurking lately, but Father of 4, your conditioner dissertation cracked me up.

Incidently, my solution is to keep my hair military-short, so I can wash it with bar soap.

Pp.

Posted by: Proud Papa | May 4, 2007 8:47 AM

I am 30 years old have have never had a professional haircut. My hair is somewhat long (just past mu shoulders) these days, and I think it looks fine. Am I the only person in America who doesn't get "real" haircuts?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 8:48 AM

dogma: I recommend going to your regular stylist. Even if their salon is not an official Locks of Love salon, they will usually do the cut for free/reduced cost. I like Colorworks at Fairfax Corner.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 4, 2007 8:49 AM

Very short brown hair. It's pretty thin with lots of cowlicks, so it's the only way to go. Plus I am extremely low maintenance (i.e., lazy) so I don't do much beyond wash and comb.

The person I know who spent the most on hair and agonizes over it: my uncle! Don't want to know how many thousands of $$ he spent on those implants. They finally look natural years later - the first few years we had to look away! He's also had his eyes lifted and some other cosmetic stuff. This man is a cabinet maker, so the image stuff is not about his career. He was a fantastic looking man in his day, so I guess it's hard to let go of that.

Posted by: MaryB | May 4, 2007 8:49 AM

It amazes me how important hair is, how it can make a day or ruin a day. I have baby-fine blonde hair, and I welcome the infiltrations of gray, because they seem to have a bit more spunk. I've learned to go with the natural wave, which is wavier when it's humid, so I'm on the brink of my curly season. Like you, I can blow-dry, but that's about it, and I laugh at my hair stylist when he whips out his curling iron and other tools. In fact, he knows better now. Did you see the piece on the horrors of bangs in The Onion recently? http://www.theonion.com/content/news/area_womans_entire_day_ruined_by

Posted by: girlyGirl45 | May 4, 2007 8:50 AM

Oops, Scarry, I reread my 8:24 and realize how incredibly shallow that statement was.

I didn't mean it that way. What I meant to mean, was, now that I know what your hair is like, it levitates the Linus / Mrs Othmar float factor...

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 8:50 AM

It seems today that all you see
Is violence in Iraq and reality TV
But where are those good old-fashioned values
On which we use to rely?

Lucky there's a Commander Guy
Lucky there's a man who, decidedly can say
All the things that make us laugh and cry
He's our Commander Guy!

Sorry, couldn't resist...

So about hair...

Yeah, ironic this is the topic on the day I'm getting a haircut. I've been out 3/4 a year and I still can not stand "being out of regs." Anything else just doesn't feel right. I've put off getting it cut for about a month now because of the moving we've been doing and there's always something else... so, that's it I guess and now all I have to do is wait around fo the CTOTD and my Friday will be complete. ;-P

Posted by: Chris | May 4, 2007 8:52 AM

What a timely topic!! I was just discussing my hair with my best friend yesterday. I currently have a pretty wild hair style (especially for a new 50 year old). It is very blond on top with dark brown underneath and at the bottom. The blond is not as long as the dark brown, although I once thought of aiming for that. Its almost shoulder-lenth now. Its tough to maintain. I go to the stylist about every 4 months now and my girlfriend does touch-ups inbetween. Now I'm considering reverting to a more conventional look, but to be honest, I love the positive attention I receive. I just refer to it as my "middle-aged crisis hair style"!!!

Posted by: DGB inFairfax | May 4, 2007 8:52 AM

Love this topic, and can't believe that nobody has mentioned Biotin yet. I have always had fine, somewhat thin hair. Its redeeming feature is that it is naturally curly, and performs nicely as long as I keep it short-ish. However, I had bariatric surgery four years ago, and experienced a period of drastic hair loss because of the shock to my system of losing so much weight so quickly. Anyway, the PA at my surgeon's office suggested Biotin, and it made a huge difference. I even recommended it to my mom, whose hair was thinning as she aged. She added it to her vitamin regimen, and has seen a marked improvement. Biotin is cheap, too. You can get a 100-count bottle usually under 2 bucks.

On vanity, I think men and women care equally about hair; it's an individual thing...

Posted by: sdstewart | May 4, 2007 8:53 AM

Thanks, Fred for the lyrics. I can hear the Cowsills singing it as I read them.

As for hair, I just cut mine on Wednesday. It was the first time since I went bald on chemotherapy in fall of 2003. I'm sending it to Locks of Love.

I used to be a lot more concerned about my hair, pre-cancer. Now I know it's just hair and if I don't like it, it'll grow out. (it's really short but not bad at all.)

Posted by: rockville | May 4, 2007 8:55 AM

I went to the plaza that is by Wegmans in Fairfax. I think it is called salon khori? They gave me a free hair cut. Also, my hair was dyed and one of the girls said locks of love doesn't take dyed hair. That is not true. The hair just has to be in good shape. John L. I took a lot of flack last time I was pregnant from the girls in my office about not dyeing my hair. I know some doctors say you can dye it, but I am paranoid about it.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 8:56 AM

Hey Chris,

Are you sure that you did not write Feeling Snippy?

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 9:00 AM

This is why men don`t take women seriously.

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 9:02 AM

gotta love the 'professional' pony-tail! I rely on it too heavily, even when I go to work with my hair down by the end of the day it is back

Posted by: single mom | May 4, 2007 9:04 AM

father of 4 you couldn't offend me if you tried.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 9:05 AM

OT to Scarry:

Speaking of that Wegman's in Fairfax, I work less than 2 miles from there and that's an unbelievable supermarket.

The really strange part is that the area seems to be undergoing an odd phase of supermarket wars, where WholeFoods just built it's largest flagship supermarket walking distance from my office. It has restaurants in it for god's sake. And of course the Safeway keeps getting small upgrades to be nicer and nicer.

So this area has turned into a place where as many people have lunch in the supermarkets as in the restaurants.

See what you miss when you move away?

Posted by: Proud Papa | May 4, 2007 9:07 AM

Proud Papa, I'm a Dial guy myself.

I let my daughters cut my hair with one of those buzzers.

during lent, I let my beard grow out. (Gave up shaving for lent) Apparently I've got red, orange, grey, and a little white to go with my brownish, used to be blonde hair. Like a well loved teddy bear, as I'm getting a little worn out with age, I'm getting thred-bare on top. A common comment that others made when I was sporting a beard was that I looked like a lumberjack. I don't know if the beard was an improvement of my regular image or not.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 9:09 AM

SDStewart--Thanks for the tip about Biotin! I think we have the same hair. I agree that guys are equally obsessed. And may I add, I really miss Sanjaya, a guy who knows how to accentuate the positive and have a chuckle at the same time.

Posted by: girlyGirl45 | May 4, 2007 9:09 AM

OT to Proud Papa

I love Wegman's. I worked in Buffalo for a summer in College and it's the only place I'd shop.

Also, growing up, K-Mart had an Asian buffett that my dad would frequent.

Posted by: fed worker | May 4, 2007 9:11 AM

I'm curious about how much other people spend on their hair, as well. I feel a bit trapped regarding this issue. I have a little job that doesn't pay much that still requires professional clothes and appearance. It's hard to justify spending a lot of money on having it professionally dyed and highlighted on my small salary. But it does feel like it's really expected by society, etc.

I'm amazed by the amount of maintenance it's possible to do on the human body -- especially when you get old -- like I am! (Our local Y gym is in a strip mall next to a nail salon and tanning salon, and I'm amazed at how many women can make a day of going from one to the other. Why are men so much better at not buying into this?)

Posted by: Armchair Mom | May 4, 2007 9:12 AM

Father of 4 - What kind of guy are you? Giving up shaving? LOL. That's no sacrifice. I don't know any man who actually enjoys shaving, so giving it up for lent kind of misses the point. Having four daughters and a wife has totally messed you up. You need to visit the sweat lodge.

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 9:13 AM

Proud papa I do miss Wegmans. Out here we have a pretty good selection of local meat and vegetables, but it is harder to find organic stuff in the store. I was so relieved to find my daughter's organic milk when we came out here to look for a house. We do have a whole foods and a nature's pantry though.

I used to live in the apartments within walking distance to Wegmans. I don't miss the apartment, but I miss the path behind them and the fair in the summer. That fair puts on really good concerts: Sugar Ray, Rick Springfield, and Blink 182 have all been there.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 9:15 AM

this is fun finding out what everyone looks like. I've got medium brown,just past shoulders, wavy hair. I was blonde until just last year when I frankly got tired of all the work. I think I look better with the brown, but miss the blonde.

Re: good haircuts - worth their weight in gold! A really good haircut truly is completely different than Supercuts, even for men, and will last a good deal longer because it is cut properly. I used to love Phillippe at Salon Christophe in DC but since my hair was long, I only went about 4 times a year.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 4, 2007 9:15 AM

My hair is one of the only physical characteristics that I am comfortable with in myself. Long, thick, wavy and a deep, dark brown (with some subtle red highlights when I'm in the sun).

It can be unruly, esp. when it is humid and it wants to be more curly, but with some effort it looks really good. I've never dyed my hair b/c I love the color. I'm approaching my mid 30's and have no gray yet, but am dreading it b/c I love my hair color as is. I do obsess about this impending change a little. (However, I love the Dove shampoo commercial with the older women on it. The one woman has GORGEOUS, thick, layered silver hair . . . if I can age that gracefully I will be very happy.)

I'm 38 wks preggo right now. I've noticed no change except my red highlights are more noticeable despite not having been in the sun. I have found this odd.

I do believe that obsessing about hair is NOT a strict female thing. I know lots of men who are obsessed about it, not just losing it but styling it well too.

Posted by: JS | May 4, 2007 9:15 AM

John Paul,

As a sacrifice, I gave up shaving for life!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 9:18 AM

Scarry, I haven't checked in on the blog in a while, congrats on the pregnancy!!!

Hair...I still spend waaaay too much getting it highlighted to keep the blonde that I started losing college. It's just who I am after almost 30 years and I don't think I'd recognize myself with the dull dishwater light brown hair that naturally grows out of my head at this point. I will say that services like that are much cheaper off of the coasts - I get better highlights now than I did at a salon with a Red Door in Pentagon Row - for half the price. Ah, middle America! Although I will say I have to FORCE the stylists not to give the bleached 'Texas' blonde. Honey and caramel tones, please!

Posted by: New SAHM in TX | May 4, 2007 9:20 AM

While discussion of hair is fun, can Leslie answer the question posed to her at 7:23am about her research? What journals has she published in? Is her work peer reviewed?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 9:24 AM

While discussion of hair is fun, can Leslie answer the question posed to her at 7:23am about her research? What journals has she published in? Is her work peer reviewed?

Posted by: | May 4, 2007 09:24 AM

I am giving a peer review to your question. Go away until Monday! Today is fun day!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 9:26 AM

my husband uses a "flowbee" type deal -- he hasn't had a professional hair cut in years. I've actually never seen him with a "Real" haircut". But I love him so much as is, I can't imagine that I'd find him anymore attractive if he had a professional do it!

My hair hasn't changed much, but I've noticed that my skin has really cleared up since I've become pregnant. It's my first pregnancy-- is this typical? I guess my hormones are actually in bablnce or something during my pregnancy. I guess this isn't the kind of info that people want tennagers to know about!! I always had skin problems and now "poof"-- gone!

Posted by: Penny | May 4, 2007 9:29 AM

On the whole hair donation thing: it's pretty straightforward, but make sure the stylist has actually done it before.

I had a 14" ponytail as wide as my small wrists to donate a few years back. I was trying a new stylist that had been recommended to me by a few people, and I asked if she had done the Locks of Love thing before. She assured me she had.

Turns out she hadn't. Or if she had, she had been dealing with hair far less thick and long than mine. She took out the coated elastics I had put in my hair at either end of the ponytail so it would be neatly contained. (And the top one was at a length where she could have easily just snipped above it and had plenty of hair to work with for the cut I wanted).

She then wetted - but didn't shampoo or condition - my hair, THEN tried to band it wet with a too-small elastic (ouch!). She didn't even try to comb out the knots she had put in during this process. The result was a snarled mess. (At least the haircut was good since she shampooed my hair after that mess.)

