Split Ends

September 25th, 2011

Split Ends - Behind The Awkwardness


“My ex-husband surprised me after work with a birthday cake. I wanted a picture of my son and I for the scrapbook so was leaning forward to get closer to him. I had not been to the hairdresser’s in 2 years and had age inappropriate hair at the time. The candles took care of that and luckily, my husband managed to put out the flames with his bare hands once he realized what was happening. Of course, he missed the shot of me screaming my head off. I’ve been going for regular trims since.”

(submitted by Sharon)


134 Responses to “Split Ends”

  1. Sharon Boyda says:

    Love the smile still on her face. Glad nothing serious happened. But ‘age appropriate’ hair length. Now that’s the awkward part. What at 45 you should have short hair?

    • sullyboo says:

      Agreed. Since when is long hair “age inappropriate”?

      • Tracy says:

        Makes me even happier I’m growing out my hair more… I prefer to be inappropriate and I turn 45 in a few days…

        • Tiffany says:

          That is what I was thinking. I will NEVER willingly have short hair!!!

          • Neymorra says:

            I took it to mean that she had not been to the hairdresser in 2 years, so her haircut was 2 years old and it was aged as such. Mainly because she mentioned later that she goes in for regular trims. It never occurred to me that she was saying any certain age should have a certain hair length. Either way, the pics are great!

  2. Miss Obnoxious says:

    This is crazy hilarious!!

  3. Mylene says:

    I had short hair all my life, married at 18 and my husband insisted I keep it short…..when I finally left him at age 47 I grew my hair long and have kept it long…well, to my shoulders….ever since. Everybody I know loves my hair longer. So we should all do what we feel like doing!!!

  4. Lunasea says:

    I had a good giggle at the flames, its hard to think you still could be smiling judging by the ammount of smoke and heigh of flame. I know from my own pyro experiences that stuff can singe mighty fast. I think most of all I laughed hardest looking at your son. His dozy expression looks like he’s all mellowed out on something haha.
    Thanks again Sharon

  5. qp says:

    i laughed so hard for the longest time. love the casual smile for the camera! thanks for letting people laugh at your expense — you’re quite the tropper!

  6. PaulaNancy says:

    Sharon, you are a hunka, hunka burnin’ love! Lovely that you were able to maintain your skin and your sense of humor! was your son traumatized? This pic is a perfect balance of horrible and hilarious!!

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks for the comment, PaulaNancy! I had some minor burns on my neck, only first degree. Yes, my son was traumatized for a while…more from my screams than the fire. Poor kid. We talked him through it. 🙂

  7. Bruce says:

    I am grateful that this is not a scratch and sniff site- singed hair is not a pleasant smell!

  8. Juno says:

    Lol, my sisters hair caught on fire while she was blowing out her candles one year!

  9. rick says:

    “Going out….in a blaze of glory…”

  10. It's me! Dee! says:

    Wow, way to over-react people. I think some of you are missing the point, the fact is Sharon’s hair is on fire in the photo. The “age inappropriate hair” was a flippant remark, stop over thinking the comment. Lighten up 🙂

    • It's me! Dee! says:

      BTW I thought it was a great photo 🙂

      • Sharon says:

        Thank-you Dee, for putting the comment in perspective. Clearly it hit a nerve with several people which is perfectly fine, as they all made good sense, but that wasn’t the point of the description. I mean, how else could I have lightened the moment after my hair caught fire, on candles that clearly said “45”? Lucky for me, and what was left of my ponytail, there weren’t 45 individual candles…never mind the extra one for good luck! Cheers! 🙂

        • Coach says:

          Oh my goodness! How scary, yet hilarious! I bet your son is going to love this when he is older. At first glance I didnt even notice the little flames crawling up your hair because your face looks so happy and calm! Did you imagine posting a pic of your head nearly catching on fire would draw so much attention about age appropriate hair styles? Ridiculous people.

          • Sharon says:

            My son was traumatized at first, probably because of the hysterical screaming once I realized I was on fire. No doubt he’ll appreciate it later. As for the attention about my choice of words, yes, I was surprised. People are welcome to voice their opinions, though I’m not sure Awkward Family Photos is the best forum for the debate. I guess all the time saved on grooming has left us free to comment. Go figure. 🙂

    • Katie says:

      You rock, Dee!

