Thursday, July 31, 2014

Headscarves: the cute, the sickly, and the culturally appropriated

So I've been into the idea of having a headscarf look. I mean, right?

But tying a scarf around your head is not as intuitive as you might think.

And I'm not into the "I'm hiding my head while I'm sick" look. Though sometimes the same scarf can look boho-chic.

I took this one off the mannequin at XXI already tied. On the mannequin it looked bold and awesome. On me?

I look like a hippie at a fracking renaissance festival. In 5" stilettos - Jesus.

And finally I found one I like. My friend Samantha tied it for me and it looked so pretty. that was until my friend Christina goes "OMG YOUR HAIR IS LIKE STICKING OUT OF THE TOP. EW! THAT LOOKS GROSS." Gotta just love her. But the more I moved - the worse it got. Dealbreaker.

Then I went to TJ Maxx (in Manhattan - crazy right?) and tried on ALL their scarves which were on super clearance because it's summer. But there's a reason I didn't buy any.

Some were cute- ish. I found a short scarf and tied it like a headband. Then I used a silky blue dotted scarf to fully cover my head - though the fabric made it kind of a mushroom hat shape. Then I found one of those half-scarf, half-necklace ones (that was intact - these break SUPER easily)...well not so cute. Oh well.

But others gave me a weird sense of cultural misappropriation. Especially when an older black woman came up and started asking how I had wrapped them, admiringly. I loved the chevron infinity scarves, the layered effect (pink) may be too much. And the blue Calvin Klein scarf had amazing fabric.

I just can't imagine wearing any of them, as pretty as I think they are, without feeling like I'm stealing from another culture. Am I nuts? Am I being racist by thinking that? Does season have anything to do with it? Will this look be more acceptable in the winter? Are any of these professional enough to keep me warm in the office? Do I have to match scarves to my dresses?

PS: Apparently my microcephaly (mentioned in my Wig Post) is great for infinity scarves - they fit perfectly. But you can always tuck extra fabric! And these are surprisingly easy to wear and keep in place.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Straight Lady Love

The following are a few hilarious anecdotes about the responses I elicited from several women when I shaved my head. I interpret this as different from the "you're so brave" compliments because the admiration went a little above and beyond.

The first night we were out (like RIGHT after I shaved my head on a 3). I bumped into a woman at the bar - probably about 25 and clearly giddy with mild inebriation. As a reminder, here is what I looked like:
As I moved from one seat at our high-top table to another this girl at the table behind us grabbed my arm and pulled me to her table. She had two shots on her table and asked me "Do you like fireballs?" I said sure and she gestured to them, "Do a shot with me!". Um, okay? so we did shots together and laughed about nothing and I told her I had just shaved my head but I wanted it shorter. She complimented me and I turned back to my table. About 45 minutes later I noticed that everybody at her table had left and she was there alone. I swiveled and asked her where everybody had gone. She said her Boyfriend had "gone home because he had to shit - is that a thing?!" and the other guys had gone outside to smoke. She then bodily pulls me from my stool and tells me we're going to the bar to get seltzers. "Won't that be fun!?" I'm really not sure about people's ideas of fun these days but sure. I also really don't like seltzer so I tried to ask the bartender to give me regular water but alas could not get my request in on time. So now we're both holding big glasses of seltzer and she turns to me "You are so sexy" Oh, thanks. "No I mean you're like the sexiest person I've ever seen. your hair is so bold and you look so hot. I mean really." I keep thanking her and she keep professing for a solid 10 minutes. During that time she is getting closer to me and about halfway through starts touching my arms and my neck and then rubbing my head and caressing my face. Finally I ask "Are you into women?" She smiles and says emphatically "Oh no - I'm SUPER hetero. I love my boyfriend. It's just that you're like the sexiest human being alive." So I don't make any move, I stick around for a few more minutes until the guys smoking outside call her cell. I migrate back to my table and wave as she leaves.

