Saturday, February 26, 2005

The Saga of Howard's Hair

Okay, so Katie wants a pic of the hairdo. If you want that then you need to read through The Saga of Howard's Hair.

It starts out as a nice story. As a kid I had nice red hair grown long in that care-free sure-we-have-gas-lines-and-we're-losing-to-the-Ruskies-and-we-just-got-whipped-out of-Vietnam-Bad-News-Bears hair. It was reddish. It was nice. I remember people saying, "What pretty hair that boy has."

Then the unthinkable happened. I developed a rash on my scalp. I was 10 so the headshaving was no big deal, but then the fro grew in. Apparently puberty got itself an early jump on my head and changes were occuring. Not good changes.

First it darken. My God, the hair grew back a different color. This was darker than before. I now knew what Conrad meant by Heart of Darkness. At a certain length it also began to curl. Heavily. And man was it thick. This was bad. First, we lived in the south and I was a skinny white kid with an afro. What's a cracker to do?

Furthermore, this was the hayday of the feathered hair. Remember Matt Dillon? Scott Baio? Andy Gibb? Parted down the middle, feathered back just above the earlobes. That was the look. My hair had no part; it didn't feather, it curled. I looked like Albert Frickin' Brooks. I was an outcast. Neighborhood children started refering to me as "Brillo-head."

Then it got worse. The stuff was dry. At that you by now pre- & early teen year, I hadn't touched much hair. I didn't know that it was bad. It scratched my hands in the morning when I brushed it.

Then it got much worse. In the 7th grade I developed a horrible case of dandruf. With my jet black hair, the smallest flake stuck out showing me for the leper I was.

I tried to accomodate. I bought Head & Shoulders and the flakes eventually disappeared. But I still had this black, brittle-dry, curly mess. I only made it worse by going to the worst hair places. My embarrasement drove me to back-alley barbers who were untrained and unlicensed by the state of Indiana. These were my lost weekend years.

One day high school friend Dawn Tatum was over and berated me for my hair. She demanded that she see my shower. "You shampoo with this," she yelled. "This is crap." After calming down she went on to explain that all of my family had oily, fine hair and had bought the shampoo to deal with those problems. But that same shampoo only compounded the problems of my dry, thick hair. It made it more afro-ish and more dry. She prescribed something new. That night I bought it from a Korean grocery story on the other side of town and within weeks thicks were looking up. The scales had fallen from my eyes.

I was still getting cheap cuts, but the brittleness had stopped and my hair felt downright luxiours. Also, styles were starting to change. The 90s were upon us. My non-featherable hair didn't stand out so much. Then slowly, standards in hair dropped so much that I looked almost normal. Thank You, Grunge Music!

During my twenties, I went through a period of substantial hair loss and the afro look started to go away. I also started to prematurly grey. This lighted the look. Now at 34 years old, I'm going to a decent barber. Hair-wise, I'm a bit of a catch now. I'm one of the few men in their 30s not fretting about hair loss and fertively looking at adds for hair implants. God owed me and he came through - after I was married. I still can't get a comb through my hair, but a brush now does a little more than just push it around.

So not that you know the story, you can see the results:
This is the top of my head. See! No balding.

But things are greying and there's a tad bit of receeding hair line. However, notice the enticing sweeping waves.

The Saga of Howard's Hair continues...

Stay You.
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