  11. Karla says:

    I just read all of the idiotic “Killjoy” comments concerning your hair. Lighten up people! Unbeknownst to her, it’s on fire! This happy moment will quickly turn almost deadly. What an amazing pic. Thank Heaven you were unharmed! Glad you shared…

    • Sharon says:

      Thank-you for your support, Karla, and your kind words. All comments are welcome, be they positive or negative. Hope you’re having a good hair day yourself.

      S 🙂

  12. I do believe this is my favorite photo from this entire site.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Sharon says:

      Dear Average Half-Vampire,

      You are so welcome. I did it for you.

      S 🙂

      • I hope you really didn’t. 🙂
        But I too have long (and possibly age-inappropriate, but I don’t care) hair. I once set it on fire while reaching up to get some spices over the stove (burner was on). Unfortunately, no one took MY photo so I could post it here to rival yours. (sigh of jealousy)
        But I really do love your photo.

        • Oh, and I just had to throw in the “age-inappropriate” bit. I was feeling a little left out here as the only one not to mention it.

          • Sharon says:

            I meant I posted the pic just for you. Haha. Welcome to the age-inappropriate hair club. Apparently there are a lot of us, though who’s to judge. Btw, glad you are okay after your own flaming episode. Imagaine the hot and spicy comments you might have received if there was a photo-op?

            Best to you.

        • dingbat says:

          I have singed the ends of my hair several times while cooking. Apparently, Elnett hairspray and flames are a dangerous combination. I’m 40, and will continue to wear my hair long…unless I burn it off, of course.

  13. Katie says:

    What is the deal with all of you people ragging at her for the “age-inappropriate hair” comment!??! My goodness, the woman’s hair was on fire! I’m glad to know the grammar police are here, too….

  14. really. says:

    who cares? honestly.,. we live in such a screwed up society when hair has an “age appropriateness” level. you want long hair. grow it out. you want a mohawk. go for it. its just dead skin cells. the entire idea that we base so much attention on “looks” is appauling. i can think of a million other things to spend wasted effort arguing over then .. at what age should i conform and have the same hair as every other housewife with no originality.
    great pic btw. i almost thought it was photoshopped.
    your husband def caught a kodak moment ;D

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks, Really. The key thing is that most of us have a choice, with the freedom to choose how we wear our hair and other more important things. And isn’t quality of life all about choice? As for looks, they are fleeting and will fade over the years, or metaphorically, go up in flames.

  15. Lynn says:

    I find it alarming that more of the commenters seem upset about Sharon describing her hair as “age-inappropriate” than they do by the fact that it is on fire.

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks for your comment, Lynn. I figure if you’re going to put something out there publicly, you have to be willing to take the flack so no worries. It’s all good. 🙂

  16. English says:

    That would be “my son and me”.

  17. Katie says:

    Long hair is fine for older women, but split-end heavy ponytails with the sense that “I don’t have time to do my hair, ever” is kinda inappropriate past roughly college age IMO. Not that I’d ever tell someone their hair was inappropriate, but I get what the submitter was saying, I think.

    • A very picky woman says:

      I’m a 30-ish researcher, with split-end heavy ponytail and no time to do my hair. Hell, even with enough time “to do my hair” I will continue not to do my hair, as I consider that a waste of my time -meaning, I prefer to sleep 30 minutes more than those vain women than consider the maintenance of hair an inexcusable feminine duty. Oh, the young women with superficial ideas. Disclaimer: my opinion is never humble.

      • Kelly says:

        I love you! I am in my 30’s and I too am more into sleep than my hair. That’s why elastics were made!

      • Katie says:

        And… I’m a good bit older than you. I don’t think you want the full list of everything I do atop work and kids. I’ve had what I considered age-inappropriate hair, even. I don’t spend time on my hair even now. I just cut it short (sometimes wash) and wear and make time to keep it so.

        But I can see what she’s talking about. I’ve looked back at pics of me in my late 20s-early 30s and felt embarrassed at how little attention I was paying to things that would have improved my self-esteem and not really taken that much more time.

        Again, I’d never say it about someone else, but for heaven’s sake, she *can* say her *own* hair was not appropriate and she shouldn’t be attacked for saying so.

