Saturday, August 9, 2008

To Perm or Not To Perm, That is the Question

I am debating about whether or not to perm my hair. Life-shattering, world-shaking, big-time important debates here, let me tell ya! Anyways, I've been going back and forth about this for a long time.

Chris liked my hair curly and has often mentioned that he'd like to see it that way again. I had straight hair up until I was in the 5th grade (I think that's when mom took me to have it permed). From then on, I had curly hair. I don't know what happened to my hair after that, but the perms would not relax over time or grow out--my hair stayed curly. I finally started straightening my hair with hair driers with brush attachments when I was around 22. I have been doing that ever since. Nearly ten years of straightening my hair and experimenting. I always had to "do" something to my hair. I couldn't just get up and go. I couldn't just let it dry naturally and go. I always had to "fix" it. Well, in the last couple of years, I had finally gotten my hair to the point where I can blowdry it with the brush attachment and go. I don't have to tease it, spray it, pin it up, etc. I have finally become one of those girls who can run her hands through her hair! I remember my parents teasing me when I was a teenager about how much hair spray I used and how stiff my hair was ("Ouch! I got a splinter from patting you on the head."). Now my hair is long, straight, and product-free!

So why the urge to perm now? Well, for one, sometimes I think with my body type now (I am still trying to lose weight from baby #3), it just doesn't look right on me. For two, now that I have gotten to the point where I don't feel the urge to style my hair, I wonder if curly hair would be easier and I COULD just get out of the shower and go. That's especially been persuasive to me when thinking about going camping. I don't want to be the prissy girl that brings her hair drier to camp out! But, I also don't want to be the frizzy weirdo either. Without the blowdrying, my hair either flattens itself on my head and around my face or it frizzes up and has a slight wave to it. Either way is TOTALLY unattractive! So, I was thinking that maybe I should get it permed, if for no other reason, than that it would be easier to care for when camping.

I am thinking of a loose curl, more of a wave, so I could still blowdry it straight when I want to. But, I am scared. I have spent so many years getting my hair to the point that I actually like it, I don't want to ruin it! Today, for the second time in the last couple of months, I had a stranger tell me I had beautiful hair. I'm afraid that perming it again will ruin me. If I hate it, I'll be stuck again with decades of curls and my hair will have to go through years and years before it will be the same again. Ugh, is it worth it? And what will I really look like? I've tried those makeover programs where you superimpose a hairstyle on your head, but it still looks fake and not the way I would wear my hair.

Ack! Why am I wasting so much time trying to make this stupid decision!? I've been debating this for about a year now. The camping thing is what has intensified my debate. My family reunion/3-day camping trip is coming up in three weeks!

Another aspect of this is that I have long been trying to find a beautician/barber/ hairdresser, whatever you want to call them, that I trust. You constantly hear of women being comfortable at their beauty shop, as though they are among friends. Their stylists know them and their whole families and all of their intimate secrets. I've never found someone like that. And consequently, I believe, I have never liked the results when I walk out of a salon. I absolutely despise going to a salon. I walk into one and feel like an outsider. I don't think I have ever had a stylist that treated me friendly enough that I wanted to go back or ever trust her with my hair again. And my hair does funny things anyways. Any time I get it cut, it's like it goes into shock. It acts like a spaz for several days and I can do nothing with it! It's just unnerving to walk into a salon and have everyone look at you like you don't belong there. My hair is important to me and I hate having to trust it to someone who is unfriendly. Which is sad because I absolutely love to have someone play with my hair. That's better than a massage for me! Yet, trips to the salon (very few and far between) are always a source of stress instead of enjoyment.

I've only known one friend who had a great relationship with her stylist, enough to recommend her to me, but she is too far away for me to use her. So, I suddenly had a great idea. My dad had this lady that he went to for as long as I can remember. I'm not sure why we never went to her. But, she has known our family since I was a child and even bought my parents' house when they separated. And it suddenly dawned on me that I don't even know if she knows that my dad died! So, maybe I can go see her. Maybe with her knowledge of my family, she can be that stylist that I have a rapport with. So, I am thinking of calling her salon to make an appointment with her. I found out that her old salon closed and a new one opened in its place. I inquired about her and found that she had moved to another salon. Now, all I have to do is call and make an appointment. The only question is, will I? I don't know if I can do it! HELP!

{The pictures, from top to bottom: me in the sixth grade ['88-'89] (lovely, huh?), one of my senior pictures ['94-'95] (not too bad if not for the big glasses), me and a baby from church ['97 or '98?], and the last is me today ['08] (couldn't get the full length of my hair in the picture, but it is long!)}

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