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What's wrong with this picture?

Erin Zammett Ruddy

Raising a daughter is challenging for all the jaw-dropping reasons we see in our newsfeeds every day. But for me there’s an extra dose of difficult thanks to this oft-unreported reason: I suck at doing hair.

This picture was taken the other morning but it could have been taken today. Or yesterday. Or tomorrow. Nora wakes up with teased-up dreadlocks every single day. Eventually (with lots of water and a few tears) it’s tameable but then the real drama starts. Trying to put that mop into some kind of style. Or at the very least keep it out of her eyes. But mama does not have many tricks up her sleeve. 

To this day, my hairdresser is baffled by me. He always asks, "So, where do you want the part?” And I’m like "Eh, I don’t care." And he’s all, “Well, when you do your hair how do you do it?" and I’m all, "Dude, you know I don’t do my hair. What you see is what you get." As a pre-teen, I couldn’t even figure out how to pull all my hair up into a half ponytail so I would pull three big chunks back into three clips across my head (two at my temples and one on top). Take a sec to picture that. Did I mention I also wore a headgear? Even now, it’s rare that I can get my hair into a ponytail without having bumps or straggling pieces. It should go without saying that I cannot do a French braid or a twist or a chignon or any other fancy term for hair that looks cool. It’s a serious handicap of mine and Nora is already paying the price. 

Of course it doesn't help that she hates having her hair done. That I get. Some of my worst childhood memories were of sitting at the kitchen counter before school eating my cheerios while my mom attacked my hair. I swear they must not have had conditioner back then because it was torture. I don’t want to do that to Nora but so far we just aren't gelling. My mom thinks the solution is chopping her some bangs so at least when I can't wrestle her to the ground and throw some clips in, she'll be able to see. We did this once and it wasn't my favorite look. And when I do pull her hair back into a pony tail or a cute poof on top of her head or pig tails she looks so cute.  

On the days she has school, I get around this issue by packing a little brush and rubber bands and clips and asking her teachers to do it. (Can you say, cop out?) They’re all young and clearly weren’t absent the day they taught hair because Nora will often come home with adorable styles I didn't even know existed. And even parts. Even parts! How do they do that?!

Any of you have experience with this? How do you deal with the tangles and the fight to get it done and keep it done? What's your go-to style? Should I just get her bangs already? Oh, and I also know that hair is not just an issue for girls. Alex requires taming as well. So much so that we recently got him a buzz cut, but now he's in the "mom-I-gotta-spike-up-my-hair" every single day phase. Arggggggggggghhhhhhhhh.

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