I took the ponytail home and let it dry in a box and rearranged it with a comb wetted with a light detangler, but I probably lost 1/3 of the ponytail to knotting and breakage from the process used by the stylist.

It would have been better cutting off the freshly cleaned ponytail I prepared at home before going in to get styled!

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 4, 2007 9:30 AM

This reminds me - I have a hair poll. We're off to an 80's party this weekend, yes where everyone is dressing up. It's going to be great. But I'm trying to decide between quintessential 80's hairstyles.(I have naturally wavy hair that is best described anyway as a bad perm unless I straighten it. It's long hair with layers in front, the shortest of which are about the length of my bangs in jr. high. I have a lot of options.) So - with layered tshirts tied at the side, a jean skirt with lace leggings, jelly bracelets up both arms and huge plastic earrings, which would be the better:

A)Sideways ponytail with scrunchies to complement layered t-shirts
B)crimped hair, possibly adorned with clips of some type
C) good old small town perm-look with biiiig mall bangs

Posted by: New SAHM in TX | May 4, 2007 9:32 AM

Fred, nope, that was definitely not me. However, we can include in the album with other such classics as:

Snippity Do Dah
Snip, Snip, Snip, snip your man thing
Gettin' snippy with it.
and Michael Jackson's Snip It

Posted by: Chris | May 4, 2007 9:32 AM

Long, dark, wavy.curly hair that I try to straighten about 75 % of the time. One of those cases where you always want what you don't have or the hairdresser just does it so good that you can't replicate it, so you do what you know.

I am due on Wednesday and got mine cut yesterday and I have a ton of new, baby hairs!!! I can't keep up with my shedding at home. Drives my husband crazy!

Posted by: Lou | May 4, 2007 9:33 AM

C


I loved big bangs and thanks!

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 9:35 AM

To New SAHM,

D) very large shoulder pads

To Chris

Don't you mean Devo's Snip It, Snip it good?

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 9:36 AM

This is fun day so perhaps I should stay quiet. But hair is important. Try going without it as a result of chemotherapy, as I have for the past several months. It's sheer hell. It's cute to shave your head only if you haven't been forced into baldness. Seriously, the hairpiece is not conducive to my credibility at work and it has seriously cramped my business goals this past winter. I'm not comfortable and that has its effects. I have months to go before having enough that looks good, much less back to my usual shoulder length. Perhaps we all should stop and think when we judge people on the basis of their hair -- then maybe it could become less important at work.

Posted by: JS | May 4, 2007 9:38 AM

I have crap hair... brown, thin, basically straight but flips out in odd places, holds no curl yet cannot be flat-ironed. I started going grey this year and I hope it goes all grey and fast, like my mother's, since I have heard grey hair has a thicker texture. Is it true? or shall I just forget about it & go back to a military crop?

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 9:39 AM

I hope the distaff side of the blog is snorting coffee out of their collective noses thinking about this cruel treatment of men!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 9:39 AM

... and many more!

Posted by: Chris | May 4, 2007 9:40 AM

Fred, my husband actually wants me to go to JoAnn fabrics or someplace similar to buy shoulder pads as well! I said we didn't need to spend anymore for one night of revelry than the $30 I've already dropped on the bracelets, earrings and leggings and neon tees. Sadly EVERYTHING was available at Target. I guess even bad fashion gets 100% recycled.

Posted by: New SAHM in TX | May 4, 2007 9:40 AM

I had straight strawberry blonde hair until I hit puberty, then it went dark auburn/brown and kinky frizzy. Kids in school called me ChiaPet. Went through teenage angst and had a short SHORT bi-level cut with the rat-tail in high school. Grew it out to my waist in college/young adulthood. Very Thick & wavy when it's long (weight pulls the curls down). The top of my head always had (still has) this frizzy helmet that I can't get rid of. I've done Locks of Love 4 times...before the birth of each of my kids. I was definitely surprised by the amount of hair lost about 4-5months after giving birth each time. Boy was I thankful for the thick hair! I don't have time/patience/ability to fuss with it. Scrunch in some gel and go. Stylists always charge a small fortune to cut it (surcharges for thick and more surcharges for long) so I don't go very often.

Posted by: 2girls2boys | May 4, 2007 9:42 AM

My 13 y.o. daughter cannot understand why I wear my hair short... for her the longer the better. For me, it comes down to 2 things - ease of care, and less-obvious on the gray. Just over a year ago (approaching age 45) I started getting my hair highlighted, after many messy attempts with Clairol at home. Highlighting doesn't cover the gray, just (again) makes it less obvious - and less kinky somehow. But it is WAY expensive!

My natural texture is slightly wavy... I went thru a period in my teens when it was much more kinky, then, sometime in college it calmed down. (This after having straight hair as a kid.) I did lose hair after pregnancy (more after #2 than #1) but it came back fine.

Then there was my late mother - undergoing chemotherapy, she used to say the only good thing about losing your hair is that it frequently comes back curly. The moment it came back and was long enough, she went back to bleaching it blonde (as she had done since her teens).

A word about men and hair - my uncle (still a very good-looking man at age 75) is the vainest individual I know. When my aunt gave him a surprise birthday party, after walking in the house, he immediately ran to the bathroom to comb his hair before greeting his friends and family.

Posted by: LW | May 4, 2007 9:43 AM

Shoulder Pads and Big Hair. Think of the "Moonlighting" cast with that total babe Cybill Shepherd!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 9:43 AM

I found my first gray hair on my 18th birthday! I have dark brown hair, and they gray/white hair seems like blinking neon to me. I resisted for a long while but ended up coloring my hair when I was 27 -- that was 21 years ago! I use to keep my hair short to hide any part (and regrowth). Then I could color my hair every 6 weeks without anyone knowing my secret. Now I have so much gray/white hair that I have to color my hair every 3 weeks. It's a big pain in the behind, but I just cannot see myself as totally white! Most people see me with my children (ages 10 & 8) and assume I'm 38 to 40. I know if I stopped coloring that I would soon be asked if I was their grandmother! I have my father's hair. When I was born he was 50 percent gray. Several people assumed he was my grandfather (very embarrasing!).

I have always been very particular about my hair color, but I'm also concerned about price. I used to go to a hair stylist school -- great service, amazing price, but you pay with time. The students have to have each step checked by the instructors. After I had kids, I decided my time was more valuable to me. I ended up finding a stylist I love at the Hair Cuttery, who does a fabulous job at a fraction of the cost of the fancier salons!

Posted by: SLP | May 4, 2007 9:49 AM

We can talk about men's hair - combover vs let it go vs rug? Guys - ditch the combover as you aren't fooling anyone and it only makes you look foolish when it gets blown in the wind.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 4, 2007 9:53 AM

My hair is really thick normally, so during pregnancy it was totally out of control. The worst part was post pregnancy - I think for a good six months I was shedding more than the cat and dog combined. And fairly long hair at that. It was everywhere, despite my best efforts. Ugh!

Glad to be back to my normal hair. Have layers in it now to cut down on the bulk. Unfortunately, those shorter layers seem to have more wave to them, so I am fighting "Big hair". I should move to Dallas, I could do big hair with the best of them.

Posted by: Robin L. | May 4, 2007 9:55 AM

I know I'm one of the younger posters for this discussion, but I've been very entertained by it. For all the women out there I want to say that you can look so much better if you just get a good haircut. Last week I took my mother to O'Hair salon in Gaithersburg to get a real, professional (non-Hair Cuttery) cut for the first time, since well, the 80s. She's in her early 50s and the long, straight hair was dragging her face down. We all have thick lustrious hair, but there comes a point where its too overwhelming. Well, to make a long story short, she got a beautiful, medium length layered cut, and she looks 10 years younger. She doesn't have to do much with it, either. So again I say ladies, invest in a good cut with someone who knows what they are doing and it can make all the difference.

Posted by: college kid | May 4, 2007 9:55 AM

Now to make (most) of you ladies envious. My sainted mother had jet black hair until the day she died at 74. She never colored it. This still causes her sister pain as sis has been coloring her hair since 35.

Sainted mother also had a widow's peak!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 9:56 AM

Didn't anyone on here grow up in the 70's? If you did, then you HAD to have the Farrah Fawcett! Perms to add body, hot rollers, curing irons, blow drying forever...just to have it fall by 5th period!

When I was pregnant, I had the best hair of my life -- thick, healthy, shiny...I've been told it's the pregnancy vitamins, but I think it's because I stopped perming when I was expecting #1. I changed stylists about a year after #2, and she noticed that I have wavy hair and I don't need perms to have body. Haven't had one since (and I love the climax of Legally Blonde, when Reese Witherspoon uses her knowledge of permanent wave chemicals and water to free her client).

I started highlighting when I was 37, beacuse I had gone mousy and I wanted my natural color back. It used to be (and, thanks to the magic of Margo, is again) the color of cherry wood (brown with reddish highlights), very pretty. I keep it shoulder-length with long layers or in a bob with bangs (usually my summer cut -- got it last week). Simple, neat -- my kids call it the 'teacher cut.' It's not too thick, and it's got some gray, but I don't have any real problems with it.

I like Wegman's (I live north of Baltimore and they opened one nearby last year), but the BEST grocery store EVER is Harris Teeter. I shopped at one in Raleigh for three years, and I make a point to go to the one in Corolla when I go to Duck in the summer. And there was a small market down there called Freshmarket, which sold gourmet items, produce and such (I think it was a local chain).

You know, I like not having to save the world on Fridays!

Posted by: educmom | May 4, 2007 9:56 AM

I am the laziest hair person on the planet. I haven't personally used a hair dryer in YEARS. Only when I get a blow out/cut at the salon.

My saving grace:

Kerastase products. They have changed my life. Using the frizz serum stuff at night, I wake up in the morning to absolutely perfect tousled/wavy hair that I can brush straight.

Posted by: SAHMbacktowork | May 4, 2007 9:58 AM

This is fun!

I have scarry hair, with a little chasmosaur triangle thrown in when it's short. It's thick and very dark brown and I can do anything with it. I can't believe I put a perm in this hair in high school!

It's a choppy, punk rock bob right now, but I have to use an iron on it to keep from looking like a triangle bell head. My husband loves my hair short, but I'll only cut it if I'm thin. If I'm fat, I need to fall back on long, beautiful hair.

During pregnancy your hair doesn't shed. Since I'm usually a major shedder, that was great. 4 months later, the shedding is back.

Penny- Hormones are crazy. Who know's what's going on with your skin!

Scarry and Emily- Pregnancy weight gain. You docs need to chill. You're not supposed to put on more than 3lbs in those first 3 months, so what's the biggie? My weight gain was whacky. 22lbs at 28 weeks and 23lbs at 41 weeks. Yes, I gained 1lb in the last 13 weeks. The doctor told me to cut back on the carbs (not dairy or veggies, though) and get more fat and protein at 28 weeks or I'd have a huge baby and be huge myself. The baby was a perfect 7lb 2oz, though she came out transverse, so she felt liek twice that. I still more or less eat like that. It's much healthier.

Posted by: atb | May 4, 2007 9:58 AM

My hair started thinning 10 years ago, very traumatic for me at the time (hard enough for men when this happens, for a woman even more difficult). I cried myself to sleep a few times, and ruined many a good day worrying about it. At some point I decided to not be attached to this issue anymore. I just don't pay attention to my hair. I brush it, try to keep what I have from frizzing and flying all over the place. In some strange way, because I don't worry about anymore, I am happier with my hair than I was before it became so thin. I slowly began to carry this attitude over to the rest of my body, I keep up a minimum standard of grooming, but I never beat up on myself. You have only a limited amount of time and energy in this life, and there are so many wonderful things to see, learn, and experience. I'd rather fill the space between my ears with that stuff than a bunch of fluff I can't control.

Posted by: rumicat | May 4, 2007 9:59 AM

ooh - fun topic!
First, Chasmosaur, please please please share if you've found a good place to buy heavy barettes - I am constantly breaking mine because my hair is thick, but I really prefer the way they look compared to rubber bands.

