Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm Going To Do It - Again!

This is scary.  Really scary.

I haven't had my hair colored in years.  I have so much white hair in the front, and it grows so fast, that I just could not keep up with it.  Roots always showed within a few days.   But this time I am going Bonnie Raitt and leaving the white in front.  I'm only 54 and I think my hair is making me look older than I am.  I have wrinkles and such but I have light fairly good skin that with continued weight loss (down 15 lbs from May) and slightly younger looking hair should take at least 5 years off my apparent age.  Or, that is what I'm telling myself!

Here I am now:

And another pic will be forthcoming tomorrow.

I am so not a Fashionista, but I have some vain tendencies that I have had to squelch in order to live according to my ecological and economic principles.   So this is disconcerting for me.  If you read this, tell me it is okay.  I'm serious, I have moral qualms about doing these kinds of things. 

The first hurdle I had to vault, many years ago, in my early 40s was even going to a hair salon or spa. I managed to get myself through the front door of a nice salon a little over ten years ago. 

Up until that time I had only been in a salon on a few occasions.  The first was when I got a pixie cut that was hideous.  It was way to short and sharp for someone with as long and sharp of features as I had, even in 5th grade.  The second was when I had my hair "set" for my eighth grade picture. Here is the picture - for the ages of me with the rest of my class - circa 1971.

Second row Second from right, the one with long dark hair.
The third was when a girlfriend in high school convinced me to get my hair cut for my senior picture at a mall salon in which her sister worked.   It turned out okay. Although my stoic midwestern ancestory is a bit too evident in the pic for me to want to track it down.  It was just between chin and shoulder length tapered a bit longer in the back than front and brushed under just a bit.  It was a long Page Boy.  No bangs. 

I have had problems whenever I strayed from my basic Cher Hair as I referred to the long, lustrous dark hair that I loved having most of my life. 

The next times were the last two hair professional hair cuts I had for the next two decades. 
Dorothy Hammill and her original Hamill Wedge. 

The first time, when I tried to have the cut from the senior pic  recreated and I ended up with a Dorothy Hamill haircut, aka the Hamill Wedge, that was almost as tragic on me as the pixie cut from 5th grade.  Thank heavens no images from that time remain.  That was the summer after high school graduation. 

Honey Huan from Doonesbury. 

The straw that broke the camel's back was when I was a sophomore at Purdue and some psycho stylist made me look like Honey Huan. My now Hubby still laughs and loves to recall the time went through my Vietnamese militant period as he calls it and I wore black work boots, denim overalls and had a hair cut that did look like Honey's.  However,  Honey is Chinese. 

I so hope tomorrow goes well.  I don't think I can stand another travesty of hairdom.  And after not going into a salon for decades, I had more than a bit of awkwardness at not knowing salon culture.  I felt like I was a foreigner in a strange land who speaks not a word of the language. 

This time I am more prepared for the culture immersion.  I am an anthropologist by training, I can do this.  I will never be able to replicate the favorite time and hair of my life when joy was everywhere and I really did not care how I looked -- but I think Momma and child both looked pretty happy.  

We will see if I can't find a new favorite for my I'm Done Nesting phase of my life. 


  1. I look forward to seeing the "after" pictures! How funny that you went through a Vietnamese militant phase... and still get teased for it! It could always be much worse... there was a year I refused to buy anything clothing over a $1. :)

  2. Will post one soon, but I'm off to see Harry Potter with the Hubby. And I STILL love a great find on inexpensive, human and animal friendly clothing!

  3. Last year, I went to the salon and told the stylist, "Cut off everything that has artificial color on it."

    She looked at me with one eyebrow up and said, "Everything??"


    I left there with really short hair. Add to that the fact that my hair is naturally corkscrew curly and the overall look was, well, kind of like an elderly librarian. I was 48 at the time.

    After just a few weeks of trying to like it, I colored it again, but only with the stuff that washes out after about 30 washings. The goal was to grow it out until there was enough there to be able to call hair again and then let the color wear away and be gray.

    A few months ago, it reached the point where I felt comfortable to stop coloring my hair. Because I'd used only the semi-permanent stuff, the brown is fading gradually, rather than having that wicked brown/white line that I fought before. It hasn't all disappeared yet (I called Clairol and they said that with repeated applications, it can take longer for the coloring to be completely gone, but it will eventually work its way out), but I have to say that I'm learning to love the gray.

    I've also stopped blow-drying the crap out of my curls in an effort to get them to behave. I'm wearing my crazy gray curls and loving them. For the first time since childhood, I'm friends with my hair. I'll be 50 in December, so it's about time.

  4. i'm so not a real girl. the first time i had my hair cut professionally, i was about 40. i've never colored it (though i've dyed in a blue streak a couple times).

  5. I have been sooooo bad. Not responding. But I'm remedying that right now!

    Magpie.... you are a very real girl. You have an amazing image on your cards and it is obvious you take your creativity very seriously. We all learned in the Velveteen Rabbit, if not elsewhere, that love not appearance is what makes us real.

    I'm so freaking glad you made your way here!

    If the truth be known, I'm reinventing myself because of health concerns and will do anything that is not overtly harmful and gives me a boost to exercise, eat less, and or just be more active including "feeling" a bit younger. Silly, perhaps, but it is working.

  6. Word Nerd, I am still laughing when I read your post as it strikes so close to home. I had my hair CHOPPED off short short short in 2004 for a similar reason. My straight, Cher hair, will not take a curl even with severe and repeated applications of heat and product. I love the silver in my hair. If wishes were horses I might take being 24 with dark hair and no excess body fat for a day or two, but I am comfortable with some silver and really like the person I am right now. I am just not ready to not have, in my own mind, beautiful hair. I think the mixture of gray to brown just wasn't of my liking. And hurrah to your gray curling self. I'm not into high maintenance anything as we all have so much to do at this point in life!

  7. Jesse I will still post a pic. I swear, but when I sit at this computer I'm always either, half dressed, uncombed, or drinking copious amounts of coffee so as to look and feeling less bleary eyed.


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