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Joel cut my hair for me recently. I’d gotten into the old ponytail rut, and there’s not much less flattering than a ponytail on me.

I’d long admired Ichii Sayaka’s haircut, especially from the Chokotto Love era of Pucchi Moni:

For reference, she’s the girl with the short, choppy hairdo, mostly in the center of the choreography.

So, I found a bunch of pictures where you could get a good look at her hairstyle and showed them to Joel.
Ichii Sayaka's cute choppy haircut

We looked up a few instruction pages for hair cutting online, and last Tuesday, I sharpened up my best sewing scissors and asked Joel to make free with my hair.

Holy crap!  Bangs!!!
OMG! BANGS! I haven’t intentionally worn bangs for about five years…a bad case of bangs precipitated one of my many forays into home-made haircuts. But this time, the bangs are more subtly administered. I’m not working the furry forehead mat look this time, and I can brush them to the sides or pin them up if I want to feel the breeze on my forehead.

I wash my hair at night before I go to bed, so I usually wake up with some odd shapes. I’ve decided to just work with my bedhead, by creatively placing clips, barrettes, or decorative bobby pins, so that it looks intentional. So today the bangs are pinned back, since they were parting to the sides anyway.

Nice and tufty, just the way I like it!
I feel like the back of my head is the true masterpiece of this haircut. It’s so beautifully tufty, just how I like it. I just have to riffle a little pomade through it, turn my head upside down and rough it up, and it is good to go.

I have “Teflon hair,” in all honesty. I can do pretty much whatever I want to it, and it will be about the same. Springy. A little unruly. A haircut like this, where it is supposed to be kind of messy is probably the best bet for me. Also, it recovers from the bike helmet fairly gracefully. I just fluff it up, maybe moosh a little more hair goo in it, and I’m presentable for the office.

When I was in college, I worked as a “housekeeper” at a Super 8. Mostly, it was a pretty crappy job. The manager was a freaky, uptight racist, the customers tended to leave a godawful mess, the pay was pathetic, and I had to get up way earlier than is constitutionally congenial to me.

There was, however, one significant perk to the position. You might call it “the rule of Finders-Keepers.”

Now if a customer left behind something important or expensive we had to turn it in to lost-and-found, but if it was something consumable, like shampoo or a (wrapped) candy bar, it was fair game. I worked at that job for two summers and I didn’t buy shampoo for myself for nearly three years. Sometimes people left behind “the cheap 99-cent kind,” but sometimes they left behind good stuff…Aveda or Toni & Guy. All of us cleaning ladies would compare notes and if I got something I couldn’t use (like dry-hair conditioner) I’d probably be able to swap it up with somebody who got a bottle of clarifying shampoo that would wreck their hair.

One thing I can tell you from my years of shampoo smorgasbord is that there really isn’t any appreciable different among brands of shampoo. The only real difference is the scent. A conditioning shampoo from the cheap brand is as good as conditioning shampoo from an expensive brand. It will be different from a clarifying shampoo…but only because of the difference between clarifying versus conditioning, not because of any real difference between one brand and another.

Suave used to have an “Aloe Vera” formula that smelled really good. Pantene’s scent used to be really nice until about 1997…then they changed it to a much stronger and vaguely fruity scent that I really don’t enjoy. Most of the shampoos (at least the ones you can get at the grocery store) have gone to really strong and fruity-ish scents that really bug me. Even the so-called floral scents smell like a Jolly Rancher. Bleh.

If and when I can get it for cheap, I really like Paul Mitchell products. They don’t have too much scent, and the scent they have is pretty unobtrusive. My hair-good du jour is Paul Mitchell Wax Works.

The truth is that I can wash my hair with pretty much whatever I want and the end result is the same. On Joel’s and my big cross-country adventure, I regularly washed it with Dawn dish soap or the rank pink hand goo in gas-station bathrooms. It was none the worse for the wear. The only thing that seems to disagree with my nearly-indestructible hair is bar soap. If the soap is liquid, be it shower gel, dish soap, hand soap, or official shampoo, it is fine, but if the soap comes in a solid chunk, it seems to render my hair tangly, rough, and ratty.

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