The Power of Hair

Not this color. But I like it!

As of today, I have new hair.  Well, not new hair.  It’s highlighted.  And now, I can conquer the world.  Or dinner.  Either-or.

Men don’t understand this phenomenon.  My husband, God love him, cuts his own hair with an electric razor.  He has very curly black hair that turns into a fro if left to grow past a couple of inches. Don’t worry!  He uses a mirror to get the back.  I sometimes cut the back, too, though I have been known to sometimes make…divots.  Don’t judge!

There’s a reason, however, that there’s a whole musical about hair.  It’s a statement. The Apostle Paul talks about hair and head coverings in his infamous passage in 1 Corinthians.  He says women’s hair is “their glory”.  And advertisers know this. How many shampoos/cremes/gels, etc. are there out there?!

My mom used to brush my hair and put it into either ponytails or braids for school.  I remember crying and hating it.  The finished product was okay, but I always had “rats” in my hair, on the ends.  Brushing was torture. But it was the 70s.  Long hair ruled.

My hair was long and tangly until I was 9. It was almost 1980, when short hair for women seemed to be making a comeback.  My then-stepmother thought it would be great if I got it cut.  I did.  Then, it got a bit wavy.  Then she got me a perm.  I looked like a chubby, brunette bespectacled Orphan Annie.  Not a good look for me or anyone else. My hair holds curl really well.

Once I hit puberty, it was definitely curly.  I do remember curling my bangs in junior high and trying to make my hair feather.  It looked great on the right and the left was a lost cause.  I never had a problem with volume.  Nope. Aqua Net hairspray?  Oh, yeah!

My junior year of high school, I got tired of my hair.  I cut it off – mostly.  My class pictures show me with basically just Ken-like hair, waves undulating straight on my head.  What possessed me?!  Why did I do that?  My classmates made fun of me to my face.  I didn’t get it.  I thought they were actually complimenting me on my haircut.  Not!

My senior year, I let it grow out into something like a bubble-cut.  It looked okay.  Looking at my senior pictures now, since my parents have them on display at their house (eek!), the cut looks matronly.

I grew my hair out when I got engaged.  It reached the middle of my back.  I looked like something out of a bad rock video.  My hair stylist for the wedding put my hair up in a bun.  A bun!  I grew it out for 14 months!  After the wedding, an asphalt-covered rock got stuck in it while I was driving in the car.  It got kicked up from the road.  Then, a bee got caught in it and stung me.  And then, to add insult to injury, somebody asked me when I was starting 8th grade.  Time for a haircut!

The 90s were a bad hair decade for me.  Straight hair ruled.  I didn’t even try to straighten mine.  A couple of times I blew it dry and did the roundbrush thingy, but it still looked weird.  Not me, sorta halfway me.

Obviously, I didn’t know what looked good or how to get the most out of my hair.  I am not a hair person.  I had roommates who had that gene.  They’d go into the bathroom, hair sopping wet and looking like a bedraggled dog.  They’d emerge, hair like a golden crown, glorious and wonderful atop their head.

And yet – I don’t want to spend 30 minutes or 2 hours tweaking, brushing, curling, straightening or anything.  I am finally at a point where I realize 1) It’s curly! 2) I can straighten it, utilizing both heat and chemicals and 3) I like it but know it’s temperamental and has “seasons”.  It doesn’t like shampoo.  It doesn’t like most styling products.  It is a barometer. I need to respect it and work with its limits.

Today, I really like the highlights.  I’m older now, and I think of gray as a “highlight” also. Proverbs calls gray hair “the crown of the aged”. It’s actually kind of a pretty silver, and it’s coming in in streaks.  I’m not ready to be totally silver/gray.  Someday, maybe. I figure I earned all those hairs.  Hopefully, I’ve gained some wisdom along the way, too.

But not today.  Today, I am a goddess.

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