Growing up, I never cared about how my hair looked. I played sports all of the time, in a neighborhood filled with boys. When my mom would try to do my hair, I had no interest—so mostly it went up in a ponytail and baseball cap.
When I finally did start to care (because hello, neighborhood filled with boys), it became clear that my hair was not going to cooperate with me. Most of my attempts at styling ended up with me hurling my brush against the mirror and crying. But when other people did my hair, it came out so beautifully that I knew deep down the trouble was just incompetence on my part.
We all have our weaknesses.
Years later, when I found out I was having a baby girl, I got excited. Here was my long-awaited chance to redeem my inner hairstylist. I told myself that since it was someone else’s hair, I would be able to do it. No problem. Easy. I would be that mommy who gave her daughter the perfect look to go with all of those adorable baby girl outfits.
Watch out, world!
I armed myself with a hairbrush, a comb, a million bows in all colors, and a selection of headbands. I bought hair ties and clips, and stored them all in a Caboodle (yes, those things still exist). My girl was going to have the MOST amazing-looking hair! Everyone would be blinded by her braids, transfixed by her twists, and captivated by her chignons.
This is what actually happened:
- At first, there were some really adorable pictures of Baby Girl with her headbands on. I was off to a great start. One proud mama right here! I was picturing all of the fun styles I would do as her hair got longer.
- Then she got a little bit older and a little bit smarter. She figured out that she could move her arms in such a way that the headbands came off—or worse, fell over her eyes. Most of the time I didn’t even notice, until some elderly lady would peek into her stroller and declare me an incompetent mom for letting my baby wear a sleep mask. So much for that.
- Next up were the clips. They were adorable, and came with all kinds of different designs on them. It was not long afterwards that I learned that babies like to eat them. After signing up for a CPR class, I realized the clips had to go.
- Eventually, my daughter got older and it was time to get serious. I watched five thousand YouTube videos on how to do ponytails, pigtails, and braids. I even practiced for hours on dolls with hair—not that it helped. Not remotely. Most of the time, my daughter looked like a girl straight out of the 1980s with a too-high ponytail, or crazy Pippi Longstocking braids sticking out of the sides of her head. It got so bad that whenever she saw me coming with any hair-related implements, she would run away screaming. Once again, I found myself holding a hairbrush and ugly-crying as I clutched a How to Braid book to my heart.
In short, all of my hair dreams for my daughter have ended up as dead ends. Yes. I went there.
So for now, I keep practicing on the dolls. One almost has the perfect updo if you ignore the hot glue and duct tape.
Deep down, I know that one day, my daughter will BEG me to do her hair. Surely by her high school prom season, I will have it down to perfection. But for now, I must pretend not to notice my daughter’s terrified glances as she watches me practice on her American Girl dolls.
This original piece by Stacey Waltzer was written exclusively for In the Powder Room, a division of Hold My Purse Productions, LLC. Featured image © flydragonfly via depositphotos.com. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link, which helps us continue to bring you outstanding content like this. Thank you for your support In the Powder Room!