Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hair Wars

Let's go back to something really important today. Hair. Come on... we all obsess over it, don't we? Look at the time and money we spend on it, and the drama we go through when it just won't behave. I have thrown hair brushes at the mirror more than once. I've refused to leave the house on bad hair days. I've loved it, hated it, cut it, grown, it, braided it, twisted it, colored it, and put it in all sorts of terrible bedtime bondage, only to hear it go crrriiiinnnnng in the morning fog, and poof out like a tumbleweed. It's wild and unruly and has a life all its own, which I keep interfering with. For years all I wanted it to do was be long and straight and blonde. It mocked me by remaining frizzy and brown, no matter what length I hacked it to, and I was always amazed that other women would actually pay good money to have hair like mine. I even named my hair Loretta, for the Beatles song, "Get Back". I'm forever pushing  it out of my face, and saying, Get back, Loretta... It's been a very unhealthy relationship for a very long time.

It's only been in the last few years than I've begun to make peace with my hair. I finally learned that curls, these precious curls, are to be treated like fine fabric. Despite their rebellious appearance, they're much more delicate than straight hair, and tend to dry and frizz and break ever so easily. I learned that I should never "launder" my hair, but instead, should gently massage dirt away with buckets of conditioner, followed by more conditioner, and then a little more conditioner left in as a styling product. I trim it myself every couple of weeks. I've thrown away my brush, and no longer use a hair dryer. I just wait for it to dry on its own, which it knows how to do, all by itself. And finally, finally, after so many years of Hair Wars, I have called a truce. I didn't think it was possible, but Loretta and I are friends.

Since simplicity is the theme of my life right now, it makes sense to keep paring things down to to their essential best. So I'm taking it one step further. I think. I think I'm going to stop coloring my hair, and that's something I've proclaimed over and over again I would never do. But here I am, long before "never" has a chance to happen, tired of my hair being various unnatural shades of orange, purple, and black, and pretty sure all those chemicals I've been absorbing through my scalp can't be good for me. I'm not fooling anybody, except maybe myself. I've been slopping dye on my head for so long, I'm not at all sure what my real color is. I know there's some grey in there, but I'm going to call it "silver". It might look good. Who knows? And besides, I just really want to know what I really look like. Maybe there's something hiding on the inside that's been trying to get to the outside. Or maybe I'll just look old and tired and crappy...

I have sworn Rick to honesty at all cost. If I begin to look like a weathered old hag, he has the dangerous duty of sitting me down and telling me... Honey, it's time to talk to your friend Miss Clairol. He is Very Brave and has put up with a lot of hair silliness over the years. And long before I did, he liked my hair.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hats off to you Kim, I still don't want to see what is under the brown hair I have thanks to my stylest. My Mother does have silver hair and gets compliments all the time but I am too afraid that I didn't get those genes like I should have. So let us know how it works out! Beth

wileybead said...

Love, love, love your mantle of glory, as I call it, no matter what shape, style, cut or color. Having lost mine during chemo, I'm so happy to have it back. I swore I would never complain again if it would return. It did. I'm having to bite my tongue nowdays because it is fine, thin, unruly, curly, wimpy, dull, but nonetheless it's hair. Hip, Hip Hairray.........

Anonymous said...

Kim, your pictures always show really "good" hair. Rick is right. The only hair I really find objectionable is overprocessed stuff - too much intensity, like black black and screaming straw yellow or stuff that is dry and starchy looking. A good cut cannot rectify those mistakes :0. If I had curls I would have the very short Italian Boy type cut you had awhile ago. It looks practically indestructable but is probably dependent on a good hair cutter. Norine

Kathy said...

Believe me, wavy and straight and blonde is nothing to desire. I have been envious of your hair, those curls and rich color, every since I saw you at the Gathering in Portland, was that 2004! Aren't we funny creatures?

Kim Miles ~ said...

We ARE funny! I liked the short cut I had a couple of years ago, but it was actually harder to maintain, and had to be dealt with every single morning... This is my "African Princess" summer. I either twist it up with my big silver hair pin, or put it in a little puffy pony tail and add a colorful scarf to hold in the strays. It's cool and wind proof and might even look sort of elegant... if you squint your eyes just right. :o)

Anonymous said...

Go African Princess. I like that a lot :-). Norine

Ruth said...

Since I started graying at 12, that's right 12! I've dyed my hair every color under the sun. It was great fun! At 40 I finally had enough gray at the temples to let it grow out. I've enjoyed being "so young for gray hair" to "you look so young for your age." Just think of all the money I've saved over the years (30 years now!). Oh, I also cut my own hair because as I was graying, stylists had a very difficult time "seeing the line" with all the layers of different shades of gray!

Head up, shoulders back and enjoy being Queen!

Ruth