Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things on Thursday: Hair Style, or Lack Thereof

When I was little, I learned that hair matters. Other than memories of my dad demanding I never cut my hair, I remember watching my mom, aunt, and grandmother give each other home permanents...I can still smell that smell, in fact. I remember how my cousin Kathy wanted long hair but her mom, Linda, wouldn't let her grow it out. Kathy would take a single strand of yarn and drape it over her head to pretend she had long hair like mine. I remember harrassing my mother to stop dyeing her hair because the silver strands were so pretty and shiny.

Yeah, that last one came back to bite me in the butt years later when my own silver strands were so pretty and shiny.


Anyway, I used to have long, straight dark brown hair, which I put in hot rollers every blessed day of my teenage years. See?

The pretty lady in argyle is my aunt, the one who wouldn't let Kathy have long hair. I love her anyway. We share a birthday during the week of Thanksgiving, so our family photos of Thanksgiving always include a picture of the two of us cutting a cake. This particular celebration took place around 1980, in case you're too young to remember big tinted glasses and Dorothy Hamill haircuts. 

When cousin Kathy went to college, she grew her curly hair really long. When I went to college, I cut my straight hair very, very short. So short, in fact, that mom's patients would see my picture and would say, "My, what a handsome son you have!"

I eventually got tired of the gender confusion and grew it long again.

Then, when my dog Shemya died, I had it cut to medium length.

Then short again.

And there it stayed for the past 10 years, except for the failed attempt to grow it out a few years ago. It has changed texture as it's gone gray, and now, my head is full of stiff wires with a couple of weird flips that won't behave. On really bad hair days, it looks like this.

Jack took this picture a few weeks ago. He likes to pretend he wants to take pictures of me with my camera, but as soon as he snaps one, he pronounces it good and then takes lots of pictures of his own hands, feet, and face. We might get him a camera of his own for Christmas, and he can load a hard drive with photos of parts of himself. I will then be spared more pictures like the one above. Best Christmas present ever!

My recent obsession with Pinterest has made me want to do something about my hair. Lots of people pin pictures of gorgeous hair, celebrity hair, model hair. My hair cannot look like the hair in those pictures. Mine is middle-aged hair. Straight hair. Gray hair. Coarse, ill-behaved hair.

But that is hardly a reason for me to neglect it.

When I went to my stylist yesterday, I tried to tell her what I want to do, and she seemed skeptical. She knows hair well, and has cut mine for almost eight years. It will take a bit more growing out to get it where I want it (pictures to come in a few months!), but even she was surprised how much an improvement my new idea was. She told me my instincts were good, and that she needed to expand her own vision to be more creative in her work and encourage other clients to branch out.

I told her about Pinterest. She's eager to let that monkey climb on her back.

And hopefully, in a few months, I'll be able to put a picture of my new do on my Thankful Tree and feel like, at the very least, I've done my best for now.

We'll see.


  1. You are such a tease! I look forward to seeing this new 'do.

    Also, I loved the picture. I love old pictures. Especially old pictures that show wood paneling - that stuff takes me right back to my childhood.

  2. Love both photos. You are such a cutie pie. I've always disliked my hair - until it turned white it was auburn, thin and not attractive. I would love to have thick hair. I'd let it grow. Even though I'm old. John talked me into dying it red a few years ago. Big mistake. Not me at all. Enjoy your hair - it's beautiful.

  3. hilarious! i too, HAD wonderful hair - curly, thick, shiny and a ton of it, and i fussed all the time about it, dummy me. now i have old lady hair, not much grey but dull, falling out everywhere, and all the body went away! where i don't know, but i sure would like that hair back. now my hair is flat, no body, it sticks out funny and it is pitiful, sigh. well, at least there is still hair on my head. i am totally counting my blessings; i did get old enough to have "old lady hair", lol! and life is still wonderful! :D

  4. My kids and Jack could get together and compare their works of art. I have lots of photos that my kids took of their bodies, or the bathroom, or other things that no-one else would ever want to look at, LOL!
    I have also noticed the hair photos on Pinterest. For me, I haven't been particularly inspired yet, but have you seen those waterfall braids?? I, the totally non-braiding Mum, have learned to do waterfall braids on my girls. I showed my hairdresser and she told me she didn't know how it was done. So after more Pinterest research, I found a tutorial. :-) I love Pinterest!
    I think your hair was beautiful long and dark, and it is still beautiful with its pretty, shiny, silver strands. Can't wait to see the new style. :-)

  5. you're such a cutie pie! then & now! the only thing that's changed is your hair color, i swear!

  6. Your post sure brought memories. The last perm I had was 2 days before my wedding. Mom insisted I wouldn't want to wear curlers to bed. Went from long straight hair to short & curly. New hubby almost didn't marry me. Fast forward, Now I have long white hair that I don't wear down and won't let anyone take my picture. Tee hee Your look great. Honest. tfs

  7. I have wavy hair and once got a perm to try and control the wave. Big mistake. Wavy hair holds a perm until it grows out. I looked like a poodle until I cut my hair a year later. Next week, I'm going to have some highlights put in. It's like a big adventure for me because that perm was the last thing I ever did to my hair except cut it. Maybe I'll like it, maybe I won't, but one thing I've learned is that with hair, it will all grow out eventually anyway.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!