I have long, brown (though it was more blonde-ish when I didn't work in an office and it got more sun - it bleaches out really easily), straight hair that i never did a thing with until I moved to the DC area and discovered humidity ... and FRIZZ - ack!! It took me at least six months to get the hang of using a blowdryer and several different products to get it to lie down and behave - and when it works, I have pretty decent hair - it will hold a style for several days (I get teased about being a "dirty" girl because I try to avoid washing my hair as long as possible because of the effort to fix it again)

I've never been to a "nice" salon for a haircut - I go to Mastercuts/Supercuts/Great Clips/Hair Cuttery or wherever twice a year - but I am curious how much better the cut would be if I ever decided to splurge ...

I dyed it once in college (okay - twice) but when it was pointed out that I had to maintain the roots after that, I pretty much said to hell w/ it - too much work - but I do like my hair and wish I had a few more tricks up my sleeve.

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 4, 2007 9:59 AM

I too started getting gray early. My hair was very dark brown so when I started coloring it I had to keep it up as if I didn't I would get the "skunk stripe" in the part. As the years have gone on I go lighter (not blond) so the stripe doesn't show as much. It is long - close to half way down my back and most of the time it is in a pony tail at work.
Bangs are the bain of my existence. I made the mistake of having them cut once and was miserable for a year.
A good haircut is well worth the price as is a good conditioner, hair dryer and curling iron.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 4, 2007 10:00 AM

Is this `The View`? Pardon me, I have to throw myself out the window.

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 10:03 AM

atb I think she is looking at my records from the last baby when I only gained 10 pounds. I am telling you though I am eating away.

I wish my skin was clear. I would take clear skin over nice hair any day. Pregnacny is not kind to my complexion.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 10:03 AM

A very good family friend, who is also very vain had a hair surgery that went something like this: Cut out the skin with no hair on it, and sew it back together. The facelift is free, I guess. Ewww.

Posted by: atb | May 4, 2007 10:05 AM

I agree a good haircut is well worth the price -- however, it doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg! I've been all over in search of a good cut and spent hundreds of dollars doing it. When I ended up at Hair Cuttery for the less expensive coloring, the stylist was as good (if not better!) than several of the high-end stylists. Why go brand name if you can find a similar generic product?

Posted by: SLP | May 4, 2007 10:07 AM

KLB - I love my bangs!! Actually, that's not completely true - I kind of think bangs are doofy - I envy the girls that don't need them - but I have a big nose, and for some reason, people with big noses look better with bangs :(

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 4, 2007 10:07 AM

Has anyone else noticed that male babies seem to be born with lots of hair but females are cue-balls?

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 10:08 AM

I'm surprised no one has really commented on hair and identity. Never mind curly or straight, impossible or easy to care for - those can always be altered. But a red head is pretty much red forever.

I am 46, and both my kids (teens) have red hair. I HATED my hair for at least 35 years. Really. I was teased mercilessly and could never seem to get a style that I was comfortable with. Of course I still yearn for rod-straight hair, parted down the middle. Think 1971.

And forget about coloring it - I have eyebrows and eyelashes to match. It is gradually getting lighter, and the one saving grace is that the "gray" grows in "blonde", sort of, so I've got kind of a Bonnie Raitt thing going on. So I finally (kind of) like it. Oh well.

Posted by: fabubabe | May 4, 2007 10:09 AM

I just got a big cut yesterday--went from all one length to bangs. I loved the cut so, so much I walked around all day with a spring in my step--like I now ruled the world or something. Plus there's nothing else like getting a compliment from someone else's husband to remind your husband that you are still a babe :-) Getting it colored today. Watch out, everyone--I just might take on global warming. Isn't it crazy what a good haircut can do?

Posted by: Anon today | May 4, 2007 10:10 AM

I used to drive 3 hours from Houston to Austin to get a haircut from Francisco, my college guy. I loved him. It sucked to move. I found a women in Birmingham who was great with hair, but I couldn't stand her. She was about 40, a total MILF, about 50% plastic, and stared at herself in the mirror so much I'm surprised my hair wasn't ruined. I haven't found anyone in DC, so Bubbles it is. I do love their Cibu products.

Posted by: atb | May 4, 2007 10:11 AM

DD #1 had very little hair and FANTASTIC eyebrows - she didn't get a haircut until after she turned 2. DD #2 had great hair and very sparse eyebrows. She got haircut starting about 15 months. Finally got good eyebrows at about a year.

Funny watching the genetics play out...

Robin L.

Posted by: Re: Babies | May 4, 2007 10:11 AM

Ooh, hair. Bane of my existence! I normally like longer hair but not too long, as it is thin and the longer it gets the cruddier it looks. I sucked it up and grew it out for Locks of Love, then had it butchered by the woman at Hair Cuttery. For a while it looked like LMS's hair in the picture at the top of this blog. My peers--all younger than me--said I looked like a soccer mom, and they were right. One thing I hate is "mom hair," and I had it. It's growing out now--I can almost get it into a ponytail--but I miss my old hair. I found my hair was lower-maintenance when it was long, because bad hair days meant ponytails. I can't escape a bad hair day now. And I'm obligated to "style" it, whereas when it was longer, a blowdryer was all I needed (and usually not even that).

I will never go back to short "mom" hair. Ponytails are less maintenance than what I've got now. I'm not looking forward to growing older, since my hair is thin as it is, and thinning hair runs in my family. My mother and grandmother perm, curl, pouf, and spray their hair every day to cover up bald spots. I don't think I'd have the patience for that, so when I get older I'll get transplants, Rogaine, or a wig.

Posted by: Mona | May 4, 2007 10:11 AM

'I know at some point he's going to have to have "boy" hair, but can't an 18-month-old keep those curls for a while longer'

Boy hair? stop by the local high school, curly and long is back in style.

Posted by: experienced mom | May 4, 2007 10:12 AM

Every time I get invited over my sister's for dinner, someone finds a strand of hair in their food. It's become like a lottery of sorts.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 10:12 AM

Thanks to whoever posted the Biotin tip earlier -- I will try it.

Before our wedding 6 yrs ago my husband said he thought my hair was starting to fall out. I never noticed a changed but what followed was about 4 years of obsessing and depressing. I finally found a stylist who said that hair changes textures every seven years, that it was just thin (I wasn't losing it), and that I had just hit a cycle.

I can't wait for the next one -- my hair in my teens/20s used to be so thick that a heavy barrette would barely click shut. Now I am lucky if I can get a skinny barrette to not slide out of my hair. :(

I am worried about what will happen when I get pregnant -- I've heard lots of hair loss happens then. One of my husband's cousins really started going bald after she had kids -- it was tragically obvious. The last time we saw her, she had a hairpiece and looked like her old self again. I don't want that to happen to me.

I am often jealous of DH's thick, lustrous hair, which he hates because it's hard to manage. It's probably payback for all the gel/blow-drying that made it frizzy and brittle when he was in HS. He's had a few silver strands here and there since we started dating (almost 16 years ago), but no receding so I am glad he's going to keep his hair!

Oh and New SAHM in Texas, I vote for A. Nothing says 80s like a side ponytail! Throw the Tiffany mall bangs in for extra fun. :)

Posted by: NY Lurker | May 4, 2007 10:17 AM

Hee hee -- Fred, I was born with a full head of thick dark 1/4 Italian-American hair. My parents joked that they gave birth to a monkey!

Posted by: NY Lurker | May 4, 2007 10:18 AM

js
My wife went thru chemotherapy four years ago. You are more critical about your hair than anyone else and believe it or not when it grows back it is thicker than before. Good luck on your chemo.

Posted by: phil | May 4, 2007 10:18 AM

"I've been growing my hair out and I plan to donate it to Locks of Love soon. Does anyone have any experiences with that or recomendations of places in Fairfax, PW or Loudoun that participate with Locks of Love?"

STAY AWAY from Hair Cuttery on Rockville Pike. The woman there must have thought I was 45 years old for the soccer-mom haircut she gave me. She chopped it all off in an attractive bob, longer on the sides than in the back, then proceeded to do this weird feathery thing. Four months later it still looks terrible. I have gone to two other Hair Cutterys (Gaithersburg and College Park) with good results. They are a sponsor of LoL; that's why I chose them. But I'd advise cutting off the ponytail yourself and going to a professional to get the ends fixed. My old guy, Tony, is at Art F/X in Germantown. He's great, a little costly, but worth it--I stopped going to him because it's so far and he kept trying to get me to dye my hair--and the one good thing I actually like about my hair is its natural color.

Posted by: Mona | May 4, 2007 10:18 AM

I let my 8 year old son grow his hair out -- he loved it! I told him that I wanted to get it trimmed for Easter since he would be seeing his grandmother. (I wasn't sure what my mother-in-law would think, plus my husband was starting to get really annoyed with the length.) All my son said was "don't let them cut it too short." I thought I had reached a perfect compromise between my son and husband. My son didn't say anything until he was getting ready for bed that night -- he started to cry and cry and cry. "I miss my hair!!!!!" he wailed! I felt soooo bad! With a girl and a boy, I always thought hair issues would be centered around her -- boy was I wrong!

Posted by: SLP | May 4, 2007 10:19 AM

Wow - who knew so many people cared so much about their hair? But I'm clearly in the minority, so maybe I'm weird for not caring?

I really don't see how this relates to balance though. I spend the same amount of time on my hair post-child as I did before-child and do with-child. I do spend a decent amount on getting it highlighted, but just otherwise don't care. It looks fine most days with me spending about 4 minutes tops on it.

Posted by: londonmom | May 4, 2007 10:20 AM

To TakomaMom:

Unfortunately, there is no one good place to find barrettes for heavy hair (as I'm sure you know).

For day to day, I cruise Claire's or the department store accessories sections for the occasional "thick hair" barrettes - they do me for a time. (As far as department stores goes, Nordstrom's was usually the best bet.)

I've found my cooler and more formal heavy barrettes from good arts and crafts fairs. I think they use the the artists use bigger barrettes to have a wider palette.

I used to buy them from museum stores (Winterthur used to carry several), but they all seem to have stopped carrying them. :(

Don't discount antique stores as well. I have one heavy comb with really long teeth (think something like the butterfly comb from "Titanic" as far as the teeth go). I rarely use it, but it's good in certain up-dos. But sometimes you see barrettes there, too, but usually they can be pricey since they are really formal hair accessories.

Good luck...

Posted by: Chasmosaur | May 4, 2007 10:22 AM

Is this `The View`? Pardon me, I have to throw myself out the window.

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 10:03 AM

Your holiness, your displeasure is noted, please scram now.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 4, 2007 10:23 AM

Before today, the word "hair" has appeared in 744 post by 351 different contributors.

top 10 listed below:

9 foamgnome
9 Meesh
10 Leslie
10 Megan
10 Megan's Neighbor
14 Emily
15 cmac
15 Mona
16 KLB SS MD
17 Scarry
23 Father of 4

Posted by: Blog Stats | May 4, 2007 10:24 AM

A mom friend of mine who has a very punk kind of personal style has a son who says he wants to grow up to be a rock star. For his first day of kindergarten he begged to have blue hair. His mom was totally amused, and dyed it for him. The poor kid got sent home! I was so shocked--I mean, kids go to kindergarten in Superman costumes all the time, right? What's wrong with blue hair? Or has kindergarten just changed a whole lot since my day?

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 10:28 AM

My strait black hair became slightly wavy after DS was born, then much more frizzy/curly (depending on the amount of gel used) after curly-haired daughter was born (both with golden light brown hair). DH who is a really "enlightened" guy in all other ways has nicely, lovingly but persistently asked me not to have short hair (or "hair helmet" as he is afeared it would become). Soooo,it's either 15 minutes with the blow dryer and round brushes to avoid the frizzies or the side-parted, shortest-layer-tucked-behind one-ear ponytail. (All I can think about when I write this is that Sex in the City episode about no NY girl wearing a scrunchie!) How old is too old for the pony tail fall-back position?
But what KILLS me is the cost to cover my ever increasing "white highlights". It's tough to do with almost black hair without looking "goth"--which is just not this suburban mom's look!
It may be a topic considered shallow by some, but for us girls hair is the accessory that you wear. every. day.

