Many have tried to understand what makes the hair react this way, some attribute it to dietary neglect, (as if a surfeit of fresh cream and chocolate can be blamed for poor hair behaviour), still other experts deem the wrong products being used on the hair blameworthy. I have tried almost every type of spray, gel, mousse and wax on the market, and others that aren't, in the hope of finding something to tame my irredeemable tresses, and all of them fall short. Because I'm worth it? Maybe, but my hair doesn't seem to think so.
A bad hair day has become an adapted saying in modern language. It is thought that the first famous person to publicly utter the words 'I'm having a bad hair day' was the First Lady Hillary Clinton. It's not known whether she meant her hair hadn't turned out well, or she'd just heard something shocking concerning a young intern called Monica and a close encounter with a cigar.
The earliest verified use of the phrase bad hair day in print, was a 1988 column in the Houston Chronicle by Susan Swartz. Significantly, Swartz herself doesn't claim to have invented the term bad hair day herself, but suspects she may have picked it up from nearby teen-aged girls.
In the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was a conversation between Buffy (Kristy Swanson) and a one-armed vampire named Amilyn (Paul Reubens):
I'm fine but you're obviously having a bad hair day.
Since it came into common usage, the bad hair day utterance is either a euphemism for a period of time - possibly since alighting from bed - when nothing has gone right, in fact everything that could go wrong is going wrong. Unfortunately there's no cure for this ailment, other than going back to bed, and hoping for a better day tomorrow.
The other bad hair day - that's when you get up, look in the mirror - and scream. So you dash to the shower, shampoo and condition your hair, dry it, brush it, and - stand in front of the mirror, pray, and open your eyes. With luck you've cured the nightmare, but if you haven't, stick your head back in the shower and rinse, rinse, rinse. Sometimes that's all a bad hair day really is, you've rushed so much you haven't rinsed your hair properly. If that doesn't work, you could always follow Madonna and wear a flat cap.
One Really Bad Hair Day
A 19-year-old drug smuggler, arriving in the US from Colombia, attempted to conceal £50,000's-worth of heroin under a toupee. To make sure none fell out, he used super glue to attach the 40 packets to his head.
Because he used super glue, they took him to a medical facility to have it removed. Even at that, it pulled out the hair wherever they removed a package, so he ended up looking like a spotted cat.
- Officer Jennifer Conners
Researchers' Bad Hair Days
When God made man, she was having a bad hair day.
Those With Specific Reasons or Excuses For Their Bad Hair Days
As a result of trying to dye my hair blue and then going scuba diving (all my diving equipment is blue and I was trying to colour co-ordinate), I've been having bad hair days for the past four months. I want my nice hair back!
A combination of wavy hair and humidity can lead to the ultimate bad hair day. We went to Bali for our honeymoon, where the humidity seldom drops below 85%. I'd begin the day with normal if slightly untidy hair and as time went on it would get bigger, and frizzier, and messier until I resembled a dandelion clock about to strike midnight. Even the humble scrunchie could not save me - putting my hair up resulted in my having something sticking out of the back of my head that looked a lot like a pom-pom. This is the most compelling reason I have for not moving somewhere tropical.
My hair grows too fast. It's supposed to be a number 4 on top, but I woke up this morning looking like a particularly surprised hedgehog. I had to apply slathers of gel. That means it's time for a ruthless pruning. To continue the wildlife theme, it does make me resemble a cockatiel on occasion.
The so-called bad hair days were supposed to be a thing of the past. That is until I woke up this morning with hair bigger than that of Diana Ross. So what does one do when they face that bad hair day? I decided, in a state of turmoil, to put on as many branded hair products as possible that seemed to make the situation a lot worse not to mention a weird odour coming from my hair. The only solution left was a hat, but with the weather being as unpredictable as Madonna I chose practicality over fashion - the baseball cap. Not just any baseball cap, in order to make my day really bad I just had to settle for the Barney one that my niece left behind last weekend.
I have pregnancy hair at the moment, which is usually thick, shiny, set in its ways and doesn't fall out. Also have Seborrheic Dermatitis which is awful. The hormones mean I only need to wash it once or twice a week. When not pregnant, my hair is usually dry, split ends and it falls like mad. I don't like it short, so I keep it long. Somehow I feel too tall for short hair. I don't think it's too great... but I can't grow it further, it seems, than past my shoulder blades.
Those Who Always Have Bad Hair Days
It was Bridget Jones who started it, the concept of hair having a personality of its own. Now I've discovered that mine too, is alive. It knows when I'm going out, and will transform itself, à la Susan in Mr Pratchett, from sleek, cultured style to a mass of frenzied strands, clamouring for the sun in the manner of a strange, creeper-like plant. And yet, in a pre-bedtime faff, it will fall, naturally, in wave upon wave of glossy, perfect curls with just a hint of insouciance, as if to say, 'you don't really want to sleep on me, do you?'. Knowing full well I will, and the resulting morning shriek in the mirror will pre-empt diving into the shower to flatten the madness atop my head.
