RAPUNZEL REDUX
(A sequel to "Modern Day Repunzel")
c1991 Airweaver

Okay, long-hair lovers, you might remember the last time we got together this way, I was telling you how I came to meet my extraordinary wife Debra. It was through a personal ad in the newspaper, if you can believe it, the very last way Iíd recommend anyone finding a mate. Never mind why I came to be reading the personal relation ads in the first place, but how could I resist that single, mind-boggling sentence: "Modern day Rapunzel seeks soul mate to help with her long hair."

You can certainly understand why that grabbed my attention! Debra turned out to be a treasure, even though she practically gave me a nervous breakdown those first few weeks by refusing to allow me so much as a glimpse at any of that tantalizing hair mentioned in her ad. She wouldnít even talk about it, except to assure me that, yes, it was 'very, very long.' Talk about how to drive a guy nuts! I was nearly at my wits end, when the waiting ended. It proved well worth it. There came the night, when I was least expecting it, that she blew me away by setting up an elaborate demonstration to show off her crowning glory. She took off the hat she insisted on wearing up until then and let down all that glorious braided hair for me. I was in heaven. She hadnít deceived me; her hair was incredibly long, so long it spilled clear onto the floor. It was absolutely perfect -- lush and golden and radiant. I will never forget the first time seeing her like that, covered from head to toe in a marvelous cape of silk. Her sharing of this secret with me was practically like a proposal, and I would have accepted on the spot had she asked.

It didnít turn out quite that way, but the die was cast that evening. We were married a few short months later after a memorable and breathless courtship, and hair has come to play an important role in our lives ever since. Debra took a job working for George Michael, and I began trying to use my knowledge of organic chemistry to develop some new and improved hair care products. My inspiration, of course, was Debraís extraordinary hair. Never have I seen anything like it. It is so extremely long and the most incredible shade of gold, somehow reminding me of the color of ripening wheat. Sure, she takes good care of it, and itís naturally very healthy, but thereís a luster to it that has to be seen to be believed. I can hardly keep my hands off it.

People were continually commenting on it whenever they saw it, and I began to wonder if there might not be some way that others not as fortunate as Debra could be able to get their hair to shine like hers. Not, Iím sure, that any of them would be able to obtain hair of such utter perfection, but products can certainly be improved. I realized early on that it had something to do with proteins and the way shampoos and conditioners were currently being formulated. I know you donít want me to get too technical here, but itís a basically a matter of proper pH balance and disproportionate levels of the various glycols and chlorides. (I said I wouldnít get technical, but if you must know, I suggest you read my monograph published by the American Society of Dermatology.) Anyway, most of the commercial products I looked at didnít seem to match the readings I was getting from examining samples of Debraís hair under the microscope. Samples proved hard to come by, since Debraís hair doesnít shed much, and I wasnít about to ask her to sacrifice as much as an inch of that gorgeous mane, which by this time measured well over six feet in length and continuing to grow to her satisfaction and my continual joy. She would never flaunt it, but could always think of subtle ways to use it to arouse me. When I was feeling tired or particularly depressed, I might come across her, in the garden perhaps, with her hair partially unbraided, seductively running a brush through its loose, silky ends. That sight was always enough to bring me out of my funk. We were both delighted when Susie was born, a little lamb with golden hair just like her motherís. She has taken after her mother to the extent that she, too, takes great pride in knowing she has exceptional hair. She has taken a vow never to cut it and dreams of it growing ever longer.

But I digress. I was about to tell you of my attempts to produce an improved line of hair products. I clearly remember the week I finally came up with what I thought might be the winning formula. I remember it because it was the day Debra got her hair cut. Now donít panic, even when I tell you she cut off more of it than most women ever allow their hair to get any time in their lives. Itís still the longest hair I have ever seen, or am likely to see. It is still covers her in a shimmering raiment from head to toe and still slides seductively to the floor whenever she lets it down (to the great consternation of Susie, who wonders when her own thigh-length tresses will ever be able to do that). But even Debra began to feel that enough was enough when her rich, luxurious hair reached the eight foot point, and decided to cut it back to the way it had been on our wedding day. (I thought that very romantic of her.) The deed was done by the famous Ms. Matarazzo herself. Debraís hair proved too long to fit any of George Michaelís specially-designed chairs, so the job had to be done with Debra standing up, her hair carefully brushed and clamped beforehand. I will spare you the details, but it was most artfully and sympathetically done.