Posted by: mj | May 4, 2007 10:29 AM

One of my goals in life is to spend as little time and money on my hair as possible. After several years of trying various products and stylists, I learned that in my case, none of this stuff makes a difference--I have yet to meet any stylist who can do anything with super-curly hair other than make it look like shorter super-curly hair. I could let my dog chew off the ends and it would look pretty much the same.

So here's me: red hair (darker now than when I was young, but still decidedly red), long at the moment, very very very very curly. Every couple of years I get it cut fairly short and donate it to Locks of Love. Three times a week I wash my hair, condition it, comb through some mousse to reduce frizz and I'm done. Never touch a blow dryer. Takes five minutes to style. Two minutes on the mornings I don't wash it.

Could it look better? Probably. But I don't care. I'd rather not deal with it. I don't understand these people who spend gobs of money or time getting perfect haircuts and their curly hair straightened. Who wants to spend more than five minutes dealing with their hair each day? I don't get it.

Posted by: Sarah | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM

Fred, your wife has more experience with these things than I do, but I (a woman) had a shock of black hair when I was born and my brother (who ended up with his own shock of black hair) was blonde and wispy to the extent he had hair at all.

I love my hair but it's opinionated. It's to the middle of my back, curly, and its natural brown with blonde and red highlights and some gray that sometimes bothers me and sometimes does not. In humid weather it turns into a nimbus. When I pull it back I have a perfect spit curl in front that looks pretentious as hell but I can't avoid without pinning it back. I'm too lazy--can't be bothered to do more than oil it when I get out of the shower and let it air dry. (Oil is wonderful for curly hair.)

My hair is not easy to cut without turning me into a bush. I finally found the best hairdresser I've ever had, and I'm planning to move. This kills me.

Posted by: Usual Lurker | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM

"Wow - who knew so many people cared so much about their hair? But I'm clearly in the minority, so maybe I'm weird for not caring?"

Londonmom, I'm with you. When I read the line about caring about your hair being a quintisentially female trait I couldn't decide whether to laugh or gag.

I found a fantastic stylist who gives me a good haircut that's easy to style; I probably spend about 10 minutes on it tops, most days much less (one of the glories of working from home...)

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM

Greys? Ha...I wish I'd have that problem. At least if you have greys, it means you have hair you can dye. And to me, few things look more lovely than a mature woman with shiny silvery hair. There's a mayonnaise commercial on TV where the woman has the most startlingly silver hair, and I think she's gorgeous.

I'd kill for BF's hair. Thick and coarse (when he cleans his apartment I told him to rinse the gel out of his hair so he can use the Brillo pad on top of his head--he didn't appreciate that one much), I love the texture of his hair. Mine just feels like cornsilk. His is jet black shot through with strands of pure white. He's going to look gorgeous when he's older. His sister has beautiful hair too--long and thick, but with no grey (she leads a very pampered life, whereas he is stressed all the time).

Posted by: Mona | May 4, 2007 10:32 AM

These days with a four month old, it's a good hair day when I have time to wash out the sweet potatoes!

Posted by: ptjobftmom | May 4, 2007 10:33 AM

klb - same hair color/gray issues for me. I didn't realize how light "light brown" was till my hair dresser told me I had to go lighter because of all the gray. People that haven't seen me for years are shocked - but the point between white and dark brown is... light brown. I am considering some "low lights" but I don't want my hair to look like a patch work. Also agree that a good cut is work 100 hair products.

As for the blog today - aren't we lucky that we have the luxury of even talking about hair? I have a friend that completed chemo about 6 months ago, she had blonde (color treated) straight hair before chemo and now has brown curly hair - and loves it! She just wanted hair back - regardless of what color or texture.

Posted by: cmac | May 4, 2007 10:35 AM

I've got waist-length wavy brown hair. It's layered and I've got bangs. I don't dye it (although I've found three grey hairs recently).

I only blow dry it or flat iron it on the weekends. I just put it in a braid or bun for work.

Overall, I really like the long hair (except that they charge extra to cut it--WTF?). I only get it cut twice a year. But it's hard to stlye and takes forever to dry. I also spend a lot on products. I get the good shampoo, do deep treatments, etc.

My personal fave is Biosilk. It's great.

My husband is losing hair, so I just use the clippers on him. He really misses his hair and has dreams about it sometimes. My brother is totally metro and has great hair. The men in our family don't go bald. But he is very grey. He started greying at 22 and is about 1/3 greay at 30. I bet it'll be worse after he gets his Ph.D. :)

Posted by: Meesh | May 4, 2007 10:35 AM

My hair (like me) is the product of "mestizaje" as they say in my country of origin..meaning I have indigenous, African and Spanish ancestry. Boy was I happy when I found a Dominican hairstylist in this area!

My hair is kinky, but not that kinky so I sometimes hold out on getting a relaxer and just blow dry it straight. I don't color my hair, but do deep condition it every week either at home or at the salon.

None of the women in my family with kids lost her hair when she was pregnant, so I'm not afraid of that happening to me. However, most of them went prematurely gray and I'm not looking forward to that.

Biotin - I tried that and it gave me headaches.

Wegmans - I love, love, love this place! I first discovered it when I lived in Syracuse and now we try to go at least once a month to the one by Dulles airport - can't wait until they build one closer to us in Maryland. I find that their prices are lower than Safeway, Giant, and Bloom and we love their deli and fresh fish selections.

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 10:38 AM

Forgot to mention that my grandmother, mother and aunts who all went grey only have grey hair in their roots...how messed up is that?

My husband went prematurely bald, but was blonde until he was about 7 years old and then his hair turned dark brown. So yeah, my kid is going to have "interesting" hair.

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 10:44 AM

Staying on topic, yet another great song about hair from "South Pacific!"

Song: Im Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair Lyrics
Nellie:
I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair,
And send him on his way.

I'm gonna wave that man right outa my arms,

Nellie and Girls:
I'm gonna wave that man right outa my arms,
I'm gonna wave that man right outa my arms,
And send him on his way.

Don't try to patch it up

Girls:
Tear it up, tear it up!

Nellie:
Wash him out, dry him out,

Girls:
Push him out, fly him out,

Nellie:
Cancel him and let him go!

Girls:
Yea, sister!

Nellie:
I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair,
I'm gonna wash that man right outa my hair,
And send him on his way.

If a man don't understand you,
If you fly on separate beams,
Waste no time, make a change,
Ride that man right off your range.
Rub him out of the roll call
And drum him out of your dreams.

Girls:
Oho! If you laugh at different comics,
If you root for different teams,
Waste no time, weep no more,
Show him what the door is for.
Rub him out of the roll call
And drum him out of your dreams.

Nellie:
You can't light a fire when the woods are wet,

Girls:
No!

Nellie:
You can't make a butterfly strong,

Girls:
Hmm, hmm!

Nellie:
You can't fix an egg when it ain't quite good,

Girls:
And you can't fix a man when he's wrong!

Nellie:
You can't put back a petal when it falls from a flower,
Or sweeten up a fellow when he starts turnin' sour

Girls:
Oh no! Oh no!

Nellie and Girls:
If his eyes get dull and fishy,
When you look for glints and gleams,
Waste no time,
Make a switch,
Drop him in the nearest ditch!
Rub him out of the roll call,
And drum him out of your dreams
Oho! Oho!

Nellie:
I went to wash that man right outa my hair,
I went to wash that man right outa my hair,
I went to wash that man right outa my hair,
And sent him on his way.

Girls:
She went to wash that man right outa my hair,
She went to wash that man right outa my hair,
She went to wash that man right outa my hair,

Nellie and Girls:
And send him on his way!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 10:49 AM

India Arie "I am not my hair"

Little girl with the press and curl
Age eight I got a Jheri curl
Thirteen I got a relaxer
I was a source of so much laughter
At fifteen when it all broke off
Eighteen and went all natural
February two thousand and two
I went and did
What I had to do
Because it was time to change my life
To become the women that I am inside
Ninety-seven dreadlock all gone
I looked in the mirror
For the first time and saw that HEY....

[Chorus]
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectations no no
I am not my hair
I ma not this skin
I am a soul that lives within

[Talking:]
What'd she do to her hair? I don't know it look crazy
I like it. I might do that.
Umm I wouldn't go that far. I know .. ha ha ha ha

[Verse 2]
Good hair means curls and waves
Bad hair means you look like a slave
At the turn of the century
Its time for us to redefine who we be
You can shave it off
Like a South African beauty
Or get in on lock
Like Bob Marley
You can rock it straight
Like Oprah Winfrey
If its not what's on your head
Its what's underneath and say HEY....

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person?
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Oooh
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)
I am expressing my creativity..
(Whoa, whoa, whoa)

[Verse 3]
Breast Cancer and Chemotherapy
Took away her crown and glory
She promised God if she was to survive
She would enjoy everyday of her life ooh
On national television
Her diamond eyes are sparkling
Bald headed like a full moon shining
Singing out to the whole wide world like HEY...

[Chorus 2x]

[Ad lib]
If I wanna shave it close
Or if I wanna rock locks
That don't take a bit away
From the soul that I got
Dat da da dat da [4x]
If I wanna where it braided
All down my back
I don't see what wrong with that
Dat da da dat da [4x]

[Talking:]
Is that India.Arie?
Ooh look she cut her hair!
I like that, its kinda PHAT
I don't know if I could do it.
But it looks sharp, it looks nice on her
She got a nice shaped head
She got an apple head
I know right?
It's perfect.

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 10:52 AM

I really don't see how this relates to balance though. I spend the same amount of time on my hair post-child as I did before-child and do with-child. I do spend a decent amount on getting it highlighted, but just otherwise don't care. It looks fine most days with me spending about 4 minutes tops on it.

Posted by: londonmom | May 4, 2007 10:20 AM

Sure, londonmom, but I do see this as a balance issue in a light-hearted way, one component of the category of "how do I find time to maintain and enhance my appearance and attractiveness after kids arrive" in thefamily. Those of us who highlight our hair have to prioritize the time to get it highlighted and while once every 5 - 6 weeks was no big deal before our kids joined us, for several of us that appointment is not as easily made a priority after children. I was prematurely grey - had a lovely streak of grey in my hair at 16. By 30 it had grown and was not nearly so lovely. I can't frankly recall what my "natural" color is any more, but having fun with my color and highlights is part of maintaining my image for myself and not feeling "mom-like".

My solution to the push-pull between my needs and my families was to introduce my kids to my stylist and do all three appointments in one visit. We love our stylist - she's great with my color and also great with my kids. My kids adore talking to her and the time together doing even something mundane. This approach makes the 2 hour appt. on a Saturday afternoon something guilt-free instead of, guilt-inducing.

Posted by: Megan's Neighbor | May 4, 2007 10:53 AM

Blog Stats, come on now, you've put me at the top of the shoe list and now today, the hair list with none other than women? Something is wrong, your credibility is sinking, I can't see it, I mean, a blind guy, shoes and hair?

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 10:55 AM

Blog Stats,

I did not make the top ten on this one. Yahoo, you make me happy today!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 10:58 AM

Blog reminded me of the John Edwards clip currently going around the office on his hair care...the 'I feel pretty' song in the backround is great -- but I think it's when John uses the compact that really takes it over the top for me...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2AE847UXu3Q

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:02 AM

No CTOTD but I will give you

Fred's Parenting Tip of the Day

When your teenage girl is heartbroken over that guy that just dumped her, try singing a few verses of "Wash that man right out of my hair."

You may be surprised how effective it is! If you can get her to sing along with you and make it her theme song, even better!

Hey, this worked for me!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 11:02 AM

Well, John Edwards is pretty!

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 11:04 AM

moxiemom: gfy

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 11:04 AM

Sorry, what does gfy mean?

Posted by: to John Paul | May 4, 2007 11:08 AM

"Who wants to spend more than five minutes dealing with their hair each day?"

Sarah, from your 10:31 post, and my experience from working at the HairCuttery, I can tell you that there are several dozen women right now that want to throttle you. You are flaunting it.

I also might want to add that going to a professional hairdresser is therapy to many. If you look at it that way, think of it as counseling... and the styling is free.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 11:14 AM

Hair is a big deal.

