"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Monday, August 11, 2008

Hair Apparent

I never thought I was obsessed with my hair. In retrospect, it would seem that my life revolves around it. But that’s not quite it, either. More like my hair revolves around my life.

When I was a toddler, I had a head full of platinum blonde curls. I’ve got the pictures to prove it. As time went by, my hair grew, longer, darker and lost the curl. Since then, I’ve tried all sorts of chemicals, perms and special shampoos but that natural curl remains elusive.

As a kid, I wore my hair long and straight. Well, it was straight except during those fateful years when the “Crimper” came in vogue. A side ponytail never looked so good, I tell you. But long hair was not always fun. I did not know how to fix it. On the rare morning when my oldest sister was willing to help, I had cute hair. Otherwise…well, it’s best we not mention it. So if I couldn’t fix it, why wear it long? Simple reason: my mother made me. She was the one who cut our hair and would never hack it all off when I asked. In fact, she insisted my sister and I keep our hair long. She loved to brush and comb and curl and twist our locks. She said it was relaxing. It must have been relaxing for her because I can remember many an agonizing moment spent at my mother’s feet as, wielding a brush and bobby pins, she worked out her frustration. It might have been my dad she was mad at but my hair took the brunt of it.

High school and I rebelled, so my hair had to reflect that. I permed it. Had the latest in tiny little spiral twists all through my heavy locks. Finally, my morning routine was easier, except for those mornings when my hair was wet. I never knew hair took so long to dry! But if I didn’t show it some attention, it would get it’s revenge for my neglect by frizzing. And no teenage girl wants frizzy hair. Still my hair was a great source of pride; not when I tried to coax it into some ridiculous style, but because I had it. The cancer treatments that would have taken my hair were passed over by my doctors. I got to keep those crazy, wavy, brownish-blonde locks. As much as I whined about them, I couldn’t have been happier.

By the time I was in college, the platinum blonde was spent. Now my hair was deemed “dishwater blonde.” Dishwater? Dishwater? I never did like doing the dishes. But there was something else that happened then: a broken heart. If I couldn’t change the heartache then maybe there was something else I could change. All my memories with my former sweetheart were of a blonde me. I decided that if I wouldn’t be blonde again, then maybe I’d try something else. The box said Medium Brown #9. It wasn’t. More like Brownish-Red #88. And I spent the next two years with red hair, quite by mistake. Unfortunately, my head full of long red curls, my pale skin, penchant for dark lipstick and a mega-blockbuster movie about an ill-fated cruise ship all combined to earn me the nickname of Kate Winslet.

My red hair and me married. Not each other, of course. Don’t ask about my hair on my wedding day…but I will say that I wasn’t always crying from joy. It was only a matter of time before I straightened out the perm and found a professional stylist, who did indeed give me Medium Brown hair, even if it wasn’t #9.

When the kids came along, I did what all moms tend to do when there are chubby hands grasping at stray locks: I cut my hair short. Then I spent another two years trying to grow it back out. After so many years, I found my hair permed again. Going back to my roots – HAH! – I instructed my faithful stylist to give me back my youth in the form of blonde hair.

So it seems to have come full circle. Here I sit, older (much older), a little wiser, and with kids of my own, but still, proudly showing platinum blonde curls. I’ve grown up; I’ve grown out. And the hair is still very much a part of how I see myself. I still can’t style it to save my life but the good news is that I have a brush, bobby pins, and a little girl with long blonde hair.

What do you love/hate about your hair?


Amanda said...

I wish we had pic's to go with all of this!!!!

Jessica G. said...

Surprisingly, I cannot find a lot of pictures of me from before I got married. Sorry!

Nat said...

Did you dye your hair blonde? That would be intersting to see. I am the exact opposite. I hate my naturally curly hair. With every baby I've had, my hair has gotten curlier. When my hair meets humidity, I look like Diana Ross...a white version. I straighten my hair every day.

Your last SOS inspired my latest post. Thanks!

Kristie said...

You sure have done a lot of things to your hair!!!! :) I have never done anything to mine except to cut it! Mine has morphed too...gone much curlier since having kids. Most of the time no one call tell though since it is just up in a ponytail. I don't really mind the brown that mine has become. I guess that I just figure no one is really looking at me except my hubby and he likes my hair the way that it is, so it suits me fine. :)

Jo said...

I like my hair, it is really thick. I am not really pleased that I am going gray and have only recently started dying it to cover the gray. You have very pretty hair, so I can see why you are proud of it, you should be.

Emma said...

My hair has lost some curl with the birth of each child :( I love that I have thick hair. But I wish I could have a stylist fix it every morning for me.

I wish you had pics for our viewing pleasure!

Diane said...

I can't wait to see your fabulous do! My mom always wanted a daughter with platinum blond curls. She got two red heads instead. Ah...well..as my blond brothers always reminded me..."I'd rather be dead than be a red head!" (yes, it was a painful childhood)

Tim and Angie said...

Wow, I can really relate with the above post. My older brother picked on me a lot due to my red hair. I grew up believing that if you were a red head, it automatically meant you were homely. I love the color now, but I still struggle with a style. It is just curly enough to be trouble, but not curly enough to be cute. It's a love hate relationship.

Lyn's Musings said...

I have my hair cut short now, just at my shoulders. My naturally wavy hair, gets dragged down if its any longer. I'm still blonde, but would really like to be the Strawberry blonde that I was. Maybe if I wasn't a vampire, and could get outside in the sun, it wouldn't be a problem, but it is...and so there you have it.

I am glad you decided to be Natural again!

AmShaZam said...

When I was young, I lived in humidity and my curly, curly hair had a mind of its own. But now that I live in the desert, it's a bit more tame. I used to hate it and try all kids of crazy ways to straighten it. But now I've embraced the curl.

And I love this Hairpiece you've written, by the way! (Get it? Har, har.)

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