autohairography: chapter seven.

Below is a snippet of my hope-to-be-published memoir, Autohairography. If you know of a publisher that’s nice and likes quirky girls, please email me!

[image credit: irene molina]

crimping my style.

Eventually, my hair grew out once again, back to its normal texture. In other words, it was straight as a rail. Which didn’t entirely fly with me, because Tiffany became popular and her hair was NOT straight. It was luscious, thick, full and CRIMPED.

So naturally, I did what any Midwestern girl would do in a similar situation. I invested my birthday money in a high-tech crimper from the local beauty salon — one that promised me both body and shine. And a life worth living again. Which was a bonus.

I coveted that crimper until the day it was mine, and I still remember taking it home from the beauty salon, holding it like the prize trophy it was. After all, it would surely boost my love life, and I’d had my eye on Miles Jacobs from the eighth grade for quite some time.

From that day on, I made a pact to myself that I’d boost my daily beauty regimen by 30%. I would rise daily at 5:30AM to begin the crimping process. I use the word “process’ lightly, because it was more like a procedure.” An intense, life-threatening procedure, because if you performed the crimping poorly, your social life would become a fatality.

The procedure was important and followed a few key steps:
1. Prepare the hair for the crimping using a bit of gel in all the right places. I found Vidal Sassoon to work the best in this situation, but that was only because my sister readily supplied Vidal Sassoon in her cabinet.
2. Begin at the top and work your way down. Take your time. No rush, no fuss.
3. You may burn yourself if you get too close to your scalp. If this happens, it’s okay because beauty is pain. But don’t tell your mother you’ve burned yourself, because she may confiscate your hair tools for a week and then your boyfriend will break up with you for Jessica Ricks from the fifth grade.
4. Be careful with the ends. If you possess flyaways (you shouldn’t, but if you do), rub a bit of gel on those, too. Really, rub gel all over. With gel, you can’t go wrong.
5. Finish with approximately twenty sprays on each side. Again, preferably Vidal Sassoon brand, but whatever your sister has on the top shelf will do just fine. However, don’t tell your sister that you’re using her product, because she may tell your mother, who may confiscate the product, which will also make your boyfriend break up with you, this time for Libby Tyler in the fourth grade.
6. Rinse and repeat.

This regimen worked well for me and my popularity rose like a helium-filled balloon on a windy day. I convinced the entire sixth grade that my hair was naturally this beautiful and required minimal upkeep. Yet all good things come to an end, and I was caught in that lie the day our class went to the Chicago Zoo and it rained for five hours. My hair air-dried stick straight and I had to pretend as if I had made it that way on purpose.

No one bought it, and my boyfriend broke up with me for Tara Foster in the sixth grade.

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