Why does hair define us?

Billy Idol

There are thousands of ways to cope with social/financial/career/romantic setbacks, but mine was to do something radical to my hair, something that was never particularly well-thought out. I have never understood it, but there it is.
The first boy who broke my heart was Nunzio. He had that continental thing going on that looked good to my 16, but in retrospect, he may have the ugliest boy I think I have ever seen. However, he had a really rocking Chevy convertible, a sexy accent, was 21, and my father hated him. Does it get any better?

After a week or two, Nunzio announced to me that I was too young for him, and what he really wanted was to ride the freak train to Nastytown.

I peaked late.

So, off he went, to pursue his dreams of more passionate trysts, but I was left alone, sure that I would never love again.

Then, for a reason still unknown to me, I marched on down to the CVS where I purchased red hair color – AND a body perm.

The hair color was called Maui Sunset and promised a “Natural Reddish/Blonde” – perfect! By nightfall, I would have not only a new look with locks the color of tropical cocktails, but waves, too! Not the stick straight, blonde hair I have always had. I was back in the game, gentlemen!

Well, let me just cut to the chase by telling you that Lucille Ball would not have left her house with this head of steroidal-carrot colored corkscrews. Nor would Harpo Marx, for that matter.

It was disastrous, but my mother, after the hyperventilation abated, wrapped me in a scarf and hustled me to a professional colorist, who saved me from a future as the demo girl for Lay’s Cheeze Curls. I like to think I had some small part in the resurgence of the pixie cut, but that’s another thing.

Years later, after I got fired after a huge misunderstanding about who called who a fat bitch at a corporate shin-dig when things really got ugly. It was a she said/she said sort of thing.

Well, what would any sane and rational woman do after almost killing her career? She goes into a high-end salon on Newbury Street to reinvent herself! This was going to be new, indeed! Edgy, unexpected, NOW!

I had my hair bleached white. and the cut was done by a blindfolded psychopath. I’m not kidding. I was afraid of that woman. If I had curled my lip, I would have looked like Billy Idol. Remember him? And I TIPPED her.

There were other times, not that drastic, but times when I have felt the need to do hair or get a style that I know is wrong. I don’t think I have ever learned what is right. How I would love to have Tim Gunn take me by the hand and gently say that the velour cargo capris were not my friends and to put down the Bedazzler before anyone gets hurt.

I am not a doctor, but I always wondered if I did that stuff because I really thought I would look prettier, or was I punishing myself for not being good or pretty enough.

Well, that’s another one on my list for my therapist.but I’ll put it on the back burner for now. It’s a long list.

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