Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Hairstyles for the Awkward Grow Out

What do you do with your hair when it's in the in between stage? Okay, I'm asking because I really have no idea. I grew up in a family of women who had the "good girl" hair. I think Gilmore Girls referred to it as "shiny Harvard hair." This hair is fine, super shiny, may have a slight wave to it, and barely needs a brush to make it flow like satin.

One would think that a trace of this beautiful hair would be passed to me but one would be wrong. Instead I was born with coarse, super curly hair with a texture not unlike a horse's tail. A slight humidity and *poof!* my hair would crinkle up into a cotton ball. Over the years I left heavy globs of conditioner in my hair and finally resorted to updos just to tame that wet hair into place.

It wasn't until graduate school that I learned about styling utensils that had super human heat. My friend, Sonali with her beautiful thick, Indian hair would sometimes come into class with it board straight. She opened a whole new world of possibilities to this awe-struck 29-year-old. It's nearly 10 years later and I am nowhere nearer understanding my hair and what all I can do with it. But I do have a great straightening iron!

And thank goodness for said straightening iron, especially with short hair! My hair is growing (or so say my friends) and with that mean odd little coiled curls at the nape, the layers on top being extra poufy (giving my head an overall cubic shape), and requiring heat to flatten the hair out as much as possible. Bob Ross is calling to my hair and I just refuse to answer.

So here are a few styles I've come up with. They are categorized into four groups: lazy, headband, clipped, and quirky. My lazy look isn't really lazy as it means extra time at the straightening iron. You can just see hints of the grey and this is my taupe-y look, hence my least favorite. I wear this on days when I just want to blend into the background of society. Sunglasses on top of my head is a staple for the South and since my eyes are sensitive, act as both a shield and a ready headband.

This next series is the headband look. I have loads of these and substitute scarves in there as well. If I'm especially missing my mom I'll wear one of her scarves. These two that I picked out are cool because they're both made out of kimonos. The one on the left is a silvery bird out of a former silk kimono and the one on the right is a series of three braided headbands made out of former linen kimonos. I wear this look when I'm a bit lazy but want my hair to be the main accessory to my look. For instance I'll wear the blue-silver headband with a cute raspberry dress.

Next up is my clip look. I do this when I'm missing my silver and want to ensure that it didn't just go away. Besides, when you have awkward hair grow-out, this is the easiest look to accomplish and still feel a bit polished. The one on the left is simple pulling the sides back and the middle look requires a little extra time at the straightening iron and is pulling the top sides back. The last look is called fishtail braiding and is super easy. We used to braid the horse manes like this and I feel like they are good muses for me. All you do is take a small section at the part, divide into two pieces and then pick up a small piece of hair under and twist. Clip back when you're done.

I saved my favorite for last. I call it anime pigtails. This came from a combination of my secret desire to be an anime character, a sigh of relief when my co-worker THOUGHT she wouldn't see a ponytail out of me for many moons (ha! showed her), and the look of abject horror-turn-resignation on my sister's face when she realised that I was going to go out in public like this. I wish I could go off to work like this and am half-tempted. Say what you will but you can see all my pretty silver AND it can't help but make you smile. I first put my hair up like this when I had a bad day at work and was in a foul mood. I had a cello lesson and didn't want to be in a poopy mood and bring down my teacher. So I took a time out, put my hair in piggy tails, then relaxed into a great mood. I sent a pic to my sister (also having a particularly poopy day) and it cheered her up as well. Luckily my teacher is used to oddballs and this didn't seem to phase him in the least.

So there you have a series of hairstyles from a painfully inexperienced gal. Eventually, I'll learn the Curly Girl method but in the meantime- Grow, Hair Grow!

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