Monday, May 25, 2015

Frizz in the land of the frisør

More substantive posts to come, but in the mean time, here's what you're getting:

I know one shouldn't care about things like this. And normally, in my older-end-of-Millenial adulthood, I do not. But my hair looked awful the entire time I was in Norway. Which is, again, a stupid complaint - I was in Norway! In Scandinavia for the first time ever! It was gorgeous! There were fjords and mountain goats! But somehow appreciating the rest didn't stop me from caring about this.

And in fairness, my hair did look unusually terrible. What happened was, not checking bags plus packing light more generally meant that rather than the usual set-up (the right shampoo, conditioner, hair oil, and then, if feeling decadent, hair iron), I was using a "normal"-hair-oriented 2-in-1 that the CVS in town happened to have in travel-size; a very old container of Frizz-Ease, a product that for whatever reason stopped working for me a few years ago; and the occasional hotel blowdryer. Then, on top of that, there was the weather - the daily rain that would stop every so often, but there was always just enough mist that whatever smoothed-out or vaguely ringlet-ish situation I'd achieved (mid-century starlet waves, for the occasional fleeting moment) turned into frizz. And by frizz I don't mean curliness, kinkiness, or any other hair texture one might Embrace. I mean the classically middle-school result of using the wrong hair products for one's hair texture. The last time my hair had looked this terrible was probably when I was 12.

What didn't help matters was that the women of Norway didn't appear to have this problem. Around me, as my hair grew frizzier and frizzier, packs of Norwegians would pass by with long, glossy, hair-commercial hair. Because our society so often defines beauty as Scandinavian-looking-ness, I suppose, the percent of women who resembled supermodels beyond just hair was substantial. Or maybe just felt substantial, because I was so keenly aware that my own hair wasn't having its finest hour, and was selectively not noticing the women who weren't Uma Thurman to my Janeane Garofalo. That said, in Bergen there was this amazing poster I should have taken a picture of, in front of a hair salon, with a photo of the same young blonde model, a Before and an After. The Before showed her with long, straight Marcia Brady hair, and the After with a light-haired version of what my hair was looking like on the slightly-less-misty moments of the trip.

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