16 May, 2007

It's all about the Cut

"You have sexy hair"
*blush* "really"
"I don't understand why all women don't do that."
"What" prepared to enlighten this clueless man on the reality of hair, I adjusted myself in the seat and settled in for a discussion.
"I mean, you have a great color and everything , but why do women do all that 'stuff' to their hair."

Why do women do all that stuff to their hair? He is asking someone who hasn't done anything to her hair since a spiral perm in... 1990. I would like to say that we do it for ourselves, because doing all that stuff to our hair makes us feel great. I am just not sure that is really why we do it.

Do we do it for men... to attract them; keep them; impress them... you know, it is part of the whole looking our best to capture the attention of the "right" guy?

Is it more to compete with or impress other women?

Is it simply the last touch to a great outfit?

For years I have witnessed the things women do to their hair. From perms to highlighting to covering gray. Some spend hours attempting to perfect their "look." I have known women who spend a fortune on a treatment that no one can see once it is complete. I have to admit that, even I, as a woman, have pondered why we do what we do.

For some women, it is a way of expressing their individuality and their personality. Others, it is a means of fitting in and following trends is important.

My daughter had great hair from the moment she started growing hair (which was after the age of 1). It is a reddish gold color with curls that aren't too tight or too loose. She doesn't have a lot, but she doesn't need a lot. She is, however, very particular about how it is cut and how it looks (despite what her dance teacher wants; she does her own thing).

I am not sure when my hair truly started looking great - though I did know I had great hair by the time I was a freshman in high school.

That said, honestly, what is great hair? Mine has been called great by women, sexy by some guys, and used in other ways by others. They seem to be able to picture grabbing it etc. Delightful! (eye roll)

First of all, the color of my hair is weird. It is red in some lights and brown in others and there is a gold hint from time to time. It is long, thick, fine, and wavy. I don't do anything to it - never dye, highlight, perm, blow dry, curl, spray. It is just there.

I used to spend twelve dollars on a hair cut. I had nice hair and the point was simply to trim the ends etc. Pure maintenance. After one weird and crooked cut I called it quits and decided that I could afford to pay the money to truly get my hair cut. I have never looked back; my hair has never looked better!

How do I explain to a guy that it is pure luck that I was born with this hair and that the styles now tend to favor my type of hair? How do I explain that, if he recalls, it didn't look this good a few years ago. That, in the end, it is truly all about (in my case) a good cut.


Carrie said...

What is great hair? Hmm... again, you raise so many good questions that I'd never think to ask. Hair is hair - yet it seems EVERYONE pays attention to it.

Perhaps because long-ish hair is so feminine? Because with a proper hair flip and the right shampoo can send men to their knees? Because it has the ability to frame our faces and enhance our beauty? I don't know...

But I do know that your hair colour sounds fantastic. And so does your daughters. Lucky her!!

Beth said...

Haha! I had a spiral perm in the 90s, too. Now I shudder when I think about it!

I always thought great hair was thick hair. I probably think this because my hair is baby fine. But I think you are right, good hair relies primarily on the cut.

Have the T-Shirt said...

Man, I did the spiral perm think too!

I agree that good hair just looks better with the right cut.

And color? Well, for me, as I got older my hair darkened and I really liked it lighter, so lighter it is :)

cathouse teri said...

I don't think a man should say such an idiotic thing.

I mean, does he also say, "Why do women bother to dress nicely?"

And then we feel we have to somehow defend the right to make ourselves feel beautiful.

I was pondering this very thing this morning. Now, everyone looks better with eye makeup on. I mean, if they know how to apply it. But normally you look just fine without it. It is just that we get used to seeing ourselves with it and so when we remove it, we look so plain!

The analogy I chose to use to wrap my mind around this is that yes, our eyes are beautiful as they are. But makeup frames them. It's like the difference between a lovely painting, and the same painting framed.

So there.

Bre said...

For me, hair is about self expression. When I'm feeling sleek and sultry it's pressed close to my head. When I'm feeling flowy and summery I work hot curls into it. And when I'm frazzled, like most days, I let it be whatever it wants. It works for me.

brandy said...

Long, thick and wavy?? You just described my dream hair! And I agree with Carrie, the color DOES sound fantastic. Congratulations, I'm jeaous!

The Exception said...

Carrie & Brandy - Thanks. It is an odd color. My mom has always considered it blond (she is the only one) while everyone else says it is brown. Yet, in pictures or when I wear certain colors, it is red. I like it. And it is thick, heavy, and hot!
Carrie, you are right, I am amazed at people who notice my hair. TO me, it is hair. I can use it when I want, but mostly, it is just hair.
Beth - You didn't like your perm! ;) Do they even do spiral perms anymore?
T-Shirt - Gotta love those perms. I liked it better than the old home variety. If you like it light; go light! I think that we should wear our hair the way that it makes us feel our best.
Teri - I think, my thinking here as I didn't ask, he was referring to the beauty of women in their natural state. This is a guy who takes great care to look his best all the time and at no expense.

I think that your idea of the frame is good. When we do it right and to complement what we have...

It is an interesting question to pose - do women do these things to look their best for themselves or for men or to other women?
Bre - I love using my hair as you described. I don't do it very often anymore, but I used to allow it to reflect my moods. My daughter is starting to allow her hair to reflect her mood - a pony tale reflects her at her sporty best etc.

BeautifulDisaster said...

I love the analogy of the frame. Its the same as dressing nice and dressing down - sometimes a t-shirt works and sometimes I want to feel feminine and pretty!