Léna is also a Regional Manager for Writopia Lab whose mission is to foster joy, literacy, and critical thinking in kids and teens from all backgrounds through creative writing.

"Well, the question is, what do you want to believe? Do you want to live in a world where things are possible, or in one where they aren't?" Cin, Edges.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Hair Today

Hair. Yes, I'm really going to write about hair. What does it have to do with a Lit Life? Well, we'll see, but I'm definitely thinking of lightening my hair a lot. As in platinum, a la Marilyn Monroe.

My hair is short now, you see, so the stakes aren't really that high. I went to a new hairdresser, a fabulously hip older guy who had 3 hair salons in San Francisco during the 60's and 70's, wrote a screenplay with Ang Lee and owns a boxing studio in Mt. Kisco, where he also does hair. How could I NOT go to him? And I will go back, because the fact that my hair is short is entirely my fault. I wanted to put myself in his hands. I didn't say anything about length. He has a mural painted of a jungle by his hair chair, and I was staring right into the eyes of a tiger. It seemed serendipitous that I would be looking at a tiger instead of in a mirror, as I have a tiger tattooed on my back.

He cut and I had to run, to take my daughter to ballet class. I called the husband to warn him that my hair was shorter than I wanted. He loves long hair. I got home and everyone said "oh no!" I grabbed my daughter, dropped her off at ballet and went out for coffee with another mom. Hours later, I got an email from the barista, saying that I had left my purse there. I was so off my game I hadn't even noticed!

In yoga class yesterday, my friend reminded me that it looked like one of the cuts I had in college. Yeah, I thought. And I had platinum hair . . . I joked with my family over dinner about it, and my husband said seriously, "You should do it!" My eleven year old son said, "oh no mom! That would be so embarrassing!"

I have been a hairdresser orphan for many years now, fecklessly wandering, looking for a place to hang my hat. In my youth I was spoiled by having hairdresser friends who would do my hair for free, from shaggy cuts to blues and pinks, graduating to sophisticated highlights in my mid 20's. Expensive hair, but I was hooked. I was hooked also on not having a decision on what to do - since I wasn't paying any money, I would allow them free reign and I was always grateful.

When I met my husband, I was 28 and had just moved to Moab. Before I left NYC I had thrown down a lot of money for the first time on my hair. It was long, straight, thick and lustrously highlighted with golds, blonds and reds.

We miss that hair. Age and the hormones from pregnancy changed the texture of my hair so that it is curly on the bottom and straight on top. Instead of losing my hair, it grows bulkier, so that my face gets completely lost in it, and it feels brittle.

The last time it was cut short was when I was on that Reality TV show almost seven years ago, the one where I was trained for four days to be a cheerleader. Don't tell me I haven't told you about that? (Well, I'm working on fictionalizing that experience right now . . .)  It was right before I got pregnant with my third child and part of the experience was a "make-over".

Now it's short again. Is this my chance to do something wild? I don't think I can ever go back to that sophisticated hair I had when I met the husband. I might not ever be twenty pounds thinner either. Shouldn't I just accept what I have and have fun with it?

I would do it myself, out of a box. I think I just might. Maybe I'll chicken out of platinum, but my hair will be "lit" somehow.

P.S. I took the advice of my real life Facebook friends and went to a salon, settling for Gold instead of Platinum. It was well worth it! I am well-lit, n'est-ce pas?


  1. Lovely, Lena! A new-ish friend of mine was looking at old photos with me and commented that my hair has always been the same. My stylist (and I am not an orphan) vehemently disagreed with her, but my hair has never been as short as yours and the color has not swayed far from my natural brown. So I am not apt to take risks with hair. I guess I've always been very attached to it and afraid of ruining it. Ah, vanity!

  2. You're gorgeous! And I'm with you! I'm already looking forward to summer and going platinum again--which is awfully dramatic for my natural dark brunette self . . .

  3. I think the cut is sassy. And you need to be looking sharp for public gatherings, so that blends in with the lit.

  4. Thank you guys!

    Alison - you have such beautiful shampoo model hair - I wouldn't change a thing! My hair just has a life of it's own . . .

    Jen - platinum completely suits you - in fact, whenever I picture you, yo have platinum hair.

    Carrie - thank you for connecting the dots! And yes, I do need to put my best "hair" forward!

  5. I really like it! It suits you to a tee. :) Going for the gold (ha!) tends to compliment more people's skin tones. As a natural brunette I researched the daylights out of it to find a good shade for me. Decided I was more "Kelly Clarkson" than "Gwen Stefani". ;) Bravo!

  6. Thanks Lucy! I went to a salon after I wrote the original post, and that's what the color artiste said too! (Warm tones, warm tones!)

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