When I was fifteen or so, my parents took me to a used bookstore. It had just recently opened up, and was located in a historic ramshackle building. Because it was new, nothing was organized, as in- there were piles of books EVERYWHERE. No organization, no categories, nothing. While the inner librarian in me would balk at such a situation, I must tell you how delightful it was to go searching for a treasure I didn’t even know was there. I came across a treasure indeed- a biography on Queen Elizabeth. Since she was known as the Virgin Queen, and I myself was a virgin at the time, I took it as a sign and asked my father to purchase said book for me. I went home and read the entire thing in two sittings.
There was much history that I read about, but the thing I remember most about that book was the chapter on Queen Elizabeth’s beauty habits. At that time in my life, I was obsessed with maintaining my looks (as if anything has changed). I read about Elizabeth’s practice of rubbing mercury on her lips to make them a luscious red color. I secretly went out to the shed on my parents property and looked for an outdated thermometer that I could break open and procure mercury from. (Nevermind the fact that mercury is highly lethal. I thought if I could die with the pale white skin and berry red lips of a virgin queen, it mattered not.) It is probably a good thing for my lips that my mom caught me and forbade me to smear mercury on them.
One beauty ritual that Elizabeth practiced that I actually did try was putting eggs and cream and mayonnaise in my hair to make it shiny and flowing. I don’t actually remember if it worked, but I do remember the reactions of the numerous people my mother told about my odd behavior. (What?! Eggs in her hair? How gross! What a weird kid!)
Fast forward 16 years later.
I still long to have ivory white skin, instead of the pale blotchy skin of a Minnesota woman, and I still long to have the luscious flowing locks of a Boticelli angel. I have made no secret of the fact that my hair color is not at most times natural. (If the Pumpkin Orange and Little Mermaid shades were not a clue.) To be clear- my complete and utter boredom with my various hair colors has caused me to color and bleach and dye and fry my hair to the point where my raved-of (by my Grammy) natural curls now resemble that haystack that girl in Oklahoma got stuck up on. After once again shading my hair a glorious unnatural crimson color last night, I decided that unless I wanted to go with a chic Audrey Heburnesque pixie cut and start all over, I was going to have to get a perm. And so, I awoke this morning and made my way to the local Beauty College. (Where hair care is affordable and only slightly questionable.)
The instructor of my stylist instisted on perming a test strand of my hair. I rolled my eyes on the inside (since I have gone from Elvira black locks to a Gwen Stefani bleach job without losing hair) and waited patiently for the verdict.
“We aren’t going to do a perm today.” She stated quite unapologetically.
She went on to explain that if my hair was permed, I would lose my amazingly bright redness, and my strands would turn to mush. I exited the building and returned home, where I immediately did online research on how to repair my poor abused hairs.
I was reminded of Queen Elizabeth and her egg hair masque when I read that eggs and mayo make an excellent remedy. I was also reminded of Catherine Zeta-Jones and the first issue of People‘s 50 Most Beautiful People when I read that beer does wonders for the human coif.
So once again, I find myself partaking in the odd beauty rituals of a queen. I am composing this post honey, olive oil, and egg yolks saturate my hair and continuously drip down my face. While I admit that a plastic Target bag wrapped around my head is not entirely sexy, I guarantee the end will result in fabulously moisturized locks that would make even Queen Elizabeth jealous. Sadly, I am reminded how horrid I think honey smells as it oozes down my forehead onto my keyboard.