…was the question I asked of the man who owns the local salon I found myself in last week. He tried to be diplomatic in his response but after much hedging and mumbling about a seventy-six year old woman who used to but then stopped, the answer was plainly, just me. No matter, I am ready to be a trend of one. I know that doesn’t exist but just work with me people.
Perhaps a little back story is in order. I was born with pin straight hair. The hair was so resistant to curl that even a chemical perm left it straight but frizzy. It is said that you always covet what you do not have. Anyone can see this in action at a party. Look around and you will see women with naturally curly hair who have taken great pains to straighten their hair for this special occasion. Likewise, the women with naturally straight hair have spent the afternoon curling and pinning their hair for the same reason. I thought this was just the natural course of womanhood but then, I got cancer. When my hair grew back in after chemotherapy, it grew in with the most luscious, luxurious curls you have ever seen. I adored it. I thought the women who complained about curls were just as sincere as me, but now, I knew their secret. Curly hair is the best. I imagined secret societies of curly-haired girls where they sit around,twirling their hair and talking freely about how much better and easier their lives are because of their glorious curls. They invented problems to complain about so the straight-haired girls wouldn’t feel so bad. It was all a scam and now I was on the inside, or so I felt. As my hair began to grow longer however, it seemed that the curls were growing out. Three years on, it became painfully clear that the curls were fleeting. All that remained, were the ends that I refused to cut for fear of losing my precious curls forever. These were the circumstances that led me to the perm chair in the local salon. The owner was the only one there that even knew how to do a perm that is how popular they are not. He assured me that a big rollered perm would leave me with the results I was seeking. I was skeptical but desperate for the feeling the curls gave me.
I have always thought big hair was beautiful. Part of this is explained by growing up in the eighties. Rather than the wavy artificial curls of that era though, I have always been drawn to big loopy curls like you find on Sophia Loren or Raquel Welch. Those type of bodacious curls was what I was after.
I suppose the perm last Friday was the official start of this week’s resolution. The perm results are still too soon to judge. Sometimes it is wavy eighties curly and I am full of doubt but then I sleep on it and in the morning I am delighted. My haircut on Friday will likely help to tame the wave and encourage the loops I seek.
I am definitely going out of my comfort zone with this little experiment. That is perhaps one of the unexpected benefits of a bout with cancer. Cancer stretches out your comfort zone so much that afterwards it encompasses more than you thought possible. I’m willing to take leaps and chances on myself. After all it’s just hair, even if you lose it all, it grows back.