Excuse me, Sir/Madam
August 17, 2008 2:53 PM   Subscribe

I'm trying to grow out the straightest hair in the world, from pixie-short. I'm a woman. It's going fast, but I need some in-between styles or tricks to avoid looking like I'm 15 in the meantime. Bonus question about really loose perms.

I have ludicrously straight hair, as every hairdresser I've ever been to seems to feel the need to tell me. There's a lot of it, it grows fast, and it is not going to take any kind of curl no matter how hard I try. Really, no curl. It's healthy and in great condition, in spite of swimming lots and dyeing, and has only ever shown damage after a week of five bleachings.

Here is a self-link to photos, with the most recent squinty shot being a few weeks old.

I have done the pixie-to-shoulder-length thing a few times before. This time, though, I'm already feeling self-conscious about looking young for my age (not terminal but it's leading to frustration) and making anything seem scruffy no matter how hard I try. I don't want to look like a sulky teenage haystack for the next 6-8 months and I'm not wild enough about my appearance to take the additional hit.

By shoulder-length, I plan to go for a fringe/bangs, so the front part is not a massive worry, but I feel mullety letting the back grow. I don't mind slowing it down by a month or two if that's the cost of having it decent-looking for some of the interim.

Any suggestions for cute, hip straight-hair styles that might suit along the way would be super super great. Photos much appreciated.

Bonus question: has anyone had a really loose perm (from dead-straight to very loose curl) and found it worthwhile? How often did you need to get it done? I can't afford to add €100 in hair styling every month or so, but I am desperate enough that I might be willing to do it a few times to break long stretches of Ugly.

Also, I'm in rural Ireland. No hair training schools, no extensions, etc. Cheers!
posted by carbide to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Sorry - I also did see this previously but the length and hair type are different.
posted by carbide at 2:54 PM on August 17, 2008

Part of what looks like the problem in making you look younger is that those bangs and squarish-bob thing that you have in older shots really squares off your face in a fairly brutal way, which by virtue of being inelegant translates to childish. Avoiding bangs and going with an off-center part will make your haircut less punk rock, but more suited to your head shape on the whole, and therefore a bit more sophisticated and less young.
posted by klangklangston at 3:10 PM on August 17, 2008

i agree with klangklangston - i think your bangs are the thing making you look young. you can do a bob when you have short hair (as you've seen), but maybe do a bob without bangs and then as it grows out start cutting layers into the front to keep the hair shaped around your face.

here are some parted off center bobs - http://www.bestweekever.tv/bwe/images/2007/10/BOB%20HAIR.JPG

as for the perm - i have the same super straight no matter what you do hair. i stopped being able to hold a perm after i was about 11. apparently my hair type/hormones screwed that up. make sure if you get a perm your hairdresser will return some of your money, or restyle for free, if your perm falls in the first week.
posted by nadawi at 3:15 PM on August 17, 2008


HERE are some parted off center bobs.
posted by nadawi at 3:15 PM on August 17, 2008

I have absolutely no advice to offer but wanted to say how adorable I think the bob with bangs is on you! And I think a bob with an off-center part would be cute too.
posted by chez shoes at 3:25 PM on August 17, 2008

I also have super straight hair. I tend to wear it long, but I also cut it off and donate it once every two or three years and start from scratch. The trick to having non-boring, limp super straight hair is to learn to love hair accessories. I can see from your photos that you're already rocking the headband, but there is even more out there that will work for an adult woman. I asked a question about where to find good hair stuff a little while ago.

I've found that one of the more overlooked hair accessories out there is the simple hair comb. They're womanly, retro, inexpensive, and look mature without the frump. The kind with wavy teeth (ignore the rhinestones) will stay in almost any kind of hair.

And no, I have never, ever found a perm or body wave that lasted beyond three or four days. My mother made me get them as a pre-teen and every one was a miserable experience. I really made me swear off unnecessary chemicals for my hair.
posted by Alison at 3:29 PM on August 17, 2008

Bear in mind - winter's coming, and I bet you'd look good in hats. That might get you over a rough period, and would be an interesting thing to try in any case.
posted by amtho at 3:42 PM on August 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

Part of what looks like the problem in making you look younger is that those bangs and squarish-bob thing that you have in older shots really squares off your face in a fairly brutal way, which by virtue of being inelegant translates to childish.

Agreed. I've grown out the pixie twice, so I completely understand that it is rough. The hardest part for me is getting it just past the part where it won't stand up anymore to the point where it can be tucked behind the ears. The off-center bob is generally how I roll with it- having bobby pins around to help flip things around can keep it from getting too boring. And I'm completely with you on not letting the back outgrow the front- a mullet at any length drives me crazy, and there's no point to it anyway, since you'll have to cut the back to match the front at some point, anyway.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:14 PM on August 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

Perms are generally bad news. I had on really great perm when I was 15, but it's a miracle that I don't expect to repeat. Also, if your hair grows fast you'll need to do something about the flat root / poof problem.

Perms one poker straight hair - just say no.
posted by 26.2 at 8:46 PM on August 17, 2008

Best answer: Oh, I think your hair is wonderful how it is. But that's beside the point. I would work towards Tiggy's cut, as a way to avoid the mullet thing happening as your hair grows out. That is, if I had straight hair, I would grow the fringe/bangs super long, and keep the back cut boy-short and then start growing them out together, waiting to cut the fringe/bangs later on when it's all a good length.

If my hair were straight and/or light in colour, I would be desperately trying to get the Twiggy look down.

Here's a couple of good examples:

Twiggy Short-ish:

Twiggy Long-ish

Perm = Bad IMO. Avoid!
posted by lottie at 9:25 PM on August 18, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Cheers, that's some great advice. Best answer for lottie as description plus pictures helps lots (never thought about Twiggy's straight hair, and that's an interesting angle despite me not being terribly twig-like), but I really appreciate all the responses.

klangklangston and others: I'm totally listening, and I suspect it probably shows that I am extremely keen on bangs/fringes, but I'll have a good think about whether it's worth it if it's doing bad things for my face shape.

The preened asymmetrical bob is totally not me, but TPS, I know I've seen some meetup photos of you (not creepy! Just bored and mefi-curious!) and your hair is rockin'. New ideas juxtaposed with photos of Posh Spice scare the living shit out of me but I can't really complain about looking younger than I am if sub/cultural incompatibility still makes me want to run and hand.

Oh, and for posterity, I had originally written a bit about boyishness/cutting my own hair for years/being mistaken for a man from the back, but forgot to change the title when I dropped that part of the epic more-inside. Durr.
posted by carbide at 3:15 PM on August 19, 2008

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