Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

by Beth Diane Bradley

When people ask Dolly Parton how long it takes to do her hair, she tells them: “I don’t know, I’m never there.”

Some days when I’m fixing my hair, I think about how styling tools and products have improved over the years. When I was young, I was allergic to every hair spray on the market. I remember having to switch seats with someone at a concert, to avoid a woman wearing half a can of toxic fumes.

The standard styling tools back then included bobby pins, a jar of pink goo that left a sticky residue, rollers wrapped in barbed wire – and helmet-shaped hair dryers that caused hearing loss and claustrophobia. Nothing ever worked for my fine-textured hair, so it was either flat as a pancake, or full of static, depending on the season. But the advent of blow dryers, curling irons, mousse–and hair sprays that don’t cause asthma–were a huge improvement.

These days, hair has become big business. High priced salons have nearly replaced the beauty and barber shops of the past. And it might be worth the cost, if they’d stop by my house every morning and make me beautiful.

So why is hair so important? I realize someone who considers their glorious locks to be their best feature would never ask that question.

It does keep your head warm in the winter and free of sunburn in the summer. Then again, so do hats, and they don’t need to be curled, straightened or blown dry – unless of course it’s monsoon season.

I have to accept the fact that nature gave me unruly hair — and no talent at styling it. And I imagine a wig might be hot, itchy and unreliable on a windy day. So I prefer to go with a low maintenance hair style, and save my time for something more important.

Of course, the ultimate low maintenance hair style is the shaved head – which can also make quite a statement. A co-worker of mine shaved her head to raise money for cancer research, and a local actor recently did the same to play the part of a woman undergoing cancer treatment.

Although that sounds quite liberating, I’ll probably hang on to my shampoo for now, and leave the head shaving to those with a more noble cause. Since I will always struggle with my hair, I’d better find another claim to fame. However, I suppose I can’t rely on my IQ, until my blonde hair is completely gray. So until then, I’ll just have to assume that blondes really do have more fun.


2 Responses

  1. Angele

    Thanks for yet another gift of laughing-out-loud. “…half a can of toxic fumes” and “rollers wrapped in barbed wire” got me started 🙂 I’m holding out hope that someday I’ll finally let go of all things related to vanity…. probably when I’m ready to cross over!

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