Thursday, September 14, 2006

The one where I reminisce about catching my hair on fire

Aqua-net, how I loved thee. Cheap and yet it possessed the power to cause six inches of hair to defy gravity in such a way that I could perfect the hairstyle know as "mall-bangs" or "the wave". At the height of the 80's when fashion was at an all time low and ones hair must be teased, crimped, with bangs reaching into the air at least 4 inches, Aqua-net was every girls must have.

I really should have paid more attention to the physics of hair spray and fire in my youth. Helen Hunt provided a real life lesson on the combustible nature of hair spray in that classic teenage flick of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun". Hair spray + lighter = flame torch to scare off nasty guard dog thus ensuring that main female character gets to dance. I think they should have contracted Helen to do a Public Service Announcement on the danger of hairspray but alas they instead spent their time on drugs ("I learned it from watching you, Dad!").

And so my desire to be oh so cool and have the "it" hairstyle along with my ignorance of how alcohol loves an open flame led to the demise of my bangs.

It was "conserve electricity day" in fifth grade. This of course was a useless endeavor because one whole wall of our room consisted of large windows so we rarely turned on the clinical lights that cast a greenish and sickly glow on everything. And yet we each were told to bring a candle for our desks. Being the dutifull (read goody-goody) student that I was, I brought my nice taper candle and candlestick to do my work by.

Sometime during the day an order that rivaled the worst stink bomb overcame those of us in our little grouping of desks. It amazes me that the smell of burning hair can be so pungent. As we all glanced up to see what was causing the stank, I distinctly remember the eyes of my friend growing to three times their normal size. "You're hairs on fire!" she yelped thereby drawing the attention of the entire class. Whether by instinct or pure stupidity I reached up to my bangs in a swatting motion. Apparantly the aqua-net fueled fire was contained to only that area of my bangs that were lacquered into the air. With a quick brush of my hand the flames were extinguished but so were my bangs. Black ashes floated onto my desktop as I sat horrified that not only had I just set my hair on fire but I also had burned off my coveted bangs and drawn more attention to myself than any self-concious fifth grader would want.

And so may this serve as a warning to all you cheering on the return of the 80's fashion. If the bangs come back in style, warn those you love and cherish about the dangers of aqua-net and open flames.

This has been a public service announcement sponsored by Kpinion.

(insert theme music here)

The more you know . . . . . . . . . .


Anonymous jes said...

Singed hair DOES smell stinky. I remember singeing my hair in my dorm room in college.

Obviously, I was a rebel, because candles were strictly forbidden.

I learned that day WHY.

9/14/2006 1:43 PM  
Blogger Shenna said...

We always called it "Aqua Glue". I can still smell the stuff - ga-ross!

Do they still make it? I think they do, because I've smelt it on a few of our elderly customers!

Any pics of K-T with no bangs? LOL!

9/15/2006 12:24 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...


Great story. Sorry about the loss of your hair though. Back then.

9/15/2006 1:13 PM  
Blogger Amstaff Mom said...

I didn't use Aqua Net, I used Rave. Rave that would come out in one spew rather than spray. Normally landing on my forehead or a 1cm x 1cm clump of bangs. So, I'd either get breakouts on my forehead or "hairspray dandruff" in my bangs.

Seriously, what were we thinking?

I remember alot of girls bringing butane curling irons to camp since there was no electricity. And makeup, and Rave hairspray. It's the same camp I go to now with Brian and to think of our great efforts to impress the guys just cracks me up.

I don't want jr. high fashion to come back.

9/15/2006 2:15 PM  
Blogger Deals On Wheels said...

HAHA!...I mean, that's horrible! :P

Once, in grad school, while attempting to cook in my tiny, tiny DC apartment, I managed to burn off most of the hair on my right forearm by accident.

The smell was terrible.

I’ve never had bangs, though. That must have been (hehe) awful. :P

9/15/2006 5:32 PM  
Blogger Shelley said...

I'm so glad that nothing worse than that happened!

I remember Aqua Net...used to love the stuff!! I was a teen in high school in the mid 80s and I remember those styles and hairdo's very, and at the time we thought the 70s was the worst looking decade!

9/16/2006 7:08 PM  
Blogger theshusher said...

My word. Why am I just now finding out about this?

9/17/2006 8:27 AM  
Blogger Aim Claim said...

ha ha ha... the more you know is right!

9/17/2006 3:38 PM  
Blogger Ben said...

HA! I SO wish I was your friend back then... I would have had a field day with this.


9/18/2006 4:17 PM  
Anonymous Jayleigh said...

Oh my WORD!!!!!

We used to do that flamethrower thing with a lighter and Lysol spray in the bathroom. We recently told our mom about it, who freaked completely out. Heh.

9/20/2006 10:01 PM  
Anonymous Jayleigh said...

PS your jr high fashion was my high school fashion... imagine how stupid *I* feel...

and I used Rave too, AmCol.

9/20/2006 10:02 PM  

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