Friday, February 29, 2008

Hair Relax

I studied for 16 years in an institution run by nuns. I worked for nuns for another 3 years. In all my 19 years with nuns, it was only last year that I learned of the truth behind the veil. I was told by a lay insider that underneath the veil lay short, short hairs. Not poodle trimmed hairs but unevenly cut strands of untreated hair. Nuns apparently keep their hair short and unremarkable because hair is a symbol of vanity.

There seems to be some truth about the link between hair and vanity, or as some people put it, the existential right to look good. These days, the most popular Filipino salon services are hair relax and hair rebond in which vertically challenged hair strands are whipped down to limp obedience. These services cost anywhere between a days wages to a month’s salary but women, members of the third sex and those of undetermined genders still line up for them.

I’m not sure but I have a feeling all my years with nuns have influenced my hairstyle preferences, or my lack thereof. My hair is either pulled back in the same style as those worn by Filipino women past their prime and sanity or cut androgynously short. I only had my hair treated twice in my entire life. On the first occasion, I had it stretched because the service came free with my hair trim. The second time was two days ago when I had it relaxed. Like a fool, I had fallen for the hairdresser’s sales talk and tried to convince myself that I had willfully consented because I had pitied him for his obvious desperation to bag a customer. Maybe I was partly convinced when he told me that my hair wasn’t any nicer than a string of frozen beans.

It was then that I realized that there are far more painful things than being treated by a gynecologist. There is nothing relaxing about a hair relax! Halfway through the procedure my scalp felt like it was being peeled away by a Sioux Indian who was practicing his first scalping. I was convinced that the chemicals had seeped into my skull and blood-brain barrier and caused even more damage to my already scattered gray matter.

The worst part was that I couldn’t tell right after whether my hair looked more like Snoopy’s ears or an ancient Egyptian wig. As one of my students put it, I could pretend to be Cleopatra. My husband just has to comb his hair to the front to look like Marc Antony. Our kid is already too much of a tyrant not to resemble Cleopatra’s son, Caesarion. If we lived 2000 years ago, we would have looked like royalty. Right now, I just look like a cross between a beagle and a dead queen.

I need to find out which is more fashionable, a shaved head or a veil.

15 comments:

  1. ooooh! you had a hair relax! but your hair was already nice before! string beans, really?!?!

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  2. yeah, string beans cause maybe i was up and about the whole day so the city dust practically coated my hair.

    mary told me i should ask you. is hair relax supposed to hurt. my head still hurts and i have burn marks all over my scalp. yeeesh. never again!

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  3. Maaaaaaaaa'am! I don't care if you were born with too much testosterone! It's not that bad! You're probably too hard on yourself! Either your inherently biased against beauty since you don't have a superficial bone in your body OR that was a lousy salon you went to. How bout the next time you decide to do something feminine with your hair, you go to a professional salon like my mom's? There you'll be treated tenderly and get a discount (call me ahead so I can hook ya up) and you'll definitely come out looking gorgeous. Promise! Otherwise, don't be too hard on your new do.Pain is beauty after all. So suck it up and work that pretty. Practice a hairflip! ;-)

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  4. Maaaaaaaaa'am! I don't care if you were born with too much testosterone! It's not that bad! You're probably too hard on yourself! Either your inherently biased against beauty since you don't have a superficial bone in your body OR that was a lousy salon you went to. How bout the next time you decide to do something feminine with your hair, you go to a professional salon like my mom's? There you'll be treated tenderly and get a discount (call me ahead so I can hook ya up) and you'll definitely come out looking gorgeous. Promise! Otherwise, don't be too hard on your new do.Pain is beauty after all. So suck it up and work that pretty. Practice a hairflip! ;-)

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  5. hahaha. yes, yes.... too much testosterone :) thanks mary :)

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  6. grace's secret fashion buddyMarch 4, 2008 at 7:56 PM

    Oh thats Mary? Why ain't i surprised... One thing I know being a guy, no matter how good a girl's hair is, if that's all she has then what can we do... No implications. At least no negative ones.

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  7. hahaha. no implications huh? hehe

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  8. To the fashion buddy(?): as if, Ma'am is gorgeous inside and out. She is just against superficiality. She could give any socially accepted attractive woman a run for their money if she wanted to but no, she doesn't because she is above all that! Your hair is not all you have ma'am and there's no one who can make you more beautiful than you already are. So there.

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  9. wow. thanks mary. for a minute there, i kinda remembered you two when you were in HS. :)

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  10. What did you remember?

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  11. well..... that for a little while you guys were a little bit at odds with each other.... just a little :)

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  12. my secret buddy.common, don't tell me you can't tell who he is? :)

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  13. i'd go for shaved head po. i'm suggesting that to myself actually po. hahaha!

    i want to get rid of my hair. hehehe!

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  14. hahaha. oo caca. parang i am leaning towards shaving na rin. :)

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