I ran into some technical difficulties attempting to post this entry earlier this week. 😦 What I thought was a finished piece with no photos ended up not being saved. Technology fail. It took me a little extra time to get all the kinks worked out and show everyone all the awesome pictures of me…with crazy hair! Enjoy!! 😉
Long, long ago, in the land of East L.A. there was a girl who was constantly ridiculed about her hair. Her hair was thick, wavy, and had volume most women would kill for. It was the bane of my existence.
Evolution of Hair (Not the Musical)
In middle school my choir nickname was Puffy. Long before Puffy Daddy existed. Puff ball. Afro puff. There are more lovely nicknames I went by, but they’re mostly lame. I have an Uncle who was more like an older brother to me growing up, and he once drew a picture of me. With an afro. After swimming my hair looked a little flat, and then turned into a giant Chia Pet.
As a wee babe I had a lot of hair. In retrospect I look adorable!
After years of trying to tame, tie down, and mangle my hair I tried one thing at the start of high school that I finally felt comfortable with: braids. Since my follicles were surprisingly thick and perfect for being twisted and tied in to over a hundred little braids. They were all done by my Mother, for FREE. Cause let’s face it, I’m a tomboy and I ain’t paying to get my hair did. I kept my hair braided all through high school, and even dyed some of them red. I loved not having to style my hair, or really do anything other then try to keep it out of my face. Even when I had short hair during my Junior year of High School, it was still braided.
Circa 1995 my hair in the early years of being braided. Check out my hip style and funny faces.
Once I started college I felt I needed a look. A new me. Plus, I didn’t want to have to explain my parents are of Mexican heritage, and no, sadly I am not of mixed race. However, I did rock those braids for four years. Sadly, my lazy ass couldn’t be bothered with styling my hair so I revisited the pony-tail and felt annoyed at having to figure something out. It continued to grow, despite me tying it up all the time, and eventually my hair was long enough for me to rock a hairstyle dubbed “Punk Rock Leia” by some of my fellow college newspaper peeps. I wore a bandanna with two buns at the back of my head because I decided it was easier than styling it. It took me at least half an hour to do. Everyday. Hair style irony.
Circa 1999-2000 in my Punk Rock Leia phase of hair styles.
After my sophomore or junior year of college (I can’t remember which, I was probably stoned at the time) I finally had enough and decided to chop it off. My Mother, being the talented Barber that she is (she owns one of the two the Professional Barber Shop’s in East L.A. on Cesar E. Chavez) helped me chop off most of my hair, in our kitchen. We had a large basin sink in our kitchen which I used to rinse out my hair after having it cut short in to what I like to call a tomboy pixie (see definition for Lesbian haircut). I lifted my head back up and almost fell on my ass because I wasn’t accustomed to having this (literal) weight lifted from my neck and shoulders. I felt light as a feather and excited for my hair style adventures. Of course, history repeated itself and I began to get a lot of Lesbian jokes from my family and a few friends who weren’t too pleased by my dramatic shift in style. In their defense I did own a patch on my backup that had a pink and rainbow women’s symbol which I thought was a symbol of women empowerment at the time and coincidentally made everyone in college think I was a lesbian. Oh well.
My College Rebellion of purple hair, punk rock band t-shirt, coffee, and henna tattoos. While making a funny face.
I kept my hair short for quite some time and attempted at growing it out only to freak out and go running to my Mom to chop it all off again. The main reasons for keeping it so short are simple:
- No more heat rash.
- Less hair product to use.
- (Almost) No brushing needed.
- Don’t have to pay for expensive haircuts.
- I’m Lazy!
Obviously number 5 is a big factor. I still don’t own very much makeup or hair care products. I usually make an emergency run to the local drug store to buy beauty essentials if I have to attend a Wedding, Bridal Shower, or some other girl-centric event in my life. I still don’t feel 100% wearing dresses or skirts because I’m always afraid I’ll accidentally flash someone because I don’t sit like a lady should. I DO own a ton of shoes, cause I try to be comfortable when I’m on my feet all the time, even if it’s in heels.
When my fiance and I started dating I had been growing out my hair because I was, again, lazy and too poor to go get a haircut. I’ve since realized boys love longer hair. Know why? They love crazy after-sex bed hair! 😉 Which I can get behind, until it’s Summer. Then I have to go get an emergency haircut because the heat rash and sweaty neck are not sexy. Ever. Suffice it to say that my fiance was not as excited as I was when I showed up with short hair once the heat wave started.
College circa 2001 of me trying to study while a friend gets my attention and captures this amazing photo. This stare continues to put fear in many friends and family.
Trying to figure out how I want to style my hair for the wedding is another BIG decision that I’m having trouble with, and it’s obviously due to my own hangups about my self-image tied to my hair. I’ve always admitted to friends over the years that I have a Love/Hate relationship with my hair. I love that I can easily style it into a Mohawk or braids because it has the volume to sustain crazy styles. I hate that I have to shampoo it 2-3 more times than everyone else to get rid of all the crappy hair product I have to use. Last Fall I begrudgingly started growing my hair out to help give me some perspective, and more options, on how I could style my hair for the Big Day. Every month I threw a giant fit about how much I hated growing out my hair because I didn’t like wearing it down, or I was having trouble getting my hair to cooperate that day. Eventually my fiance gave in and said, “Look, you can chop it off if you really want. I don’t care how you wear your hair for the wedding. Just know that I love your hair no matter how it looks.” Awwwww. Isn’t he the best?
Sticking my tongue out for the camera while I rock the blond short hair.
Since then he’s shown me a lot of pixie cuts and other hair styles in magazines to encourage me to do what I want. He has always been loving and encouraging when it’s comes to me and my hair issues. At the end of the Big Day I know that how my hair looks will only matter when I look back at all the pictures, and I have to learn how to live and love my hair for what it is, and who I am. I’ve still been growing it out, and have started to wear it down, without a headband or hair clips. Which is…kind of a big deal, for me. And my hair. However, chances are good that it will be cut shorter for the Wedding because….SUMMER IS COMING and I ain’t gonna be dealing with heat rash. Ever.
A recent photo of me posing for the camera.
High School graduation (1999) photos taken by the Glamour Shots studio at a mall. Don’t I look fancy with makeup?!
My Sweet Sixteen Goth birthday party. The phantom hand belongs to my Mother. 1998)
I wore bandannas to hide the growth in between re-braiding my hair in high school. Also, I like this shirt.
College 2002-3 posing for the camera while working on the weekends.
All gussied up and no date to prom!
Photo of me in desperate need of a Whiskey Sour, with my awesome new hair