My hair is really poufy. Not that anyone who actually knows me or sees me doesn't know that, but you have no idea how poufy it can be. I mean, I can make it into an Afro that would make a 70's disco king jealous. One time I saw a guy at a 5K race wearing a fake "Afro" as a gag, and I stood next to him, flipped my hair upside down and frizzed it out into an Afro bigger than his fake one. His wife thought it was hysterical and took our picture. But this hair comes with a price. Namely, it's hot. Really hot, and I don't mean in a whistling construction worker way. I mean hot as in I can almost never wear my hair down because, for one thing, it continues to "grow" all day, getting bigger and poufier and once it's fully in pouf mode, there's no taming it without getting it soaking wet. But it's also just really hot, like wearing a thick scarf around my neck, so keeping it pulled back and off my neck is much more comfortable in my perimenopausal state where I vacillate between boiling hot, sort of hot, completely sweaty and really warm. Again, not the "hot" I'm going for.
Besides the poufiness and hotness, my hair is also has the amazing ability to suck up whatever products I put in it at alarming rates. Conditioner, leave in conditioner, gel and finally, sometimes, just plain old hand lotion smoothed over the frizz doesn't seem to leave my hair greasy at all. It's like I can never saturate it with product (and if I tried, I'd use a whole bottle). When I get out of the shower, I have fabulous curls. My hair falls in ringlets and frames my face and looks great. But it NEVER stays that way. If I could "freeze" my hair in its wet state, it would be adorable. But no amount of product can freeze my Medusa hair in its ringlet-y state. Instead, minutes after I shower, a halo of frizz begins to surround my hair and the curls start their morph into pouf. There's no stopping it.
Thank God for elastic bands to hold my hair back. But not just any elastic bands are strong enough for the job. Only the Goody brand "no slip grip" kind actually hold my hair all day. I have to put it up while it's wet, otherwise the damn band won't even fit around my thick ponytail. Once my hair is in full pouf state it takes a super-duty hair band and about 736 bobby pins to tame it. However, once my hair is pulled back, it stretches and straightens the curl. And not in a good way. When I take the ponytail out at night, the first alarming thing I notice is that the center of the ponytail is still wet! That's how long it takes to dry when it's all pulled together like that - forever! Second, the sides of my hair are now straighter than the rest of it, resulting in the top of my head looking like curly noodles (think Top Ramen) and the sides looking like a bad straightening job. Not pretty!
I'm not sure whether I really have "good hair days" as much as "semi-maintained hair days". Sure, people comment on my hair on a frequently - Is that your real curl? (do you really think I'd do this to myself on purpose?)........Do you know how much people pay to get hair like yours? (really? 'Cause I'd ask for my money back!)........You're so lucky, my hair can't hold a curl for five minutes! (Lucky? Like I have a choice!). Thanks to modern technology and the invention of the flat iron (haha), I now have the option of straightening my hair. Anytime I have the inclination (and a spare hour!) I can heat my curly locks to satiny straightness. I've done this a few times and you know what? It drives me nuts. Not only does it come out looking weird because my hair is not the same length in any area, but hair that actually moves and falls into your face is incredibly annoying to someone who's hair never moves freely. No, my hair moves en masse - not unlike a helmet. I love getting out of the shower and swinging my hair back and forth (Cue Willow Smith..I whip my hair back and forth....) and feeling it move. Because as it dries, it becomes one large, tangled mass of curls that doesn't enjoy a lot of free movement.
All those tangled curls mean a lot of tangled hair in the shower. After running my fingers through it to distribute conditioner, I spend a couple of minutes just rinsing all the hair off my hands and then create a hair mouse on the shower drain which I have to remove after every shower. Don't even ask about what goes down the drain - every few months I ask Jeff to remove the "hair monster" and you don't even wanna know what that thing looks like! I love that there are all these donation programs where you can lop off your ponytail and donate it to create wigs for cancer patients. But I wish I could donate my mass of curls - at least once a month I could easily thin out my snarled cap and still have plenty of hair left over for me. I bet if I were so inclined as to sport dreadlocks, they'd be the envy of many a Jamaican, mon.
On days when I dare to go ponytail free, and my hair does its growing all day trick (not unlike a Chia pet), Jeff often finds me, at the end of the day, with my back facing him while I'm working on the computer at my desk. I can only imagine the pyramid of curls that greets his view and I know it's an extra poufy day when he says I have "Hagrid hair". You know, Hagrid? From the Harry Potter movies? The big, ugly guy with the crazy hair? Yeah, that's what Jeff calls me when my hair is out of control. Hagrid hair. Nice.
And thanks to my age, I'm experiencing hot flashes like no one's business. So, my hair only aggravates that condition by creating the feel of a fur hat when all I want is a cool breeze across my neck. You know Pedro in Napolean Dynamite? How he shaved his head because his hair was making him hot? That's me. It's the miniscule shred of sanity I have at this point in my life that keeps me from doing just that, but don't think for a minute I won't go shitballs crazy some day and shave it off. Because I just might.
Working with kids all my life, I've often dealt with the dreaded "lice scare". And long ago I decided, if I get lice, I'll just shave my head. Because I cannot imagine pulling a nit comb through my tangled web. The time! The pain! The ineffectiveness! Nope, I'd just shave it and start over. Who knows? I could end up a blonde with silky locks and make a living doing shampoo commercials. But for now I'll wash, condition, condition, condition, leave in conditioner, gel, hand lotion, gel again, wet my hair, ponytail, bobby pin, and otherwise tame my wild pouf and continue to smile when people say "great hair!"