Friday, August 22, 2008

The Mushroom

My hair became a mushroom when I was about eleven. As a child I was obsessed with having long hair. Since it was so curly, the only thing anyone knew to do with it, on my mom's side of the family, was to straighten it. My grandmother spent an hour every night setting it in about twenty little buns all over my head and smoothing in French Perm hairdressing.

I don't know why we decided to go to a salon. Maybe I was constantly hounding people (as was my way) about why my hair wouldn't grow any longer than a little past my shoulders before petering out. Whyever it was that I wound up in the salon, I did. A woman took me into the back room and had me look at some photos in a book. I said I liked one of them (I think I picked the prettiest looking girl with the front of her hair flowing in the wind) and before I knew it, she'd cut off a chunk of my hair in the front (in sort of a mullet). Then put a Jheri curl over my straightener (which was over my very curly hair). She loaded me up with Activators and Moisturizers and Deep Conditioners, and sent me back, stunned, to my mom.

Once home, the consensus among my mom and grandmother was that the rest of my hair was now too damaged. So they cut off the remaining longer mullet hair in the back, and thus began the Summer of the 'Shroom. Soon after, I went to visit my dad for the summer. He took one look at all the greasy activators and moisturizers, and forbid them. So I was left with my round head, no hair dressing, conditioning or activator. All I knew to do was to brush it every morning, and pat it into as round a shape as I could. And as the summer progressed, so did my mushroom. By the end of the summer (looking back at the photos taken from that time), my afro had grown to an impressive girth.

When I returned to Kentucky for school, my hair was quickly straightened again, and this time set in curlers every night, giving me more of a cake-frosting look, with stiffly molded flips all over my head. Thus ended my mushroom hair, and I rapidly entered a Very Awkward Adolescence.

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