  18. Wendell says:

    Ha, and one more thing 🙂 the photo was submitted by “Sharon” and the cake clearly does not say Happy Birthday “Sharon”…….nice try tho.

  19. Me Again... says:

    Ya, only an *EX-HUSBAND* would take your photo while you stand there smiling and ON FIRE!! :/

  20. Edna Krabballe says:

    She’s smokin’ hot at 45…

  21. chris f says:

    So funny! In a flash (literally), I’ll bet your face went from all smiles to shear (no pun intended) panic! I think this is one of the best Awkward Family Photos I’ve seen.

  22. NKL says:

    I didn’t read the description, thought the smoke was gray hair, and thought they couldn’t remember if the kid was 4 or 5! Now THAT would be AWKWARD!

    • chris f says:

      I can see where you would get that.

    • Shannon says:

      That is exactly what I saw at first. Then I looked at her face and thought she looks way too young for gray hair like that and realized it was smoke.

      I would have guessed she was mid to late 30s.

      • Sharon says:

        Bless you, Shannon, for thinking I look younger. I look even younger now that my hair is shorter and layered and the gray has been washed away. 🙂

  23. AndrewT says:

    That kid doesn’t look a day over 40.

  24. Whit says:

    I love how you don’t even seem to know your hair is on fire.

  25. Wendell says:

    looks kinda photoshopped to me 🙂

  26. Valerie says:

    Make a wish and then blow out Mommy’s hair!

  27. f1f2f3f4 says:

    Age-inappropriate hair? Really? Each person should decide the length and style of their own hair, maybe with some input from their stylist. Who decided that long hair is for younger women and shorter hair for older women. That is like saying not to wear white after Labor Day.

    • norm says:

      Totally agree with this…and are we sure she turned just 45 in this pic?

    • Jan says:

      Yeah, who made that rule and why do we follow it?

    • justme says:

      I think she was just being colorful in her description. I don’t think it was meant to be taken to heart.

      • Sharon says:

        @justme. Yes, you are correct. The description is meant to be self deprecating and at my own expense, with no offense or judgement intended towards anyone visiting. Laughing about it afterwards helped defuse the scariness of what might have happened. Besides, I was under the impression that this site was for those who don’t take themselves too seriously. And my hair is still long at 48, just not as long.

        • Karla says:

          You go girl!

        • Shannon says:

          It did sound a little overly self-deprecating and a smidge judgy. You look pretty young to me and I would never have thought your long hair was age-inappropriate.

          Not to mention that in this day and age long hair is accepted on older women. Look at all the over 40 stars with long hair. If you can maintain it and it suits you, anyone can rock it.

  28. fireflight says:

    Chaos in 3… 2… 1…

  29. seen enuf says:

    Were those dreadlocks? I love the happy look on your face as you don’t yet realize that you are on fire!

    • Sharon says:

      No, they weren’t dreadlocks but they were probably headed that way. I had a really long ponytail with a bad case of split ends. I thought it was the cheap dollar store candles making all the smoke until I felt the heat on my neck. Then the happy look was gone and I screamed.

  30. sarah says:

    Long hair is meant for younger people and as you get past your mid 20’s most people are much better flattered by shorter hair for both your grown up face and the fact that your hair is usually not able to grow long AND stay healthy looking like it did when you were young. She is saying she had long unhealthy hair and thats why it went up in flames soo fast.

    • Mifty says:

      Nonsense. Long hair is “meant” for anybody (male or female) who can grow it and take care of it and likes how it looks. How silly, to make up rules on how other people should or shouldn’t wear their hair.

      And I think even your own no doubt young and healthy locks would go up in flames if you dangled them in an open flame.

    • raych says:

      Oh, that is just ridiculous. I set my hair on fire in college. It was not age-inappropriate nor was it unhealthy. Hair is flammable when you put it in contact with a flame.

    • Em says:

      Wow, I thought the cliche about women cutting their hair when they hit a certain died decades ago, around the same time women got the vote and were allowed to have jobs.

    • hushupp says:

      Sarah, when did you join the Hair Police ?

    • norm says:

      Wow, you’re wrong all over the place.

