Hair: The New Anti-hero

Warning: Silliness and writing talk may be closer than they appear.

“Does your hair go ‘poof!’ in the rain? ‘Cause, with all that curl…” That’s the question I got this evening when, as I prepared to leave work, I faced the prospect of summery shoes, a parking lot that was rapidly becoming submerged, and, well, rain.

Now, anyone who has met me, knows The Hair. Hair...1

People who know me, pet The Hair. People who don’t know me pet The Hair, exclaim over its length, poofiness and curl. Hairdressers and brushes cry when they meet The Hair. If someone wrote a story about my life, The Hair would be a major character. Probably a Trickster archetype.

Now, we aren’t just talking run-of-the-mill hair here. This is special hair. This is hair that has literally broken the handle off of a new brush (after it was half untangled!), the hair the everyone I’ve dated has survived being smothered by, the hair that is my most deadly weapon of seduction, the hair that no one will let me cut. Then again, since the last time I cut it, I got special and had a free afro, I’m in no hurry to cut it again. It’s Veronica Lake hair when its happy, supermodel hair in the morning (you know, those crazy updoes that take hours and five cans of hairspray? Yeah, that’s my hair’s natural state), murderous hair when I don’t care for it, and one of the three reasons people love me. It is finicky: 1 type of shampoo, 1 type of conditioner, both from Lush, are the only things it will tolerate, a certain kind of brush, etc. It either looks like a dead cat on my head or a shampoo commercial.

My hair could have a book written about it, its history, and its moods.

What’s the point of this ramble? Well, besides a rant about my hair, it’s pointing a finger at the general concept of heroine hair. Most heroines tend to have Glowing Gold hair, or else Silky Sable. A very few have Fire Red. It’s usually either Straight as a Sword, or else Gently Waving (waving at what, is usually left to the reader’s imagination, thankfully). Either way, it’s wonderful and maintenance free.

Go conduct a poll of 100 women and see how many you find that match such a wonderful description.

In real life, you are more likely to have Glowing-the-Color-Went-Wrong-and-I-Have-Orange-Sticks-On-My-Head hair. Or maybe you do have Silky Sable… But that’s probably after about five hundred dollars a month in hair treatments, a personal hair dresser, five hours a day spent brushing it while reading love sonnets aloud to it, and of course, a gentle conditioner of bitter tears. Or maybe it’s Fire-(Possessed)-Red. You know, the type that one a windy day appears to be eating its person’s face?

You can tell a lot about a person by their hair. Is it stuffed messily into a rubber tie, bits and pieces sticking out every which way? Is it loose, wind-blown and unruly? Is it tacked down by an ungodly amount of what appears to be secret formula Gorilla Glue? Does the person smooth it, play with curls, tuck it behind their ears, run their hands through it (if you run hands through my hair, for instance, you don’t get your hands back, and my hair has a great dinner), or maybe toss it airily out of their face? Are their shapes, colors, styles associated with that person, or do they wear it however, whenever?

I’d be willing to bet that about a hundred characters could easily be created as completely unique, just by hair.

Take time to think about the quirky small things. I’d have a lot more sympathy for the princess if she woke up with her hair trying to tie her feet to her head. A little identification, see?

And no, my hair doesn’t go ‘poof!’ in the rain. It goes this: The Hair 2


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