Allow me to take you back to 2007…
taking selfies with your laptop (sepia = artsy) was a perfectly acceptable thing to do…
and I was 21 years old, rounding out a year spent in my very first apartment.
The Summer of 2007 Amy Winehouse’s Rehab, Hey There Delilah by The Plain White T’s, and Justin Timberlake’s Summer Love played on a loop on the nearest radio, and I was pulling paychecks working part time at Sally Beauty Supply and Equipment. That last fact will set the stage for why, when a company contacted me about trying out their hair extensions, I answered with a resounding yes.
You may notice from the pictures above that I wasn’t quite the “type” to work at a store that specializes in beauty products, let alone one that would have me playing an expert about hair dyes and conditioners in order to make a sale. I reserved make-up for debate tournaments and my hair was in the awkward stages of growing out a cutely layered bob. (My only hair “essential” was the headband featured in that sepia selfie up there.) But a girl’s gotta pay her rent and luckily I had a friend tip me off that a Sally’s was hiring, she worked at another branch in town, and I had the smarts to wear dress pants and heels to the interview. I was hired! And joined a staff of bubbly sorority girls and country-music lovin’ good ol’ gals. Our manager was an old bull of a woman who took Sally Corporate Office directives as seriously as her side hobby of Bible-inspired interpretive dance. (Seriously. She brought in VHS recordings of these performances for us to watch on the TV reserved for training videos.)
The job was pretty much what you’d expect of most retail gigs. I stocked product, ran a cash register, and counted tills. I also pretended to know about every item we sold and pushed certain “special deals” to unsuspecting customers so I could receive points. I did this because I’m deeply competitive not for any real profit. All those points ever amounted to was some free products and once, quite auspiciously, a Burger King gift card. When older customers assumed I was a licensed hairdresser, I didn’t correct them. Making shit up about shampoos is a fantastic way to waste time.
A month or so into my Sally’s tenure, I was given the responsibility of keeping up with ordering for a few sections. One of which was Ethnic Hair-Care (Note: If any of the bottles of relaxer from this section busted open we had special clean-up procedures and had to evacuate the store because it was considered a chemical spill. Even the relaxers made for kids. This still boggles my mind.) and one was a whole wall of fake hair. Extensions, weaves, pieces, tracks; you name it, we had it. And ALL of it was expensive. In fact, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the price tags. “We’re asking HOW much for this 2 inch wide strand of hair? WTF!?”
I couldn’t wrap my head around the prices because I was broke. I’m talking mega broke. Like eating ramen for dinner broke. Like paying at the gas pump with coins broke. Like taking clothes to the consignment store to pay bills broke. I was in the midst of my first adult-hood reality check, and while all my friends were in the same place and we still managed to have a we’re all in this together BLAST that summer, it still sucked. It sucked because here I was, stocking pieces of hair, and thinking, “this strand of hair costs more than what I’ll earn today.” I daydreamed about what I would do with the money if I could steal all this fake hair and sell it on some underground hair black-market. I wondered, “Is any of this stuff even WORTH it?!”
Which is all to say, when a representative from Irresistible Me asked if I wanted to check out their hair I couldn’t say no. 21 year old me was like, “FAKE HAIR IS THE PINNACLE OF WEALTH AND FRIVOLITY AND FUN!” and 30 year old me was like, “Fair enough. Let’s do it.” Let’s once and for all figure out what all the fuss is about. I was told to check out Irresistible Me’s website and choose any of their clip-in human hair extensions for review. While they have full sets of extensions, I decided to take an easier approach and opted for a 16″ ponytail (in medium brown). As you can see in the picture below, I’m yet again growing out a short haircut. Which means right now ponytails don’t looks so rad. It’s buns or nothing, kids. So I figured a fake pony might be a fun way to help with this current predicament. Check it out…
Look at that luscious ponytail! In all seriousness, the hair is really good quality. It’s 100% human Remy hair so you can dye it and style it to your hearts content. The piece itself is really easy to put in. It has a comb-like clip that you secure just above your own tied back hair and a ribbon to tie it in. There’s a ton of YouTube videos explaining a multitude of ways to style it into up-do coifs but I’ve only tackled a high pony (I put my hair into a bun and clipped in the piece) and the low, sling-it-over-your-shoulder pony you see above. My only disappointment was there’s not really a way to use the ponytail to make a big, juicy bun at the top of my head but I suppose that kinda goes against the whole purpose anyways. These retail for $89 (on sale right now for $67) and honestly I think, if you were planning to wear it often, they’re totally worth it. They make you look just a smidge more put together even if your hair is actually a hot mess…which in my mind is a huge plus. The quality seems made to last and the hair itself feels so natural.
Not to mention, 21 year old me would be immensely jealous of your big ballin’ status.
What do you think? Would you buy and rock a fake ponytail? Have you held any uncharacteristic jobs? Let me know in the comments below!