Over the weekend, Paul and I went to a hair salon so I could have a consultation about hair extensions. I realize this is sort of ridiculous. I’m not Kim Kardashian. I don’t have nine hundred bucks to throw down on some chunks of fake hair. But I was curious.
I’ve been joking about getting hair extensions for years, and there’s always been a part of me that wasn’t really joking. Because, like all girls with fine hair, I have a longing deep inside my vain little heart for a head full of thick, beautiful hair that I can braid and brush and use to keep my neck warm instead of a scarf.
And I feel like it’s now or never. I’m getting married in April, and if ever there’s a time to splurge on your appearance, it’s your wedding, right? I plan on spending $200 or less on my dress, and I’ll probably do my own make-up, so maybe hair extensions can be my splurge.
If I don’t do it now, then when? Pretty soon I’ll be pregnant (that’s what happens after you get married, isn’t it?) and I can’t have sticky baby fingers tugging on my pricey fake hair. Besides, once there’s a sticky baby in the picture, all spare time and money goes towards baby. Twenty-five years later, when baby is finally out of the house (we hope), I might not have any hair of my own left to attach extensions to.
So I’m considering it. And by considering it, I mean that I keep having the same back-and-forth argument in my mind. The pro side says, “Come on, you only get married once (probably), so why not have beautiful hair for the occasion?” The con side answers, “Because it won’t be your beautiful hair. It’ll be fake. You’ll be fake.”
Then the pro side says, “Lighten up, Grumpy. It’ll be fun! You’ll look amazing.” The con side replies, “ But you won’t look like yourself. You’ll look like someone who’s trying too hard to be pretty instead of being content with the way you are.”
On a seemingly unrelated note, I’m having a strange problem with the YA novel I’m working on. Unlike when I normally write a novel, the plot for this one came to me fairly quickly, and it seemed, at the time, to be a pretty solid plot. So every day I’ve been writing a little bit, hitting all the major plot points, and now I’ve written the climax already, which is great, except that the whole thing is only 28,000 words. My other YA novel is 60,000 words. Meaning this new one needs to be twice a long.
“Maybe I need to add in a subplot, or a love interest,” I said to Paul last night. But I felt a little apprehensive. After all, I’ve already told the story from start to finish. Would adding in subplots and other characters only clutter things up and turn the novel into something more frivolous?
That’s when I realized: I’m considering adding extensions to my novel.
There are a lot of things to consider when getting hair extensions, but I think the most important ones are probably the quality of the hair and the quality of the person who’s applying it. Extensions have to be incorporated into your own hair so seamlessly that no one can tell they’re there (except for the fact that your hair suddenly went from shoulder-length to butt-length overnight.) The extensions should look and act like they are a natural part of your own body.
I still haven’t decided if I should get them. They’re expensive, and they require a lot of careful maintenance. But it would be awesome to have long hair for six months. As much as I worry about the vanity of it and the fakeness of it, I wouldn’t really be changing the way I look. I would just be enhancing what’s already there.
And I think that’s how I need to approach my novel, too. Adding in a subplot and extending the length isn’t a bad idea. Right now, the main character has no friends and no love interest. There are absolutely no deviations in the plot. In other words, the book is too skimpy, just like my hair.
So I’ve decided to create a friend for the main character, and create a conflict with the friend that relates somehow to the main conflict or theme, and weave this subplot into the main story. I’ll have to make sure that the subplot is still quality storytelling and that it is incorporated so seamlessly it seems like a natural part of the original story. I’m hoping this will make the novel more interesting, more textured, more complete.
And I’m hoping that if I decide to get hair extensions, I won’t feel vain and fake. Instead I will feel like a beautiful woman who decided to add a little length and volume to the great stuff that was already there.