Monday, January 05, 2009

Me and My Postpartum Hair

Postpartum is an interesting period of time in a woman's life. When I took a looksy at as to the meaning and origin of the word, this is what I found:

(pōst-pär'təm) Pronunciation Key
adj. Of or occurring in the period shortly after childbirth

[Latin post partum : post, after; see post- + partum, accusative of partus, birth, from past participle of parere, to beget

I like to think I have my own definition.

adj. 8 weeks of emotional hell brought on by hormones seeping out of every dang pore in a woman's body after childbirth, producing such vast hormonal mood swings it causes grown men to weep like spanked little girls when asked the question, "does this make me look fat?".

Mr. Webster is rolling in his grave right about now.

While I haven't suffered the emotional turmoil I endured after Hope's birth (read: postpartum depression for a few weeks) I have had my fair share of hormone swings this time around. Not only do I have my weepy moments, but I also become rather obsessive over all things relating to my looks and body shape. Vanity never gets you anywhere, girls.

My hair is one of my obsessions. Perfectly coiffed hair is a quality all good Southern women should possess. I believe I read that somewhere once. Or maybe I imagined it.

Anyhow, at the moment my hair is not coiffed as much as it is puffed. Let me explain.

When I become pregnant a message is sent to the little follicle people holding onto my hair, telling them, " don't let go of the hair". These little fellas take their job seriously and hold on to every last dang follicle of my hair for 9 whole months! The end result is some mighty BIG hair.

Me, while camping this summer

Let me just say that in a normal, non-pregnant, non-postpartum state, my head holds enough hair for two people. Or so I was told by one hairdresser. Or five. So it's safe to say that when I am pregnant....I look like Sasquatch.

Me circa 1989 - Man, I loved the 80's. My hair loved the 80's.

So I've had the baby now for just over 4 weeks and I'm feelin' the frump. My hair is large and in charge, there's a fountain flowing deep and wide. Amen. It is dull, dry and just sorta....there. My go-to style is a big, fat ponytail and that's not the most attractive style for a 39 year old woman. Even if I have 6 kids and homeschool.

(At this point if y'all are sensing I've done something stupid... you're right on track...)

Anyway. With a wild hair in my hitch I decided to consult my friends at L'oreal. Because I'm worth it. I perused the hair dyes at Target, searching for just the one to give me that POP! Something that would brighten up the ol' hair doo just a smidgen. After selecting my poison of choice I went home to play beauty parlor.

I chose a snappy red color because with my natural brownish auburn locks I figured that would be the best bet in giving me some of that POP I'd been looking for.

I figured wrong.

Not only was one box of hair dye pathetically inadequate at covering my whole bushwoman head of hair, my hair turned a very unnatural color. A very bright red, coppery, orange color. Not attractive, my friends. It would work just fine for someone much younger. Someone who is...say... young, hip and artsy.

I'm more of the old, flabby and fartsy crowd.

And what made matters worse is that because I didn't have enough hair dye to sufficiently saturate my head, only the top portion of my hair was flaming red! My undercoat, so to speak, was an entirely different color.

Needless to say, the family noticed.

So what do I do? Do I consult with any professionals? Oh no. Because apparently I've taken an extra dose of STUPID pill for the day! I head back to Target, back to my friends at the L'oreal aisle and select not the same color to at least finish the job I started, but I now pick a lighter color thinking that I can somehow undo what I've already done.

Hair Dying 101 will tell you that AIN'T how it works, my friends.

But I proceed with reckless abandon only to unveil not a lustrous head of beautiful auburn hair, but something resembling a red headed Neapolitan ice cream cone! My hair is now not one, not two, but THREE different shades of red! That doesn't even include the stubborn gray hair that decided it didn't like any of the shades I chose!!!

Did I mention the fact that attempting to dye one's hair TWICE in one day can produce some painful results as well? I nearly howled when applying the second round of dye! My scalp was on fire and I was certain I had singed my esophagus from inhaling so many fumes! I just knew that my eyes were going to ignite at any moment and burst from my head like some sort of freakish roman candle, hurling my flaming eyeballs onto the bathroom floor! Imagine if you will, this crazed woman, clad in nothing but a t-shirt and plastic hair dye gloves running circles in her bathroom trying, in vain I might add, to stop the charbroiling of her scalp and to somehow increase airflow to her now suffocating lungs and watery eyes! A hard lesson learned, my friends.

So what's a postpartum, hair handicapped woman to do besides suffer?

Well first off, so as not to draw attention to herself she wears her hair half up and half down to church on Sunday. It somewhat hides the fiery red fiasco that has occurred the night before. It also discourages small children from pointing and staring at the scary red haired lady holding the baby in the back pew. And it's the only way the 15 year old daughter will be seen with her.

Secondly, she contacts one of her best friends who actually, you know, has a license to practice hair and begs her to fix it, fully admitting that she is in fact a dumb butt for ever trying to dye her own hair. Gracious friend agrees to fix Dumb Butt's messed up dye job and laughs hysterically. Oh yes, she loves me indeed.

I most definitely would have taken and posted pictures of the whole scandalous occasion, but my camera and computer are not on speaking terms at the moment (....but not for long....hint, hint, hint). So, y'all are going to have to trust me when I say I look ridiculous.

So as my punishment I now get to look like a trashy-bad-dye-job red head for the next few days until my friend, A. can bail me out. Needless to say I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. Besides, my scalp hurts too bad.

I really hate postpartum.


TheMadMonk said...

Awesome hair! You look like Alice from the Dilbert cartoon!

Jennifer said...

Oh man. I'm laughing my head off! I have enough hair for multiple people as well, but luckily I don't have the curl. So it just is a pain (literally-I'm sure you understand), but not big. Maybe your friend can give you a great new cut, too? I finally gave in and chopped mine (in a great cut) when Jacob was about 1...maybe you should wait 11 more months for that...! I hope your friend can fix the color! I'm sorry--I'm still laughing.

Anonymous said...

I also have enough hair for multiple people, but in my hormal download period after baby #4 (our most recent born in May) I actually went for the short and spiky sassy type look! Saves minutes in the morning and we all know how important minutes can be!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm holding on to my sides because I'm laughing so hard it hurts!! Tom is looking at me like I've lost my everlovin' mind because it's 6:00 in the morning. I think Ken needs to get the laptop today, because there's nothing like a good hard belly laugh to cure a little cabin fever. You see, Michigan sucks this time of year because not only is it cold, there isn't any sunshine either. So, a good laugh to start off my day, keeps me from killing the girl I work with who is as depressing as the winter in Michigan!! So tell Ken he wins both way....his hormonal wife has an outlet, and he keeps his S.I.L from going to jail! Anyway, I'm thrilled that Texas beat OS...U stink!!

Love, T.

Emily G. said...

Okay, I am still giggling after reading that. You poor thing. I hope your friend fixes you up and manages to give you the POP you're looking for. In the mean time, a strategically applied scarf might serve you well should you have to stick your head out of your house. You have effectively quelled the strange nagging thought I've been having to dye my hair after my baby is born (in about 2-3 weeks). After that story, I think I will stick to my good ol' brown. I've never before dyed my hair or even considered it and I don't know where this idea came from, but I am done entertaining it.
Best wishes,

Sherian said...

Oh, you SO need to put pictures on! You're such a tease. Of course, I totally understand since I have on numerous occasions dyed my daughter's hair numerous condiment colors. Now I just pay someone to do hers and stick to the same ol' box of Loreal for mine. Hope the new color turns out well. .........but you SO need to put up pics!