What’s My Hair Doing?

As has been previously mentioned in many places on Alice McAlex, I am very weird about my hair. I mean have you seen it? (Just kidding – that is so rude.)

For whatever bizarre reason, I have been weird about my hair since I was old enough to understand I had hair. Of course I don’t remember everything, but here are a few stories for you, some of which have been passed down from my poor, beleaguered mother:

  • At age 4, I became obsessed with having a high half-ponytail every day and would make my mom do my hair over and over and over again until there were no bumps. Apparently I would melt to the floor when I was told this was the last time it was getting fixed. (I don’t remember this.) I would throw insane fits if my hair looked bad. (This I do remember as I have continued to do this my entire life.)
  • Once, when I was almost 5, my mom was away from my sister and me for a week — the first time we had spent the night apart. When we were reunited, my older sister ran joyfully out of the house to greet her, so excited to have her back. I pouted my way up to her with my hairbrush in one hand and a hair tie in the other, saying only, “Ficca my hair, mommy. Ficca my hair!” (I also couldn’t say fix. There’s a lot going on in this story.)
  • For as long as I remember, I have hated looking at pictures of myself at ages 1-2 because I had a mullet situation going on. Like, I actually remember being very young and avoiding those pictures.
  • I’ve broken a lot of things during meltdowns about bad hair days. Often these meltdowns are almost what you would consider warranted — my hair is regularly determined to look FABULOUS on nothing days and HORRIBLE on the most important ones. Most often, these meltdowns were on a random Thursday when nothing mattered but I was a cranky little monster. I broke a mirror when I was 14 in one of these meltdowns, and I blame the mistakes I made with bangs throughout high school on this very incident.
  • I have cried in front of every hairdresser I’ve ever had, including the one I go to now. So yes, as a 26-year-old, I cried to my new hairdresser just because he joked about cutting more than I wanted. Hey, at least he doesn’t make jokes anymore.

I don’t really know where the initial neurotics came from (definitely not from my mom or my sister who are both sane), but I’ve always had them. And while it would certainly be nice if I was able to tell you I became less crazy with age, it would also be a lie.

Gratuitous picture of my hair looking LEGIT 

So let me tell you about it. It’s brown and wavy and never as long as I want. (Think Miley Cyrus when she had $16,000 extensions before she lost her mind and cut it off.) It has changed textures at least three times in my life: first it was wavy straight, then it was almost what you would call curly, and now it’s wavy most days and beautifully curly only immediately following hot yoga, when I am covered in sweat. I feel quite settled and satisfied with the way that I style it now and dream regularly about it doing this entirely on its own. I once read that movie hair people love Amy Adam’s hair because it holds the way that it is styled very well. That ability is my hair’s greatest strength and I love it for that.

I judge a good hair day on three categories: shape, volume, and curl. A great hair day has great all three; an okay hair day has two, and a bad hair day has none.

It doesn’t do well with humidity. So much so that I plan the way I do my hair each day based on the weather forecast. I am remarkably in tune with how humid it is outside. Not only do I check it every single time I step outside (no, seriously, every single time), I now can recognize it even in its sneakier moments just by feeling it. You may think it’s only humid on those swampy days or when it’s raining, but you’d be mistaken. (DAMN YOU, EARLY MORNINGS.)

Sometimes I wonder what I would worry about if I lived in a dry climate. But I never wonder what I would worry about if I didn’t care about my hair or if I learned to accept the reality of bad hair days without letting it plague me. Because as insane as it makes me, caring so adamantly about the state of my hair is just me.

I’m passionate, obsessive, and meticulous. I care so much about the little things. I’m girly and romantic and southern in the ways you don’t expect. My hair helps me feel confident on the days I most need it and it teaches me humility when I need to calm down.

I know to almost everyone it doesn’t matter at all, but why would I let that change me? Whether serious or frivolous, I’ve learned to invest energy in the things I so passionately care about. And what my hair is doing every day is serious business, not even kidding.


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