Mall Hair Makes a Comeback

Buying extensions from a kiosk in the mall is a hair-raising experience.

It was on my bucket list, and I was in bit of a holiday stupor. Plus, my resistance was down.

All of these things conspired to make me buy hair extensions from a kiosk at Ross Park Mall. It’s a totally new take on mall hair.

The booth had hair in a rainbow of colors and lots of clips, pins and accessories to help make it sparkle, shine and stay in place. All I had to do was pause ever so briefly to see what was offered, and the helpful salesperson was glued to my side, ready to transform my short tresses into Rapunzel-like splendor.

With hands flying around my head, she created a long, bouncy ponytail that hung down my back. With a few flicks of her wrist and a couple of decorative clips, she pulled back the front of my hair, added 12 inches to the length and had me convinced I could easily do all of this myself. She even told me a story about a 60-plus-year-old woman who bought some extensions at the booth and how much younger she looked with them.

Hmmm. I chose not to take that last bit personally.

I was sold. I had her create a ponytail for me and wore it the rest of the day.

My new mall hair is long, luxurious and matches my color almost exactly. My husband loves it. He says it makes me look younger.

I’m choosing not to take that personally, either.

Throughout most of history, whether pulled back or up, covered, powdered or adorned, long hair was the norm for women. When they began cutting their hair short in the 1920s, it was construed as an act of rebellion. Check out this fascinating short video about the evolution of women’s hair.

Nowadays, anything goes. We can wear our hair long, short, layered, multi-colored, spiked and any other way we please. Bald also is beautiful.

The problem is that you always want what you can’t have.

When I used to wear my hair long, I would wish that I had the courage to cut it short. After I transitioned to a shorter hairstyle, I pined for long hair again. Though I’ve been wearing my hair on the short side for years, I often entertain the idea of growing it out. This takes more patience than I possess, however.

Hair extensions seem like a perfect solution.

While the salesperson at the kiosk made it look so simple to create the various looks, I have found that it takes me a whole lot more time and effort. I’m still quite a novice at extension installation. Achieving a natural look and fastening the little comb clips on the back of the extension into your hair takes some time to master.

I tried out a ponytail the other day before heading to the grocery store. When the lady at the mall did my ponytail, it felt completely secure and as if no amount of head swinging or wind could dislodge it. My creation felt much less secure. Though I was careful not to jerk my head to and fro, I was very fearful I might accidentally leave my hair in the produce section of

Clean up in Aisle 1.

I have mixed emotions about my mall hair. On the one hand, I kind of love the idea of going from short to long locks without all the fuss and bother of growing my hair out. On the other hand, that ponytail is pretty heavy, and the pins necessary to hold it in place hurt my head.

I’m also a bit concerned I look like I’m trying to make my debut at country music karaoke night when I wear the extension long and straight.

Regardless, I plan to reserve judgment until I take my new hair out for a few more spins. I’d better, or I might as well take the $90 I shelled out for it and light it on fire.

Jessica Sinichak January 03, 2012 at 05:30 PM
I have always wanted to stop by one of those kiosks. I think the ponytail looks great!
Leslie Uriss Spehar January 03, 2012 at 06:27 PM
Thanks, Jess!


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