Not to sound like your freak of a younger brother who eats sticks of butter wrapped in waffles without gaining so much as an eyelash, but my hair can basically eat whatever the fuck it wants and still have abs.
It has abs.
In the proverbial sense, though. If one can even proverbially have abs.
Before I continue and you start throwing text books at me, let me pad my rather unusual bragging by underscoring the fact that my skin still breaks out at age 25, my nails are like little baby bird bones, I have the eyesight of a blacked-out mole and my body issues run the same gamut as everyone else’s. (I, for one, do not have abs.) When I Snapchat photos of myself to friends with the caption, “I woke up like this,” it’s not to gloat about my morning appearance courtesy of a Beyoncé lyric but rather, a plea for help on behalf of just how fucking scary I look.
That hair, though.
It’s always been good to me, always been there for me. It’s predictable, dependable, with rarely an errant cowlick or rogue crease. And I’m not exactly sure why since I don’t really take care of it.
At least not in the way I’m “supposed to.” For starters, I wash my hair every single day. Any woman equipped with the Internet, a fashion magazine and an aggressive colorist knows that washing your hair daily strips your strands of necessary oils and turns everything in its wake to straw. Remember the no-poo trend? It was terrible. People didn’t shower for weeks on end in order to restore their mane to its originally intended oil-coated state that would — supposedly — eliminate the need for conventional sudsing. Well I don’t like necessary oils and neither does my hair. We are pro-poo, my hair and I.
I also use really basic shampoo and conditioner. Head & Shoulders is my jam. Herbal Essences, so are you. If I’m being fancy, I splurge on Dove, and if I just spent a lot of money on clothes than I’m probably more likely to use whatever strange Axe products are in the bathroom courtesy of my male roommate.
I’ve tried the salon recommended products — organic, color-friendly, the cream rinse, the gloss. My colorist counters that if I’m willing to splurge on lotions (yes), candles (always), clothes (hi) and shoes, then I should at the very least put some basic consideration into that which is comprised of chemicals and goes on my head.
And in the past I have. I’ve bought forty dollar bottles of goopy “miracles,” only to find that my hair reacted with an unreasonable level of horror, clinging to my scalp like a cat facing his imminent bath, or sticking up wildly as if I offered to set it on fire.
“You would think,” a friend offered, “that for someone who works in a city so consumed by labels and green juice, you’d care what you used and put in your hair. This is junk food,” she said holding up a bottle of conditioner that I’d gotten on sale. It smelled like coconut so I was sold. “Think of the damage it’s doing. Think of your hair in 20 years!”
But there’s no use in arguing with a teenage boy, is there? Not one who has developed abs simply by playing Mario Kart while eating an endless supply of Gushers and Doritos.
The metabolism will eventually kick in. The pizza bagel phase will fade — I’m already partially gray. But for now, in the words of Kanye, “That that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger.” So please, for the love of good hair and a slow motion breeze, someone hand me my brush!
Actually, I don’t have one of those either. Finger combing it is.