One thing I'm grateful for is that when I got cancer it was early stage and I didn't have to have treatments that caused me to lose my hair.

It's better to have it even if it isn't thick and curly.

My hat goes off to all who've ever lost their hair.

Posted by: AnnR | May 4, 2007 11:15 AM

Sarah, I'm with you... I spend five minutes on my hair too. The thing is, mine looks like crap no matter what!

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 11:16 AM

gfy=go fool yourself

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:17 AM

fabubabe, I hear you on the red hair love/hate thing. When I was a kid, I absolutely hated my hair color and all of the attention it attracted. I'm adopted, and I was constantly asked where I got my red hair from. By the time I hit my teenage years, I felt like I deserved a medal for not deadpanning "from Clairol" every time I got that question.

The good thing about red hair, I've learned as I've gotten older, is that the color is unusual and pretty enough on its own to make up for the lack of a real hairstyle. Even on days when all I do is pull it back into a ponytail, I get comments on how pretty my hair is. I can't say as I mind that at this point in my life.

Posted by: NewSAHM | May 4, 2007 11:18 AM

My hair is very thick, straight, and dark brown with noticible gray in it. I usually dye it my natural color, but since I'm pregnant, the gray is visible these days. I usually shed quite a bit, but I have noticed that since I have been pregnant, I have not been shedding very much and my hair seems thicker than ever. Right now, it is shoulder length, and on good days, I blow it dry and curl it. On lazy days, I put it back in a nice barrett. Either way, it is pretty easy to take care of. In the summer I like to cut it into an earlength bob. Makes me look younger and cuter.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 11:18 AM

moxiemom: gfy

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 11:04 AM

My goodness your holiness - such language. Focus on getting canonized instead of calling names.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 4, 2007 11:20 AM

Thanks, Chasmosaur! It never occurred to me to look at Nordstrom's ... my mom has some lovely antique ones also - but they definitely require more effort to find!

Fred, it is hard not to smile when singing the South Pacific song :)

No premature grey in my family so far - my parents are in their 50s, and my mom has started to go grey, but my dad is still a dark brunette - though he looks much older with his full grey beard! I agree with Mona that silvery grey looks beautiful when it is well-maintained and don't think I'll mind when I am all-the-way grey - I think it is the in-between stage that's frustrating.

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 4, 2007 11:20 AM

somebody, quick, invite me into this blog today!

Posted by: The Shark | May 4, 2007 11:23 AM

"I am prematurely grey, so I have to dye it about every six weeks."

scarry,

Why do you "have" to dye it?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:26 AM

No one HAS to dye it, but I do when I'm not preggers. It looks better dyed. I'm sorry that offends you.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 11:28 AM

Could it look better? Probably. But I don't care. I'd rather not deal with it. I don't understand these people who spend gobs of money or time getting perfect haircuts and their curly hair straightened. Who wants to spend more than five minutes dealing with their hair each day? I don't get it.

Posted by: Sarah | May 4, 2007 10:31 AM

You're missing the point. If you get the right cut, you don't spend more than 5 minutes a day AND you look great.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:30 AM

"No one HAS to dye it, but I do when I'm not preggers. It looks better dyed. I'm sorry that offends you."

Doesn't offend me. (What makes you think it did?)

Just wondering.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:34 AM

A really good haircut truly is completely different than Supercuts, even for men, and will last a good deal longer because it is cut properly. I used to love Phillippe at Salon Christophe in DC but since my hair was long, I only went about 4 times a year.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 4, 2007 09:15 AM

all you have to do is watch the last 8 - 10 minutes of any What Not to Wear episode to see some really smart woman who decided her education and genius IQ was more important than maintaining her appearance, and you'll see a transformation from dowdy and stuck in the '80s to looks her age and sophisticated - in a good way.

Not that that's why men leave. But it's one reason why some men leave.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:35 AM

Fo4:

ive_seen_the_ads_but_im_not_bu

I remember Johnson's & Jonson's add when I was a kid where the guy washed his daughter's hair. At night the father turned into "Shampoo Man". I think it was revolutionary for its time and probably, in a way, gave permission for all future fathers to give their daughters a bath.

And yes, I washed all my kid's hair with Johnson & Johnson's Baby Shampoo No More Tears.

Father of 4 | 20070215 11:41

I can rehash the other 22 that contain "hair", but I'll spare you for the sake of the bloggers. You may now take your well deserved place among the ladies.

Posted by: Blog Stats: | May 4, 2007 11:37 AM

KLB SS MD: Never mention "combover" to a Purde grad! It brings back too many memories.

(For those who don't get the inside joke - for 25 years Purdue's men's basketball coach was Gene Keady. Keady was a throwback in many ways - he actually played for the Steelers - but he was called the "human combover." Seriously, the man had no hair above or even at ear level on his head; he grew the stuff below his ears incredibly long and then combed it over from left to right; then glued it down so no matter how much he sweated or jumped it would never budge. It seemed like Keady was the only person who didn't understand how absolutely ridiculous he looked. But it brings back memories - the man had us in the NCAA tournament on a regular basis.)

Posted by: Army Brat | May 4, 2007 11:38 AM

I and most of my friends are educated, intelligent, well read women. Right now as I am writing this I am listening to NPR, but whenever my friends get together our conversations always degenerate to our hair. We can talk about books we've read, our incompetent administration, or just life in general, but without fail its always about the hair.

Posted by: dym | May 4, 2007 11:38 AM

Hum along in your office . . .


Well I tried to make it sunday
but I got so da*n depressed
that I set my sights on Monday
and I got myself undressed
No I ain't ready for the altar,
but I do agree there's times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

Well I keep on thinking 'bout you
Sister golden hair surprise
and I just can't live without you
can't you see it in my eyes
I've been one poor correspondent
and I've been too, too hard to find
but it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle,
will you meet me in the air
will you love me just a little,
just enough to show you care
well I tried to fake it, I don't mind saying
I just can't make it

Well I keep on thinking 'bout you
Sister golden hair surprise
and I just can't live without you
can't you see it in my eyes
Now I've been one poor correspondent
and I've been too, too hard to find
but it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle,
will you meet me in the air
will you love me just a little,
just enough to show you care
well I tried to fake it, I don't mind saying
I just can't make it

Posted by: America Redux | May 4, 2007 11:42 AM

Fo4. You can sit next to me. You are loved and welcome among us. Any guy who can make conditioner recommendations is a true and dear friend of mine. Today, after learning about your hair salon experience, I discovered that I love you even more than I thought I did.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 11:46 AM

Thanks to whoever posted the John Edwards hair clip -- that made my day.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 11:55 AM

to dym: I always said the mark of a good female friend was the ability to speak both about NPR/NY Times topics and hair/clothes/hobbies. Too much of either is boring.

Posted by: Product of a Working Mother | May 4, 2007 11:57 AM

"I am prematurely grey, so I have to dye it about every six weeks."

scarry,

Why do you "have" to dye it?

Well because it looks better dyed and it makes me feel good about myself. Besides I have a hot husband and I don't want to look older than my 32 years.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 11:57 AM

Emily do you by any chance work out at the Sport and Health in Gaithersburg?

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 11:59 AM

Let us use a little proper grammar, well educated one. A bit of the succinct never hurts also. Try this. ("It's" is the contraction for it is. "Its" is the possessive case of it)


Most of my friends and I are educated, intelligent, well read women. As I write this, I am listening to NPR. But when my friends get together our conversations always degenerate to our hair. We could talk about books we've read, our incompetent administration, or just life in general, but it's always about the hair.

Posted by: to dym | May 4, 2007 12:01 PM

to dym

Does anyone else think to dym is annoying?

If yes, say yes its is.

Posted by: anon for this | May 4, 2007 12:04 PM

Emily do you by any chance work out at the Sport and Health in Gaithersburg?

Nope. But I wish I did.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 12:21 PM

Emily, although I don't know you, for some reason this woman at the gym gives me an "Emily" vibe. Weird.

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 12:23 PM

Worker bee: did your friend's child go to a private school? They tend to have more rules, although of ocurse public school administrators can be pretty flaky when deciding what's OK and what's not OK.

Your post and SLP made me think of my son, who will graduate in 29 days (not that he's counting or anything), and of the one in college. I didn't anticipate worrying about 'hair issues' when I had boys, either, but it didn't start with us until high school.
As another poster mentioned, long hair is now in again for teenage boys. The boys attended an all-male Catholic high school, with LOTS of rules about appearance. If the hair is over the eyes, covers the ears or hits the collar, you have until the Monday following a warning to get it cut. If you don't, you get detention until you do.
So, son #1 decided at the end of his freshman year that he wanted to let his hair grow over the summer and he wanted to start in May; I said fine, as long as he didn't ger hair detention. Since we were in a carpool, it took me about a week to realize he was sitting in h.d., and I dragged him right to a Hair Cuttery (they butchered it, BTW). Kept it as long as he could get away with until senior year, when he went with a professional look. Then he shaved it one week after he got to college!
Son #2 is the REALLY vain one. He goes with the longish, wavy and unkempt look (he has very thick beautiful blonde hair). He also keeps it highlighted (until about mid-winter, when the last highlights grow out -- he can't add new ones until summer, because no dye jobs is another rule). During winter break HIS freshman year, he decided to bleach it white-blond, which he had done in 8th grade. Well, when he went back, he got a special detention for TWO weeks, AND I had to pay about $200 to have it dyed to look natural. He actually spends more on his hair than I do!

Posted by: educmom | May 4, 2007 12:23 PM

I've hated my hair my entire life. Frizzy, thick, inconsistently curly. I could never figure it out. I'd spend 2 hours blow-drying it straight, then walk outside, and if there was even a hint of humidity in the air, POW! Frizz exploding everywhere!

I'd usually just wash my hair once a week, because afterwards the blow-drying and straightening would take half the night. Actually, I'd really have to schedule a hair night each week. Remember that line in the old film, "I'd like to see you, but I'm washing my hair."

That was really true for me!

Then a few months ago I had the Japanese hair straightening system done, which I'd been contemplating for years, and finally built up the courage to try. Permanently straight. Shiny. The hair I've dreamt of my entire life.

I just wash it, and it dries straight. No blow-dryer, no iron, no frizz.

A dream come true! For me at least.

Posted by: mle | May 4, 2007 12:40 PM

educmom - I love your descriptions of your sons' hair :) My son has been wanting to grow his hair out pretty much since the first time I made him sit still for a barber - now that the "long-ish, wavy, unkempt" look you described seems to be everywhere, I have been letting him go with it - but it's driving me CRAZY!! I think it's too long - I don't like that it's over his ears and hangs in his eyes ... he is getting a trim this month whether he wants it or not - but I think I will let him keep it long-ish on top.

Posted by: TakomaMom | May 4, 2007 12:53 PM

Discussions of swallowing would be welcome at this point...

Anyone else want to talk about it?

Posted by: BJ | May 4, 2007 12:56 PM

I love Fridays on here!

No one could possibly care, but...I have long, dark straight hair and bangs. It's what I lovingly refer to as my "wash and wear" hairstyle.

At least with my hairstyle, I have achieved balance ; )

Posted by: single western mom | May 4, 2007 12:59 PM

Dang, totally forgot to mention my big ol' Cruella da Ville streak that's right up front where I'd normally part my hair. I have the "black Irish" coloring (though hair's not quite so dark), and my dad's side tends to go grey early -- and it's really noticeable.

Honestly, I didn't really mind it -- I tend to have a baby face and look younger than I am, so I thought some grey hair might help clients take me more seriously. And my family doesn't really dye their hair much. My Granny's the only one I know of who did anything -- she was almost completely grey by 35. So she just decided to start dying the dark hair to match the grey! I kinda liked that contrariness; I figure my grey hair is part of my heritage, part of who I am, so I don't see much reason to try to pretend to be something else. Although I do part it on the other side from the big grey streak. :-)

moxiemom, I don't know why, but I always pictured you with short dark curly hair, for no apparent reason -- how weird is that??

Posted by: Laura | May 4, 2007 1:13 PM

I agree that guys are equally obsessed.