I have to admit Debra was extremely apprehensive the day we went down to Madison Ave. for her haircut. On the way downtown she confided that it was the first time in her life her hair had ever been cut, and she told me what it was like growing up with hair like that.

It hadnít been easy. As a small child, her mother had loved the idea of keeping her in pigtails. But when she was in the fifth grade, her brother Greg was born, and suddenly, Debraís mother lost all interest in Debraís long, beautiful hair. She said it made for far too much work and began doing everything in her power to get Debra to cut it. She started dropping hints about how all that hair was turning her into some kind of a freak and making other uncalled-for remarks. By this time, however, Debra had started to have a mind of her own and was determined to keep her trademark hair. She said she loved the way it covered her like a protective blanket whenever it was loose. Since her mother refused to help her with it, Debra began going next door where her best friend live to get her hair washed. "Betsy and her mom was just fascinated with my hair and very supportive. Betsy loved to brush it for me and was always thinking up new ways for me to wear it." Debraís father was also supportive: "I like it long," he would say, "and, anyway itís her hair, and she can do anyway she likes with it." As it continued to grow, Debra found her remarkable hair made her a bit of a celebrity in high school. "All that hair helped make me stand out, and I was very popular." It was only many years later, after Greg was grown, that Debraís mother finally resigned herself to the fact that Debra was going to keep her hair and started to help her with it again. "But I will never forget her lack of support all those years. If it hadnít been for my dad and Betsy next door, Iím sure I would have turned out looking like everyone else."

Debraís eight-foot tresses were cut by more than a foot and a half, hair we carefully saved and brought home. From then on, I had plenty of material with which to experiment. Since it was cut from the end section, of course, the hair was the oldest portion of Debraís magnificent mane. Even so, I found the strands were still remarkably rich and supple. I could find practically no evidence of split ends at all, a testament to its remarkable health. I was able to identify certain chemical traces that told me Debraís hair was practically unique and from them was able to formulate what I consider the first successful HairGlo product, a conditioning oil to smooth and add luster to the hair.

After several weeks of testing, I had confidence enough to put it to the ultimate test. Actually, it was Debra who suggested it. "That stuff smells so good. Why donít you try it out on my hair?"

"You donít need any of this," I told her. "Your hairís perfect just the way it is." I winked. "Well, maybe you might grow it just a little bit longer. Besides, what if this stuff turns out to be no good? I wouldnít harm a hair on your head. It such a treasure."

"No, I mean it. If itís good enough for you, then itís good enough for me. I know youíve done your homework."

I had to admire her confidence and could see her point. I had tried the oil out with great success on laboratory animals (and as a respector of animal rights would never have done so unless I was absolutely sure it was harmless), but until I put the product to its ultimate test, I would never be able to distribute it in good faith, so I finally agreed. "Well, if youíre willing to be a guinea pig," I said, "weíll do it someday."

"Well, thereís no time like the present. Susie wonít be home from school for hours, so we have plenty of time."

Debra handed me her silver brush and began to unwind her coil of hair. She undid the braids until the magnificent cascade of corn-gold hair was flowing around her. I thought back to the first time I had seen her with her hair loose like that. Every time I see it Iím filled with awe. Her hair looked even fuller and more lovely than usual today. I reached for the brush and gathered up a luxuriant fold and felt the thrill I always get when I feel all that thick, wonderfully soft hair, so cool against my skin. Its light, creamy texture is unbelievable. It flowed and rippled through my fingers like water. Standing carefully so I wouldnít step on it, I put the brush to the base of her neck and let the brush slide its way slowly downwards, feeling the bristles glide smoothly through the long, smoth strands. I continued for a long time. I think I was stalling.

"Well, Alec, What are you waiting for? You know that stuff is good."

My fingers trembled slightly as I reached for the bottle of HairGlo. I poured a small amount into the palm of my hand and said, "Well, here goes nothing." I began to apply it tentatively into her hair. I took a sample strand and worked the oil into it. Debra stood calmly and trusting in front of me, a living column of shimmering tresses, as I gingerly dabbed on the oil.

