Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The humerous side of hair

Wanna see my hair?

Actually, that's not all of my hair.  There's about another foot of it that didn't fit into the picture.  A total of a little over 4 feet in all.  I'm not sure the last time I cut my hair (besides trimming the ends) but I think it was around 18 years ago.  I wore it short for about 5 years in my late 20s but other than that, I've had long hair all my life.

Mother Nature made me a natural blonde but I like playing with colors.  After my divorce, I was a redhead for awhile.  That was a lot of fun since I discovered Loreal's 7 day temporary colors.  I changed my hair color about every other week. 

When I tried Nutmeg, I knew that I'd found my happy color.  To be specific, it was Clairol #43.  It took two boxes to do all that hair but it was worth it.  It was such a pretty color..........dark brown with red highlights.  I loved it and happily put being a blonde behind me.  Bruce made jokes about artificial intelligence.   

I did notice one thing when I went brunette.  At that time I was playing in the corporate world and discovered that people took me more seriously when I was brunette then when I was a blonde.  Hmmm.  There's a whole different subject there about how appearance effects perception but I won't get into that now.

Where was I?  Oh, 4 feet of hair.  It was really thick and heavy and soft.  I took good care of it and there wasn't a split end on it anywhere. 

About a year ago I had to give up dying it because it got to be too hard to do.  Fortunately the dye I use is semi permanent so it faded instead of having a line where the dye ended.  So that wasn't a problem.  I figured I'd just let it go white and be proud of my long salt and pepper hair. 

But it's been getting harder and harder to take care of and even brushing and braiding it were really painful and so was the weight on my neck and head.  With the upcoming surgeries, I was really wondering how I could take care of all that hair for several months with only one hand.

After a great deal of thought I did what I had to do.  I cut it all off. 

Sitting in the salon chair crying like a baby was not one of my finer moments so we'll just skip on past that part.  I had the stylist braid it nicely for me and I'm sending it to Locks of Love.  That helps ease the separation.

So now I'm adjusting to having short hair again and it's been kinda funny. 

Bruce has never seen me as a blonde so he's had to make some adjustments.  We were in the grocery store and he went off to find something and lost me when he came back.  He wasn't looking for a blonde.

A clerk at the store called me "miss" instead of "ma'am".  That was nice! 

Running my fingers thru my hair doesn't take nearly as long.  I'll be saving a lot of time doing that now.  It's just sort of "ssspp" and it's done.  It's such a novel experience that I've been doing it a lot.  Just running my fingers thru my hair and thinking about what I can do with the extra 45 seconds that I'm saving on that. 

I don't have to locate my braid and shift it over the front of my shoulder when I go to the bathroom anymore.

Bruce isn't getting hit in the face with the end of my braid in the middle of the night when I roll over and flip it out of the way in my sleep.   He hasn't said but I'm sure he's a lot happier about not feeling like he's sleeping next to a horse with a hyperactive tail. 

The first couple of mornings I woke up and wandered into the bathroom, turned on the light, glanced in the mirror and went, "ACK!!!"  It wasn't the shock of not seeing my hair, it was the short hair standing up in spikes all over my head like it was trying to contact the mother ship!  It may take a little time to get used to that.

I braced myself to remember that it was gone the first time I shampooed it so I wouldn't freak out when I reached back to pull it up on top of my head in the shower.  That worked.  What I forgot was that all I needed was a teaspoon of shampoo instead of a quarter cup.  I almost drowned myself in all that lather!  I don't think that two inches of hair has ever been cleaned that well before! 

There's a certain way of dealing with long hair when you get out of the shower and if you've had hair past your shoulders, you know what it is.  If you've never had long hair, I'll explain it. 

Bending over at the waist, you towel dry the hair first.  That can take awhile and you have to stretch to reach it all, but a good towel rubbing gets most of the water out.  Dropping the towel, you bend a little further forward at the waist and your upper body compresses in on itself just a little bit like a coiled spring.  Your body shifts its center of balance down and you rise up just a little bit onto the balls of your feet. With a bit of a dip and a slight flip, you fling your upper body up and backwards, jerking your head in a backward arch.  This sends all the hair flying in a smooth movement upward and over your head, then completing the circle by landing against your back.  The weight of all that wet hair keeps your body in balance.  The whole point of this is to get your hair straight down your back without tangling and it works really well.

Okay, it works for long hair.

If your hair is only two inches long, it becomes something completely different. 

If the bathroom door hadn't been closed, I'd have flung myself clean out into the hallway.

I think I can be pretty sure I won't be doing that one again.    The funniest thing is that I could see the expression on my face in the mirror and it was hilarious. 
I miss my hair and probably will for a long time.  Long hair is like rings in a tree.  I can chart various parts of my life..........actually hold them in my hands..........by portions of my hair.  This segment was my divorce years, that segment was the happy time with a certain lover, another section is the years of re-discovery of myself and yet another is the time my life began anew with Bruce.  All those memories are part of me and always will be no matter how long my hair is, but in my hair I could hold it in my hands and feel as if I were there again.  More meaningful is having to admit that I can't do something that I've done all my life.  It feels like giving up a part of my independence and that's been a hard choice to make.

But all that aside, my new short hair look is lighter, feels good and looks good.  I'll play with being a blonde for awhile and then I might go back to being a redhead for awhile or I might do something with streaks.  Oh, and the other good thing is that short hair looks better with hats.  I'm a hat freak and have a HUGE collection of hats.  Everything from funky cowboy hats to velvet and lace 1920 flapper styles to a genuine 1910 velvet lady's riding hat from Paris.  I have bold hats and demure hats and elegant hats and chic berets and hats just for fun.  I haven't worn any of them in a long time because they just didn't look quite right with long hair so I'll be breaking out my hat boxes and rediscovering the fun of having people stare at me on the street.   

Maybe that's a good way to celebrate the life change of cutting my hair.  I think I'll head to one of the antique malls and find a new hat!


  1. What a fun read! Please be sure to post a pic of your new 'do, maybe in a fabulous hat too! ;-)

  2. Great post! I've never had hair as long as yours but I do love my short hair! Five minutes - wash dry done!
    Please do post a photo of the new you! So nice of you to donate your hair to a great cause!