Monday, March 22, 2010

Adventures in Hair Accessories

When you've got a girl, what is that inherent need to accessorize their hair? I remember the good old days when A was barely conscious of even having her dainty locks. I was able to put a pin or bow in at will. But soon after she started owning the streets of New York City with a walk and a skip, she realized not only that she could prance with attitude, but that she could give me attitude too -- about her hair. Now, if she keeps something in her curls for a few minutes, I consider myself lucky. Despite this, I still love that moment I see the colorful ornament set against her dark hair. I mean, they are our living dolls, our muses, our inspiration for creativity and life.

I've always been affected by the visual experience. And living in New York City is like living in a motion picture. The landscape is in constant flux because there's so much movement surrounding it -- cars, people, sound, light. Sometimes, even the buildings seem to be moving.  When A came into my life and became, in a sense, the new lead in my Urban Cinema, I had to of course, costume her, to dress and style her for the part. And the thrill of watching her dramatically pull out and throw, like a flaming log, new barrettes I've tried to surreptitiously put in her hair? Hey, every movie needs some theatrics!

Seeing tiny violets blooming during an afternoon walk along the High Line had me wanting to try colored headbands on A. I bought seven headbands from my local 99-cent store, which has a wall of items that is a children's hair accessory extravaganza. I went home and presented them to her. Taking them out of the plastic bag slowly, and individually, I added lots of WOWS and OOHS, to try and make it as suspenseful as possible -- an effort to make the headbands transform into super cool toys. I even brought A's sometime BFF, Elmo, into the mix and had her put them on him. But, as soon as I slipped a turquoise, grosgrain headband with a cluster of roses, on her (the one I'd had to have, that was so high up on the wall that I'd had to reach for it with a one-foot pack of incense), she threw me a knowing look.

Not one of the headbands stayed on A long enough for me to snap a photo -- they were tossed to the floor with pomp and passion. A was very proud of herself, like she'd been patted on the back by Jackson Pollock, and she twirled in big circles, singing to herself.

I was laughing my heart out.

Hair Peace 1-2-3:

My good friend and writer M, who `sound-checks' many of my ideas, and I were discussing how often one sees a baby girl with a hair pin desperately dangling from what seems like a single strand of hair. When it comes down to it, the "success" of the hair ornament has a lot to do with choosing the right one -- the item that will bother toddlers the least while having the right amount of grip and tension to hold securely, their more delicate hair.

1)  Japanese Ponytail Holders: These are without a doubt, truly, ouch-less elastics, which you can conveniently cut and tie to size. The tension is basically perfect. For the last 20 years,  I have used these on my baby-fine, snag-friendly hair. And now, I use them on A.

2) Fabric Barrettes: Since these are wrapped in soft fabric, the little ones are less likely to feel them. They are also designed in the clamp-style, making them easy to put on, in one, swift movement.

3) Hawaiian Plumeria Clip: A single flower in the hair is such a classic -- here's one A has that's petite, tropical, and as light as wind.


Disclaimer: Nuy Cho has no affiliation to any of the beauty companies mentioned on


marni said...

Don`t think I will have to deal with this kind of thing. I am having the hardest time getting my little guy to wear hats. He hates anything on his head!!!

Jen said...

when i dropped j. off at preschool today i noticed one of his classmates had her hair dotted with pastel clips. she proudly told me there were 13! :)

Veronika said...

I have been battling with Nina's super-fine tangly hair every morning for too long now... must try those Japanese rubber bands.

Nuy Cho said...

Wish I could've found a link to those Japanese hair elastics in the fantastic colors you can get in Honolulu and Japan (e.g., hot pink, turquoise, purple) -- but yes, for fine hair, they are amazing. If I find a link, I will definitely provide an update!