Yes, hair again.
I’ve had to reconcile myself to a sad and bitter truth. As reported last week, silicone-y stuff (The Body Shop’s Brazil Nut Define And No Frizz) is great for occasional smoothing shiny blowdrying, the full blowdrying where every strand is flattened out, which takes quite a while as I have a lot of hair.
But my hair (despite being dry and with a tendency to poofiness, quite aside from curliness, frizz, etc.) is left lank and greases up, by the end of the day.
I could repeat the process every day. But I’m not going to:
- that’s a lot of time, and time in which I can’t multi-task: deal with first-thing-in-the-morning emails, read news, or indeed listen to news. IT’S SO BORING!
- and even with an energy-efficient eco-friendly etc. hairdryer, that’s a lot of energy consumption: environmentally naughty
So I’m not doing this every day. Or indeed that regularly. I’m compromising. Because everyday life, and living in the real world, is all about compromise. Instead, I’m doing this:
- back to John Masters Shine On
- either leaving hair alone
- or blow-drying the curliest bits into some submission: the result isn’t straight, it’s wavy, but the waviness is non-insane
This is probably all old news to teenagers and twenty-somethings, and people who spent their youth in the USA over the last thirty or forty years or so. So it’s not only a case of teaching granny to suck eggs, it’s also sort of the other way around. Any teenager could have told me this stuff (and probably given me a learned discourse on comparative virtues of a wide aray of styling solutions and hair-heating devices). And many do this every day. You’ve got to suffer to be beautiful, it’s an investment of time and effort (and money), and all that jazz.
But you know what? Sure, I’m vain; I’m human. But not that vain. There are limits. Compromises, again, to be compatible with the real world and everyday life. Laziness and annoyance win out over vanity. Life’s too short. In the old days, I’d be into the last half of my life; I’d like to think I’ve got more like 2/3 to 3/4 left these days. But every day is a day closer to death, and I’d rather spend my time more productively and wisely, live in a more fulfilled way than spending a total of hours a week
blast-drying my blasted hair. Planet earth’s got a certain life-expenctancy too. Humans aren’t being too helpful in extending that let alone just keeping it where it it. Surely, reducing blow-drying would be a nice simple thing that would help.
Having perfectly sleek hair is already a flawed idea, in feminist, ethnic, political terms. Even if it weren’t, hair isn’t exactly a matter of life and death survival. Even if it’s part of the animal survival of attracting a mate (sorry teenagers, that’s what’s happening and part of what your crazy hormones are up to), not all potential mates go for the exact same characteristics; and you don’t have to accept every potential mate coming your way (heh), you can be picky. And besides, there’s more to survival of a species than pair-bonding and/or simplistic maximum reproduction. Breeding isn’t the be-all and end-all of life: of the individual or of the species. There are other (equally) important evolutionary roles to play too: nurturing, supportive, educating, doctoring, ministering to spiritual and cultural needs, preserving and propagating knowledge. And that’s not only the case with humans; life’s a bit more complicated than the older simpler Mendel-Darwin model, or that stupid fecking Rand character, even with later additions from evolutionary and behavioural biology combined with social anthropology. Add in: this last paragraph has been looking at the individual and the species; both of which are part of larger eco-systems and a planet as a whole. On whose survival everything further down the chain, back down to the individual, depends.
So think on’t the next time you pick up that hairdryer, those curling tongs, the straight-iron. Compare your energy consumption and state of happiness to boiling a small quantity of water and making yourself a nice cup of tea instead.