The '80s And The Battle Of The Hair

I was going through my high school yearbooks, cleaning out my bedroom, when I found this photo of myself from the early '80s. Dahling, aren't I? I LOVE the bangs espesh. It was my grad picture, and I thought I was stunning. Don't you agree? The guys couldn't stop running after me, trying to get a date with me. Honestly, it was a chore.

Notice the impeccable business suit and nicely done nails, not to mention the gorgeous cameo ring. I worked hard on looking great back then, and I know it's pretty obvious, but I thought I'd point that out just in case. Do you know how long it took me to do my hair every morning? Almost two hours. I would blow dry it first, as straight as I could get it. Then, I would straighten it with the iron, then start the laborious process of curling a sizeable ridge all the way around. The back was a bugger to get perfect, but perfect it was. I know it was because the kids in the hall would point as I walked by. I would hear them whispering, and I swear they were saying, "How does she do it?"

Now that I look at that photo more closely, however, I realize my hair more resembled a rather large and fluffy toque with a hefty rim of fur on the outside edge, or a very large and well-fed muskrat. I don't remember, but I was probably warm.

Looking good back in the late '70s and early '80s was no small task. The hair products we have today did not exist back then, so we made do. And in my household, I ended up buying my own hair products at a relatively early age. It was either that, or use my dad's Brand X shampoo, which made your hair feel like a Brillo pad or straw, which is apparently the effect my dad wanted. I also bought most of my own clothing since back then I seemed to have loads of money from my various part-time jobs and babysitting (I was the babysitting queen of my neighbourhood). Problem there was the clothing never fit me properly since I was tres skinny, extremely long-legged and long-armed, and had no waist, and nothing was made to fit that body shape because no one else in the world HAD that body shape. Finding clothing that would, first of all, fit me, and second of all, look semi-okay on me, was fraught with trials and tribulations, and would sometimes take days upon days of shopping, endlessly going from store to store, hoping against hope that the next store would have a pair of pants that actually went below my knees AND weren't falling off my waist.

So, between getting the clothing and the hair right, every morning I would have to get up mighty bright and early to make sure I had enough time to transform myself into the beauty you see above. The amount of hair product and electricity I used on a daily basis to get that style down pat, I don't even want to think about it. Not to mention the stress when I knew the wind was blowing out there, or it was raining, and keeping my hair as pristine as you see in the photo took the monumental effort of a small army.

I remember one friend, I'll call her Colleen, she had pretty strawberry blonde hair that fell to her shoulders. And one day I asked her what she did with her hair to get it to look like that, and she looked at me like I was certifiably insane. Then she said, "I lie on the floor and place my head on the heating vent, and when the furnace comes on, it dries my hair."


It was then that I began thinking that maybe I spent too much time on my hair, and not enough on my studies. Maybe that's why I was up until all hours of the night, doing homework and studying for tests. Because I was constantly in the mirror, checking my damn hair to make sure not one molecule was out of place. I wasn't vain. Well, yeah, I guess I was. But in a good way.

So, soon after this photo was taken, I decided to go more au naturel. I would just let my hair grow, and not worry so much about making it do the things it wasn't meant to do. Honestly. Whose idea was that anyway, to make us toil in front of a mirror for hours on end? And use endless product and electrical tools in order to dominate our hair follicles?

Nowadays, I'm lucky if I even get a brush through it in the mornings, or even think about touching it up during the day. What with having to actually get out of bed when the kids get up, get them off to school, and then go to work, what time or energy is there really left to do much else but take a swift look in the mirror, call it a passing mark, and leave? I'm lucky if I'm wearing socks that match and a shirt that doesn't have food stains and dog goop on it.

That's what I call success nowadays. None of this muskrat cap crap for me! Sorry guys. It's the new me. Love it or leave it.

P.S. If you haven't already figured it out, that isn't really a photo of me in the '80s. I really looked much worse. I got it from this cool website called . It's hilarious. Try it out and see what you come up with!


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