My Hair Struggles, or: ‘The Best Things In Life are at Walgreens’ (Part I)

posted in: Day In The Life 17
My sentiments exactly. Image: Wikipedia.


I really deliberated about whether or not to share what I’m about to share. Because it’s embarrassing.

But the trouble is, it’s also good content. I mean, I know you’ll like this tale about my hair because ultimately, I like this tale about my hair. In this way, it’s inevitable: I have to tell you. This is the plight of the gal who has a blog about her life and who cares about being open with the readers who read her blog about her life. Sometimes, stuff gets real. Things are divulged.

Okay, here goes: I have a rather oily scalp.

Have you ever seen two words put together that were more unattractive than “oily” and “scalp”? I mean, “oily” ain’t ever good. It ain’t good in a puddle, it ain’t good in a pasta dish, and it sure as oil ain’t good when you’re talking about scalps.

And “scalp” has a hard, hard life. As a verb, it’s nightmarish; as a noun, it’s never not gross. No lover, ever in the history of the world, complimented his/her lover’s scalp. Scalps. Scalps! Just say it and you get the oogs. Scalps can be flaky. They can itch. They are differently toned than the rest of the body, oftentimes, and they feel chickeny. Most scalps involve hair, and hair is objectively weird.

Which brings me to my objectively weird hair. My hair, and yes, my oily scalp.

(It’s very hard to type when I’m groaning in shame with my eyes squeezed shut. I gotta get it together, here.)

So I have wimpy hair. My aunt Leesa used the term a couple years ago when I was visiting her in Sacramento. We were lamenting our hair issues and she said that it was a thing for Fonses, that wimpy hair runs in the family. (Thanks a lot, Gramma!) What “wimpy” means is that our hair is really, really fine. And while it doesn’t thin, it sort of is thin? If that makes sense? I’m telling you: It’s just wimpy. It doesn’t hold a curl well. It does not “volumize.” It might get “tousled” but it doesn’t stay “tousled.” It’s wimpy!

Well, over the past year or so, my hair has become more wimpy than ever because my scalp seems to be increasingly … you know, rhymes-with-foily. I don’t know much about hair, but wimpy hair like mine probably should stay away from, say, moisture; viscous substances; salves; pomades; goopy things; and, oh, I don’t know, maybe oil.

I used to be able to wash my hair every other day and that was good because of like nine reasons, one of which is that’s a lot of dough for shampoo, y’all, and another is that I do not have time to be washing my hair all the time for Lord’s sake. Yeah, well, these days, my hair is wimped out by the end of the day. Sometimes, it’s a matter of hours before I feel self-conscious about it. Please don’t picture me with Canola dripping off my head: It’s not like that. But whatever adorable poofiness I had going on when I left the house is so far gone by the time I get home in the evening, I’m baffled. And woe to me I run out of time to take a shower and wash my hair the next morning. Oh-ho, but I am a gross greaseball and I just want to put a hat on my head or cut the stuff off and be done with it.

And while I’m kind of making light of it, and “wimpy” is a funny word and it’s just hair, after all, we all know how tough the hair thing is, right?

One of the worst moments in my health crisis was the day my hair started coming out in clumps in the shower. And how inconsolable we become when we get a truly terrible haircut! And are “bad hair days” not a thing? They are. And the guys in our lives who lose their hair are often deeply shaken by the experience. Hair is complicated thing for a lot of people, including me. I want to feel attractive like anyone else. I want to feel cute, to feel sexy. And when the hair thing isn’t right, it feels really bad.

Tomorrow, I shall tell you how I have been battling all this, how I have spent a painful amount of money to remedy the situation, how many futile attempts I’ve made, and how I just might have found a solution in the most unlikely of places …

Okay, I found the solution in Walgreen’s. And a drugstore is not an unlikely place at all to find a solution to this problem. I just wanted to write, “in the most unlikely of places …” with the ellipsis after it, so you’d hear it like a line from a movie trailer or something.

Does anyone else have this problem, by the way?

See you tomorrow — with the good news.

