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Race to the Prettiest…Hair

February 5, 2010

I remember being in 7th or 8th grade when I discovered the life-changing power of the flat iron.

Shakira wavy, straight and curly source:

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.

Katy Perry...Better as a Brunette source:

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).

Lady Gaga is known for standing out through her style source:

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.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2010 5:04 pm

    I expatriated to Europe seven months ago. There are a million things that I could say about the girls here but one in particular is that they have not discovered flat-irons.

    Please don’t encourage them.

  2. February 7, 2010 5:07 am

    I have somewhat curly hair, and while the waves are nice for wash-n-go, there are times when I want straight hair. Without a flat iron or curling iron, when dried with a hairdryer, my hair would has the horse-tailed look of blow-dryed curly hair. Thank goodness for these appliances. The thermal reconditioning sounds interesting, I’ve never heard of that.

  3. Bob permalink
    February 8, 2010 12:49 am

    Curly, straight, blonde, brunette, whatever…

    For God’s and DNA’s sake, don’t cut it.

    It should reach below the bottom of your shoulder blades. Put it up once in a while, but never cut it.

  4. February 8, 2010 12:00 pm

    Oh you are SO a talkin’ my language chickerita. (I’m in Mexico and am taking on the accent). I have great hair (ordinarily). Easy to curl, easy to hold a curl and just as easy to straighten. And then I hit the humidity of the Caribbean. My goodness. It can’t hold a curl and it can’t stay straight. I’ve taken to braids and ponytails and/or hats — I’ve had to put a whole new empahasis on boobage. ;)

  5. February 8, 2010 12:19 pm

    I’m interested to know the mid/long term effects of consistent hair manipulation whether dyeing, ironing, crimping or whatever. I’ve seen plenty of girls who have striking hair from middle distance and then up close it looks brittle and dead.

    By far the best hair is long, flowing and silky. It hardly matters how it is cut / styled if it meets those three criteria.

    What amuses me about women’s styling is the amount of turd-polishing that goes on. Fat sour warpigs who spend two hours in front of the mirror to add +5% onto their SMV when half an hour in the gym or simply laying off the Haagen Daas would soon add +50%.

  6. February 8, 2010 3:36 pm

    RM – What’s wrong with flatirons? Or are you on Team Wavy only? ;-)

    Rebekah & Aoefe – Yeah you girls know what I’m talking about. :-) The hidden world of hair control and styling, unknown to most men…

    Bob – Long hair forever :-) Although I think shorter hair can look striking on *some* girls, if done prettily. Especially to stand out when everyone has long glamorous hair. Seems like every other girl nowadays has loooong hair (bra-strap level, even longer than your metric!). I don’t like it, my loooong hair won’t have as much power then ;-)

    krauserpua – Good point, yuck. To offset damage to the hair, regular deep conditioning and nutrition supplements help. But interestingly, newer treatments are being created to be less damaging and in some cases good for the hair. This is how rich famous people can alter their hair so drastically and be OK.

    Like many things, doing things the *right* way takes self-control and effort.

  7. February 8, 2010 4:00 pm


    I’m fine with straight hair. I’m fine with wavy hair. I’m fine with curly hair.

    I’m not fine with going to a venue in Southern California and seeing twenty women sporting the exact same hairstyle and having “cooked” hair which harbors multiple chemicals and which involved a half-hour of flatiron wrangling. Their hair doesn’t hang or move in a natural way.

    We notice.

    The girls in Europe tend to have very natural hairstyles. They work with their hair, not fight against it.

  8. Firepower permalink
    February 8, 2010 4:18 pm

    Firepower’s cogent commentary and tasting notes:

    Katy Perry looked better when she was fucking Jesus, and before she started Russell Brand. Even though he n’ Jebus look very much alike.

    Think about it.

    Lady Gaga has a delicious ass. But, as an assman, I’m biased. This spontaneous admission of feminine ass-loving proves how perfect I am.

    Oh, and if you research LG – you’ll see she has more in common with Snooki and guidettes. gawd – i gotta tell you bims everything.

    Think about it.

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