Posted by: girlyGirl45 | May 4, 2007 09:09 AM

Why are men so much better at not buying into this?)

Posted by: Armchair Mom | May 4, 2007 09:12 AM

SO, which is it?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 1:14 PM

To mle:

what is the Japanese Hair Straightening system?

Posted by: 2girls2boys | May 4, 2007 1:15 PM

I am trying to grow out my hair color due to an immune system issue. OMG!! This is a nightmare to someone who is vain about their hair.

Posted by: hairissues | May 4, 2007 1:18 PM

Emily, thanks for saving me a seat next to you. I'm honored. I almost always get grouped with the women and children. It's the story of my life.

I did spent my formable years working a job in a pretty much exclusively female industry. I mean, Have you ever heard of a shampoo boy? All my managers were female as were 95% of the hairdressers I worked for, so in a sense, I learned to get along with females at a very early age.

I had to touch people all day long, and my knuckles were cracked to the point of bleeding, not from dragging them on the ground, but the constant soap and water...

And I did thousands of loads of laundry, towels, without complaint, but hey, I was getting paid for it, so I guess it doesn't count.

And the last thing I'll say before I go, if humidity causes your hair to frizz, try using an oil based conditioner.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 1:18 PM

I was born with blond hair that kept getting darker. When I hit puberty it started turning red. So ihad this beautiful auburn hair. My whole family goes grey early(my hairdresser found one when cutting my hair for my 16th bday) but since I had lighter hair (there are still some blonds in there) I didn't need to color it. I made my first trip to color it last summer when I only saw greys in it when I saw myself in the mirror. And my second appt is next wk to get it cut. I usually don't care all that much and let it go so when I see grey, I will be coloring it. It is very thick and has always given me headaches when up in a ponytail or barrette. And it has gotten very wave/ frizzy in the last few yrs (pregnancy and kids? I. Don't know, but my sisters have curly hair). So I flat iron it but it never looks as good as when the stylist does it.
I never had to do much with it until recent yrs, when, ironically,I have less time (ie, kids). It always would look good-short or long or whatever. Not so much anymore, sigh.

Posted by: atlmom | May 4, 2007 1:26 PM

I've come to appreciate my hair (blonde, stick straight, and fine) after it started to fall out rapidly 2 yrs ago. Of course, I freaked out about the hair but it turned out I had a genetic immune system disease (celiac) and my shedding was one of the things that got me to the doctor who diagnosed it.

Now my hair hair is back and thicker than ever. Still fine and stick-straight (sigh) but what can you do......

Posted by: Seattle | May 4, 2007 1:29 PM

Yes, dym is annoying as well as pedantic. If it were on the ball it would realize that the text processor here does not like apostrophes.

Special to BJ - yes, such a discussion would seem appropriate, but the prospect is almost as frightening as talking about hair.

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 1:30 PM

Normally I'm not evangelistic about anything, but I've found some information that's helped in my battle with my fine-but-thick, wavy-to-curly hair that changes texture with every change in the weather and shift between hard and soft water for washing it. For anyone with curly or wavy hair, I recommend the Web site www.naturallycurly.com and the book Curly Girl by Lorraine Massey. The book and Web site also have advice for parents of kids with curly hair, and have some info. on African-American hair too. I used to wish my hair was straighter but now think straight hair would be more boring!

Posted by: SheGeek | May 4, 2007 1:33 PM

I have long (waist-length) wavy blonde hair. Unfortunately, it's pretty think and tangles at the drop of a hat. I wore it short till I was 18, but I much prefer it longer. I wear it up a fair amount at work for convenience, but just having long hair makes me feel very feminine.

And on Locks of Love: I encourage people to NEVER donate hair to them. Despite the popular misconception, they do not give wigs to children with cancer; they *sell* the wigs to children with permanent hair loss. They also make very few hairpieces each year using the donated hair, as they sell most of it off. Plus, human hair wigs are very difficult to take care of, and as children grow so quickly, they have to apply for a new hairpiece every few years.

The bottom line is: if you want to donate your money to children with cancer, cut your hair yourself, sell the ponytail on eBay, and give the proceeds to your favorite charity.

Posted by: Caroline | May 4, 2007 1:33 PM

Single Western Mom, you wrote, "No one could possibly care,..."

Wrong, I care. Don't know why, but i do. Thanks for the description, you've colored a part of my imagination and I appreciate that.

Sorry, I was supposed to go, but couldn't leave that one unanswered.

Posted by: Father of 4 | May 4, 2007 1:34 PM

JS,
You may have thicker hair when it comes back after chemo but you may not. I had this male pattern baldness thing going when my hair came back in and it is still very thin on the top.

And to the rest of you that are so concerned with how your hair looks, at least you've got hair! :-)

Posted by: rockville | May 4, 2007 1:35 PM

"To mle:
what is the Japanese Hair Straightening system?"

It's a process that takes about 3 hours, and permanently straightens your hair. It hasn't damaged my hair at all, in fact, for the first time ever, I have shiny, swingy hair. It is recommended to have a touch up once a year, when enough of the old hair has grown in. If your hair is really short you might need it more often though.


Posted by: mle | May 4, 2007 1:36 PM

I'm curious. If you wanted to curl your hair for a special occasion, would your now-straightened hair hold a curl?

I also have curly hair that I would prefer was straight, but I don't know if I would be happy if I couldn't curl it occasionally.

Posted by: to mle | May 4, 2007 1:38 PM

Altmom - My hair got darker as I got older too, and most definately went towards the red shades rather than brown. (It's only blonde now thanks to Clairol)

I always chalked it up to Scandinavian ancestry. My father's hair got darker as he got older, but his beard turned absolutely red. My mom made him shave. Talk about taking control of the family's hair!

Posted by: Seattle | May 4, 2007 1:38 PM

Caroline how do you know that about locks of love. Did you get an inside scoop somewhere?

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 1:49 PM

I enjoy reading this blog most days except on days like today. I'm not trying to be mean, just a little disppointed in such a silly topic.

Posted by: silly | May 4, 2007 1:50 PM

educmom, my friend's son did indeed attend a Catholic school, so I think you've hit the nail on the head.

I am surprised there's still so much backlash against long hair on guys. I think it's hot. Mr Bee has long hair--he wears it in a tidy ponytail and his employers have never had a problem with it (and he's always been in client-facing roles).

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 1:50 PM

Oh, and in judaism it is custom (until recently only in very relgious circles, becoming mofr popular lately) to cut hair when a boy turns 3. So, since ds no 1 had no hair for a while we had decided to wait til he was three. My dh said that a bonus was that he thought his mom would not like it. So son no aw didn't really get hair til he was 2 1/2, so it was fine (he had cute blond hair with curls on the end). Son no 2 is barely 2 and has really long (beautiful blond) hair. He's gotten adept at pushing it out of his face, but it is gettong very long. It has curls on the end too. And one day it will be short like his brother's. Oh well.

Posted by: atlmom | May 4, 2007 1:53 PM

"I'm curious. If you wanted to curl your hair for a special occasion, would your now-straightened hair hold a curl?"

I'm not sure. I've been so excited having straight hair for the past 4 months, that I haven't even tried!

Posted by: mle | May 4, 2007 1:55 PM

I really want to try the Japanese hair straightening system, but I'm afraid it's too expensive. How much did it cost? I promise not to judge you based on how much you spent. If you don't feel comfortable telling me, you could just point me toward a Web site.

My hair is wavy and frizzy, so it really only looks good styled. Because my hair is so long, I almost never style it. So it would be worth it to me to forgo the option of curling it to not have to style it.

Posted by: Meesh | May 4, 2007 1:58 PM

Does anyone else think that waist length hair on older women looks really bad?

Posted by: anon for this | May 4, 2007 2:04 PM

Silly: you are the only one with any brains (besides me)

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 2:04 PM

TO MLE: I also want to try the Japanese system. I read the Lorraine Massey book (somebody had mentioned it already) and she said that curly hair is very fragile, like fine wool, so I was afraid to do it. My hair is very thick and wiry and not soft at all and only looks good with tons of product. Am I a good candidate for this?

Posted by: fedmom | May 4, 2007 2:04 PM

Seattle- well, dad's side is russian and mom's side is greek/spanish. So no scandinavian here. The funniest thing is that for years everyone would say: oh, I don't know where you get such nice red hair. Then one day my grandmother said that her mom had beautiful red hair. So strange.

Posted by: atlmom | May 4, 2007 2:06 PM

anon for this asked: Does anyone else think that waist length hair on older women looks really bad?

Not if she wears it pinned up on her head, instead of down.

Posted by: catlady | May 4, 2007 2:13 PM

All you moms should quit messing with the computer and go take care of your kids. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Posted by: John Paul | May 4, 2007 2:14 PM

anon for this:
I have seen some very attractive older women with well-kept longer hair. I think it depends on the overall look.

Sorry to hear about Locks for Love...and I am also curious about the source of this information (I have a journalism degree and I work in politics...I'm a trained skeptic). I grew my hair down to the backs of my thighs, then donated nearly two feet to Locks. I hope it went to good use.

Fo4:
You made me smile. To complete that picture...I have green eyes.

Posted by: single western mom | May 4, 2007 2:16 PM

Re not cutting boys' hair till age 3, do you think that's a Sephardic or Ashkenazy tradition?

Posted by: To atlmom | May 4, 2007 2:22 PM

"I really want to try the Japanese hair straightening system, but I'm afraid it's too expensive. How much did it cost? I promise not to judge you based on how much you spent. If you don't feel comfortable telling me, you could just point me toward a Web site."

I believe it typically costs around $600, but I have an amazing hairdresser who I've known since junior high, and he only charged me $150, even though it means I won't need him for regular blow-outs.

"TO MLE: I also want to try the Japanese system. I read the Lorraine Massey book (somebody had mentioned it already) and she said that curly hair is very fragile, like fine wool, so I was afraid to do it. My hair is very thick and wiry and not soft at all and only looks good with tons of product. Am I a good candidate for this?"

The people it looks best on are those with thick hair. I've seen it done on people with stringy, fine hair, and it ends up looking a bit fried. My sisters and I have all had it done, and with our thick hair, it looks amazingly healthy and natural. My hair is actually healthier looking now since I've had it done, since I no longer have to blow-dry or iron it.

Posted by: mle | May 4, 2007 2:23 PM

Scarry- since Locks of Love is a charity, their financial reports are publicly available; it's easy to see that not a lot of money is actually going to help kids.

Also, my step-MIL cut off her hair to donate before she started chemo a few years ago, and was seriously annoyed to see how LoL is so seriously misrepresented in the media as a way to "help kids with cancer."

Posted by: Caroline | May 4, 2007 2:24 PM

Thanks Caroline. That kind of makes me mad.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 2:27 PM

I'm finding it amusing that posters like Silly and John Paul can't stand this discussion, yet they continue to follow it. Gluttons for punishment?

Posted by: SLP | May 4, 2007 2:27 PM

The japanese straightening system is called Magic Straight. If you Google it you'll see a couple sites about it.

I've taken my daughter to get it twice. Salons usually charge about 400 to 500 hundred but I found a lady who does it for 225. It lasts about six months and it takes about 4 hours. It's worth it, though, because without it, hmmm....think Diana Ross on a humid day.

Posted by: Hair mom | May 4, 2007 2:35 PM

moxiemom, I don't know why, but I always pictured you with short dark curly hair, for no apparent reason -- how weird is that??

Posted by: Laura | May 4, 2007 01:13 PM

That is funny, esp. because in my head I'm still blonde. I always pictured you as a strawberry blonde kind of Maria Bello kind of gal. Funny how we create these things. I'm actually impressed at how long this blog has stayed on topic today!

Posted by: moxiemom | May 4, 2007 2:36 PM

To to atlmom:

I don't think it is either. It has something to do with verses in the torah that say not to harvest a new crop (pick fruit off a new tree?) For three years, I believe.

