Hair – Part III The Finale

hair 2

2012. Shawn’s brain cancer diagnosis. The beginning of a 17 month journey where I was the primary caregiver. This process showed me how stress affects the body, and my hair began falling out in shocking amounts. I literally hated the thought of washing my hair because of how much I would see in the bottom of the shower.

2013. My hair needed some attention. In relocating from CA to TX, I had lost my trusted hairstylist. I had also forgotten about the humidity and heat. I needed it shorter and shaped up. There is nothing wrong with Super Cuts, or Great Clips, but due to a couple bad cuts, I don’t go to those shops. Ulta. Seriously, who can go wrong getting a cut from a stylist at Ulta?

I WENT WRONG.

The stylist cut my hair on a side part, and not the middle part as I had instructed. After the cut, I asked her to fix it, as it was going to cause me to have issues creating the homeless look. She fixed it alright. She just decided to cut it all off. I had taken my glasses off, as I always do during a cut, if I am not wearing contacts. Suffice it to say, that I was experiencing a mixture of shock and horror when I put my glasses on and looked into the mirror. I had wanted shorter, but not this short.

2017. If found myself at a crossroad. I hate Texas weather. The humidity makes me homicidal. The status of my hair again lies in a slight state of flux, thanks to the sign of impending pre-menopause. I had gone from red, to more blonde. I was happy with my hair, but the summer of 2017 found me growing more and more exasperated. If I haven’t already mentioned it, I don’t own a curling iron, flat iron, and prefer a “no maintenance” hair style. The humidity was causing the need to have 5 to 6 anti-frizz products added after shampoo. This task was to keep it from blowing up to the size of a lion’s mane just walking out the door.

After thinking about it for several weeks, and listening to the pros and cons, I made the decision to cut my hair off this past Friday. Also, I had been growing out all color for the past four months, and on Saturday, the day after my drastic cut, I impulsively went red again.

*sigh*

I literally laid in bed Saturday night and asked myself, “What in the hell have you done?!”

As I sit here and write this, my hair is the most comfortable feeling it has been in years. It’s ugly because I have no idea what I am doing with it, and it’s just willy-nilly. No, not in a cute way. Although I am loving it in the privacy in my own home, society deems me to figure something out, and figure it out quickly. Preferably before work on Monday morning.

I am out of my league. I regret the color. I should have stayed true to my “going gray” process. I feel less attractive. I know. I am almost 49 years old, and here I am experiencing a chink in my self-esteem because of my hair. I am going to CA in two months, for the first time in 3 years, and here I am with hair that has me in a current state of regret.

This outpouring of my thoughts isn’t to gain compliments. I am putting it out there, because I can’t be the only woman who feels this way sometimes. I wish hair wasn’t such a big deal. I wish we lived in a world where the outside appearance is more important than the inside. I feel for the girls growing up under such pressure to look perfect.

I think I am going to grow it back out, and and am definitely letting my hair color be as it is. It’s beautiful gray & white. The growing out is going to be a very long, and mind-numbing process.

Also, a very wise friend informed me that I just came off my “grief month” of July, and I should not make any drastic decisions re my hair, (or body) EVER, in July, and possibly for a month before, or after. I looked back at my photos, and guess when was the last time I had my hair cut off short – July 2014. After which I met my current, and amazing hair stylist, Lexie. Lexie, who after reading my status included with Part I, immediately contacted me and asked me what was wrong, and did we need to do something to my hair.

Things are starting to look up.

AGS

Side note: Lexie is now aware of my grief month and will refuse any and all insane requests during the specified time. She also had me in her salon chair Monday morning at 9 am, armed with bleach & toner. I’m not red anymore.

Jamie Lee Curtis, as God as my witness, I will never feel fraudulent again!

 

Hair – Part II

Fast forward to 1991. I am pregnant. My oldest son was born in September, so I was pregnant in Texas during the summer. I was unbelievably miserable. I had gained an enormous amount of weight, and my hair was to my shoulders.

I will never forget walking into a salon in Carrolton, Texas, sitting in the stylist chair, and announcing that I wanted my hair to be chopped off. A neckline cut. The stylist, whose face I forget, but whose response was so wise, “Are you sure you want to make this decision now? Why don’t you wait until after your pregnancy, and your hormones settle down?”

Yeah, I didn’t listen. I was miserable and had tunnel vision.

The only good thing I can say about the photos taken on the day of my C-Section, is that my lipstick looked fabulous.

It’s 2000. Regardless of photographic proof that I have no idea what to do with short hair, I once again had it cut neckline short again.