"Oh, put on more than that," she said. "It isnít going to hurt After all, itís only hair."

Yes, 'itís only hair,' but such beautiful hair. I applied more of the HairGlo to her hair, working it in fuller and deeper onto one long, glorious strand after another. She encouraged me to add more and more, until her hair was completely slathered in the thick, performed oil. It smelled good, but I was beginning to have my doubts. Something wasnít quite right. All that beautiful hair, had earlier surrounding her in a silky cloud. Now it had been reduced to a lank, heavy mess. Long, greasy strands covered her from head to toe. She looked rather pathetic standing there, her hair coated in HairGlo, although she didnít seemed a bit perturbed.

"Oh dear, I was rather afraid of that. Iím afraid Iíve made a mess of things. Nothing to worry about, just a matter of too much cellulose. Nothing for it but a nice, fresh shower. Itís a good thing youíre wearing your old clothes."

Now, if thereís anything I enjoy more than taking Debra to bed, or simply brushing her hair for her, itís the joy of taking a shower together. We usually do it just after Debra had washed her hair. I knew the HairGlo had done her hair no harm, but I felt I had let her down and have never been more anxious to the old familiar image again. We stripped and headed for the shower stall, Debraís long, oil-covered locks flopping heavily against her bare skin.

I turned on the tap and watched the water flow down the length of her hair, the end of it rippling gently beneath our feet. We rinsed and rinsed again and slowly the oil began to drain away, until presently she reached for a towel to begin patting it dry. Gradually, her beautiful tresses began to regain some of their familiar glory. I began to think they might even be looking a bit glossier than usual. Her hair seemed a bit thicker and silkier than I remember it being, if such a thing is possible. The light reflected off the entire column of her hair, and it suddenly started to gleam with new and hidden highlights. Her hair began to dry, flowing and billowing around her in ever greater profusion, cascading in great waves as she moved and rippling in heavy folds down the entire length of her body. She bundled up her hair in her arms and hurried out into the sun to finish drying it. I retired to my little lab to work on the viscosity problem.

Later, I found her sitting at her dressing table thoughtfully brushing out her hair. She was looking in the mirror and liking what she saw. "Say, that stuff of yours really works! Look at it now. Itís so easy to brush, and just feel it." (I seldom need encouragement when that request is made.) Even I had to admit I was on to something. Iíve never seen her look better.

Just about then, Susie returned home from school, her long pigtails flying and slapping against her back as usual. No matter that they meant she has to get up half an hour earlier for school than her friends; she wouldnít have it any other way. She stopped half away across the room. "Hey, look at Mommyís hair. Itís absolutely fabulous! What did you do to it?"

"Itís that new stuff Daddyís been working on. We tried it for the first time this morning."

"Oh, can I try some? Maybe it will help my hair grow a bit more."

I told her, no, not then, but maybe in a little while, after Iíd had time to work all the bugs out.

So, now you know how the HairGlo Company got started. It has made us a fair amount of money and, if you seem to see a few more women around you sporting long hair, HairGlo is probably the reason. The credit is all to Debra, who inspired me to bigger and better things. Debra can also be thanked for those TV commercials that have been said to bring strong men to their knees. I suggested Debra to the producer and when he first saw her and all that hair, he was almost as much in shock as I was the first time I saw it. "In a word," he said, "'perfect.' If this doesnít sell HairGlo and have every woman in the country craving hair down to her ass, Iím a horseís patoot" (or something like that).

Debraís hair looked sensational under the bright TV lights and the cameramen, Iím sure, shot many more feet of film than they intended.

It had been an exhausting day at the studio and, after it was all finished, we staggered home to bed. But before turning out the lights we made love, smothered together in Debraís rich certain of hair and fell asleep in each otherís arms with her long flowing tresses covering us both like a thick blanket. I dreamt that night of all that incredible hair blowing out behind her in a great golden cloud with the wind blowing through its silky depths. I dreamt of those gleaming braids as alive as water snakes flowing down her legs, swaying around her ankles. All that vigorous hair, Iím sure, dreamt simply of growing on and on. It certainly did not need to dream of being any more beautiful.
 
 

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