17 Responses

  1. Jodie K Moore
    | Reply

    Hi. My name I Jodie and I have wimpy hair. Farrah Faucet feathered look? Not for me. Back in the day when perms were the rage (ok it was kind of an afro), certain sections right in the front would be resistant to the perm. So if I returned to the salon for a do over, then my hair would be fried. As my hair turned grayer ( started in my early 20’s) I held out hope that it would be courser. Nope. Hot roller? Curling irons? No and no. Gobs of hair spray? Well, maybe, but I have never really cared for the cardboard look. Days without washing? Not for public appearances. So i have learned to stop trying to make my hair do somethign it is unable to do and just embrace it the way it is, gray hair and all.

  2. lisa
    | Reply

    I want to hear the news ..I also ha very fine hair & cleaned a horrible clomp from drain this am.

  3. Ann Bailey
    | Reply

    I have very fine hair, too…I understand. Anxious to hear your Walgreen’s solution!

  4. Michelle
    | Reply

    I come from a family of wimpy hair, but it has skipped me. 75% on my cousins on my mother’s side have fine hair. There are 25% of us that lucked out. We feel your pain. We get yelled at at every family get together. We get it, we are hated by the fine people in our family.

  5. Barbara
    | Reply

    Really curious, I’ll be here tomorrow. By the way, you always look pretty.

  6. Christine Houghton
    | Reply

    Sorry Mary for the wimpy hair affliction. I too suffered all my life with with wimpy, mousey brown hair. The oily scalp syndrome is the worst. My only remedy is to color my hair blond and when the oil starts to take over and I dont have time to wash, I use baby powder on my hair to absorb the oil. It really works. Hope your remedy is better.

  7. Kathryn
    | Reply

    I understand! We are kindered spirits! A friend once described my hair as “feeling like duck feathers”. My solution, in addition to washing it daily and blowing as much volume into it as possible, is a very light body perm quarterly, a very s simple hair style and wimpy graying hair color. I’m looking
    forward to hearing about your new solution!

  8. Lindsey
    | Reply

    I have fine, sparse hair and it’s getting worse in my 70s. One daughter has my fine hair and the other one has so much hair I refer to it as thatch,. She got all the hair and there’s no sharing. Jealously is creeping into my thoughts so I’d better sign off.

  9. MrsB
    | Reply

    Have fine hair, scalp issues. After at least buying 5000 different shampoos over 30 years I’ve landed on Aveda’s Rosemary Mint shampoo.
    My mother said my hair was Frog Fuzz. Tis the absolute truth.

  10. Carol
    | Reply

    I have wimpy fine hair as well!

  11. Rita J Smith
    | Reply

    I use to have wimpy fine hair but I am using the Monat hair products and it has made a real difference in my hair.

  12. Siobhan
    | Reply

    I too have very fine, very wimpy hair. I’m still able (barely) to wash it every other day—it starts showing its droop in the second afternoon. I never get tousled, it comes off as “stringy.” Although my scalp is oily, my ends are pretty crispy, so it’s challenging to find solutions that don’t involve shaving it all off and being done. I look forward to seeing your solution!

  13. Brenda King
    | Reply

    Dear Mary- You’ve spoken on a subject that has been my shame, most of my life. I too have extremely oily scalp, fine, straight hair, and must wash my hair daily, or look slimy and unclean. : ( At nearly 70 yrs. old, I think I’ve tried every thing! My hair doesn’t hold a curl at all, and, I’m allergic to perm solution. Hot rollers, or a curling iron results will last no more than an hour, IF there’s no humidity, or water in the air. I am so excited to hear what you’ve discovered! Can’t wait! THANKS!

  14. […] haven’t forgotten about the all-important follow-up to my last post. Believe me, this is knowledge I am excited to share and many of you said you’re looking […]

  15. Terri
    | Reply

    Waiting with anticipation..just glad you’re not using dryer lint on your scalp..

  16. Tami Moore
    | Reply

    We have the same hair!! I might not be a Fons or a brunette, but I have oily, whimsy, baby fine texture, thick amount hair that weighs itself down. I wash, wrap in a towel then go to bed and let it dry while I sleep. I wake up with beautiful, soft, tosseked hair. 30 mins later it is straight and flat. Also have aged from every other day shampoo to everyday. Sigh.

  17. NotThatJen
    | Reply

    My hair falls out periodically, mostly in winter due to lack of vitamin D. Supposed to have levels of 40-100 or some-such, and my count is 18. Gah! So I take extra extra (sometimes prescription) vitamin D. Wimpy hair is no fun!! But, first world problems, yes.?

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