The moment the doctor told me that I was having a girl, I immediately thought about her hair. Before the visions of magenta walls and sparkly sneakers flashed through my head, I went straight to her head… and the myriad hair accessories I would be able to choose from to adorn it.
I was born a redhead. I say was because if you met me today, you would realistically say that I had brown hair with a reddish overtone. One day, in graduate school, when someone called me “the girl with brown hair and glasses” I almost had a heart attack. My identity had been rocked. Every time someone asks me where Lady gets her red hair from, I internally cringe. There is red on my husband’s side as well, so when Man came out with brown hair I secretly hoped for the next one to be a red-headed female. My dream came true.
If you’re like me in any way, you want your hair to look stylish and cute, but you don’t actually know how to achieve that. I am barely able to brush and straighten it. I can pull it back into a bun or a ponytail, but gracelessly. I am capable of uneven pig tails (before kids, when I actually had enough hair to make two separate pony tails) and the ever-popular "mom look," the slicked-back, just-out-of-the-shower bun. But things like braids and fishtails throw me into a panic. I break out into the cold sweat at the mere thought of a French braid.
No worries. Today, there are vast amounts of hair accessories from which to choose so you can just decorate the hair without actually having to do anything with it. It’s likely that before your baby even sprouted her very first layers of baby fine fuzz, you placed a head band with a large flower attached to it around her brow. Or possibly one of those bows that, despite the lack of hair, still manages to magically adhere directly to her head and stay there, suspended and free.
As Lady’s hair got longer, I was thrilled at the prospect of buying new hair products. I took an entire nap time one day to shop online for “cool” hair accessories. I purchased the requisite bows, plus clips shaped like strawberries, pencils, rainbows, etc. I was literally checking the mail every day for their arrival!! **
** At this time I also had another “Taking It Straight To Shark Tank” moment (please see previous post entitled as such). When I was nonplussed with the selection of accessories, I had the brilliant idea of creating an “edgy” hair clip line for babies, with pink skull and crossed bones, etc. My stepmother who's in the fashion industry told me that that idea was an oxymoron.
Then came the moment!!! They arrived the previous evening and I was soooo excited to put that first bow in her hair that I didn’t even wait to get her fully dressed—bows and pj’s it was!
And she freaked.
There have been minor successes along the way for a few moments at a time.
But all in all, the clips end up being pulled out, sucked on, and then discarded on the floor. I was so disappointed. I know everyone warned me, but I wanted to be the exception to the rule on this one. This also put me back to square one: how was I supposed to manage her growing hair?
Then it dawned on me, her hair is most manageable when it is covered in food. Food used as a hair product? It could work! It's pliable, free, green, and it makes a great Pinterest project!!
Hot dog and pizza grease (and foods that leave sticky residue on fingers): These work great for styling that messy, punk rocker look. It gets the hair up and out of the eyes, while adding shine, conditioning and a lovely “I’ve just been working the deep fryer at McDonald’s” aroma. It’s also helpful because it’s a good look they can pull off themselves, which takes a lot of undue pressure off of you. Just let her use her hair as a napkin (which I'm sure she does anyway) directly upon completing her meal and the look will come naturally.
Mac and Cheese and other yogurt products: These food items will help achieve that “Something About Mary” look. It will get hair off of her forehead in one large clump and hold it, stiff, like a board. If you know you are going out and need extra lasting hold, I highly recommend products of this ilk.
Note: Later, if you find little white flakes on her clothes, it’s not cradle cap; it’s just your product falling out. This is a good time to for a cheese stick or yogurt snack in order to perform any needed touch ups.
Bits of actual food: Food scraps are great because they actually look like real clips, plus double as a snack! From far away, strategically placed bits of cottage cheese look just like little winter snow flakes, the perfect holiday accessory. American cheese works great because it can be cut to look like a gold star, a sunshine--anything, really! Pasta also now comes in an amazing array of shapes and colors.
Caveat: It's best to keep baby out of direct sunshine when sporting this look, as to prevent rotting.
Hopefully, my hair dressing skills will improve with time. If not, Lady will just have to learn how to do her own hair, though somehow I doubt that will turn out much better.