The Book of Bad Hair

The other day while I was weeding my garden a thought occurred to me (ahem). You know, they really should make a book of weeds. I mean, they have books of flowers in bloom but it seems like it makes more sense to identify the weeds and just leave the rest. Maybe it’s counter intuitive but I’m a person who may rather pick a flower than leave a weed. So there is a linear thought pattern…….wait for it…….wait for it……..wait for it………..The Book Of Bad Hair.

The Book Of Bad hair is not my first book idea of the sort. I also thought of a table book called “Hairdresser” which was based on a series of photos from a Chicago hair show where I took pictures of stylists with really bad hair (see blog entry). It was a particularly coiffure-anemic or, should I say photographically-rich crowd and the climactic photo involved a bejeweled hearing aid adjacent to a clippered landscape of a midwestern hay field. 

But now my idea of The Book of Bad Hair has evolved to be a sort of teaching guide of what not to do. I know that we all (and by all I mean me), as stylists (me, again), have a moment where a client is describing a certain cut, technique or color and our eyes go dead and we start to wonder how terrible it would be if we maybe, you know, just had a slight seizure. Nothing painful, only momentary, just enough to put us out of commission for maybe, oh, you know, exactly the amount of time it would take to do such said cut, technique or color. I might conjure up some Shirley Hemphill/Fred Sanford mash up, not sure but working on it…..

I would just love to be able to have a book that I could grab, open the book to the perfect picture and say “Now THIS is what you are describing. Is this what you want me to do?”  And then, if it’s a yes, well, I can close the cover to The Book Of Bad Hair and say “Great! Let’s do it!”

Seize. Fall. Crash. 

Installment 1 series: Hairdresser Hook-ups!

So I have on occasion made love connections for people, one of which led to a marriage! You know, it’s just one more notch on that belt of things that stylists can accomplish. So i’m always daydreaming of other people that I think belong together. Like Peaches and Herb (nothing to do with that one). So my first celebrihookup is……




Now I will be the first to admit that this may be like pairing up the Olson twins with each other (my friend always referred to them as the monkey twins because of their poor baggy baby eyes) but this is waaay more legal. At least in N.C.. In any case, if you guys are reading my blog (which you most certainly absolutely definitely could be!!) then you need to give that girl a call, Chrissy! You can thank me later….

You should get a haircut every 6 weeks. I mean 2 months. I mean 2 weeks. Well, maybe you should just sleep here and i’ll cut it as it grows…..

I don’t love the idea of putting time frames on haircuts. It’s so individual and it is so silly to make people feel that there is a set rule to how often one should get a haircut. I mean, there are certain people who should be on a haircut drip and some that come twice a year and have incredibly healthy hair. The rule in my book is when you do come in are you willing to take as much as is necessary to get any damage off the ends. No? Then come in more often. Are you a hoarder/purger? Then come in less often. Your psychology plays just as much of a role as the actual length and condition of your hair. When I’m getting a cut, I personally do not want to see a hair hit the floor. I want to see feathers of hair floating lightly in the air around my face and land peacefully on the floor with a resounding _______. I may even have someone sweep during the cut so that I can’t evaluate how much hair is being taken off. I am a person who should get their hair cut often. I am also a person who in actuality gets their hair cut 2-3 times a year. This means essentially that I suck it up as I’m watching my piles of hair flying passed my face doing 50mph in a 2mph zone and landing  in my lap for me to collect and store for my compost bin.

General Rules (this is a guideline for keeping the hair healthy and has nothing to do with keeping shape): Longer hair? More often. Shorter hair? Less often. Finer hair? More often. Thicker hair? Less often. Growing it out? Less often to shoulders and more often passed shoulders. Scared of cuts? More often. Secure in cuts? Less often. Highlighted hair? More often. Natural hair? Less often.

The best thing is to find a stylist you trust to look at your hair and evaluate your hair at that time to make the best judgement on when your next cut should be.

I am one to argue, generally, about anything and everything and I will for sure argue that hair needs to come off when it needs to come off. I really do feel it’s a waste of time and money to come to a salon and not get damage cut off when necessary.  But hey, if Viggo Mortensen wants his raggedy assed ends dusted, well then, no argument there.


“Oh, just a dusting of the ends (ahem)?? Noooooo problem!

Funky means fuuunky. Look it up.

I just hate the word funky when referring to hair. Funky. Fuuuuunky. Funky. Fu-u-unky. Founky. Funky. If you imagine the scene from Willy Wonka (original movie, of course) where they’re in the tunnel and the boat is getting faster and faster and faster and there is some kind of an image where a caterpillar is crawling across an eyeball then you have a fairly accurate account of what is going on in my mind when asked for funky. Unless it’s cheese or a particular dance.

In hair terms, funky is where anything pretty or pleasing to the eye is decimated by a huge iron fist of ugly. Funky is Betsy Johnson hair (now don’t argue with me here. Put that hair on anyone else and it’s like Dog the Bounty Hunter ((Should that be capitalized? Not sure….but i’ll definitely get to him in another post: “A rose is a rose?”))). Funky is Kate Gosselin. Funky is any girl on Rock of Love and by girl I mean Brett Michaels. Funky is tiger  stripes and badly done Ombre color. Funky is just, well, funky.

So please don’t ask for funky. Ask for edgy. Ask for interesting. Ask for unique. Ask for something not boring. Because if you do ask for funky, you just might get it.

Q: Why do hairdressers have such bad hair? A: Joan Rivers.

Ok, really I could pontificate this for hours on end completely sober. It is not untrue that there is a link between hairdressers and overdone, over processed, over-the-top, (simply put) bad hair. And you can pick em out in a sea of people. I had a friend, Michael Fischer* who was a hairdresser as well and when he would drive by an obvious offender of the profession, would yell out the car window “HAAAAIRRDREEEESSERRR!” as he sped by. The unsuspecting victim (of their own making, of course) would look confused because they weren’t sure if that would be an insult or not. I mean, it shouldn’t be but occasionally when someone picks me out as a hairdresser I have to go home and re-evaluate my whole wardrobe.

Really, though, the answer lies somewhere between Japanese street fashion and The Real Housewives of Orange County. Simply put, once you are around enough people that look insane you forget what insanity looks like. The realness of this came to me after watching the Joan Rivers documentary because at the beginning scene I thought “Holy Lord, she looks nuts” and by the end I thought “Aw, she’s kind of pretty”. And like when I got back from a month long trip to Japan, I was wearing black knee socks with my heels which had been the first fashion offense I noted when I got off the plane in Japan a month earlier.

One of my favorite questions to ask a stylist in an interview is “who’s hair do you like?” and “who’s hair don’t you like?”.  Sometimes this can totally stump a stylist, which I always find surprising. It usually means they are following hair magazines instead of fashion. And think about the idea of a stylist emulating a stylist emulating a stylist. It can go so downhill that you’re now the head stylist for Real Housewives of the O.C..

But that doesn’t explain Crocs. Or does it?

*Also responsible for altering the Cedar Court condo sign to Edar Out.