Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You think YOU'RE having a bad hair day...

Even your worst hair day can't be this bad:

Photo courtesy of

Though I've had a few that were close...

The absolute worst was bad not only for the hair itself, but also the timing. TG and I were just about to set off on our Big European Adventure. We had sold the first house we bought (we'd been eating mac-n-cheese casseroles for a year and a half to make the mortgage payments) and decided the absolute best thing we could do with the tidy profit we'd made was to spend six months visiting my relatives in Sweden, and Eurailing around the rest of the continent.

(I know. Not really all that practical of us, considering we didn't have any jobs lined for when we got back. But, hey, "young and stupid" is a valid life phase, right? Besides, we didn't have kids yet, so we were only responsible for ourselves, and figured what the hell.)

Anyhoo, before we set out, I decided curly hair would be easier to take care of while traveling than straight hair. So, naturally, a perm came to mind. I mean, then I wouldn't have to bother with packing a power adapter for my curling iron. Or, yannoh, the curling iron itself. Brilliant, huh?

But I didn't really want to pay a whole lot for the permanent. I wanted to save every penny possible for our Big Adventure.

(You can see where this is heading, can't you? Uh-huh. Pinching pennies on perms is not a wise thing. But, hey, "young and stupid," right?)

So I selflessly chose the local beauty salon that was offering $15 perms. (I know! Stupid, stupid, stupid...)

Have you ever seen a $15 dollar perm? No? Well, you're not going to here, either, because I am no longer young or stupid -- I destroyed all the photographic evidence.

After my hair was totally fried by the perpetrator who went out to smoke a cigarette while the permanent wave solution "set," I went to visit my darling TG at the theater where he worked. Mainly to cry on his shoulder, but also clinging to the fragile hope that it wasn't as bad as I feared.

TG, bless his heart*, was getting the theater in shape for his imminent departure, and thus terribly, horribly, completely busy with all sorts of crap. So when I stepped up onto the stage, tremulous smile on my face, he could be** forgiven for walking right past me with barely a nod and not one iota of recognition on his face.

Yup, folks, that perm was SO HEINOUS my own husband didn't recognize me.

I (of course) burst into tears, which was a totally cliched and girly thing to do, and something I couldn't have prevented even if Gloria Steinem had been standing there shaking her finger in my face.

The tears finally got his attention. Have you ever seen a deer caught in the headlights? But, in spite of his fear, TG stepped manfully up to the plate and told me I was beautiful. Hugged me until I had it under control, offered me his hat, and took me out for ice cream.

And that's why we're still married.

*Anyone from the South knows exactly what this means. For those of you not from below the Mason-Dixon Line, let's just say it's not as complimentary as it sounds, and leave it at that.

**Could be, but wasn't...not before many, many trips to Baskin-Robbins, anyway. Even now, if the subject comes up, he offers to take me out for ice cream. It's almost a Pavlovian response.

What's the worst hair day you've ever had? 

(If you've never had a bad hair day, I'm sorry but I'll be forced to hate you.)


Kimberly Sabatini said...

Away from home and my talented colorist sister-in-law. Had to go to a shop to fix what I'd done. No one around to take me out for ice cream--think I went by myself LOL!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I'm just wondering if a $15 perm is as bad as the home permanents my mom used to give us girls. Maybe not as bad because she never left us to take a smoke break. But oh did they stink!

Teri Anne Stanley said...

There have been so many that it's really difficult to choose. But I'm sure I DO have photographic evidence.

Oh! I know...for a while, in the 80's I had short hair, except with one skinny little strand down the back...WTF was THAT about?

Carol Kilgore said...

Every day is a bad hair day. My good hair days are probably equal to everyone else's bad hair days. I have Hair From Hell and keep it short in an attempt to make it less noticeable.

Michele Shaw said...

My entire childhood was one continuous bad hair day after another. I have very thick, very curly hair. Thanks to Keratin shampoo and a massive flat iron, I have the occasional good hair day's about damn time. :)

Patty Blount said...

Oh, wow... I think I was about 11 or 12 -- can't remember. I was at my friend's house and she and her sister were getting haircuts. Her mom asked I'd like my hair cut too -- she'd pay for it.

I squealed and said "YES!" and never thought about asking my mother first.

So I had my waist length straight hair cut off to a Dorothy Hammill bob with no clue how to style it to feather.

Got home and couldn't sit down for a few hours, if you know what I mean.

After that, I had a series of bad hair styles. The Farrah Fawcett - wow, that was hard. My mother had to style it every day.

I had perms, too, but never $15 ones.

Linda G. said...

K-Pop -- Any port (or ice cream place) in a storm!

Karen -- Oh, it was worse than a home perm. Much, much worse. *shudders*

Teri Anne -- LOL! The infamous rat-tail? I remember those. *grin*

Carol -- Short works. Easy care, right?

Michele -- Oooh, Keratin shampoo. That gets rid of the frizzies, right? I may have to try that.

Patty -- Eeek! What was your friend's mom thinking to do that without checking with your mom first?

Diane Henders said...

Oh, ouch! I feel for both the camel and the "young-and-stupid-but-endearingly-optimistic" you.

