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Hair Gone Wild: One Pleasanton Woman's Failed Journey Through Decades of Hairstyles

Stacey Gustafson wanted an updated look, but it's not as easy as it sounds.

Everything I needed to know about hair, I learned from watching Charlie’s Angels. 

They say that your favorite hairstyle travels back to the time you thought you looked your best. For me, that was the 1970s, the “Farrah.”  It was a style I could figure out.

Cool, feathered hair, moussed a mile high, curled up tight with an iron. I worked it each morning before high school, loading on gel, wax and mousse. I finalized the “do” with half a can of Aqua Net Hair Spray, thick and sticky.  Added a fake tan, orange streaks and all. Viola, ready for school. The big hair look, no one could do it better.

But these days, my hairstyle is a bit more lax. As I was getting ready for a recent date night with my husband, my daughter approached me in the bathroom.

“Mom, your hair looks so 70s. Want some help?” she asked.

“I guess.”

After having two children and lugging them around to 2,890 baseball games and over ten thousand basketball practices for the last 17 years, I admit I’ve become a little lazy. I consider it fancy to put my hair in a ponytail and dap on lip-gloss. And who has time for a blow dryer?

My daughter combed, twisted, teased and sprayed my hair. After 30 minutes of being groomed, she turned me around to gaze at her creation. I was at a loss for words. Lady Gaga in her finest stared back at me, without a long feather and a tiny black hat. Add a meat dress and I would be unforgettable.

“I think I can handle it from here. Thanks,” I said as she walked out of the room.

I needed to get current and break from my old ways. Try age-appropriate hair.  I scheduled an appointment to update my look.

At, I consulted my stylist regarding the latest hair designs.  

 “What can we do for you today?” she asked as she pulled back my hoodie and yanked out the elastic band on my ponytail.

“I need an update. Surprise me.”

“But what do you usually do?” she said as she massaged my head with aromatic oils. 

Oh, she didn’t want to go there. I have been through more styles than Imelda Marcos has shoes. Remember the shag in the mid 70s, made famous by David Cassidy and Rod Stewart? Shorter at the top, downward layers in the front.  Blow dry upside down after loading on tons of styling gels, fluffy and full.

Or what about the perm? In the 80s I was treated to a home perm kit, courtesy of my best friends. Major frizz. Topped it off with an application of Sun In.  Teased the bangs out, piled high with a scrunchie, I looked just like a poodle.  Gob on gaudy jewelry to complete the ensemble. My friends and I looked identical.

Thankfully I never attempted the Dorothy Hamill or the female mullet.

My stylist tapped me on the shoulder to shake me out of my daze in order to witness her magic as she transformed my locks.

For an hour she snipped and trimmed, paying careful attention to my face, hair texture and life style.  She did an awesome job fixing my hair, smooth side swept bangs and straight, glossy locks in the back. A natural look. Glancing at myself in the mirror, I liked what I saw.

“Thanks, I love it,” I said with a hug.

I purchased all the hair products she recommended. “I can do this,” I said to myself. Once at home, I darted into the bathroom to check it out in my own mirror.

I admired the reflection staring back at me. But what if I just brushed a little here? Or curled a tiny bit there? Within moments, my hair was fluffed, poofed and sprayed immobile.   

Good morning, Charlie! I’m back. Miss me?

Joy ^^ March 08, 2012 at 09:30 PM
PS i just cut off 10" for Locks of Love last Monday and need a "good" haircut to begin my new 'look' ~ can you hurry with that AFTER picture? Thanks!
Stacey Gustafson March 08, 2012 at 11:32 PM
Sorry to disappoint, but no after photo. They are all very skilled at cutting hair. Give it a try.
Camille Thompson March 09, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Loved the article! I can sooo relate! Thanks for the laughs!
Paulette Niehoff March 11, 2012 at 01:43 PM
My favorite article of yours yet! I would like to see the photo, too.
Linda October 12, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Great article. @Joy, did you know that Locks of Love just sells your hair (instead of actually giving it to someone in need?) and then donates part of the proceeds? Also, if any of your husbands need a good barber in the Pleasanton area Barber Dans is a great classic shop. Check out http://www.barberdans.com.

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