    • Adele says:

      That is a VERY outdated concept. Right up there with waiting for the fashion magazines to come out every spring, and then spending a whole weekend changing the hems of all your skirts and dresses so that they are “this year’s hemline.” True story; my mom told me about how all the women did that back in the 1950’s.

      In this day and age, you can wear your hair any damn length you please, to hell with what your age is… and might I add, thank goodness. I am 44 and my hair is STILL (gasp!) long, and it looks just fine, thank you.

      But I do keep it away from open flames. 🙂

    • Kimberly says:

      I am almost 47 and have long curly red hair. I get compliments all the time. Long hair, short hair….whatever one wants they should do. Life is short.

      • Cyn says:

        I’m 45 and my hair is waist length and very healthy and shiny. All you have to do is condition it a few times a week. It is not difficult or time consuming. I will never subscribe to the thinking that once you are past 40 you have to look like a man!

    • justme says:

      Sarah, I think I’m gonna grow my hair long now (at 38) just because I can….and so I can come back here in a few months and say “Nanny-nanny-boo-boo you said I couldn’t and i did it anyway” to you.

      • sarah says:

        haha! Sorry people i was trying to be cliche and facetious in my comment but it did not come off that way i suppose…i was distracted by my 15 month old son climbing all over me(i guess thats another reason the experts say you should not have a baby in your 30’s lol) I have long hair myself and i am 35 and i completely agree you can have your hair any length at any age if you like it.I was simply stating the unwritten “rule” that we all know has survived for decades.It is not MY opinion but many have it.

    • CarrieM says:

      I don’t find Sarah’s comment hard to understand. Have you ever seen someone whose hair looked 20, and when she turned around, you were surprised to see a 50 year-old face? It’s a jarring experience. I work with a 66 year-old woman who wears her hair in a style you’d expect on a 15 year-old. The contrast is not flattering.

      • Adele says:

        First, maybe you missed where Sarah herself admitted she was trying to be facetious. And second, it isn’t about age… it’s about whether or not you can pull it off regardless of your age. Some people look better with long hair than others. I’ve seen women older than your co-worker who looked great with long hair… and I’ve seen younger people who don’t look good with it.

  31. MrsMendlebright says:

    Lady, you got worse problems than age inappropriate hair, you have no feeling in your neck, and your sense of smell is non existant!

    at 51 my hair is longer than hers was, so I guess it’s REALLY inappropriate! (I know what she means though, at times I wonder if people aren’t looking at me saying, omgosh, she is a grandma now, she should have one of those “grandma” cuts!)

    • Jan says:

      All of our hair is longer than hers……LOL Actually not funny at all, until I read the caption I did not realize her hair was in flames and that was smoke! Sheesh! I am not cutting my hair (I am 50), my Grandma had beautiful thick salt and pepper hair at 90+ year old down to her butt, although it was always in a bun.

      • justme says:

        That’s the way they did it, my grandma is 95 now and her’s has been short for years, but her mother’s generation (going into the late 1800’s) always let it grow and grow until the bun would weigh 50 lbs and give them headaches……and I don’t think they stopped doing that when they hit middle age, either.

      • Cyn says:

        My grandmother had the same very long hair in a bun and when she died at 100 she still had that hair.

  32. Viper says:

    …age-inappropriate hair? How?

  33. Sarah says:

    and to think she thought it was just a hot flash…

  34. Lauren says:

    “Age-inappropriate hair”? Really? Looks like you lost a few brain cells in the fire as well.

  35. Karin says:

    I think the most awkward thing about this is the use of the phrase “age inappropriate hair”. WTF does that even mean?

  36. joannabanana says:

    Before I read the description, I thought the awkwardness was the boy receiving a 45th birthday cake.

  37. Amy says:

    YIKES!!! This is a crazy photo!

  38. David says:

    Not so much “age inappropriate” hair as “too damn close to the burny stuff” hair…

  39. Leroy says:

    What a photo!

  40. ValC says:

    That’s awful and hilarious at the same time.

  41. Chelle says:

    “Sharon, you look so HOT for 45… literally…”

  42. Mick says:

    “I see your hair is bur-nin’…”

  43. InvisibleWoman says:

    Age inappropriate hair?…

  44. It's me! Dee! says:

    For 45 you’ve still got it!! In fact, Baby, you’re on fire!!!

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