Monday, August 24, 2009


I'll admit it. I'm a bit of a sucker for those as-seen-on-tv products. I wanted the Steam Shark, I wanted Debbie Meyer Green Bags, at one point I even lusted after the D.R. Field Trimmer Mower, despite the fact that I don't exactly have a field- just a 100-something by 50-something-foot lot in the middle of town. Most recently, I was captivated by the extreme-volume-inducing Bumpit for hair. I just couldn't rationalize dropping twenty bucks plus s&h on something that might make me look like a baby with a head recently squeezed through the birth canal. I wanted to try it, though...

Sophie decided that this was the year she wanted her ears pierced, so last weekend we shuttled off to the mall to get her tiny lobes punctured. She was a real trooper and now has some sparkly green studs in her ears that she twists fanatically, continually asking me, "Should I turn my earrings, mom? Do I need to clean my ears with that stuff again, mom?"

So I was wandering around Icing, the ear piercing shop, admiring various girly accessories, when I spotted them-- three rows of BUMPITS in different colors! They were ten dollars! I immediately grabbed the one designed for brown hair. I was more than a little bit excited.
My pulse was racing.

I'm known for many things, but my ability to exercise patience in the wearing of new clothing or accessories would probably not make the list. As such, I can easily change a full outfit in a car. I can switch out my tops while operating a motor vehicle. I figured that since my husband was driving, I could easily arrange my hair with the Bumpit while we drove to the next destination.

Bad idea.

I first noted that the Bumpit packaging and instructions seemed to neglect examples of curly-headed models, and I started to wonder if there was a reason. The Bumpit is basically a banana-shaped item with small teeth that bite into your hair. To use it, you make a part across your head, settle the Bumpit in against your scalp, and flip your hair back over it. Voila! Instant volume!

I've got curly hair. Long curly hair. I got to step one: make a part in your hair, and the trouble started. My hair wasn't really inclined to part "the wrong way" across my head. I couldn't even see the top of my head, because I was working with the aid of a very small visor mirror. I was tugging and it hurt, so I just sort of haphazardly bunched up some hair from the general top-area of my head and draped it forward.

Next: align the Bumpit. That part seemed easy. Once pressed against my scalp and wiggled a bit, the Bumpit really stuck. I looked in the mirror and realized I'd placed the apparatus way too far back. No problem- I'd just lift and re-adjust it. Except it was stuck. With a few yelps of pain, I had wrangled the Bumpit loose and resituated it.

My Bumpit now expertly positioned, I flopped the mass of hair I'd pulled forward, back over the plastic arc to create the signature "bump" of flowing hair. I then positioned the mirror and tipped my head to admire my lofty coif, which I assumed was now cascading like a waterfall of glossy curls.

*A critical aside: This is where I should probably mention that I've been cutting my own hair (including my layers) for the last year. I only trust about one person in the whole world to cut it. The last time I went in to the salon, my stylist yelled at me and told me to "stop trimming your own bangs and heat-styling your hair!" I felt a little dirty after the chastising, but subsequent to his warning, I not only continued trimming my own bangs and incessantly heat-styling my hair, I also stupidly decided to put in my own (abhorrent) highlights. I basically killed my hair. Now I am faced with an odd conundrum wherein I cannot go get my hair cut, because I so desperately need my hair cut, and I can't stomach the hellfire that will rain down when my stylist sees what I did to it.

So the Bumpit doesn't look so good if you slap it to a head of curly, self-cut wonky-layered hair. Even in the visor mirror I could see that. It had to come out before we reached Kohl's and I was forced to walk into the store looking like I had a nest of ratty hair giving birth to a banana clip.

Unfortunately, the Bumpit was in there pretty tight. Hair was lying under, over, and wrapped around it like a coccoon of tangled threads. I tried prying the hair away from the Bumpit, but I couldn't tell which direction would pull the clumps and strands loose, and tugging with any force HURT.

I felt my chest tighten and I became panicky. I shoved my head between the front seats and shouted for Noel, slouched in the backseat, to "get this thing out of my hair!" I abruptly felt violent yanking and hollered, "Ouch! Not like that! Stop!" Nathaniel shouted from the driver's seat, "It's not Noel- it's Jack!" I attempted to contort my body without moving my head, in order to wrest my hair from Jack's tiny, excited hands.

There I was, writhing backward in between the seats, howling and flailing my arms, my hair a ratty, tangled disaster. All three children in the backseat looked terrified and I realized that if I didn't calm down fast I was probably going to flail us right off the road. I gathered my wits, pulled my body back into the passenger seat, and spent the rest of the trip to Kohl's pulling strands of hair loose from the grasp of the Bumpit, while trying not to cry. By the time we got to the store, my scalp was stinging and sore, and the top layer of hair was an unkempt halo of tangle and frizz. It had a lot of volume, though; a lot of really ugly volume.

When we got home, Noel decided to give the Bumpit a try in his hair. It worked perfectly.
I'm going to go trim my ripped up hair. Shut up.


Maurey said...

Um, where are the pics?

Linda said...

Yeah, where are the pics? So glad I finally know what a Bumpit is! I bet Sarah Palin has lots of them--and wears them all at once!

Mary said...

OMG I can't stop laughing. I had to google 'Bump It' so I could get a better visual. I have to admit, I want to try one! You're such a wicked stitch Lars!

Lara said...

I can't parse out the logistics of using a plastic hairstyling apparatus- do you think I can handle small electronics? Puh-leeze!