updated with photo


In 8th grade I told the hair cutter I wanted “wisps.”

Wisps were the rage in the early 80’s, at least in Livingston, New Jersey where I discovered them sported by all the beautifully straight-haired blonde girls during a visit to a camp friend. They were bangs, sort of, thin little strips of hair that trickled down in wispy tendrils. Generally next to a roach clip with a feather hanging off it. It was just perfect.

But on me? On frizzy, crazy-haired, wavy, bushy-headed me? They were um… a circle.

The left side of my bangs curled around making a C on my forehead, while the right side curled around in the same but opposite way, forming an O. Yep, she left me with a giant O smack in the middle of my forehead and no handmade ribbon barrettes could distract from it.

It wasn’t like school photos were the next day or anything.

Oh wait…yes they were.

Eventually I lived down being called Frizzy Lizzy for the better part of my childhood.

But still, hair (and thoughts about my hair and panic about my hair) still takes up a disproportionate amount of time and energy in my day to day existence. I’m a pretty low-maintenance gal, believe it or not. But my hair won’t let me be. When someone tells me I have good hair? It’s like the triumph of technology (and a professional yielding a hair dryer) over biology. I am overjoyed.

So it’s not entirely surprising that I’m projecting all of my hair issues onto my girls. Not that I could make a straight part if I wanted to, but their hair isn’t apt to cooperate anyway. They have my hair. Thinner, yes. But just as unruly.


I often have these fleeting thoughts that perhaps one day, their hair will just…go straight. Neat. Partable, brushable, and free of the permanent dreadlock that has taken up residence on the back of Sage’s head. Maybe my girls will turn Asian or something overnight. It could happen.

So yesterday I exhibited the greatest act of trust since I allowed Nate to get busy with me without a condom – I encouraged my mother to take the girls for haircuts.

I was so grateful. I’ve just been so busy lately, that I’ve allowed the girls to walk around with their bangs stabbing them in the eyeballs several weeks.

Okay, months.

(And don’t suggest I cut hair myself. Been there, scarred that for life.)

“I know you’ll hate whatever I do,” my mom said.

No, I insisted. All I needed was for Sage to come home with the perfect chin-length wedge cut, longer in front, with short bangs. No biggie!

I kissed two girls goodbye and raced off to work.

I came home to one girl. And her little brother, the Dutch boy. The one with the long, uneven bangs and the ear-length hair. The one we call Sage.

It wasn’t my mom. It was the chop shop I sent her to because it was close. And now, I feel guilty.

Sorry Sage.

bad hair

On the bright side..if you lean to the left it’s kind of even?

Good thing she’s only two and doesn’t give a shit.

Good thing her name doesn’t rhyme with any disparaging hair descriptors.


35 thoughts on “Hairy”

  1. My mom is Japanese and has butt-length, super straight black hair. She assumes that my hair does the same and I spent much of my childhood with a center part and frizz that was neither bouncing nor behaving. I am so pleased to have a daughter with thick, wavy curls that I tend to overlook the fact that it's ALWAYS in her face, no matter how much grandma tsk tsks.

  2. Nate just said “Sagey sort of has a Kate Gosselin haircut.”

    so I'm uh…hesitating to photograph it.

  3. I admit to wanting to see a picture as well…

    I rocked the Dorothy Hamill cut as a kid. Which was not cool because my name is one which is used for both boys or girls. I am a girl. And was mistaken for a boy more than once. But my hair was so thick and would get so tangled my Mom refused to let me wear it long no matter how much I begged. She was smart.

  4. Photos! Photos!

    I have issues with my daughter's hair as well, which is straight and blond. I'm not sure that it matters, though, because the issues are less about her hair than how I feel about my own. And, let's face it, none of us is completely happy with our own hair.

    We had the ultimate trauma here last winter when my daughter cut her own hair with her blunt-nosed safety scissors. Eep! Talk about scarred for life.

  5. When I met you, I remember thinking that your hair is GORGEOUS. Mine is stick straight and thin. AND after 35, FRIZZY. It's a LOVELY combination. @@

    The nice thing about hair – it grows. 😉 My now 6-year-old cut her own hair when she was 2. Speaking of scarred for life. UGH.

  6. y'know – the only time I paid for someone to cut Alex's hair it looked about that good too. Thought he looked like he belonged in Dumb and Dumber.

  7. I've read your blog for awhile now and today you made me laugh out loud! so relatable – I had to thank you. Take her to your person and have them give her pixie bangs – she would look adorable.

  8. Oh honey. Oh no…

    On the bright side, no one is going to look at her hair when those perfectly edible cheeks are practically begging to be nibbled on.

  9. Oooch. I'm guessing she was wriggling around during the cut? Or the hairdresser was on ludes? Or had no thumbs.

    I cut my kids hair, and it's always straighter than that. And it's free. But she's cute and can rock it.

