They need to take down those posters you see at hair salons. You know the ones; the ones with funky hair. The ones with hair you’d never wear. The ones with hair in the shape of a pear. Or, if you’re in a down-home salon, hair from the Andy Griffith era; hair that was done up with rollers – a shampoo set.
They need to replace those posters with one particular poster. A poster with Jennifer Aniston’s mug on it and one simple word: No.
That way, when women walk up to their hair lady or guy with a Jennifer Aniston picture ripped from some magazine, the person holding the scissors can just point. Point to the poster. Point to the poster as if to say “sorry, it’s against company policy to give you Jennifer Aniston hair unless you’ve been approved.”
If only those folks with the scissors had some thug who could come out from the back room. Some thug who was high on hair straightener who’d come out to deliver the news: “You couldn’t pull off an Aniston unless you had about five more pounds of hair. And no more perms. Don’t you remember that wedding picture from 1991? It looked like you had sun-damaged curly fries under your veil. Face it, you’ve got fine hair. Try some highlights and a nice shoulder-length cut. Even better – try a bob – that’s Anistonish. Here, take a lick of your reality lollypop.”
Enough about my problems.
In the past, I’ve written copy for hair salons. Of course, some of these ads ended up in a drawer, never to be seen again. One of the print ads showed a pair of scissors and said something like “we’re armed – watch out.” It was inspired by people who had hair that needed attention, in my humble opinion. It got me to thinking: Do people come in two flavors – those who have delusions about how great their hair could be (toting pics of Jennifer Aniston) and those who have delusions of how great their hair is (still have Farrah Faucett hair).
My younger years were my time for chemical experimentation. My ode to hair fashion has included a dark-blonde, asymmetrical permed doo and long yellow-blonde hair with a perm. This was after my years as Farrah. A fake Farrah. I only had the banana curl in the front that I beat back with a comb in the high school bathroom mirror. Decades later, when I was 8 months pregnant with my first kid, I thought it would be a good idea to dye my very short, bleached-blond hair, red. So I got a box of L’Oreal medium auburn. My ex got home and said “Where’s the Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese?” Ass. He still laughs when he retells that one.
I’ve had my share of hair.
My years of experimentation have pretty much ended. I already know my hair looks like dog crap if it gets longer than my shoulders. I already know it has to be blondish – but not too blonde. Brown makes me look like the queen of hell. Auburn is okay. Perm, no. Mullet? Only in the 80s. Black? Oh please, I can’t even pull off brown. God gave me hair the color of a mouse. One of my better print ads featured two cartoon mice. It said “What’s wrong with mousey brown? Nothing, if you’re a mouse.” My hair gal in Missouri, Jessica, called this mousey color “melting pot” hair. Good one.
I’ve become a hair realist. I don’t wander into hair salons with pictures of hair unless I know I can pull it off. My hair dreams died long ago. I will never have the thick, dark hair of Sophia Vergara. I will never look stark and cool like Gwen Stefani. I will never have the wild, curly locks of Keri Russell. If I ever get stranded on an island, I will never be able to walk around in a loin cloth and pull my long, flowing hair down to cover my boobies. I have to live with this reality every day. I live with the reality that I can only pull off a Tennille – from Captain & Tennille.
So, think about your hair and figure out which flavor you are: the delusionist who does not want to see (“I will look just like Angelina Jolie!”) – or the delusionist who thinks nothing needs to change (“This style doesn’t make me look older. I’ve had long hair since my hips came in!”)
I’m happy to say I’ve been sucking on my reality lollypop for a while now. As Dolly Parton says, “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap.”