Race to the Prettiest…Hair
I remember being in 7th or 8th grade when I discovered the life-changing power of the flat iron.
From unruly locks, my hair was transformed into a smooth waterfall that framed my face and gently fell around my shoulders.
It was as if the ugly duckling had emerged as a baby swan overnight. There was a clear increase in compliments, fawning attention, and sparkly-eyed looks (you know those…when a guy seems dazed by your beauty).
Word spread about me as one of the big “stunners” in our local ethnic community. I became the object of several new crushes at school too.
Rivals tried to pry out what shampoo or serum I was using on my hair. Or if they were those supplements they saw at the drugstore. At the encouragement of my mother, I was coy.
Soon the word was out in the little town of my youth, and everyone started sporting sleek locks. I had to come up with new ways to out-groom the competition.
Flash forward years later.
Now in a more humid city in the northeastern United States, I struggled with keeping my hair smooth and soft when it would rain. An hour or more of diligent styling work ruined when it drizzled.
Not to mention the perils of the pool or beach, where I would zealously avoid getting in the water…lest my hair “start curling up” like Kristin Cavallari mentioned on an episode of MTV’s The Hills.
Then I discovered another life-changer: thermal reconditioning. With 3-8 hours of sitting in a hairstylist’s chair, along with a bit of a financial investment too, I could have product-free low-maintenance perfect hair for months. That would retain its softness, rain or shine. That would give me an extra hour of sleep back in the morning or during evenings going out.
Another thing I do is put different color tinges in my hair from time to time. It’s fun to play with color and how that can transform you too. I am often questioned about the exact shade I use by girls. (I also ask girls where they got highlights done when they’re really good. It’s a girl thing right?)
You know you’re standing out in a good way when copycats start to spring up around you. When you’re not the only girl with that cute fringe of bangs any more. Time for the next move…
It’s like there’s a race to discover the latest beauty or style “trick” to look better, and stand out just that little extra millimeter (or centimeter).
Perfect cut and colored hair, perfect blushing cheeks, perfect glossily pouty lips, perfectly lush eyelashes… with perfect legs in the right jeans, a perfect bust in the right colored top, perfect posture in not-quite-slutty heels, and perfect sparkly earrings.
As they say, good grooming is to beauty the way a good setting is to a diamond. I would add that styling is the art of knowing how to mold beauty the right way. And the greatest power comes from knowing how to do so, uniquely.
Note: “Peacocking” done by guys can include similar obsession over uniquely stirking hair. I never knew what Guidos were until MTV’s Jersey Shore, but once I saw the hair I knew exactly what we types of people we were talking about. :-) Pauly D may look like he stuck his finger in an electrical socket, but you definitely don’t miss seeing him.