free stats Carmen's Web: A Hair's Tale
Saturday, January 20, 2007
A Hair's Tale
"Ya habibi, enti helwa by nature. Mish lazem teghayari ay haga, sha3rik, shafayfik, hawagbik...enti beautiful by nature" (Habibi, you're beautiful by nature. You don't have to change anything, your hair, your lips, your eyebrows). My father just said this to me as he was walking into his den, shaking his head at my latest hair"style":

(highlights are MUCH, MUCH
lighter than they appear)

I spent five hours at the salon today only to come out with the second worst highlights I've ever had. The first has GOT to be the one I got in Egypt about four years highlights back then came out PINK. Seriously. HOT PINK.

So now I have JLo highlights and look like practically every woman in Queens. Apparently all hairstylists in Queens graduated from the same beauty school because at this moment there is nothing to distinguish me from Fulana.

My mother loves my hair. So does her best friend, our next door neighbor. But they're also the kind of women whose ideal of beauty is that of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed, slim and slender girl-next-door.

My father, on the other hand, is mortified. I've never seen such disappointment on his face. "Blonde? Why blonde? What was wrong with your beautiful hair?" he kept saying as he picked at my roots. He added the above addendum later, I suppose, in an attempt to make sure that I love myself as I am and don't resort to more drastic measures to change my appearance.

I hated my hair when I was younger. I hated my unruly curls, hated the deep black color. I remember staring at my hair in the mirror when I was eleven and crying. Really crying. I wanted so badly to color my hair, to make it a bit lighter. Not blonde, but a shade of brown or something. My mother had walked into my room in the middle of my tears to put away some laundry, asked me what was wrong, and immediately told me to stop being stupid (my mother has never been emotionally able).

When I got a bit older I dabbled with henna and had reddish tints in my hair throughout high school. I never colored my hair till I got to college. I spent six months with highlighted hair before I dyed my hair black again. Six months later I got highlights again, only to darken them once more. This has been going on and off for the past ten years. And you know what? The happiest I was with my hair was when I had finally stopped messing with it and just let it be.

So why did I decide to spend my entire Saturday at a salon??? I don't know. I just wanted a change, I suppose. Birthday blues and all (my birthday was HORRIBLE though I must give the boyfriend credit for turning my whole day around). And although I've never been lucky with highlights, I really thought today was going to be different. The boyfriend's niece has gorgeous hair and I figured that her stylist could be trusted.

I hate my hair. Truly hate it at the moment. I went by the drugstore on the way home and bought some dye, but am terrified to put anything else in my hair today. It has suffered enough if you ask me.

I will never, ever mess with my hair again. If, after ten years, I haven't been able improve upon nature, maybe I should leave well enough alone.
Thoughts shared by Carmen at 8:38 PM
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Who: Carmen

xx-something egyptia-yorker who's spent over half her life stuck in two worlds not of her own making. unable and unwilling to fully embrace one identity over the other, she created (is trying to create) her own place in the world where people love each other unconditionally, irrespective of artificial boundaries, and where dancing merengue is as necessary to life as breathing air.

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