Life List – Not checked yet, but on its way

To Do (in) Life List Item #43. Move beyond the ponytail; Master 5 styles for my hair

When making up my List of Things To Do Before I’m Too Old, I realized that, although it’s been dyed, curled and straightened, I don’t think I can claim to have ever bothered to style my hair in anything but a ponytail. Other than the occasional professionally-done up-do at like, my wedding (skipped prom), that has been it.

Until last Wednesday.

Wait! Before I get to that – my pictures are all in America – you’ll just have to imagine the route that got me here:

Childhood – A massive braided ponytail. Worn every day. Heavy like a horse’s tail, it stung just as badly when wielded as a weapon. Also, bangs.

Freshman year –  Quickly learned that a dorky white  girl cannot wear a red bandanna headband in an inner city school without a WHOLE LOT of negative attention. Otherwise smoothly transitioned to wearing it down. Also, somehow avoided the Big Bang phenomenon of late early 90’s.

Sophomore year – Waves just all of a sudden turned into real curls. I also went freakishly prematurely grey. Very grey.

Remaining high school years – Mostly spent learning to deal with the curls and how to cover the greys. Also, discovered scrunchies.

College – Got up extra early, every morning, to wash and dry my hair into my Julia-Roberts-Mass-of-Curls that had to be just so for me to have a good day.

First Job –  San Francisco + the fog = Back to braids and ponytails. Hair now 75% grey = Dyeing is a way of life.

Germany – After a brief relapse into curls that were accidentally dyed black though a cultural misunderstanding with a Spanish hairstylist and the meaning of the words “not blond”, the  pony tail pretty much became a fixture.

As I said, until last Wednesday.

Here's me before, heading out to the salon.

This is me hoping this isn't a huge mistake.

This is me right afterwards, at a friend's apartment.

The reaction so far: My friends’ four-year old greeted me with polite distance, quickly excused himself and went to bed having no idea who I was. My husband keeps doing double-takes. A large portion of Thursday was spent being approached by co-workers who hadn’t recognized me and thought someone else had snatched my office. It’s like I’ve joined the witness protection program.

I still have to figure out four other things to do with it, but there you are, my new haircut and the first of five new styles.

I think I like it.

I say I have officially moved beyond the ponytail.


18 responses to “Life List – Not checked yet, but on its way

  1. You don’t know me but I’ve enjoyed reading your posts and wanted to add my two cents: Love the new haircut! very chic!

    P.S. There is nothing wrong with a ponytail but yes, I know all too well what you mean…maybe I’ll add this to my list too!

  2. Having lived (vicariously and otherwise) through all of your hairstyles, I like it – but then you learned how to have your way with me long, long ago ….

  3. I think it looks great. Since I have only the ponytail or it’s twin, the claw/bun, I say that with fervor.

  4. Thanks Rz and G (and hi Dad).
    I got a lot of mileage out of the ponytail, but I am pretty happy that I’ve made a change.

  5. Cute!! Do you have to straighten it every day?

    I also deal with curls, but I am still very steadfast in my refusal to have high-maintenance hair*, so I will not be doing a project like yours any time soon! There is little I can do that wouldn’t take a lot of time. So I will vicariously enjoy yours. 🙂

    *I expect that as the grays multiply I will be left with little choice – they have an awful texture. 😦

    • You know I’m surprised at how easy it actually is. I worried it would be too much work, but in comparison to how much time it took to blow dry my long hair (either straight or curly), this is about half that time.

      🙂 I’ve been a slave to the greys for so long I no longer know what it means to have easy hair, so my perspective could be very skewed.

  6. Hi Megan,
    Fellow alien living in Germany…although I think they are planning to brainwash me and make me one of their own! Your blog popped up on my google reader.. not sure why it has taken so long.

    So now I will backtrack and see what you have been doing. Love the new ‘do’. I also cut off my “think I look like Kim Basinger’ long hair before Xmas… scared me to bits.. but ended up with nothing but compliments… and it takes no time at all to dry a + in this cold climate.

  7. Wow, where’d you get it done? The ‘do (cut and style) looks fab – I don’t know how curly you are, but your hair really seem to take the to straightening. Is it chemical?

    I’ve been straightening since we got back from vacation, as the weather is inhospitable to airdrying my curls (the only way they keep their shape). And walking around for 3 hours with a wet head is not an option.

    Are you having any problems with split ends and crispiness?

  8. Thanks Sarah,

    I’ve been pretty lucky. I’ve blown my hair straight off and on for years without damage. This is just an ironing – I avoid the super hot setting unless I really need it perfect.

    I’ve been looking around Nberg and so far haven’t liked the salons I’ve seen, so I take advantage of my weekly in-house days in Munich and still visit my old stylist there. I’ve had such bad experiences in the past switching salons, it’ll be a while before I take the plunge. Maybe you know what I’m talking about?

  9. Hi Megan-

    I’m new to your blog (I found you by way of the Great Egg Debate on Heather’s blog).
    I’d say that you could pull off being bald and look too cute, so the very chic hairstyle you chose works. I’m a habitual ponytailer too, so it gives me hope that cute, easy-to-style ‘dos are possible 🙂

  10. Thanks for the compliment and for coming by! I found the egg debate a bit hair-raising at times, but definitely an interesting one.

    If you’re a ponytail wearer you may understand part of the motivation to get out of that habit: I commute twice a week by train and the incompatibility of ponytails and seat headrests was driving me bonkers.

    That and I would shut the end in car doors sometimes…when I wasn’t in them myself. 🙂

  11. WOW… I would walk right past you on the street. Looks great but completely different. If Jodee came home looking THAT different I would run screaming from the house for fear of being caught!!

  12. MarleneMarriedtoaGerman

    Megan! You look so chic. I’ve always loved your look. But now you look so grown-up. Aw, I’ve embarrassed you, haven’t I? 😉

    • Marlene – You were the chic, hip, funky model to follow and I expect you still are. Thanks for not mentioning my white tshirt disease and the series of JCrew boxer shorts I used to sport at the bakery and pass off as ‘clothing’. Goodness, was I a slob. Plus, I was overly dependent upon scrunchies to keep my hair in check.

      Why didn’t I chop it off much sooner? 🙂 Better late than never!

  13. Hey, I’m late to the mix and you’ve probably moved on from this hairstyle by now. But I think changing anything up once in awhile can’t be a bad thing. We’re pretty used to it as expats abroad, aren’t we? You look great, no matter what. Kind of funny no one recognized you though. Dye your hair next and really go undercover.

    • Hey Kat, how are you hanging in there in Greece? Hair-raising times to say the least. I’ve kept the ‘do’ and am learning to do it pretty fast in the morning which means it’s a success. It was a long time in coming and about damn time for a change. Other than the fact that it points out that I can look old, being told I look ten years younger isn’t bad…although I’m not sure how to take that from a 16 year old.

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