Nobody was throwing around the words, “biotin”, and “hair supplements” 17 years ago.

The photograph of me standing on the Great Wall of China in 2002, show that I was rocking a “full mushroom” as I grew it back out once again. If you like details, you will note that you have never, ever, seen my photograph of me with my sons on The Great Wall. That is how much I dislike my hair in those photos.

I don’t quite know when I started growing it out to one length, but by 2006, I was divorced, and understanding that hair played a large role in a woman’s sexuality. Men seemed to desire women with long hair.

Personally, I am not a fan of long hair. Try as I will, I cannot understand the big deal surrounding long hair.  My hair has never gotten to far past my shoulders. I hear women bemoan the lack of length, and see extensions as expected wear, constantly. I try to understand the fascination with it, but I never have. I am not jealous of the long-haired woman, so I don’t know from where my disdain of it comes from.  Maybe it’s from society’s adoration of long hair, and the feeling that you are less, because it’s something you do not possess. An attitude which incenses me, as many of societies beauty “rules” tend to do these days.

I can say without any hesitation, that I loved my hair in 2006. It was fabulous. Thankfully, I was confident enough to feel comfortable beginning my “homeless” hair style. Having it all one length made that very simple, and I didn’t own a curling iron, nor a flat iron. (flat irons weren’t a “thing” yet)

In the years leading up to 2012, I had ran the gamut regarding hair color. For the first time in my life, after my divorce, I had my hair highlighted. I was living in CA, and blonde is queen, and red not so popular then.

An overzealous, and partying hair stylist, over processed my hair to the point where it was destroyed. I remember my hair being destroyed, but men would tell me how beautiful I was as a blonde…

*I will note that I found a wonderful hair stylist named, Debbie, in a shop on Yosemite, in Manteca, CA after I took leave of my hot mess stylist.

AGS

*the finale is to come in Part III

Hair – Part I of III

blog on hair

*This blog entry ended up being almost 1700 words long, so I broke it down into three, bite-size pieces.

If you are a woman, and reading this, you know all too well the pressure we feel to have magnificent hair.

“Your hair is your greatest accessory.”

“I make hair contact before I make eye contact.”

“Gorgeous hair is the best revenge.”

“High fashion begins with great hair.” – Vivienne Tam

Those are just a few quotes about hair that I found online. It’s a big deal, this “crowning glory” that we females carry on their heads.

I, for one, have a very complicated relationship with my hair. I have a photograph of myself and my first dog, when I was 5 years old. It’s one of my favorite photographs. I am wearing a 70’s inspired polyester shirt with brown corduroy jeans. My hair is a glorious red, and curly.

Before junior high, my hair became a more strawberry blonde, and had become more wavy than curly.

In high school, my mother, whose own mother owned her own beauty shop, and was a beautician, would give me permanents. I graduated with short hair, bangs, and curls brought on by small rollers and chemicals.

Thankfully, perms went out of style. I spent college growing my hair to just past my shoulders. It was still the decade of the 80’s hair, and I rocked it as much as an unskilled hair owner could.

Let me back up a bit. Somewhere in junior high, I realized that hair was kind of a big deal. This posed a bit of a problem for me. I grew up playing football with my male next door neighbor. I learned to ride a small dirt bike, taught myself to ride a skate board because the same neighbor boy had one, and weekends found me on my Schwinn, exploring the woods and any creeks I could find.

The other next door neighbors were two girls. A few years older than me, but I vividly remember that they were always dressed so “girly”, took gymnastics, and their hair was always immaculate. Stacy & Christy were their names. After all these years, I still remember. I also remember that boys liked them.

Although my mother was the daughter of a hairdresser, and cut her own “Farrah Fawcett” hair for a few decades, she never taught me the ways of hair styling. Most likely because I showed zero interest in learning.

I never learned to braid hair, or fix my hair in various styles. Unless my mom rolled it, and I slept on plastic rollers, my hair pretty much styled itself until a little past puberty. I will note that my mom did make sure my hair was very presentable on Picture Day. (reading that back, I sound like I looked like a hot mess growing up, but I didn’t.)

My grandmother’s hair legacy to me was giving me this nugget of advice: “Never bleach your hair.”

Thankfully, things like “hair combs”, the “Banana Clip”, and “Scrunchies” were invented. Personally, the Banana Clip was my accouterment of choice for a couple of years. In college, I rocked a Banana Clip, 80’s bangs, and glasses with lenses so large that I looked like I had magnified eyes.

Continued in Part II

AGS