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Friday Five: Hair
Sunday, Jun. 22, 2003, 2:43 p.m.

Question: Why do girls with curls wants straight hair and straight-haired girls want curls?

What I Learned: I love my hair.

1. Is your hair naturally curly, wavy, or straight? Long or short?

My hair is naturally so straight that it never needed any ironing when ironing was what you did to long hair. Now it's unnaturally curly and has been so for many years.

My romance with long curls was sealed during an intense spat of viewing Robin of Sherwood on PBS where I was held spellbound by the beautiful tresses of Marion as played by the ethereal Judi Trott. I vowed I would be have those romantic curls flowing down my back come hell or high water. I got the curls and have never looked back. Judi Trott, wherever you are - thank you for inspiring me to curliness.

2. How has your hair changed over your lifetime?

Except for a period after college when I chopped my hair short as a statement of my newfound emotional freedom after breaking up with my college boyfriend, I have always preferred my hair long. In college, it was down past my waist but nowadays I am happy to have it down past my shoulders and as far down my back as I can grow it before I go to the hair salon and they chop off as many inches as they can negotiate with me in the eternal Battle of the Split Ends.

My husband once expressed to me during our courtship days something about my hair and Barbie dolls - as in he had his own one now by virtue of my then very long straight brush-able hair that I am sure I was probably tossing around at the time like I was in a shampoo commercial.

One of my more militant girlfriends told me that I should break it off with him immediately on the strength of the Barbie doll comment but I didnít. The guy didnít mean I was his Barbie doll. It was just his clumsy attempt at a compliment and beside I had probably knocked him half senseless with all that hair flinging that is prone to happen in the early stages of a new romance. Also, I was glad he liked the hair. I mean Barbie may be a skinny chick with pointy breasts but she does have killer hair. Anyway, I think that in reality, maybe my friend was just a little jealous because she didnít have Barbie doll hair as well. And I bet if I asked Barbie that's what sheíd say it was all about too.

3. How do your normally wear your hair?

I wear it down with some gel to help form those flowing curls. When I'm at home I stick it up in a big clip to get it out of the way. Comfort must outweigh beauty occasionally.

4. If you could change your hair this minute, what would it look like?

I'd like long naturally curly strawberry blonde (with an accent on the strawberry) hair please. The beautiful Marion was a redhead and I have always aspired (unsuccessfully) to quasi-fiery curls. My grandmother was a redhead. Strangely, I - who want red hair, find myself to be very much a blonde (of sorts).

5. Ever had a hair disaster? What happened?

All my hair falling out during chemotherapy about 12 years ago - that was my major hair disaster. I loved my long unnaturally reddish-hued and unnaturally curly hair but when the chemo started my beautiful hair was quickly lost. Nothing could save it and the most traumatic thing about it was that I lost most of it in one fell swoop. Can you imagine washing your hair and seeing handfuls of it landing in clumps on the shower floor?

I went to the woman who did my hair right away and said just shave it off because I could stand more of it coming out like that. And she did. She took me in the back room of the shop, turned on a pair of electric shears, and in a few minutes it was all gone. Better that than long clumps of hair floating in the water around your feet.

The funny part is that all of this had a happy ending. I had been told that when your hair grows back it is usually thicker and nicer than it was before and sometimes could change from straight to curly or even change colors. I was hoping for red and curly which I didnít get but I did get thicker blonder hair that is actually much nicer than the finer dirty blonde hair I had before the hair-on-floor-of-shower moment.

I was just glad it grew back.

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