Sunday, May 30, 2010

Hair There and Everywhere!

Only God, my dear, 
Could love you for yourself alone 
And not your yellow hair.
~W.B. Yeats

I never really gave it a whole lotta thought until lately,  and lately it's been on my mind constantly, but my hair is a big part of my identity.  I suppose it always has been.   When I was little, it was down to my butt, and shiny and blonde.  When I was nine years old, my mom cut it into the then popular Dorothy Hammel  wedge cut (basically a bowl cut) which meant that she took off about 9 inches!   Devastation is the only word to describe how I felt.

 Then came the Eighties,  and I was all about the New Wave Eighties hair movement.

 From then on, MY hair, was how I expressed MY individuality.  MY identity.  I have been every length,  cut and color you could imagine.  I have been, long,  short  ,

  (okay, not this short, but close), and in between.   Believe it or not, I even rocked a bright pink and blue Mohawk!

By nature, I am dirty blonde but I have been strawberry blonde, copper penny red, blue-black, and light brown.   I have even been Paula Deen white. 

I have had many an unfortunate accident that resulted in pee yellow, icky green or cal-works orange until I could arrange for my savior (hair stylist extraordinaire)  to save me from myself and correct the color I never seem to get right when I do it myself from the box, and yet....I never seem to learn.  I always fall prey to the do-it-yourself hair color aisle and all of the shiny boxes with their promises that this box will deliver the prettiest, longest lasting most luminous blonde, red, something in between hair color for the low low price of $9.99. 

A good hair day, can make the worst of days tolerable.  A bad hair day can make the happiest of days drag by.  This is not news.  A good hairstylist is like gold.  Feeling bad about yourself?  Feeling fat?  Ugly?  Stupid?  Got a big zit?   Been dumped?  Get a new haircut!  Change your hair color!  It is that simple.  

But be careful....a love affair with hair can break your heart.  I was unprepared for this heartbreak.  

A year or so ago, I cut my long hair short.  After years of having short hair in many colors, I married my husband, and my long blonde hair.  My husband loves long blonde hair and I love my husband.  And it was a great big ego stroke that he looked at me adoringly and told me I was beautiful several times a day, so it was not a big hardship.   There was no discussion, he never said,  "grow your hair long or I won't like it" , in fact, my hair was only slightly more than chin length at the time, I just knew he liked long hair, so I grew it.  

But as time went on I was working full time, and (although I didn't realize it at the time) getting ill, and taking care of my long hair was becoming tiresome.  I had such fond memories of my short colorful past and made several comments.  I was most likely very annoying.  It was extremely hot at the time as I recall, and we were watching Wife Swap, and one of the wives had a cute funky haircut. I commented about it, and to my surprise, my husband said "ya, it's cute, why don't you cut your hair like that?".   Well that's all I needed!   The very next day we were off to my mother in law's in Santa Maria (110 degrees that day!) and I had me a Short Hair magazine, that I poured through the whole four hour trip, and an appointment (thanks to my niece)  with a fantastic hair stylist (Scottie Moore, Santa Maria California).  When my niece and I walked in with the picture of the cut that we (the Hubs and I) had finally settled on, a very short, very rock star cut, Scottie looked like he was either gonna pass out, or run away screaming.  Here is an (almost) 40 year old woman, with very conservative long hair, wanting to cut it all off  and go rock star (and I admit, my niece did have to bring me a thermos of wine, I did after all have my long locks for 12 years)!  But after another 4 grueling hours in the hottest (both senses of the word, remember, 110 degrees) I was rocking the cutest cut I have ever had.  I went back to the Casa with butterflies in my stomach and aside from a huge outburst from my mother-in-law (gotta love her, she speaks her mind) and a new nick name from my nephew (Uncle Bob/George), the reviews were good overall.  Better than expected.   However......

