Friday, June 8, 2012

Ancient Hairstory

I have always had thin, stringy, oily hair.

Scooping the guts out of a pumpkin with my little sister.  I'm the dork in the glasses // {personal photo}
For the most part, it's always been long.  At various points when I was younger, it was chopped shoulder-length or with bangs, but up until high school, it was never much shorter than that.

The summer I turned 9, maybe? // {personal photo}
The length was mainly because from age 3 all the way through senior year of high school, I was a dancer, and I needed hair long enough to be pulled into a bun for classes and performances.

Backstage before recital in 10th grade with the best part about dance class- my friend L // {personal photo}
This also meant my go-to hairstyle for much of my life has been a bun- or at least a ponytail.  Occasionally, I would wear my hair down when I was in school, but not often.

Oh, wait, that's a wig.  Rocking it out at a festival performance in 9th grade, second from the left // {personal photo}
When I was very little, my hair was very blonde.  The older I got, it darkened a little to a dirty-blonde, and now it's more brunette than blonde.  Around middle school, I really wanted to change that.  My friends were experimenting with highlights and some were even dying their hair completely different colors.  I really wanted to try red hair- I felt like it wouldn't be too drastic of a difference from my dirty blonde, so it wouldn't be a crazy change to adjust to.  Plus, I got braces in the 7th grade, and wanted to do all I could to avoid looking like a total loser, as I was trying to establish myself at a new school.  My parents partially conceded on this point and let me get contacts so I could get rid of my ever-nerdy glasses, but coloring my hair was one step too far.

My mom tried to appeal to my scientific side with a lecture, backed up by a nodding hairstylist, on how my body chemistry was ever-changing at the tender age of 12, and any weird chemicals I added to my hair then might do permanent damage later on.  I bought the "science", but I still wanted to do...something.  The stylist suggested a perm- my hair was stick straight, always had been, and it could be fun to experiment with the opposite end of the spectrum.

These curls were achieved by sponge rollers when I was flower girl in my uncle's wedding, as were many a hairstyle when I was a little girl // {personal photo}

So even though we had just entered the early 2000's, I thought that yes, it would be a good idea to get my hair permed every few months for 2 years.

You've seen this picture already.  The heat and humidity are doing weird things to what were normally tight, corkscrew curls around this age // {personal photo}
Remember that mess about chemicals and puberty and permanence?  It was totally true- though why no one considered the chemicals used in perming my hair was beyond me.  So even though it's been years since I've gotten a perm, my hair now has a permanent wave to it- not quite curls, just a tendency to flop around all curvy-like, instead of being stick straight.

In the hotel before a competition in high school with L and BM MrsB.  Notice the kind-of-curly-ness? // {personal photo}
Finally, in high school, I started cutting my hair shorter than my shoulders.  The first experiment was a "rockstar cut" I got the summer before 11th grade.

It's kind of hard to see, but that's the shortest I'd ever cut my hair. // {personal photo}
I could afford short hair over the summer because I knew it had time to grow before the end-of-the-year dance recital in May.  Even so, for many years, I never cut my hair above my shoulders again.  The exception was the very end of my junior year of college- I wanted the rockstar look again.

Vamping for the camera just after the haircut // {personal photo}
And then, in December of 2010, I graduated college.  I finally finished my mechanical engineering degree after 4 and a half years of hard work, lost sleep, and bad eating habits.  I had a few months before I would move to NOVA and start my brand new big-girl job.  Everything about my life was changing; I felt like a whole new person, though nobody could tell.  So I wanted to look like a whole new person.

Earlier that year, Emma Watson cut off all her hair.  Filming for Harry Potter was finally over after more than a decade, and this drastic change in her look reminded us all that she was not just Hermione, she was an actress and a model and had a whole career ahead of her.  I decided to take a page out of Miss Watson's book, even using her picture as my example for my hair stylist.

A little drunk on New Year's Eve 2010 // {personal photo}
A pixie cut- now THAT'S short.  Super short.  Really, really short.  Never have I had my hair that short before or since.  I started letting it grow out, intending to cut it short again at some point, but I never got around to it.

And then we got engaged.

Now don't get me wrong- obviously brides can have short hair.  If the look you rock every day is short- then rock it on your wedding day!  I'm a firm believer that a bride shouldn't be "in costume" on her wedding day...she should look like herself- if perhaps a slightly-fancier version of herself.

But short hair isn't really my all-the-time look, even though, post-graduation, it was my at-the-moment look.  When Mr. Geek and I met, I had shoulder-length hair, and he's always told me he thinks my hair is beautiful when I wear it down and long.

Also, I really want to look...feminine...on my wedding day.  As in, I want to look very much like a woman when Mr. Geek takes me as his wife.  Does that make sense?  Does it sound archaic?  I don't mean it to sound anti-feminist or whatever- obviously I'm no less of a woman when my hair is short.  But when my hair is long, I feel more feminine.  So I've always known I wanted my hair to be long on my wedding day, even if I'd be wearing it styled up.

So my hair has been growing!  But it hasn't been growing very fast.  I've been using this shampoo the past few months:

image via Garnier
Garnier Fructis Length & Strength says it's for "fragile, hard-to-grow hair" which is my hair to a T.  Only...I'm not so sure it's working.

See, it's been almost a year and a half since the pixie cut, and scissors have not touched my hair since- but it's still just barely below my shoulders.  See?

I don't think y'all realize how appreciative I am that this little blog has an audience.  To reward you for reading this mess, here's an embarrassing picture of me // {personal photo}
Broken glasses and beanie hat aside, my hair is..not that long.  I realize it's had to grow from nothing to this, but you'd think in a year and a half it'd get a little longer.  Also, it was cut into weird layers originally- so I'd have "bangs" that angled across my forehead to almost my eyebrows with the rest shorter than an inch in length- and as such it's grown out at weird angles.

I am all about the attractive pictures today! // {personal photo}
This is pretty much the most recent photo of an accurate representation of the length/weirdness of my hair.  Also this face represents how happy I am with my hair at the moment.

So, just to recap, my hair at the moment is:

-not quite long
-kind of straight but kind of wavy/almost curled

What in the heck am I supposed to do with this on the wedding day?  Is it long enough to support a legitimate hairstyle, or am I going to have to revert back to my trusty stand-by, the bun?

You'll have to wait and find out!

Have you ever experimented with hair cuts?  Does your hair grow quickly?  Were you adamant about having long hair for your wedding day?

Much love,
The Geeks

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