Jamie Lee Curtis
Regardless, when I find myself feeling blue one of the first things I do is call my friend Charles*. He not only has great hair styling expertise, he is a compassionate listener. We've had the same conversation several times over the course of our relationship. He knows when to nod his head, when to smile like he agrees with me, and when to walk me over to the shampoo bowl, which in essence puts an end to the conversation.
A few years ago there was a TV commercial where a Jeep-driving family made their way over rugged hills and roads to get to Grandmother's house - a log cabin surrounded by trees overlooking a mountain vista. Instead of paying attention to the Jeep, I coveted the cabin. It was the epitome of my dream getaway home. But more than that the Grandmother standing in the doorway anxiously awaiting the visiting children piled in the all-terrain vehicle, was not only wearing my kind of LLBean jacket, her hair was plaited in long, silver braids. I believe I was an Indian princess in an earlier life. I knew, or thought I knew, I would look good with braids. I told Charles this was the look my inner mountain girl would like to have.
To his credit, this diplomatic hair impresario, so experienced in handling women who do not have a clue as to what they want, did not laugh at me outright. Instead, he kept his guffaws muffled as he did his best to tame my hair as it began to grow. At the point where I needed to constantly tuck stray locks behind my ears, I realized what Charles already suspected. At this stage, in this life, I am really not the braid wearing-type. We each breathed sighs of relief as we put that hair adventure behind us.
Last month Jamie Lee Curtis was on the cover of the AARP magazine. Her very short, salt and pepper coiffure spoke to me. In a perfect world, I would be just like this thin, confident, mature yet sassy woman. I'd wear little red glasses and write children's books. I'd develop a taste for yogurt. I handed the picture to Charles and asked him to work his magic.
"Sure," he said with more enthusiasm than I expected. I'm not used to him taking me seriously. After exchanging a few pleasantries he sat me in a chair, pumped it up to its maximum height and went to work.
I'm not much of a product buyer or user. Charles knows this and tries to make things easier for me by giving me a no-nonsense cut that requires little help - the kind where the hair just falls into place as I go running out the door. Yet, to get the Jamie Lee look he assured me I needed the "boost" that only came from a yellow spray bottle sitting his table of magic potions. Apparently ThermaFuse, a thickening spray, would fill in the spots that Charles just thinned. Huh?
Here's what the product information says: "flat limp hair? ThermaFuse it! Stand up for your hair and it will stand up for you!"
This leads me to an obvious question. If I use this miraculous product and get my locks standing up just so, will it be my hair that comes to my rescue if I am suddenly struck dumb and cannot speak for myself? How could I refuse to purchase this all-in-one hair product? At only twenty dollars, it's a bargain!
I've learned over the years that my hair fantasies run a certain course. I'm a sucker for fads. Yet when I try new things, I'm usually sorry I did. I go back to Charles with tears running down my cheeks until he fixes the mess with his professional expertise. The man is part stylist, part therapist, part miracle worker.
Hair, I've discovered, is kind of like life. Just when you think you've got it licked, bulk happens! Thank goodness there is always some new product on the market to help thin out the rough spots.
* His name has been changed to protect his identity, but just a little!