In Praise of the Banana Clip

My hair issues go waaay back and could fill a book. (They have, in fact, already filled a short story, which I might just share with you all one day.)

Of course my hair issues aren’t just about my hair; they’re all tangled up with the requisite mommy issues, self-esteem problems and existential conundrums that go along with any prolonged contemplation of a particular body part.

So I won’t get into my Samson moment at age 4, when my mom took me to the hairdresser’s and insisted on hatcheting my waist-length hair into a “fun and easy” bowl cut that had me repeatedly mistaken for a boy until I hit puberty.

Nor will I attempt to justify the platinum blond rat tail I sported for a few brief rebellious weeks in Grade 7.

And I certainly won’t get into the unfortunate phase with the crimper.

But I would like to state for the record, with my all-natural-dark-brown-streaked-with-grey-shoulder-length-slightly-wavy head of hair held high, that I miss my banana clip.

banana clip
Who knew you could order one of these on Amazon?!


It was 1987 and I was determined to have long hair for my high school graduation photo. For months I let it grow and when the time came I paid a hefty sum from my babysitting money for (yet another) perm.

It was the longest, fullest, curliest hairstyle I’d ever sported. And with my bangs blow-dried, back-combed and hair-sprayed, it was the height of 80’s fashion.

But best of all was how it looked in a banana clip.

Oh how I loved that clip! I remember leaning backwards in front of the bathroom mirror and gathering up my curls into its teeth. The result: a cascading mane of curls down the back of my head that in retrospect probably made me look like a deranged My Little Pony, but made me feel like the coolest thing going.

I’ve never learned to braid my own hair.

I still haven’t mastered the art of the well-placed bobby pin.

But, man, I rocked that banana clip.





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