I was downgraded from beautiful to cute.  Cute is not so bad, but let's face it, once you've been "beautiful", "cute" is a downgrade.  It was gradual, and I didn't notice at first.  I loved my new look.  It was freeing.  It was funky.  It was easy, and cool in the heat.  I felt like a rock star.  I felt lighter.  And for a while I thought my husband finally liked short hair.  And then I started to notice the downgrade.  And it became and issue.  I think he took it personally, my wanting to look different than I knew he liked.  And to be fair to him, he didn't know the me that played with my hair (except for color, he is very familiar with her).  To him it must have seemed like I moved out and another woman moved in.  And I took the downgrade personally, like he did it on purpose.  And even though he still told me I was beautiful occasionally, I couldn't help thinking it was only because I complained.  It was a little heartbreaking.  We had many discussions, some not so civil.   But then, the upkeep of short hair began to wear on me, you have to go more often for the trims, etc., and the pictures of my former self in long blonde hair made me nostalgic.  And he is the one I want looking at me, thinking I'm beautiful after all .  Nothing makes me happier actually.  So I decided to grow my hair.   And hear is where the love affair with hair breaks your heart.

I've been growing my hair out for about a year.  But instead of growing out, She's falling out, traitorous bitch.  Not just a little bit, not like "everyone loses 100 strands a day" kind of falling out.  She won't grow, she falls out in the shower, reducing me to tears.  Great sobbing tears.  I know why, I have Lupus, and I take a medication for it.  Both make your hair fall out.  So I've stopped blow drying, started using special shampoo and taking special vitamins.  But my identity if falling out of my head! AHHHH!  My poor Hubby has not known what to say but has been wonderful and supportive.  It has become painfully obvious over the last few weeks that growing my hair is not going to be an option, but neither one of us has really admitted it.  Until now.

The other night,  the Hubs told me to get a rock star hair cut.  My response was childish.  I said " I'm not gonna be downgraded again!  No way!"   He said, "if you cut it, you won't have to worry so much about it falling out, you won't be so stressed about it".   Still pouty, I said, "I'm not gonna cut it until I have no choice".  But I'm already at that point.  I can't keep bawling in the shower because I just got a big ole' handful of hair.  I'm crushed to know that I have to cut my hair.  It's only hair, but god damnit!  I don't want to cut it unless I want to cut it.  But my husband was giving me a gift, telling me that he loves me and will love me even with short hair.  I will be gracious and accept that gift, and I hope if he reads this, he will read the apology between the lines for not being exactly gracious at the moment in which he gave the gift.    I just hope he remembers that if the time ever comes that I need a Dolly Patron wig,  he's gonna have to get me some Dolly Parton boobs too.

Now, I'm gonna need some help picking out that cut:  


  1. Love you Mama! I like the picture in the middle in the last row the best. But could totally see you rocky out Dolly Parton style. Lol.

  2. Well, those were my two choices, the middle of the last row and Dolly :) xoxoxo

  3. Stopping in from the Lady Bloggers tea party and what a wonderful post :) I, too, have always identified myself by my long, red, curly hair so I can completely understand where you're coming from. That being said, I love your courage and your hubby's unconditional support. The second to last cut is my favorite (the cute, blonde pixie cut). Much luck to you and let us know how it turns out!

  4. I am here from the lady blogger tea party and though I am a brunette my trademark has always been long straight dark hair.

    I have dyed it a few different dark shades, gotten some cool reddish highlights and a few different cuts like layers or bangs but it has always been 'me'

    Personally I never want to cut my hair again after being forced to in the 5th grade. Never again! I am sure you will find a great short cut and look wonderful though! :)

  5. Fantastic post! Enjoyed your blog (randomly foudn you on the Lady Blogger list!)

  6. Gosh thanks ladies, all the support is much appreciated!

  7. I'm so sorry that you are going through hair loss. It must be awful for a woman.
    The best advice that I could give to any woman about beauty is that if you have a husband whose eyes pop evry time that you drop or flick your long hair, NEVER cut it off! There will probably be a huge, semi-conscious drop-off in compliments after it's gone, after the initial change wears off, anyway. Color it maybe, set it, but stay away from shears. Many blessings to you and your family. I hope that your hair comes back thick and lush for you, whether it's long OR short. Ron