Monday, May 17, 2010

Prom glam

The Complete Book of Hairstyling sits on the kitchen table. I leaf through photo after photo of styles: short hair knotted on the head in messy clumps, or tinted, or ironed to straight perfection; long hair teased, braided, twisted, kinked, or sproinged.

"What's this for?" I ask my daughter, though I have my suspicions.

"I'm thinking about styling my hair for the prom," she says, "an updo possibly, or curled and gathered at the back."

Except for the picture on the front cover, there's not a single style either one of us likes. For that matter, there's not a style in there we've ever seen on anyone else. This book isn't for girls, it's for aliens.

"What if I went to a salon?" my daughter asks.

Has she been reading my hairpisodes, I wonder? "It'll cost us," I say.

"$75, or $85 if I get a master stylist."

I give her my listen-and-listen-good stare. "One day you'll be out on your own, and reality will strike. Then you'll realize how much all of this is costing."

My daughter smacks her forehead. "Oh, give me a break. Prom is not reality."

My friend Kari says her stylist hates working on prom day. Apparently, many of the girls end up in tears because the styles don't match their expectations. But when my daughter comes home from her appointment, she seems pleased with the results. And we even manage to get her dress on over her head without ruining her hair.
The girls gather and, as they're waiting for the last of their friends to arrive, they cluster in the bathroom in front of the mirror. Their dresses are aglitter, their makeup seamless, but just before they head downstairs, the last thing they check on is their hair.