Amy’s Hair-Story

February 8, 2011 at 5:21 pm 7 comments

I want my children to be smart and well-mannered.  I hope they have a good sense of humor and a great self-esteem.  I will teach them to be polite to their elders, kind to animals, and generous to others.

Above all this, I wish them a life of good hair.

I have a fear that this wish will not be realized.  This wish is not unfounded nor irrational.  After all, they have not started off on a good footing with their hair.  Alissa was practically bald until she was nearly two.  Now it’s baby fine and wavy, not a great combination.  Ashley was luckier to be born with more hair, but she is constantly pulling clips and rubber bands out of her pigtails.  She likes to wait until she’s strapped into the car seat, then completely ruin her hairstyle.  By the time we arrive anywhere, she has a disheveled, Helen-Keller type appearance.

Yes, I want to tell people.  I do comb my children’s hair.

Unfortunately, they are handicapped by Thumbs McGee, their mother who couldn’t style a mannequin.  I see other little girls with cute braids and ponies and other styles their moms have given them.  Between my ineptness and their wiggling, my girls are lucky if I can scrape together a pigtail or two on the top of their heads.

Perhaps I’m a bit too sensitive to this subject.  Maybe the topic hits a little too close to home.  I know I’m projecting my own insecurities onto my children.  Because I, dear reader, have had a life of bad hair.

Don’t believe me?  I have entire albums and boxes of photographic evidence in my basement.  And – because I obviously have no pride left and will do anything to entertain the visitors to my blog – I will now provide you with a brief glimpse of my own hairology.

I started out behind the hair eight-ball.  However, there are days I think about returning to this look.  It would save me so much time in the mornings.

Fine, flyaway.  Where have I seen this hair recently?  Oh, yes, poor Alissa.

Ah, the pigtail days.  My mom used entire vats of Dippity-Doo on my hair to get into this style.

My orphan Annie phase.
What is a midwestern Protestant girl doing with a Jew ‘fro?

There really aren’t any words.

Forget the hair for a moment.  What ON EARTH am I wearing in this picture?  Purple velour with a lace doily for a collar???

Many people have a cowlick at the back of the head.  Evidently, I had one on the left side at my temple, because I can’t tell you how many pictures I have with a chunk sticking out just above that ear.  This would be the era where many people mistook me for a boy.  A boy with boobs.

My bangs.  My bangs.  OH GOD, MY BANGS.  Remember the poofy late-80’s bangs that were a majestic testament to the possibilities of hairspray and backcombing?  I never could figure out how to coax my bangs into looking like that.  I’m just thankful I don’t have a burn mark across my forehead from the curling iron.  That’s a good look.

The perm years.  I have naturally curly hair, but the perms made it so much curlier.  It looks like a poodle is sitting on my head.

And then there are a whole bunch of high school pictures that should be shown here, but even I have a modicum of self-preservation left.  Those pictures are so horrid, so representative of my bad hair mojo, that I won’t show them to you.  Suffice it to say that the only thing that’s keeping me from burning them is that I want to keep them; they’ll be good for scaring my children into submission some day.

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I finally got a handle on my hair:

To my children, I’d like to say: I’m very, very sorry.  You totally got screwed in the hair genetics lottery.  I’ll try to make it up to you by finding you a good hairstylist in your teens.  Now, c’mere; I’ve got some Dippity-Doo for you.

UPDATE: Evidently I’m not alone in my quest to give my girls cute hair.  My friend Prairie just emailed me the link to an entire blog devoted to styling girls’ hair.  Check it out here:


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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Missy  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    Too funny! I can’t quit laughing because I sported many of those same looks in grade school. I had the orphan Annie look (thanks to a tight perm) and Dorothy Hamill hybrid (picture following Annie). Thanks for the laugh.

  • 2. ~Amy  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I loved the Dorothy Hamill hair. I think that was what I was going for in a couple of pictures. Now I know how much hair texture determines the cut!! 🙂

  • 3. aunt janet  |  February 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    And yet we loved you anyway! It didn’t matter what the hair looked like, you were just “Maimie Dawn”.

  • 4. Sara Foster  |  February 8, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    You can tell we are the same age because we have very similar hair evolutions. Including the 5th to 6th grade days of being mistaken for a boy over and over.

  • 5. Jennifer McCurdy  |  February 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    Maybe we should get together (you, Sara and I) with our photo albums and share some laughs. Like the both of you I had a lot of the same styles (and tears at night!) including the looking like a boy issue.

  • 6. Fanny  |  February 15, 2011 at 8:26 am

    hihi, this is so funny, nice inspiration, i think i will make a post like this also. x

  • 7. Lisa  |  March 28, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Oh my, the perm years. For those of us who already had bad hair, the perm was a way to cover it all up. Little did we know we were only making it worse. Great photos. You are a brave one.


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