September 25th, 2012

My Love Affair with Hair

by Jacqueline Whitmore

For years I’ve been thinking about getting hair extensions. I’ve always had fine, thin hair but since I turned 40 nearly eight years ago, I’ve noticed that my hair is getting thinner by the day. Whenever I see a shampoo commercial on television, I envy those women who have silky, sexy, shiny hair.

When I was a child, my mother (who was a hairdresser) kept my hair short even when I wanted to grow it out. I would imagine having long hair by putting a bath towel or a handful of moss from the neighbor’s oak tree on my head and running around the yard pretending to be Cher.

Every time I go to the beauty salon and see someone getting extensions, I try to convince myself that I really don’t want them. Who gets hair extensions anyway? Celebrities and strippers? Yes. Etiquette consultants? No. Besides, hair extensions are expensive; especially the kind that are professionally applied and last up to six months.

While I was in the salon the other day getting my eyebrows plucked, I told the eyebrow artist about my hair fetish and she told me where I could find some affordable clip-on extensions. I left the salon and immediately drove to Sally’s Beauty Supply.

When I walked into the store I wandered around looking at the eye shadow, nail polish, and shampoo until I suddenly spotted a wall of hair extensions. I was in hair extension heaven. There was every color and length, from jet black to platinum blonde. I felt like a kid in a candy store.

I picked up one of the boxes and noticed the price on the back: $129.99. I winced. That was more than I wanted to pay. I was just about to turn around and walk out of the store when I heard a voice say, “May I help you?”

I turned and looked at the sales clerk and before I could say, “No, thank you,” I said, “Do you have any extensions that will match my hair color?” She took several boxes off the shelf and opened them one at a time. She explained that the most authentic extensions are made from 100% human hair and can be colored and curled, just like your real hair.

She held the ash blonde extension close to my head. It was too dark. Blonde frost was too dramatic. Then she opened the box of light blonde extensions and took the 14-inch strand of hair and held it next to my head while I looked in the handheld mirror. The color was perfect.

I could easily picture myself with a full head of long locks. But then I tried to be logical. “Do I really want to spend that much money on something I don’t need?” I thought about it for a moment.

I looked in the mirror again, tilted my head back and forth, and liked what I saw. I began to daydream about how my new hair might make me appear younger and slimmer. My husband and I could even pretend that I was his girlfriend instead of his wife for an evening. Now I was fantasizing. “I’ll take them,” I exclaimed.

I’ve tried the extensions on only once since I purchased them. I guess I’m still waiting on that perfect occasion or that hot date with my husband before I wear them again. But until then, I feel better knowing that they’re tucked away in my dresser drawer and can wear them anytime I want.

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