Ms. Frizzle

Monday, August 16, 2010

Remember Ms. Frizzle of Magic School Bus fame? Known for her crazy school field trips and her trippy, subject appropriate dresses, Ms. Frizzle notoriously sported a frizzy mane, regardless of if she and her class were cruising through outer space or the human immune system. She was a kooky, self-assured character: someone you’d love as a teacher when you were 9 years old and someone who’d garner your fear and mistrust when you were 19 years old.Who really wants to be like that crazy, fashion-unconscious elementary school teacher?

It’s been years since I’ve read a Magic School Bus book, but every once in a while I think of Ms. Frizzle. Usually she comes to mind when the humidity outside is about 90% and my hair is getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

Since my teenage years, I’ve been fighting an often losing battle with my frizzy hair. Over time I’ve assembled quite the arsenal of hair products. On any given morning I shampoo my hair, smear it with conditioner, spray it with some sort of leave-in conditioner, and give it a final layer of hair spray. When I find a hair product that seems to tame the underlying frizz while allowing my hair to keep its natural wave, I’m tempted to head straight back to the store and buy the whole shelf.

Keep in mind that I'm the girl who has to be dragged to the store to buy new socks. I will literally scrunch up a holey sock in my toes and slip on my shoes to minimize the amount of bare skin inside my shoe. While my closet remains in a perpetually stunted and tattered state, I have no problem shelling out money for hair products. At some point in time, a subconscious decision was made that hair trumps style.

But if we’re to consciously think about the products we’re buying with a critical environmental and economic eye, well, then the oodles of plastic and metal spray bottles under the bathroom sink really should go. It’s great if I find a shampoo/body soap bar to use in lieu of bottled shampoo, but it’s pretty much just a drop in the ocean if I won't get rid of any of my other hair products. While I know there are plenty of natural conditioners out there, I just think mayonnaise belongs on sandwiches, not my head, and after an awful food poisoning incident in Paris involving mayonnaise on a baguette, I’m not too keen on mayonnaise on sandwiches either. Hair products are one thing that I really can’t find a great, local alternative to the corporately produced products I currently use.

And my conditioner? You’re going to have pry it out of my dead fingers. Still don’t want to be Ms. Frizzle.

Let the local living hypocrisy begin.

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