>I am in a post-Burning-Man funk

The playa kinda knocked me on my tush this year, but I will not be going into that.

What I will go into is this:

Some numb-nuts set the man on fire on Sunday night by setting off fireworks under it. Surprised the hell out of me…I didn’t realize The Man was flammable. (insert laughter here _______.)

My camp arrived early…the Friday before the event, to set up our art installation. The bitch of it was we had almost nonstop white-outs (where the wind kicks up large amounts of playa dust which adheres itself to anything and everything), 115+ degree temps and uber-cranky people who were attempting to set up 62-ft geodesic domes and sound stages. Testosterone flew and estrogen fled and people were generally having a crap time.

In an attempt to prevent the nastiness that can claim your hair working in such conditions on the playa, I had cleverly arranged my hair into several braids in which I had woven some uber-cool knitting yarn and ribbons and ended up arranging it into this bun-knot thing on the back of my head. The process of braiding required quite a bit of time and hair gel, and I marveled at my skill and creativity.


hair gel + sweat + tons of playa dust = one nasty mess.

My hair remained un-mussed all week due to this coiffing mixture. Which was all fine and good. I didn’t have to worry about my hair not looking uber-playariffic. It just…stayed there. I became increasingly aware of the accumulation of nastiness on my scalp as the week progressed, but fortunately Burning Man is absolutely riddled with distractions.

I got home yesterday. Reality set in. I knew that I had to contend with the de-playafying of my head.

I contemplated calling my therapist.

My good friend Sev, who is an accomplished knitter, helped me de-yarn my head with some clever knitting tools she had on hand. Once said yarn was removed, I noticed, to my abject horror, that my hair had maintained its previous form minus the decor thanks to the playa-gel-sweat concoction. Placing my hands upon my mane was abhorrent. I prayed that acetone or turpentine would not be required.

I got back home and soaked my head in the tub for some time, washing it a couple times and soaking it in conditioner for a while. Rather than dealing with it after this, I went to bed.

I woke up not only re-hashing the drama of the previous week but to add insult to injury, I attempted to run my fingers through my hair and realized what a rat’s nest it was. I wadded it up into a sad, clumpy mound with a hair tie and got out of bed, still in denial.

About 2 hours ago I realized this problem would not remedy itself and decided to contend with the rats-nest on my head. Kira grabbed me a comb.

Ouch. Bloody blazing turnips on fire ouch.

Now I really contemplated calling my therapist.

This took some time. A lot of time. And profanity.

As the process continued I noticed more and more hair was coming out of the comb I was using.

And more.

And more.

The playa was balding me.

When all was said and done this is what I was left with.
I used the comb for scale.

Ever have a moment of incredulity? Happened to me.

Fortunately I had a ton of hair to begin with, so this massive fuzzball has made little difference in the appearance of my head. I know I should throw it away, but part of me wants to keep it both as a souvenir and as a relic of nostalgia.

Maybe I should mail it to the persons responsible for my playa-drama thanking them for the stress which may have been partially responsible for my excess shedding.

I wonder how much postage I would need?

Voulez-voulez-vous playafied.

2 thoughts on “>reacclimation

  1. leeeah

    >(leah says)girl, I hear you. I soaked my head in vinegar and it seemed to have helped.Do not worry about the hair loss. I had the same thing. It isn’t stress actually it is natural. We all lose hair throughout the day and normally it just sheds. When it is tied up like that it stays around.Many hugs and feel free to come visit/lean on me whenever you like.Kisses!


  2. Shoshana

    >My goodness, yes. First, hair gel…never never out there, though leave-in conditioner, especially the spray in sort, is a good substitute for what you were doing.But evens so, the hair loss clump looks pretty normal for a week and a half. If I braid my hair for a few days in the real world and take it out, I have a similar clump, and my hair is actually rather fine.You live you learn. If you go back, I can help you. Seven years on the playa with long curly hair has taught me a few things 🙂


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