The Bad Hair Chronicles

My hair. When women say that, there is a certain inflection, a certain tone that lets others know that it is a complex topic, wrought with self-doubt that has never quite been assuaged despite the thousands and thousands (and thousands) of dollars one has spent on hair care products.

My hair is naturally curly. But not the adorable kind of naturally curly. More like the frizzy, tangled, completely non-adorable kind. I’ve written about it before; here here and here.


When I was in high school and college I dabbled in chemical straighteners, but eventually gave those up and just went with the flow. Still, for special occasions I always loved to get a blow-out and have straight hair at least for a couple of days.

And then, along came a new treatment. No chemicals, just glorious smoothing. What I especially love is the name of this particular treatment: my hair is Disciplined. It needed to be brought into line for sure. It needed a good talking to and perhaps even a time out. Now that my hair is Disciplined I am able to blow dry it reasonably straight and smooth. And as long as it does not come into contact with any moisture, it behaves.

How I imagine I look with Disciplined Hair

How I imagine I look with Disciplined Hair

How I actually look

How I actually look

Of course, when my hair runs around with the wrong crowd, Rain and Humidity, it follows their bad example and becomes unruly.

My hair’s propensity to become un-Disciplined is a constant concern. So in addition to the treatments every few months, I use a specific smoothing shampoo and conditioner. Just recently I noticed the label that says my conditioner is specifically designed for Rebellious Hair. That’s when it hits me. My hair has grown up; it has gone from an unruly child to an incorrigible teenager.

I realize how quickly time has passed and yet know that deep down, my hair is still un-disciplined and completely rebellious. All grown up and yet still misbehaving. I blink back the tears, thinking of my baby. Or maybe that’s just shampoo in my eyes.

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10 Responses to The Bad Hair Chronicles

  1. Heather says:

    My hair is a lot like yours, Jill. Because I live under a rock, I had no idea you could pay to have hair straightened for a long period of time. Does it really work? Like the antithesis of a perm?

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      There are chemical treatments that I think really work, but since I color my hair I don’t want to use another set of chemicals. The process I get is called smoothing. It makes my hair smoother and easier to blow dry, but I still have to work to blow it dry. I have a blow dryer that is a round brush, that rotates while it blows hot air. That works pretty well and as long as I don’t get it wet I can usually go 3 or 4 days between washing. When I was working and didn’t have much time I would wash my hair Sunday nights and Wednesday nights, and that would get me through the week. Possibly more fuss than it’s worth, but when I lost my hair during chemo I used to dream every night that I had long straight hair. So it’s kind of a dream come true. Dream small, that’s what I always say! 🙂

  2. Ann Koplow says:

    I think (1) your hair looks great and (2) this post is the adorable kind of writing.

  3. Carol Ferenc says:

    My hair is naturally wavy and at the mercy of humidity too. With the right cut, learning to blow dry with a round brush and using a flat iron, it behaves. I think your hair looks great, Jill, and the color is gorgeous!

    • Yes it takes a lot of work! Thanks for the compliment; I was very lucky to find an amazing stylist who works magic with red. When my hair grew back after chemo it was pure white! Now it’s back to my real color…with a lot of help!

  4. Pam Waits says:

    I have curly hair, too, but take an entirely different approach. My hair is in control – when it looks good I take credit, when it looks bad I blame something. Your hair looks fantastic – a rebel with a cause.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Curly Girl problems. Sigh. I like that you feel that although my hair is rebellious, it is for good cause!

  5. It looks good! I never heard of this (of course I don’t have super curly hair either) but it seems to work.

    • Jill Foer Hirsch says:

      Thanks! I have a special blow dryer that is a round brush. It spins and shoots out hot air at the same time. 45 minutes later…nice hair. I only have to do it twice a week though because it holds really well. Unless it gets wet! I am more afraid of rain than the wicked witch! And of course, it only works in the winter. Once summer hits, all bets are off.

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