Posted by: atlmom | May 4, 2007 2:38 PM

Moxiemom,
I always thought of you as having short hair also, maybe because so many moms have short hair. I think of Fo4 as having a full head of dark hair (am I right, Fo4)? I think of Megan as having auburn hair in a shoulder length mane. Megan's neighbor has short, dark hair. I always thought of Scarry as being very slight with light brown hair, but I guess I was wrong about the hair part. I still think she is a rail.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 2:43 PM

we are askenazi jews from Easern Europe. I was told that the reason that jewish boys did not get a hair cut before the age of 3 it to grow the hair long enough for side locks. I have no idea if this is old wife's tales or not, but we did not cut our son's hair until he was 3 and everybody thought he was a girl.

Posted by: fedmom | May 4, 2007 2:45 PM

Thanks so much. We have old family photos of my late father and his brothers showing each with long ringlets as little boys, and I now have reason to believe our family is partly of Iberian hidden Jewish ("new Christian") origin on that side, so wondered if it was specifically a Sephardic custom.

Posted by: To atlmom | May 4, 2007 2:46 PM

Friday isms:

If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 4, 2007 2:46 PM

OKay Emily since you want to know. I am one of those women who have no behind and really skinny legs. I am big on the top and when I lose weight it comes from everywhere but there and the middle. Right now, I weigh the most I ever have at 155.

My dad's side is really short and stocky and my mom's mom was very tiny, so much in fact that she almost died in when she had my aunt. I am glad not to be super tiny or super stocky. I always thought of you as having dark hair. I guess I thought of you as being like me because you are so fiesty.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 2:47 PM

Scarry,
I always figured you were on the small side. I am kind of the opposite of you. I have heavier legs and thighs, and a bigger butt than I would like, but I tend to have a small waist (although these days, you would not be able to tell). When I lose weight, my waist looks like it will disappear, and my legs still look fat. Sigh. I have always wanted skinny legs. Oh well.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 2:53 PM

SLP - not punishment as much as amusement and validation that many women take their appreance way too seriously, to the point of obsession. And they wonder why we men drink.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 2:53 PM

i assume that you were all on the larger size of the spectrum since you sit at a computer all day blogging about any topic that Leslie decides to post. Leslie is in good shape because she posts her blog and then gets on with her life.

Come on people...it's Friday and its sunny.

And Yes...all of this includes me...i will be the first to admit it.

Posted by: Hey | May 4, 2007 2:54 PM

anon for this asked: Does anyone else think that waist length hair on older women looks really bad?

It depends on what you mean by 'older', which to me is always 15 years older than I am.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 2:55 PM

"OKay Emily since you want to know. I am one of those women who have no behind and really skinny legs."

Scarry this made me laugh....I'm the opposite, a lot of behind (although not as much as JLo) and skinny legs.....I would kill for some legs :-)

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 2:56 PM

Come to think about it, I really worry about what's gonna happen to me back there if I have kids...

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 2:57 PM

I guess Japanese Magic Straight is officially on the VLI list.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 2:59 PM

Emily I'd sell my second born for a flat stomach! Just kidding! My daughter is going to be tall and lean. She is the tallest kid in her class and you can just tell that she is going to have a longer torso than me.

On another note, my baby nephew is on prom court this year. I am so sad that I am going to miss it.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 2:59 PM

If some women would spend as much time on their bodies as they do with their hair, they would be much happier.

Posted by: Just my opinion | May 4, 2007 3:01 PM

WHAT? *looks out window* Nope, not frozen over... it's after 3 and still on topic here? ZOMG!

Posted by: Chris | May 4, 2007 3:02 PM

"If some women would spend as much time on their bodies as they do with their hair, they would be much happier."

How do you know they don't? I take care of my body, but hey, I was born with this behind :-)

Posted by: MV | May 4, 2007 3:02 PM

I was just baiting the fishing pole...caught one...Thanks MV...any other takers?

Posted by: Just my opinion | May 4, 2007 3:04 PM

Yep MV, I have weighed 110 pounds before and still had a stomach my SIL could walk 20 miles a day and still have a big butt.

Sometimes without surgery there is nothing you can do.

Posted by: scarry | May 4, 2007 3:04 PM

Caught another one...thanks Scarry...anyone else?

Posted by: Just my opinion | May 4, 2007 3:06 PM

I keep telling myself that after this baby is born, I am going to get into really good shape and get my waspy waist back. I can see it in my mind's eye.

I always wonder when this vain desire for youthful beauty will fade. Will the day come when I no longer care what I look like?

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 3:06 PM

Well, then you must be happy you got some attention.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 3:07 PM

"I always wonder when this vain desire for youthful beauty will fade. Will the day come when I no longer care what I look like?"

You will always care, but as you get older, the bar gets set lower.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 3:10 PM

Yeah, MV, I'm with you... I have got down as low as 14% bodyfat (through serious athletics, not dieting) and I still had a big butt!

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 3:12 PM

I always wonder when this vain desire for youthful beauty will fade. Will the day come when I no longer care what I look like?

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 03:06 PM

When you realize that it is unattainable! :) As I've gotten older, I'm moving into a place where I'm trying to be happy with what I've got and do the best i can with what I have. I have great legs and arms and carry all my weight in the middle. I have no behind to speak of (thigh all the way up). So I go to the gym 3 days a week for 2 hours at a clip, watch what I eat but still enjoy pizza and beer here and there. I weigh more than I ever have but I think I'm fitter and healthier than I've ever been. I'm getting tired of the self-loathing. So I'm working on doing my best and just owning it. Even the skinny mini gym instructor has something she hates about her perfect body. *shrug* I guess I just don't want to waste much more time on it. That said, I did have an "ugh, what's up with my belly" moment this morning so I'm clearly still working on this philosophy.

Posted by: moxiemom | May 4, 2007 3:15 PM

Takomamom,
There were days when the hair "discussions" drove me nuts, but I finally decided I wanted to save my energy for worrying about the big things (it helped that the school had all those rules, and I could always use them to veto anything I would have wanted to veto anyway). I do have one suggestion: have your son wear a hat while his hair is wet. My son does, and his hair isn't so poufy (sp?) -- just make sure he takes it off before he develops hat hair. Those two boys have given me some really funny stories for my old age (which, of course, will always be 30 years older than I am).

Worker bee: I knew it! I've taught in Catholic schools, and they don't like non-conformity.

KLB SS MD: Thanks for the isms! LOL!

Posted by: educmom | May 4, 2007 3:20 PM

I've said this before, and I'll say it again -- Moxiemom is awesome.

Posted by: Arlington Dad | May 4, 2007 3:23 PM

I went to private school, and we had pretty strict dress codes. In middle school, one of the kids in the class dyed her hair pink and got it cut in a punk sort of way. A letter was sent home a few days later saying no dyed hair that did not look natural was allowed. So she shaved it off, except for a long haired lock on top that she had dyed back to her natural color. She also wore clothes that technically followed the dress code, but that always looked pretty subversive.
I still admire her moxie.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 3:27 PM

Emily - you sound like me! I always wanted skinny legs but I don't think I will ever have them. I do however, like you, have a small waist, which would be a lot smaller if I would get back into shape.

My hair used to be blonde but has darkened into a brown/auburn, but I like to play with the color a lot. Right now I am growing it out from a sort of short flippy style to shoot for more of a bob-length - we shall see. I've shaved my head and also had long hair. I've always enjoyed playing with styles and colors, because I know it will always grow out so if worst comes to worst, I'll just have to look bad for a few weeks.

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 4:01 PM

Megan -- how long did it take to grow out when ya'll shaved it?

Posted by: Britney | May 4, 2007 4:09 PM

I went to private school, and we had pretty strict dress codes. In middle school, one of the kids in the class dyed her hair pink and got it cut in a punk sort of way. A letter was sent home a few days later saying no dyed hair that did not look natural was allowed. So she shaved it off, except for a long haired lock on top that she had dyed back to her natural color. She also wore clothes that technically followed the dress code, but that always looked pretty subversive.
I still admire her moxie. "

BUT the question is would YOU let your daughter do that? My answer would be hell no. It's always different when it is someone elses kid. I feel the same way when I see parents suing the school to let their kid wear a mohawk or some other stupid thing. I wonder what life dealt that girl w "moxie"

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 4:11 PM

Sorry, Britney honey, you're in for a long haul...

Growing it back after shaving was definitely my worst ever hair time, and it lasted a couple months as I recall (it was long time ago so I can't say for sure). But my hair is really thick and very straight, and there was this awful stage where it just stood straight out and could not be tamed - it was too long to be a "shaved style" but too short to do anything with, no matter how much product I tried. I looked like a chia pet. It was awful. And my drivers license was stolen and I had to get a new one at that time so I had the most horrendous drivers licencse picture ever. THat was a source of good laughter for a really long time...

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 4:15 PM

Fedmom: you could be correct, it sounds about right. We just liked the tradition.

To to atlmom: anything's possible. My ancestor's left spain and moved to greece - my grandma and grandpa are from diff parts of greece but met here-if they had stayed in greece they would certainly have perished in WWII. It is amazing to me how their language lasted 500 plus yrs (ladino) but within one generation in the US it was pretty much gone. I hear that ladino and yiddish are making a comeback, we'll see.

Posted by: atlmom | May 4, 2007 4:19 PM

Patrick,
I would probably let my kid do the same, as long as the bounds of decency were not overstepped. I think a lot of kids feel the need to rebel a little, and IMO, pink hair or a mohawk are no big deal. I will fight any battle that involves drugs or alcohol, for example, but strongly believe that adolescents and teens need to be allowed some wiggle room to express themselves. My friend from middle school is now, btw, a suburban, married working mother with 2 kids. She did just fine, despite the shaved head when she was 13. It may have upset the nuns, but she is no worse for it.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 4:21 PM

pATRICK, you never know... most of my friends in high school had mohawks or dyed black hair or odd shaved bits at some point (my personal choice was a peculiar metallic red). Most of us have grown up to be successful (a doctor, a lawyer, a couple of professors, some IT professionals).

I honestly don't know why it felt so important to be able to look like a freak, but I was quite happy that way, and luckily my parents didn't make a fuss about it. They knew I was a good responsible kid and so were my friends.

When I see kids like that now, I don't think they are involved with crime or anything... I think they're often precociously intelligent and the weird fashions are their way of connecting with adult intellectual culture, which contains some pretty strange characters.

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 4:26 PM

Emily, having been raised in the 70's with long hair as a teen. I agree with some of your premise. However, that strikes me a defiance against authority abetted by the parent. I have no problem with short hair or long hair but draw the line at stupid hair or goth or anything like that.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 4:31 PM

Not surprisingly, I totally concur with Emily and Worker Bee - small acts of rebellion, on their own, don't cause me worry.

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 4:32 PM

When I see kids like that now, I don't think they are involved with crime or anything... I think they're often precociously intelligent and the weird fashions are their way of connecting with adult intellectual culture, which contains some pretty strange characters."

As usual we have different experiences. Those kids were usually the druggies and drop outs. They were generally the losers of our school.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 4:37 PM

My kids can do anything with their hair they want. Who cares? It's just hair and you're only young once. They have to wait until they're 18 to get anything other than their ears pierced or a tatoo.

Posted by: atb | May 4, 2007 4:38 PM

Re Sephardim, you might like to check out www.saudades.org and www.kulanu.org
You're right that Ladino, like Yiddish, is struggling to survive today.

Posted by: To atlmom | May 4, 2007 4:41 PM

Not surprisingly, I totally concur with Emily and Worker Bee - small acts of rebellion, on their own, don't cause me worry.

Would that extend to large tattoos? You have to draw the line somewhere. Now surely someone will say "my daughter has a large tattoo and is on the honor roll or I had a large tattoo of mick jaggers lips on my breasts and I was on the honor roll or something" It is inevitable on a blog.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 4:43 PM

"However, that strikes me a defiance against authority abetted by the parent."

Yeah. So what? Obedience to authority has never been something that I consider a particular virtue, or even that appealing in and of itself. I am not raising my son to be obedient. I am raising him to be able to think for himself and to follow his judgment. Of course, that means that we make a concerted effort to guide him in good directions, teaching him the imporance of honest, kindness, industry, etc., but in the end, what I want from him is not obedience. I want him to be able to think for himself and make good decisions, no matter what an authority figure says. If he bucks authority now and then as he learns to do that, no big deal, as long as he is not doing something that hurts himself or others. And all the better if the authority he is bucking is dictating something that is nonesense.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 4:44 PM

pATRICK, I have to say I agree with you about tattoos... yes, I have one and I love it, but I wouldn't let my kid get one until he/she was self-supporting. Weird hair is easy to fix, tattoos are not!