Personally, I don't remember ever having a good hair day. My so-called 'hair' is so fine and frizzy and fly-away that... well, you get the picture. On days with 0% humidity and after half an hour blasting it straight with the blow dryer it can look quite okay, but then I always feel like a bit of a fraud since it isn't actually 'my' hair. I also look more than somewhat scary in the mornings. The other day after a hot and sultry summer night I woke up and it felt as though my hair was being particularly frisky. So I asked my husband what my hair was doing and he said it looked like it was trying to escape.
In future, when you see the slick ads on the TV, spare a thought for those of us who must turn away from the box and stare forlornly in the mirror as we tug resolutely at our Sagittarian hair (hair which does what it damn well pleases) and dream of the day when someone - anyone, says 'Is she...?'
I'm 'always' having a bad hair day. Mine's really short so it almost constantly needs a cut. The last week or so it's been so bad I've covered it in a bandanna! Of course, I'm too broke to go to the hairdressers! Anyone who tries to tell you it's easier to look after when it's short is lying!
Alas, today seems to be another bad hair day. A single, simple plait has become a twisted shank of knots, wild strays leaping loose at every given opportunity to make me look not unlike Yahoo Serious, but with less poise.
*Scratches head then sweeps dandruff away*. I hate my hair. When it's short it's great... but my fella likes it long so I'm in the process of growing it again. My hair is terribly thick (I know, like my head) and is really heavy too so I can't do much with it except tie it back. At the moment it isn't long enough to tie back because of the layers I'm growing out. I also have psoriasis in my hair line and it's really embarrassing when I'm wearing dark coloured clothes (if you see what I mean).
I have a permanent bad hair day. I just walk out in public and dare anyone to say anything. And if they do, I yell at them to keep their trap shut and mind their own business.
Those Who Don't Always Have Bad Hair Days/Those Who Avoid Them
I haven't had a bad hair day for about two years (ever since I started growing my hair). Previous to that every day was a bad hair day on account of my having spikey, messy hair. It wasn't trendy-spikey either, where each one is carefully crafted and sits only on the top of the head... this was proper Sid Vicious-style spikey.
Bad hair days are a lot less noticeable since I grew out a short cut (so-called 'easy to look after') which nearly always looked untidy. At least with long hair, you can just bung the lot in a scrunchie, and most of the untidy bits look more like texture than tangles.
I keep mine short, as, unusually for a male, I have more hair than I can handle! It grows way too thick, so I generally have it trimmed to a number 2 or 3 every month. I once grew it really big and long (technically, a mullet), but don't think I could get away with that in a modern business environment!
Funny, isn't it, that there are days when your hair hangs down as if it was dead, no matter what you try ? I don't even use conditioner, because it has this effect on my hair, and I hate it when it's so soft that there's absolutely no life in it.
Those Whose Bad Hair Days Are Over
In the last couple of weeks I have discovered ceramic straightening irons so the era of really bad hair days may well be over. Oh, and hairspray. That is magic stuff. Why did nobody tell me about this before I reached my 30s?
I don't know why men hate having receding hair or complain about going bald. I love bald men. Yul Brynner, Telly Savalas, Patrick Stewart all rock my boat! I'd rather see bald than a toupee or a wig or even worse, a wrapover, any day!
Could Be Worse...
Just think yourself lucky to have hair, I'm not a silver surfer, more a shiny one..
Absolutism killed Charles the First;
Absolution denied, he was cursed
With a permanent bob
By the barbarous mob.
A bad hair day? The absolute worst1.
Thoughts On Hairdressers
I'm frightened I'm going to come out looking like an extra from Star Trek or something... I've had lots of those sorts of haircuts.
Even the glossy magazines, bristling with cuts, styles and hair-do's that would make a trichologist blush offer no source of comfort. Page upon page of - not to put too fine a point on it - utterly mad hairstyles shriek from the page. 'You too can look like a skewer has been inserted into your head and your coif twisted round it so it looks like a mad porcupine'.
My mother always said that there are those who have it and those who pay to have it. It seems I am the one who pays.
Most people know what haircut they want or at least what haircut they don't want. Don't even think of getting what you want or don't want. You can always imagine what you want. You can always look at somebody and say 'Look at that! My God, poor fellow, I wouldn't wish such a thing to my enemies.' And that would be what you don't want.
I hate going to the hairdresser and getting the 'Oooh, you DO have a dry scalp, don't you?' comment. With long hair, I can just trim the ends myself!
I dislike going to the barber so I only go 3 times a year. I think my dislike comes from a previous life of mine when a barber was also a surgeon.
Finally, here are some pictures of people having a bad hair day. Even Angelina Jolie has bad hair days.
Have a good (hair) day!
1 King Charles I of England was beheaded in 1649, having been found guilty of treason.
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