A Can of Hairspray Speaks Volumes. What I Learned When I Flatly Ran Out.

 I recently exhibited at the St. James Court Art Show in KY and was not prepared for the revelations prior to even leaving the state of New Mexico.  

 Living in Taos, one trades the incredible views for having a longer drive to the airport, so I had to spend the night in Albuquerque the night before. 

In all the years I’ve flown, I’ve never forgotten the necessity in which I did last week: HAIRSPRAY. While I fully realize styles have changed, for women close to my age—especially for those in the South—hairspray is as needed as mints after eating Doritos. It’s a must-have. 

Regardless if my hair was cut into a Dorothy Hamil style, Farrah Fawcett layers, or a stacked wedge, hairspray was always the piece de la resistance that sealed the deal. It has for over  forty years.  But as I was sleepily using my flat iron at the airport hotel, I suddenly got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’d failed to pack my travel can of hairspray. Grrr…I quickly called the front desk to see if a small bottle was available in their tiny collection of sundries. The young girl replied,  “We don’t have any hairspray, but we DO have hair gel.”  Good grief.  Clearly this girl didn’t use hairspray.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I almost panicked. What on earth was I going to do? My hair looked flat and felt way too soft due to the hotel water. Yuck. I could hardly wait to get to the airport newsstand and buy whatever hairspray they had available. At this point, I wasn’t the slightest bit picky about the brand. I quickly unpackaged the little black bottle and zoomed into the women's restroom. With just a few quick sprays, I felt back to normal.

 Ahhh.

As I sat at the gate waiting to board, I couldn’t help but give my little hairspray drama more thought. I promise I’ve not fallen victim to the high elevation of Taos,  but I think I’ve reached the conclusion that our hairspray preference may speak volumes about our personality type.  Before you do a double take on what you’ve just read, push on and hear me out...

 I’ll throw myself under the bus as an example.  I have thick, coarse hair  and often compare it to a horse’s tail. Have mercy! So when it comes to styling it with hairspray, this girl doesn’t play around.  It’s gotta be strong stuff.  If the marketing says “extra-hold” then it better be. No, I don’t want a helmet head, but I want hairspray that does what it says it will do: HOLD.  I could care less if it’s brushable or makes my hair feel as if it doesn’t even have hairspray on it. I want the real deal. I’m that way in life as well. I like control.  There you have it.  I’ll be the first to admit that I like knowing where I at stand at all times. That’s not always a good thing.

At some point I have to face the fact that there’s only one person in control of my life: God.

I may talk myself into thinking that I’m in control of my fate—after all, He gave us a brain and I'm usually confident in my decisions.  But sometimes life requires that I throw caution to the wind and have faith. Oh sweet friends, it’s soooo hard sometimes, isn’t it?  Trust me, I understand. 

Perhaps you’re one that likes minimal hairspray? Just enough to hold hair temporarily, but not too stiff?   Are you one that’s a bit more laid back and wiling to roll with the punches, or at least to a point? Of the women with which I’ve discussed this blog post, I’ve found I may be correct.  They don’t seem to get as worked up over current events or life issues as much as this author. I’m quite envious of that. They’re the best of both worlds.

Oh, but dear one, are you one of the bravest? You need no hairspray whatsoever. You may roll your hair into wavy curls or straighten it with the greatest of flat irons, but don’t need the sticky stuff to hold everything in place. You’re willing to let loose, shake your head in freedom and accept whatever comes your way.  I can’t help but think that such women are more resilient and confident. My daughters are like this and have nary  a bottle of hairspray to  their name.  They also don’t have to have total control and accept life as is.  These gals roll with the punches.  They run their fingers through their hair and accept themselves for the women they’ve become.

I want to be like that.  

Regardless of our hairspray of choice, if any, we are ALL a work in progress. We must ask God for help with our control issues, regardless of the level of hold. Sure, the process of loosening our grip is uncomfortable, but I can’t help but think it will do us good. Are you in?

I’m sure I’ll use hairspray until the day I die, but if I were to forget it again, I hope I’ll not freak out as I did last week. Rather, I’ll be determined to take a deep breath and go with the flow. Who knows, perhaps I’ll even get a compliment on my new style, or even better, my new light-hearted attitude. Contrary to the popular voluminous saying in the South, “Higher the Hair, Closer to God,” I’m going to come down to earth and realize my hair can too.  Rest in knowing He loves you just the way you are.

Brightest of Blessings, 

Angie