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 4:47 PM

The problem with your statement is that the parents AGREED with the rules. It was a private school. I too question authority but you seem like you take it as a point of pride in bucking authority-big difference.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 4:47 PM

I am so with you atb. My dh thinks that the boys should be thrown out of the house for ear piercing but I disagree. But hair? Who cares since it is not permanent. Tattoos on the other hand, I would have a large say in that. None of that in my house.
Patrick: I hung out with ther kids who were thought to be the druggies in the school-because of how we dressed. But make no mistake- the kids with the money were the ones who dressed nicest *and* had the best drugs.

Posted by: atb | May 4, 2007 4:50 PM

In the early 1920s bobbing one's hair was considered a daring act of rebellion for a girl. But for decades many women have now worn their hair short in similar styles.

In the late 1950s and early '60s, teasing her hairdo really tall (e.g., beehive or flip) was considered wild; now it's just derided "big hair."

In the mid '60s, a girl with long straight hair was initially perceived as a "hippie" or part of the drug culture; now the style is considered plain (or out-of-date, on a middle-aged woman).

And the mullet doesn't deserve to live.

Posted by: To pATRICK | May 4, 2007 4:51 PM

The rules weren't broken. When she dyed her hair pink, there was no rule addressing that, and then she dyed it back to her natural color as soon as the memo came out. There was no rule against bald heads. And the dress code was always followed, she just had a flair for personalizing it without breaking it.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 4:52 PM

Hairapy at 7:56am--I hate to say it but he will have to get used to the mean "bald" comments. My husband has male pattern (I hate the word bald). He is really handsome and still has a great body but he lost the hair he was going to lose by the time he was 26. He misses it but 10 years later--what can you do??

My uncle hadn't even been formally introduced to him and made a hateful comment about it. Co-workers at his last company and his current company have said your typical comments to his face. It makes me angry. I dont understand why heavy and ugly people get a pass but if you see someone without a full head of hair--start the cue ball jokes.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 4:55 PM

Emily come on. She did it all to thumb her nose, essentially shooting the middle finger and her parents abetted it. Kids need to learn that you can't always bring your "style" to everywhere. That is why today you have kids who don't even know how to dress for a job interview.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 4:55 PM

It's said that God made some heads perfect. And the rest He covered with hair.

Posted by: To 4:55 | May 4, 2007 5:00 PM

I envy black men. They look cool with a shaved head. Millions of black men should be thanking Michael Jordan every day.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 5:01 PM

Patrick,
We are just going to have to disagree on that one. So she did thumb her nose a little at the system without breaking any of the rules. Catholic school kids do that all the time, in their own way. The other day, I saw some Catholic high school girls in their plaid uniform skirts, and I swear, you would be able to see their underpants if they bent over. Actually, one of the girls was wearing bikers shorts under the skirt, apparently, to allow her more freedome of movement without exposing herself. My friend was not the only one who bent the rules at school. She just bent them in a different and more personal way (and did not expose her underwear at least).

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 5:02 PM

Since we are on hair topics, why does women's hair get progressively shorter as she ages? Preference? age?, hair condition?, peer pressure? what gives?

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 5:05 PM

I think a lot of women cut their hair short when they have kids to make maintenance easier.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 5:08 PM

Emily,

pATRICK does not agree with anyone!

Sometimes, I don't think that he even agrees with himself!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 5:12 PM

"Now surely someone will say "my daughter has a large tattoo and is on the honor roll or I had a large tattoo of mick jaggers lips on my breasts and I was on the honor roll or something" It is inevitable on a blog."

LOL, ok, I got a tattoo in high school as was first in my class, how's that? However, I got it when I was 18 and it's on my ankle (a very easy place to cover) and not very large. And it's not Mick Jagger's lips. Lots of people said I would regret it when I turned 30, but I don't. I still love it. And in fact, I got my second tattoo when I was 30.

That said, I do put tattoos in a very different category than hair - I don't think I'd let my son get one before he was 18, and I would sure as heck have a lot to say about whatever design he was thinking of getting and where he wanted it if he ever wants one.

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 5:14 PM

The best tatoo I have ever seen. It was at the beach. There was a guy with a huge belly, and covering this impressive belly, he had a large tatoo of an elephant pushing a baby stroller. Never understood what statement he was trying to make, but it was very amusing.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 5:17 PM

Emily,

pATRICK does not agree with anyone!

Sometimes, I don't think that he even agrees with himself!"

That's actually not true but I AM often at odds with a blog that has a decided left tilt. I do tend to agree with myself quite often. LOL

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 5:18 PM

Don't you think tattoos are a generational thing? I mean, you rarely see a woman over 40, or at least 50, with a visible one, or if you do it's because they're deliberately trying to be different.

Posted by: To Megan | May 4, 2007 5:19 PM

"I do tend to agree with myself quite often."

Okay. That was cute. LOL

So we do agree on one thing.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 5:20 PM

I have to concur with atb that the rich kids in my school were the biggest druggies. But then, I also think kids fall prey to assuming the worst about social groups other than their own--kids can be quite gullible about rumors at that age and if you don't know the kids in another group very well you have more of a tendency to believe what you hear about them. And, of course parents hear about this through the filter of their teens.

So, pATRICK and I could both be wrong about who were the biggest druggies in our schools... maybe drug use is actually pretty evenly distributed?

Posted by: worker bee | May 4, 2007 5:20 PM

What a riot, Emily - I suppose it must have meant something to him!

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 5:20 PM

I think EMILY and I each love our children and want what is best for them. That is something that is easily agreeable.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 5:22 PM

I do think tatoos are generational. I am 41 and tatoos were not big when I was young (not on women at least). The women that I see with tatoos tend to be about 5 years younger (or more) than me. When I was a teenager, weird hair was the thing to do, and body piercing was becoming popular.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 5:22 PM

So, pATRICK and I could both be wrong about who were the biggest druggies in our schools... maybe drug use is actually pretty evenly distributed'

Looking back, I think you are right. I once got invited by a social queen to lunch and no sooner had she pulled out in her cutlass did she ask if i wanted to drink vodka with her from a perfume bottle. I declined (mainly from shock, since I did drink beer) and was never asked again.

Posted by: pATRICK | May 4, 2007 5:26 PM

"Don't you think tattoos are a generational thing? I mean, you rarely see a woman over 40, or at least 50, with a visible one, or if you do it's because they're deliberately trying to be different"

I think there is definitely a generational difference with tattoos - they seem to be much more acceptable among my generation and younger; I don't know why but it seems like quite a marked shift to me.

I also think that people get them for really varying reasons, from purely aesthetic to things that carry a lot of symbolic meaning, to just trying to be different, or being drunk one night.

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 5:27 PM

What about health problems caused by piercings and tattoos, particularly infections in the sites? A person can get Hep C from unclean needles, and piercing holes can get infected easily. How can you be absolutely certain that the piercer or tattooist is adhering to proper standards of implement sterilization? Not getting a piercing or tattoo is the one sure way to eliminate those sources of risk.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 5:29 PM

"What about health problems caused by piercings and tattoos, particularly infections in the sites?"

I agree. And this is one reason that I would object to my minor teenager getting a tatoo or body piercing. But if my son just wanted his ear pierced, I would make sure it was appropriately done for him at a reputable place. I remember my brothers furtively pierced their ears at home, in the middle of the night while my parents were asleep. Luckily, no infections, but I would not want to chance that with my son.

Posted by: Emily | May 4, 2007 5:37 PM

Going to a reputable establishment, getting a tour of the facility, and making sure you watch them open a sealed, packaged needle for your tattoo go a long way to reducing your risk. But like pretty much everything else in life, of course there are risks.

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 5:41 PM

Part of becoming an adult is resisting the temptation of avoidable risks.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 5:47 PM

What is potentially unhealthy is the tongue piercing. The stud can permanently damage the teeth and an infection can be disasterous.

Posted by: KLB SS MD | May 4, 2007 5:50 PM

Yecccch!!!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 5:52 PM

"Part of becoming an adult is resisting the temptation of avoidable risks"

I suppose that's one platitude you could live by, but I'll pass.

KLB, tongue peircings totally creep me out. The sound of the stud clicking against the teeth gives me the heebie jeebies. I really hope those have gone completely out of style by the time my kid's a teenager.....yech.

Posted by: Megan | May 4, 2007 6:00 PM

who loves hairy pits?

Posted by: yummy | May 4, 2007 6:49 PM

We had a cat who loved my husband's hairy pits, the sweatier the better. She'd just tuck her little nose right up in there in total bliss. Despite this, she lived a long healthy happy life.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 4, 2007 7:10 PM

Wow, I'm sorry I missed this discussion...

First of all, on the short skirts: Any girl who attends a school which requires a uniform with a skirt knows all about "rolling" the skirt (the waistband is rolled up to make the skirt waaay shorter than the required length) and so do the teachers! I can't tell you how many times we did roll patrol when I taught at a parish school. Most shcools encourage shorts under the uniforms (some schools require shorts or tights), and I think it's related to rolling.

I grew up in a working-class neighborhood in the seventies. Multiple piercings on a girl, and tattoos or any piercings on a boy, were the label of the "bad" kid. The small minority of preppy, well-behaved, studious kids and clean-cut jocks didn't drink much or do any drugs -- we had some blindingly obvious bad examples all around us, and we all wanted to be successful. I didn't know any "good" kids who drank or smoked pot until I got to college. The "rich" school in our district had the highest incedence of drug use (more money = better drugs), but we always assumed that those kids looked like the druggie losers in our school.

I want to add this about rules, rebellion and private schools: The other week, I had to meet with the assistant principal concerning son #2 (he skirted some of the class attendance rules and was being given an in-school suspension, which is actually 10 days' detention...one month before graduation). Anyway, he never gets in trouble other than leave-it-to-Beaver type stuff, and I was not very upset. The a.p. and I chatted a while and the topic came around to rules. His premise is, that while CHC has a lot of rules that seem silly and petty (shirt & tie and hair being just two examples), the boys actually have more freedom than in public schools. If they are not scheduled to be in class, they can be anywhere on the campus -- in the cafe, the library, talking to a teacher, hanging out on a bench outside. When they're done for the day, they can leave if they want and not wait until the 'end' of school. Classes are lecture/seminar, to better prepare for college. In effect, the students are treated as mature young men, and they are more likely to behave like mature young men. I don't know if it would work everywhere, but it seems to work there.

As son #1 put it once, having a lot of rules just gives you more options for subversion -- he of the 6-gauge piercing, the tattoos, the shaved head (all in college), the desire to be a rock star/DJ instead of a lawyer or something that allows him to EARN MONEY!

Posted by: educmom | May 4, 2007 8:26 PM

educmom,

Girls were rolling skirts way back when I went to Catholic school! We are talking 68-69! Once they passed the initial inpection by the nuns, it was time to roll them up!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 8:31 PM

Fred,

And how, exactly, do you KNOW what the girls did to make their skirts so short??

Did the nuns walk around at your school with rulers and measure the knee/hem distance, or was it all eyeball?

Posted by: educmom | May 4, 2007 9:36 PM

Every morning, the girls would kneel down in front of the nuns. If the skirt did not touch the floor, it was too short!

Posted by: Fred | May 4, 2007 10:23 PM

My hair is beatiful and disgustingly healthy. My hairdresser at Eliz. Arden says it's a joy to work with. It's naturally thick, dark brown with auburn highlights. Think Jackie Kennedy or Natalie Wood. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 11:48 AM

My hair is beatiful and disgustingly healthy. My hairdresser at Eliz. Arden says it's a joy to work with. It's naturally thick, dark brown with auburn highlights. Think Jackie Kennedy or Natalie Wood. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Posted by: | May 7, 2007 11:48 AM

Right. I have Jackie O and Natalie Wood hair, too. Thank God for internet beauty inflation.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 3:26 PM

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