Post by Amanda Delzell, hair expert. Credentials:
There is no more difficult aspect of my appearance than hair. (And I am including the general ability to gain and retain weight much more quickly than, say, a certain male counterpart of mine.)
Hair is difficult for so many reasons. If you hear a woman (or, to be inclusive, someone with really well-done hair) complain about it, they aren’t exaggerating. I have a lot of hair. (NO SERIOUSLY I KNOW YOU THINK YOU HAVE A LOT BUT I REALLY DO.) Let me share with you, men and/or other people who don’t necessarily have hair trouble.
- Washing hair is a big event. I wash my hair 1-2x per week (even though I *never* style it) because I never know how it’s going to turn out and I’ll probably just lazily put it in a bun for the next 5 days anyway.
- Hair DOES NOT want shower water to leave it. Airdrying takes hours, and if I go to sleep with wet hair, I AM going to have a slightly damp scalp in the morning. It can take at least 30 minutes to blowdry hair haphazardly. If you want to dry it carefully with a round brush? See you tomorrow, friend.
- Blowdrying can straight-up set off your smoke alarm. This happened to me ALL. THE. TIME. at my apartment in LA. Now in the Bay Area, my blowdryer sometimes shorts my circuit if basically any slightly-higher-power device is on, like a space heater. What I’m saying is blowdrying your hair *will* make you freeze to death.
- You have to wash your hair like ALL THE TIME. It’s not like painting your nails, which you can do once and wait a week or two to redo. Some people have hair that gets greasy FAST. Thankfully mine has maximum oil-absorption powers (fun fact: in high school, someone jokingly poured a whole glass of water on my head when it was in a ponytail, and you couldn’t even tell) so if I am not in the middle of a training cycle and exercising a lot, I can go a whole week. To be clear: it doesn’t look good, but at least it doesn’t look permanently wet.
- You have to stand for over an hour. Blowdrying with a round brush, section by section, takes forever. You have to divide sections of your hair small enough to be exposed to the hot air; you must go over the same little section 2-5 times; for extra-textured gals, you have to go over it with a flat iron or other hot tool. (Hah, hot tool. Like Ashton Kutcher or something.) This means that hair is a 90-120 minute time investment — MULTIPLE TIMES PER WEEK!
Hair, in sum, is a curse. But man does it look good. I’ve noticed that having a “good hair day” can be a seriously empowering event. And then I thought: am I shallow?
I read recently that “some women are empowered from baring a lot; some women are empowered by modesty” (or something like that) (for the record, I’ve learned I’m definitely empowered by physical modesty). I think that’s a good way to look at the effect that hair confidence affords. If you like your hair, show it the F off. Enjoy it. You spent long enough doing it. Make it count.
This message is brought to you by a 15 minute shower + 30 minute “towel drying” + 10 minute haphazard blowdry + 80 minute roundbrush/flatiron drying session.
PS: I will physically fight anyone who thinks this is a bragging thing. Yes, I am hashtag-blessed with a decent scalp production, but that’s not the point, so shut up.