Southern Humidity and Big Hair Problems

This Alabama humidity is about to get on my last nerve. It didn’t get near dark enough yesterday during that so-called eclipse to hide whatever freestyle, Brillo pad interpretation my hair decided to attempt.

I know it’s frustrating listening to people fuss about the weather. I’m usually the first one to snatch a knot in somebody’s tail when they start trying to explain the difference between dry heat and wet heat. Come on! I’m a Southern born and bred woman who grewed up in it. I know how humidity works. But y’all cut me some slack. If my hair gets any bigger I’m going to have to start calling air traffic control before I leave my house.

It’s gone full-blown dandelion-commando this morning! I’m like a human barometer. When I got up, I thought everything was gonna be fine but then I took the trash out and, when I came back up on the porch, after no more than three or four minutes of being out in this soupy mess, I liked to scared the cat to death.

I ought to let some child enter me in their 4H Freestyle Demonstration Competition on how humidity causes hydrogen bonds to form between the proteins in your hair and the water molecules floating around in the thick-as-Mississippi-Mud-Pie air. Then stand back and watch as they come at me with a bottle of heat-protectant de-frizz and a massive curling iron, explaining how others shouldn’t try to approach somebody like me in the Southern wilds cos we can be ornery and danjeress.

And, come to think of it, I really hate to say that about Mississippi Mud Pie because I’m going to want a slice of that little bit of heaven for the rest of the day. But, come on… this air down here is thick!

I want to know: What’s my hair ever done to deserve this Southern frizz-fest?

Sure, I made some questionable fashion decisions during the 80s. My high school hairstyle should’a been called the Big & Immobile. It was a shellacked triangle of country glamour and hairspray.

And in the 90s I confess, I did walk into a salon and ask for The Rachel, a la Friends. The stylist thinned my hair so much that, what was left of it went into a deep depression and laid limp against my head for three months, refusing to do anything but eat red velvet cake and watch Steel Magnolias over and over.

I still get a little twinge every time I see an armadillo, y’all. Shelby!!!!!!

My hair spent the 2000s stuck up in a bun and held in place by either a pencil, chopstick, or spoon. Let’s just call that time the I’m-trying-to-find-myself years and not go into the hours of therapy and long nights of soul searching.

Of all the third-tier things we Southerners have to just get used to, you’d think Humidity Hair would be one of them. I mean, I can soldier through a mess of mosquito bites… I can wait patiently while Red Biggins comes and gets his cows out of the road because you know those cows are always out in the road. I can even keep a smile on my face when the conversation turns to college football and somebody from up North says something like, “You’re wasting your time unless you’re watching professionals.”

(Son, you best get back the other side of the Mason Dixon talking like that else I know a few professionals who won’t mind helpin you.)

But no… I still can’t get comfortable with the idea of spending a vast amount of my time applying all sorts of products and techniques for eighteen minutes of beautiful hair only to find myself sitting in the car outside a church, dreading going to my cousin’s wedding because on the three-mile ride from the house my hair has gone from purty to Musk Ox.

Maybe I should invest in hats…




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