MIRACLE ON 74TH STREET

” Your hair is so curly.”says lovely Japanese hair stylist Yoshiko who is about to perfpom a high- tech miracle upon my tangled mane. At least I hope she is. ” So thick, so long.” She looks traumatized. I can relate. After all, I’ve had to live with these wild masses of spiraling follicles for an entire lifetime. It was me who had to endure jokes throughout grade school about sticking my finger in a light socket.
“So, you can’t do anything with it?” I ask, devestated. I knew it. Going from high frizz to sleek tresses in one treatment was too good to be true. For my whole life hairdressers have promised me straight locks before appling lots of smelly goo that achieves nothing more than creating even more frizz. I have had to suffer one disappointment after another, the worst of which was when my stepmother promised that my curls would disappear when I reached puberty. They didn’t.
“Of course I can do it.” she says, ” I can straighten any hair. Even yours.” she runs her fingers thruogh my hair, ” So dry, so coarse,”she says. Does she have to rub it in? Soon she is applying wonderful smelling glop to my thirsty locks. ” It’s all about plant technology,”she explains, citing the essencial oils and proteins in her special Japanese formula that is new to these shores.
When she uses a thioglycolic acid based solution nessesary to open the cuticles and let the goodies seep in. The process “heals” hair at the same time. “It’s a very gentle process,” she says, “It’s all in the deatails,” she says as she irons my hair strand by strand. Five hours later-apparently, I have twice the “normal” amount of hair-she’s finished and I am. for the first time, facing a very different me. A me I really and truly love! Can’t wait to fondle it and toss it around, ingenue style.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that straight hair has changed my life. No more do I have to worry about the weather. Nor do I have to weigh down my hair with a truckload of products.( Note to self: Have a yard sale.) And my whole looks is different:”More sophisticated,”someone says.”You have the face of a straight-haired person,”says someone else,”You look ten years younger,” The compliments keep coming. And, best of all, I can now have any cut I want, rather than the long, blunt style I’d been stuck with forever. Did I mention that hot guys ogle me on the streets?
Dare I mention that the next day I had a sacriligious thought? Gazing in the mirror, a feeling of panic overcame me as I realized that my hair was flat. But, when I glanced at the cover of a fashion magazine, I understood: almost everybody’s hair is flat. It’s just that I ‘d lived with big hair for too long. To alter the old adage, you can never be too thin or have hair that’s too straight.

By Debra Scott.