That Time I Hurt Myself with Foam Curlers


Photo by averie woodard on Unsplash

If you’re a fan of the show Shark Tank, chances are pretty great you already know about The Sleep Styler Curlers. These odd velcro-encrusted foam rollers you wrap up in damp hair promise full, wavy locks without damaging heat or harsh chemical goos.


I’d bought a set a few years ago and promptly let them languish in the bottom of my bathroom cabinet, still zipped up in their snug little plastic bag.


I describe my fashion goals as pin-up librarian MILF. I sweep my hair up in the twisted pin curls of the 30s or else the overstated victory rolls of the 40s. It requires shaping my slightly wavy, slightly straight hair into big, voluminous coifs via heat, enough Bobby pins to set off metal detectors, and an excessive amount of non-aerosol hairspray.


Wanting to see if I could cut an hour of battling the curling iron from the process, I unearthed those forlorn Sleep Stylers last night. I carefully plotted out what tresses should curl in what directions and trussed my hair up, blue foam rods jutting out of my head at uncomfortable-looking angles. I looked like a deranged, slightly masochistic Medusa.


When I walked out of the bathroom, my husband giggled. Bold move from a guy who sleeps with a C-Pap machine and had an elephantine protrusion dangling from his face as he did so. But I let it slide. Mostly because I did look damn ridiculous, and it was, in fact, giggle-worthy.


My hair wrapped and my enthusiasm high, I laid down and quickly found a few challenges. First, I’d tied ten tiny, lumpy, ill-placed pillows to my head. This rendered my actual pillow a little superfluous yet somehow more comfortable. Second, those pillows kept pulling my hair like a kindergartner with a crush.


Nevertheless, I persisted. Beauty is pain, right? Especially the kind that involves cutting corners. Eventually, the Sleep Stylers and I were able to come to some sort of arrangement, and I dozed off, dreams of enviable hair-dos dancing through my foam and microfiber cloth-encrusted head.


I woke up this morning rather excited to see how my little experiment worked.

At least I was excited until I tried to move my head and failed.

So about 2.3 seconds.


Those damn fishy curlers must have forced my fragile meat sack to lay in an awkward position all night. My neck was kinked up tighter than an overstuffed sausage. It was excruciating. It was also the least of my concerns in the pre-dawn hours. Priorities, my dears.


I pried myself out of bed and headed straight for the mirror. In spite of the pain and near inability to hold my own cranium upright, I was tugging those rollers out of my head like it was a paying gig.


My blue-black and teal locks tumbled down, loosed from their foam-cored prisons. I expected Shirley Temple-esque curls cascading sweetly down. I got Pomeranian mauled by round-ish pine cones. It was horrible. The back and profile might have been fine, but I’ll never know. I couldn’t turn my head to see.


I grabbed a pick and started to try to tease out the worst of it, pulling it back with my side-combs, desperately seeking any arrangement of my head tendrils that looked half-decent. After all, my end goal wasn’t dancing child prodigy; it was fuckable mid-century book nerd.


I pulled out all my tricks, even with my head fairly immobilized. Nothing helped. Sleep Stylers, my ass. Sleep Messer-Upperers, more like it. I was partially damaged, and my hair was beyond hot mess. It was surface-of-the-sun disaster.


Swell. (A word my neck took as a command as opposed to a snarky quip.)

Luckily things have gotten better now that I popped a few pain pills.

My hair improved none, and I still can’t move my head.

I just don’t care at the moment.

Thanks, small handful of unknown anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers.


In summary, wisdom is beauty. And since I cannot, apparently be beautiful, let me try to suss out the wisdom here. I have learned many things today:

· I cannot operate foam rollers.

· I cannot pull off pine-cone mauled Pomeranian.

· Foam rollers are capable of hurting me.

· I really should take a look at my medicine cabinet. This is probably unsafe.

· Purple tastes nice.

Swell. (Goddamnit. )

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