Tag Archives: Bad Hair Day

REDHEAD UPDATE: It washed out.  It’s barely noticeable, so I’m going to try it again!  Fingers crossed, glam geeks.

Finally, autumn!  Fall is my favorite season; once you get a job and have to wear office clothes instead of short shorts and micro-sundresses, summer doesn’t seem that much fun…but fall, that’s when I can REALLY show off the good stuff! Leggings, boots, jackets and hats, HURRAH!  And layering, layering, LAYERING!  It’s much more fun to experiment when there are multiple pieces involved and not just one sundress and some sandals.

Plus, it’s what Ian likes me best in–soft sweaters, cozy tights, all looking sweet and comfortable.  In the summer, I like to feel like a seductress with my long legs and high heels, but in the fall, I turn into Manic Pixie Dream Hipster.  I bought a dress printed with cat faces.  I wore flats ON PURPOSE.  And he LOVED it.  I might , just might, be getting the hang of this “impress your man” thing.

But it’s a look I can rock, and it’s a look that men seem to like.  It gives the appearance of low maintenance, charm and quirk.  Men all say they like high heels, until they want a girl to be able to walk more than ten feet.  The only man who ever hated my Doc Martens, well, let’s just say he’s not around anymore.


“Men hate the sight of curlers” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask A Man

I’ve reached a critical juncture in this project–choosing between what I want and like and choosing between what Ian wants and likes.  Throughout all of these different books across various decades, they have one thing in common–a woman’s job is to please her man.

The other night he sat me down and said, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but I think those pincurls and scarf make you look like a washerwoman and it makes me less attracted to you.”


I did everything Arlene told me to, and turns out . . . it didn’t work.  That Ian liked me better, thought I was more attractive, when I didn’t put my hair up.  Even when I hid all my implements, he could still see them, and it was a major turn-off.

But here’s the thing.  I LIKED putting my hair up.  I liked the act of doing so, and I felt like I was just on the cusp of getting it right (and if not, well, there’s always hats).  One of the things I’ve learned (and enjoyed) about makeup and hair is that it’s time for myself.  Just ten minutes or so in the early morning or late evening, not enough to really write or get into a book or anything like that, just ten minutes where I am alone, in front of my vanity, quietly reflecting.

My hair has always been a minor point of contention between Ian and I.  When I was living in NYC, I got it straightened, and while he loved it, I hated it.  I thought it made me look like everyone else, so I went home and cried and listened to Hole’s “Awful” to cheer myself up.  I want wild, curly, funky hair, and he wants something cute and flippy.  I don’t want to not be attractive to him, but I also want to feel like my hair is my own to do with whatever I please.  Now the next step is figuring out how to mesh both of our feelings on the subject and come up with something I like that also makes me attractive to him.

That’s the whole point of this project–to examine what vintage advice works and what doesn’t work.  Ian was just doing what I asked him to do–be honest about the status of each stunt I undertook.  He didn’t like this one, and that’s fine.   He’s not a bad person, it’s not a control issue, I’m not going to dump him because he doesn’t like pincurls.

I’m sure he’s relieved to hear that.


Porcupine Skull

“How is it possible …to put her hair in pincurls every night, to look attractive for me?”  Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man

ImageMy cute haircut has now fallen into a flippy mess, and so the other day, while watching Gypsy on Netflix, I decided to give pincurls a try.  Upon returning home from work, Ian said I looked like Miss Tiggywinkle, when she dresses up like a washerwoman.  


The pincurls themselves?  Well, they were kind of a mess.  But thank HEAVENS for cloche hats!



Massage your hair and scalp thoroughly with a vegetable oil, then steam the hair and scalp for half an hour by wrapping your head in a hot, damp terry towel” Arlene Dahl, Always Ask a Man.

Before I go and get my BRAND NEW HAIRCUT (coming soon!), I wanted to give my old hair one last hurrah with a hot oil treatment (also, if it went really badly, it wouldn’t matter because I was getting it professionally shampooed and they could deal with it).  Since we were out of olive oil (except for the rosemary and garlic kind, good on bread, bad on head) I decided to go with coconut oil, because it says on the package that it’s what the beautiful people use for shiny hair.  I want to be both

I melted it down and it didn’t go in quite as easily as I thought it would.  The hot towel posed a whole other set of problems, since we just went through a cold snap and the house isn’t exactly balmy.  It went cold every few minutes, and I kept having to microwave it, which meant pausing the terrible SVU rerun I was watching on Hulu because the new season of Arrested Development made me feel uncomfortable and sad (yeah, I said it).

At the end of all of it, my hair was shinyin a guido, unwashed hair kind of way.  It took a few shampoos to get all of it out and even then it looked a little weighed down and sticky.  Live and learn, I guess.  Onward to new hair! 

More Thoughts on Bad Hair

Generally this blog is about what a woman can do to make her man happy, but today, I’d like to talk about things guys can do to make their women want to make them happy and not laugh in their faces.

Do NOT dye your hair a stupid candy color.

There are some guys who can get away with this.  Guys who wear Doc Martens and are in punk bands and have mohawks.  Guys who . . . yeah, no, that’s the only kind.

My e-boyfriend Aaron surprised me one night by coming home from college and showing up at my door . . . with blue hair.  Now Aaron was a perfectly nice person, a Star Wars nerd, a mama’s boy and the textbook definition of a square.  He also had a crew cut and now appeared to be wearing the skin of a cheap stuffed animal sculpted around his skull.  It was not a good or appropriate look for his personality type.  Or anyone’s, really.

He did this because of anime.  I don’t remember ever seeing an anime starring a skinny, nebbish hero with a tie-dyed Star Wars tee-shirt purchased from the Star Wars Insider in 1996, before Star Wars was cool again, and anyway, I was into anime before everyone was into it and Aaron used to openly mock me for watching “porn cartoons,” but now he was on my porch acting like the messiah of Japanese cartoons and I should be all grateful that he welcomed me into this wonderful world of geekdom.


Yeah? You like that sexy cartoon?

I, sputtering to try and figure out a reason not to run inside and slam the door, told him he looked like James from Pokemon.  He didn’t.  James was kind of hot (for a cartoon character) and Aaron was a dork in an X-Wing tee-shirt, now sporting hideous candy-vomit hair.

He did not take this as a compliment.  In fact, it sort of pissed him off, because he didn’t like James, but let’s face it, he should have seen that coming.  And either way, it would have been an improvement over the ‘do he was currently sporting.

In a moment of true devotion to my relationship, I did not slam the door in his face.  I smiled politely and was seen out in public with him without visibly cringing, because I am an awesome actress. And to his benefit, it was just temporary, and soon he went back to being the shy, quiet geek I knew and loved.

Just kidding.  He kept it for a few weeks and then dyed it bright red like another anime character.  It wasn’t an improvement.

And yes, I almost married this guy.  But that’s another story for another snowy day.