Big Hair (November 1997)

Those of you who may have seen me at Houston, will no doubt have some difficulty recognizing me now. My 12 year-old hair dryer bit the dust right after I came home and I was forced to buy a replacement. Unfortunately, hair dryers have changed significantly during the last decade and I couldnít even find one that looked like mine. Strapped for time and without the energy to investigate beyond the small appliance aisle at Wal-Mart, I did what I could. My choices were limited to a hot air popper, a mini waffle iron, and a brush that blew hot air. I got the brush. And, it came with a curling iron that blows hot air too. I actually read the directions three times before plugging in, just to make sure there was no place to put in pop corn.

This was one new-fangled machine. It had itís own fuse built right into the plug, right above the skull and crossbones that warned me not to plug it in within fifteen feet of a water source. Safety always a first in my book, I took it out to the front hall, stood by the stairs, and attempted to style my hair using the mirrored bi-fold doors that conceal our coat closet. Theyíve never closed properly, so instead of floor-to-almost-ceiling me, all I was able to see was a quarter of my head at any one time. Evidently that was all I needed. Piece of cake!

A flick of the switch was all it took to send gale force winds heated to scalp-blistering temperatures whooshing through something that looks like a cross between a loaf of French bread and a porcupine. In no time flat, my hair went from dripping to damp. Iím glad it only required one-handed operation as I was more than a little frightened to let go of the stair railing lest I be blown right out the front door.

Once damp, I clicked off, uncoupled the brush attachment and snapped on the curling iron. Following the illustrated directions on the back of the package, I put on a low-cut V-neck pink sweater, troweled on some make-up, and took up the same pose as my big-haired heroine pictured on the cardboard. I smiled seductively at myself in the mirror. There we were, she and I, Frick and Frack. We carefully grasped small amounts of hair and rolled ever downwards towards our scalps. She had about 4 feet more hair than I did, but no matter, I was on a roll.

The long metal tube snug against my head, I flicked the switch again and felt the power of 900 watts, a couple of amps, and maybe an ohm or two shooting super-heated air through the curling iron attachment. The blast of hot air blew half my wisp out of the clutches of the iron and I had to re-roll and try again. Careful not to rest the hot metal on the top of my ear during the baking process, I listened for the ďdingĒ announcing that my curl was sufficiently cooked. It never came. I decided to un-clamp several seconds before my locks ignited. Repeating the process half a dozen more times on each side of my head, my scalp was now covered in huge orange juice can size curls. I shook it. I bounced it. I swooshed my head from side to side. The curls remained round and firm. Thank goodness I had gone easy on the moose. Even after I brushed everything into place my hair was still as big as a satellite dish. I canít tell you how delighted I am. What a machine!

I look so incredibly different. Youíd never know it was me. Obviously, I am now just a shadow of my former self, my big hair not allowing much light to penetrate below to illuminate my face. I am a changed woman. No more pin-head hairstyles for me. I have BIG hair and all the power and allure that goes with it. I am woman; hear me blow dry. (c)1997 by Ami Simms.