  10. oh man, I could have written this (…if I were witty and clever, anyway). I have fought with my stringy, frizzy, limp, all-around awful hair my entire life (did I mention I went gray at 25? And that my hair didn't get thicker when I was pregnant?). My daughter, who looks like my husband created her all on his own, like an earthworm, has one trait of mine: my hair.

    it sucks.

    I took her for her first haircut a few weeks ago, and I seriously do not know what the woman was going for. At least Sage's haircut isn't shortest at the crown. wtf?!

  11. She's ADORABLE. I would go back to the chop shop and demand my money back. They will probably give it to you just to get you to leave without making a scene.

  12. Oh, dear.

    Instead of a Page Boy (like I used to have to get), she's sporting a Sage Boy.

    Reminds me of that day long ago when my 5-year-old sister came home sobbing after the local salon gave her what they called “a modified Shag.”

  13. i hope they didn't charge for that. give thalia the scissors next time, i'm sure she's do a better job. seriously though, she's still extremely cute.

  14. like you said she is only two and doesnt give a rats ass!

    that being said bad hair or not that is the cutest little babe ever (next to my baby DIVA of course)no bad hair is gonna take away from her cutey patootie face!!!

  15. Forget the one of Sage, we need the one of you with wisp bangs. 🙂

    Oh, and Sage's hair? It'll grow. In two weeks, it's totally fixable. Your hairdresser may fix it for free.

  16. I have the double c bangs too. My sis and I both grew up with no bangs and, separated by 2000 miles, both decided to get them at the same time. I got off the plane, walked up to her in the airport and we both pointed at each other and began to howl with laughter. We called them “backwards moustaches” but I will now call them “O bangs” in your honor.

  17. Oh God I remember I had such hair issues back then ,and I still do now.. I WANT STRAIGHT HAIR.. ..
    Guess what my daughter has the same issues too..
    Why has no one come up with the 'guaranteed straight hair' solution – invention yet after all the marvels we have !!.

  18. She's adorable, and it's quite straight if you lean over at about a 35 degree angle.

    I feel your cowlick pain – mine isn't a circle, it's two bull's horns careening out wildly from both sides of my forehead. People have been known to duck when they see me coming.

  19. I remember butchering my own hair and hearing my mother's displeasure and not understanding why it mattered; what's the big deal with the school photographer coming tomorrow? I thought it looked fine. Then it happened to me, with my kids taking the scissors into their own hands. Payback.

    But wouldn't it be great if we could all just not give a shit what our hair looked like, not just at age two, but at 32, 42 and..?

  20. Oh, how I can relate. I have the same hair and the same O thing going on.

    I am also hair-cut challenged. It runs in the family.

    For what its worth Sage is SO adorable.

  21. It's just hair. It'll grow back. And if your kids are like mine, they move too fast for anyone to notice any uneven edges.

  22. I really think the cut is cute (minus the bang thing) I have my own horror story, I always had hair past my waist and then I decided to cut it off and get a super cute perm that was all the rage. One problem my hair was naturally curly but because it was so long you couldn't tell. The stylist tried to talk me out of it but no I had to have it. Needless to say I was a 11 year old white girl with a huge afro. I didn't cut my hair except for trims for ten years!

  23. Oh my. One of the best things about boys–the summer buzz cut. So easy even I can do it. (Though, when my oldest got his first buzz at age 3 at one of those quickie places, they lady cut it so low my skinny boy looked like he just stepped off of the pediatric cancer ward. The Bad Mom feelings were staved off because he was easily convinced that his new look was totally cool.)

  24. Oh my. One of the best things about boys–the summer buzz cut. So easy even I can do it. (Though, when my oldest got his first buzz at age 3 at one of those quickie places, they lady cut it so low my skinny boy looked like he just stepped off of the pediatric cancer ward. The Bad Mom feelings were staved off because he was easily convinced that his new look was totally cool.)

  25. Sigh…the chop shop I took my daughter at about 1.5 for her first hair cut did the same. Actually worse – the hair was not even one length!!

    Its hair, it will grow out – but not before you feel like taking a scissors to the moron who did this!

  26. Great pics! Hang in there–it'll grow back.

    I learned my lesson about letting my mom cut my hair when I was in 8th grade or so. She was just going to cut off about an inch in back, and did more like three. Thanks, mom. Dorothy Hamill would be honored (it was the 80's).

  27. One last thought–sometimes when you take them back to have a stylist fix it you'll get a manager or someone more skilled to take over the job. Good luck!

  28. ouch. i feel your pain. have you shlepped them to doodle do's on hudson st? granted it was convenient for us b/c it was around the corner from grandmas….but they do a good job and less pricey than pomme, whose haircutter i find evil and scary. good news is, hair grows. especially on kids.

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