I've had long hair almost all my life, and I think my worst hair day was when my mom convinced me I should get it cut into a cute Dorothy Hamill bob. She even took me to the salon.

Sadly, when you cut thick, coarse red hair with a natural wave into a bob, it *doesn't* look like Dorothy Hamill. It looks more like Bozo the Clown.

I grew it out again. Nothing more was said.

Unknown said...

I had a bad hair year. Hey, if you're going to do something, do it well, right?

I had gorgeous waist length hair, but decided I wanted Gloria Estefan's sexy, curly locks from this video:

I came out with something like this:

No pictures were taken that year.

S.P. Bowers said...

I don't know about the worst hair day but my most recent bad hair day was when we had our much anticipated, long awaited family pictures. Our first since adopting our daughter. there was just enough humidity to make my hair look like a shaggy coyote. My son insisted on bringing his imaginary pet Baby Jaguar (from Diego) and kept trying to make sure he was in the shot. And our daughter sat there with a defiant stare on her face. She has the exact expression Kristen Stewart has in, well, all her shots. Can I be blamed if I don't really want to pay for copies of them?

Delia said...

I had a sister who went to hairdressing school in the '80s. She took me to job interviews as her "model." Which, roughly translated, means "guinea pig in the world's most horrible laboratory."

I feel ya. Hell, I even relate to the camel.

Pearson Report said...

Not wanting to be hated by the wonderful Miss Linda I am trying to conjure up a "bad hair day" story.

Alas...not possible. Being an esthetician (with hairdresser qualifications) I have seen my share of "bad hair days" that needed professional attention!

Your story kept me giggling...ah, the young and stupid days, I know them well, maybe not in the hair department, but I know them well.

Cheers, Jenny

Dianne K. Salerni said...

He didn't recognize you!?
But I love that he said you were beautiful and (more importantly) offered you his hat.

As for bad hair day -- how about bad hair years? From the time I had hair as an infant, all the way through high school, my mother cut my hair. To be fair, she had attended beauty school and worked for 1 year before she was married.

In the 60's.

When I escaped to college, I started getting my hair cut for $10 at the neighboring beauty college by students with shaky hands.

I looked much better. Seriously.

Linda G. said...

Diane -- I'm pretty sure that Dorothy Hamill bob only looked good on Dorothy Hamill. *grin*

A.N. -- A whole year? Ouch. My sympathies.

S.P. -- I'm convinced cameras CAUSE bad hair days. ;)

Delia -- Ack! Your sister owes you big-time.

Jenny -- Ah, so you have no excuse for having a bad hair day. YOU can fix all hair mistakes yourself, you lucky duck, you.

Dianne -- Oh, my. It's all relative, huh? *grin*

J,J, J said...

When I was in high school I decided to curl my hair one day. I'm of the naturally wavy hair variety.
I didn't realize until about half way through the day that I looked like a badly cross dressed boy.
That's been way too many years ago and I still remember the moment I realized it quite clearly.
I feel ya Linda.

Anonymous said...

I had home perms for years, so my bar is pretty high when it comes to bad hair. HOWEVER, the winner may be when I was four years old, living in a trailer court, and the kid next door decided to cut off everything that stuck out of my stocking cap. Oh, yeah. My mother was THRILLED.

Dawn@Lighten Up! said...

"young and stupid" is a valid life phase, right?"
Absolutely right!
Aw. I think what he did was really sweet. :) Glad you milked it for some ice cream, though.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh, your hubby is so sweet!!!!!

I had a bad hair day when I went to one of those expensive salons and told the woman, "To do whatever you think will look good."
I had visions of a makeover in my head. But I don't think she heard the last part of my request: what looks good part. LOL
She just did the "whatever"--my hair was all kinds of different crazy lengths. Bizarre!!

Bess Weatherby said...

PLEASE tell me you have some kind of photographic evidence of this. You HAVE to.

And I love it that y'all just ran off to Europe for six months. Not surprising, but still awesome :)

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Oh, I had tons of bad hair days. For whatever reason, my mother, who had even less of a natural ability to "do" hair than I... and that's saying something... thought it was a swell idea to give me a Tony home permanent the evening before the first day of school every year. For my first nine years of school, she tortured my perfectly happy straight-as-stick (but healthy!) hair and turned it into a Little Orphan Annie head of over-processed smelly frizz. By the time I hit tenth grade, I begged her for mercy. What's kinda funny is now that I'm older, I've developed a natural curl. Hmmm, maybe I should straighten it? HA!

Linda G. said...

Triple J -- LOL! Sounds like a look to me. ;)

Kari -- Ack! I'm sure she was appalled.

Dawn -- Hey, you have to pounce on those ice cream opportunities.

Jennifer -- Yeah, I've learned to be very specific at the hair salon. "Whatever" is a dangerous word. *grin*

Bess -- Sorry, but I have long since disposed of the pics. Really, the whole episode was too traumatic to commemorate.

Susan -- Every year? *cringes* Oh, the things we do to our children. And if I were you I'd leave well enough alone with the wavy hair. ;)