Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Long Hair

I have been waiting to blog about my hair extensions experience until I had a great photo to include, but after months of waiting, it looks like this snapshot will have to do. Having hair extensions seems like an interesting idea for those women who already have long hair and want it a little longer, those women who have very fine and thinning hair and want more body, and those women who have short hair and want to have instant long hair, and happen to have hours each day and a personal stylist to do it. Oh yeah, and all these women have to have tons of disposable time and income.

I do not fall into any of these categories, I was just a model hired to illustrate the dramatic difference between your God-given hair and the hair that Paul Labrecque can give you.

First let me tell you about the hair itself. It is European Hair (as opposed to Asian), so it is naturally wavy. My hair is naturally straight, so after washing it, there was a few inches of straight hair and then all this waviness. So, not only did I have to get used to drying 20 times the amount of hair, but also wavy hair-something I was not used to dealing with...what a pain. Also, because the hair is a compilation of various women's hair, your hair suddenly smells foreign. It is not a bad smell, it's just not your smell. And I had never noticed the smell of myself before but all of a sudden when it was replaced, I missed it. I appeared on the Today Show with this hair (that was the whole reason I got it put in,) and I told Katie Couric that I think I would rather have someone else's kidney than hundred's of women's hair. I thought it made for a good CSI episode, they would find hundreds of hairs in my apartment, all with different DNA Yikes.

Then there is the experience of going from short to long. The logistical experience is somewhat difficult. The hair is heavy. I had to get used to the weight. The extensions themselves are attached right at the scalp, and there were I think 400 of them. You can no longer run your fingers through your hair from top of scalp down, they will get stuck on extensions. The best way I could describe how that feels is like you have 400 bobby pins hidden at your scalp. Also, you always had to hide where the hair attached, so a ponytail was really only realistic the first few weeks, because after that, your hair had grown and you could see every extension when you pulled the hair taught. When we were at Disneyland, and we went on the rides that had blacklight, all 400 attachments glowed in the dark. The most annoying part was my new hair shedding EVERYWHERE...it was like I owned a long-haired Irish Setter dog or something.

The other side of the experience was suddently being a long-haired woman. I had never experienced THIS long of hair. Back in high school I had had it a little below my shoulders at one point, and that was dyed blond and was really straight, so this was a totally new thing. On my way home from the salon I got a few catcalls, something that rarely happens to me. And I did find that I got a little more attention from men when I had the long hair. I also booked my first national commercial a few days after I got the hair put in, and I think if I had had my old look, they would not have seen me as playing a youthful girl talking about tampons.

Speaking of that commercial, after a few hours on set I got the worst headache, and I figured out why...because I had new heavy hair up in a ponytail, and it really was difficult to overcome that headache and continue working.

Though the extensions can last 4 months, I was totally over it within 4 weeks, and I think I got them taken out at week 5 or 6. I felt I couldn't look my best with all that hair. I didn't have time to spend on making it look good everyday. And I felt the look wasn't ME. I have since reconsidered a little bit, and I am thinking about growing my hair out one last time before I get to be a middle-aged woman, but who knows, I have had short hair for about 10 years now, I kind of love it.

1 comment:

Rachel H said...

You do look nice with the extensions, I have never had them, but I have had several friends who HAVE, and I think it just depends on whether you like long hair for yourself! I can see why you prefer you short hair, esp. since you've had that look for SO long. It becomes your identity. I bet people you knew walked right by you with your extensions and didn't even know it was you! I feel like the rainbow colors hair girl, right now with the long barbie look but I have had every color including a wide fushia stripe(for a hair show for Vidal Sassoon) excluding black and every length too! I have always enjoyed the changes, but I will say, since being a mom I feel like I am keeping the "long blonde" hair because I feel less "marmy" .