The Goddess Speaks


Happiness with hair
is secret to bliss

I've always had a love-hate relationship with my hair. I guess it goes back to the days when I was a little Goddess and my mom would fix my hair. She could create magic out of a ponytail and barrettes. But the pin curls and laminated bangs that I wore in every school picture still give me nightmares.

Once I was in control of my hairstyle, I decided to keep it short. Not that this has been easier than long hair. Trying to make layers lie perfectly flat, creating the illusion of fullness without any frizzies and finding just the right place to make a part have kept my obsession with my hair alive and well.

Of course, style hasn't been my only concern. I think my hair has been every color in the rainbow at some time or other. Fortunately, I've found a hairstylist who's also a master with color, and we've created a look that I'm mostly happy with.

All the men in my life, from my father to my husband, have been unsympathetic to my quest for perfect hair. It doesn't take more than a $20 haircut and running his comb through wet hair to make Tony presentable for anything from sitting in front of the TV to a night on the town.

Of all the differences between men and women, worrying about hair seemed to be the most outstanding. Or was it?

Now that I have a flock of young men in my life, it's beginning to seem like hair may in fact be the one common enemy between jocks and Goddesses.

My 21-year-old step-grandson, for example, worries about the natural curl in his hair. To eliminate any trace of wave, he has to keep his hair cut to precisely half an inch. The 32-year-old grandson also keeps his hair short. He just doesn't feel "happy" when it gets too long.

My two nephews have completely different ways of dealing with the "receding hairline" they inherited from their father. Brent's hair is long so it sticks out big and bushy underneath the backward baseball cap he always wears. Ryan, on the other hand, keeps his hair closely trimmed in the front while growing it long in the back. This is because his friend told him, "Chicks love mullets." I can only imagine how hair-challenged these young Goddesses must be.

Even my spoiled-rotted sun conure parrot Flash, yet another male in my life, spends an inordinate amount of time making sure each feather is groomed, then placed back exactly the way he wants it.

On a recent trip to Longs, I noticed that there are almost as many hair products "Just for Men" as there are for women. Could it be that when it comes to fighting with our hair, men and women really aren't all that different? And if this is true, is it a good thing?

I mean, maybe hair obsession is like crying. We want men to understand why we feel the way we do, but that doesn't mean we want them sobbing by our side in tortured sympathy.

Then I thought of the most happily married couple I know. My husband's sister Tina has been married to Cesare for more than 50 years. These two are constantly on the move, traveling from one romantic rendezvous to another. They still bill and coo like newlyweds.

I always assumed this was because they don't have children. But I now realize the secret to their wedded bliss is that Cesare is a hairstylist! What could be better than being married to a man who not only understands our battles with our hair, but can help us win?

Forget the stories with knights in shining armor who rescue princesses from some imaginary monster. A real-life fairy tale should go something like this:

"Sleepy SnowRella awoke from her poison-induced
slumber and looked into the mirror on
the wall then cried, "I hate my hair!"
Handsome Prince Charisma tapped his chin
thoughtfully as he studied her from all angles.
"Your roots definitely need a touch-up," he agreed,
"and you could use a trim. I'll go mix your color then
grab my scissors."
So, Sleepy SnowRella and her hair lived happily
ever after."

Michelle Calabro Hubbard's first book, "Sour Notes," is about a local girl who goes to drastic measures to lose weight, only to accept herself just the way she is.

The Goddess Speaks runs every Tuesday
and is a column by and about women, our strengths, weaknesses,
quirks and quandaries. If you have something to say, write it and
send it to: The Goddess Speaks, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O.
Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802, or send e-mail

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