Monday, July 13, 2009

Karen's Hair: A Retrospective

Let me be clear: Karen hates her hair. Or at least that's what it seems when she curses it most mornings in front of the mirror. (Let's also be clear: she doesn't hate it enough to lose it all...and she hasn't lost it yet).

Wielding a blow dryer in one hand and juggling four different brushes in the other, she twirls it, twists it and bends it into shape. No fewer than five styling products stand at the ready for spritzing, pouffing, glossing, shining, straightening and spraying.

The 30 minute ritual is repeated every morning and it's a good idea to steer clear of her during this time -- especially when she's got a hot curling iron in her hand.

For Karen, the road to perfect hair is littered with stylists who have cut her bangs too short, left color on too long (resulting in an interesting magenta hue), didn't cut enough or, God help them, cut too much. From high-end salons in Washington, DC to a "stylist's" salon in his converted kitchen, Karen has gone from the pixie to the page boy and many bobs (hair, not men) in between.

Chae, Ito, Daniel, Roe, Joseph, Ginger, David, Harold, Martine and Joe (to name a few): All but one has been handed their scissors and sent packing like a beauty school drop-out.

One of chemo's most cruel punishments is the loss of hair. For women, it is a devastating blow, feared more than almost any side effect inflicted by the cancer treatment. Karen will be no exception. But so far -- her hair still firmly rooted as she waits for the chemo to ravage her normal healthy cells -- she has managed to keep on her game face. And thankfully, she still has a sense of humor. That's why Karen allowed me to "produce" this "Hair Retrospective" of her many, many hairstyles over the years. As she nears the day that she will bid farewell to her tresses for a while, you are invited to join us in paying tribute to her hairstory.

To view still images only, go to:

To view the video on YouTube, go to:


  1. Great video, Brian and Jack. And I mean REALLY REALLY great. But what's with the name (i.e., Karen's Hair) and that song? Are you trying to say that Karen has hair? Really? What I see when I look at every image is the beautiful face and the megawatt smile. Forget the hair. Hey, Karen, did anyone ever tell you that you look like Julia what's-her-name? Or, better yet, I wonder how many people have told Julia that she looks like you. . . .

  2. Nicely done. She can really rock the pixie and the crop. Gorgeous girl and a great smile, nothing to worry about... some women need hair their hair to be beautiful, not Karen. We'll say prayer for her.

  3. Brian...Great video. i love Karen's big smile in each picture. You guys are in our prayers and blessing.

  4. Absolutely totally loved this...and I bet I have photos I could add but Karen might kill me! Love you dear!

  5. Karen, Brian and Jack - Saw the article in the Patriot which led me here. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Oh.. and the Hair video was top notch. Karen.. you have a beautiful smile and that's all I notice!
    Pam (from Volvo)

  6. I think the hair care is very important for every woman, because the hair represent one of the most attractive point. A woman can even conquer a man just with a beautiful hair, and when that happend is better the man buy viagra for a great sexual performance.

  7. Love the video! i though the video was great. Love the "Hair Retrospective" concept. Karen is beautiful what ever hair she takes on.