Fast forward a week and I'm out with some college friends at a historically gay bar, the stonewall. The Bouncer mentions as she checks my ID that she loves "a super fem girl with no hair - god it's a sexy look" I had on a dress, stilettos, dangling earrings and mascara. We check our bags (required on friday night) and head upstairs to the dance party. I'm busy exchanging eyes with a girl across the dance floor when another girl approaches me. She opens with "You are SO beautiful. I'm here with my boyfriend and I'm not into girls but I just had to make sure you knew. I swear that you're the most beautiful human being I've ever seen." I thank her profusely and listen patiently as she tries to make absolutely certain that this has gone to my head, as if I'm not arrogant enough as it is. When she finally retreats I look around and my friend with the eyes is gone. Jeeeez. Thanks, straight girl.

Then a few days after I posted my shaved head picture on OKC I got this message:
I look at her profile - straight. Oi. I've never gotten a message like this before.

On the same note - We were in Forever 21 the other day and I was trying on a skirt - I went to get it in a different size and as I was striding back toward the fitting rooms there were two women (~40 years old) directly in front of me standing in the fitting room entrance as I approached. One of them was transfixed. I'm not kidding: just had her eyes locked on me with her mouth slightly agape. I would have written this off to zoning out. But as I got within a few feet she she blinked and blurted out "God, you are beautiful." Apparently now my presence gives religious experiences - maybe I can head a cult! This was not the skirt from the story but this is the only photo I have from that day:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monthly Review #1

I shaved my head on June 15th. Every 15th I'll post a review. These monthly reviews will capture everything that is "normal" for my hair's current length.

Pictures from the month in chronological order (admittedly I didn't take enough in the second half of the month, next month I'll be better - more selfies!):

Maintenance and Growth: Remember that spot I made on my head when I shaved it?
Totally grew out in 10 days. I mean from a certain angle it looked like my head might have a dip in that spot for another 8 days but now I couldn't find it if I tried (by eye or by touch). I have not cut it since it was shaved professionally.

Styling is not something that can be done at this length without real gel to plaster it down. Right now I think that's too much work. After 3 weeks I considered re-shaving it because it started looking more puffy and less sleek. I also considered shaving at that time because apparently my hair's growth pattern/ cycle is weird. the top of my head grew much faster and so right around the top I had a nice ridge where the puffy top met the sleek sides. I tried to smooth this down but alas I have no gel and really - so much work when I just don't care THAT much.

(Update: At week 5 the sides caught up and now it looks fine.)

If you try to style with water the short springy hairs work like catapults and you end up making it rain. I'm serious - your countertops and mirrors will be covered in a light spray of water. Awesome, right? That same thing happens in the shower: run your hands over your wet hair and it just mists everywhere. Speaking of the shower: my ladies without buzz cuts know how your hair can give away how long you've gone without a shower. With a buzz cut I can take 4 showers a day without worrying about drying out my hair or I can wait a week (until my body catches up!). It all looks the same! And when I get out of the shower I just towel off my head and I'm dry. It's insanity. But sleeping on my hair leaves something to be desired. Since I can't really style it if I spend too much of the night on one side (like I am now that my right ear has new piercings) that side ends up flat compared to the fuzzy other side. My solution to this is to rub the flat side against the grain and the fuzzy side with the grain all morning. Then just not care.

Other: I rode in a convertible the other day: no hair to get in my way! And now I can wear thick lip gloss without worrying about my hair getting caught in it (gross).
I take Biotin daily - I figure by the time I have long hair again all of it will have been made under optimal biotin availability. :)
With short hair it's MUCH easier to see your grey hairs, especially on the side of the head. They kind of sparkle - which is lovely. But the minute you stop being mesmerized you're like "WAIT - ANOTHER ONE???" I've seriously found like 8. Okay so that's not even double digits but it's only the front of my head. What lurks around back?!!?
I'm thinking I'm going to try the coffee solution to greys. So watch out for that in future posts!