Midway

Hair Today

Why, oh why, does the reminder call about a hair appointment raise
questions about almost every aspect of my life? This is midlife
madness, or something. I didn't like the way it looked grey, but was I
colorless because I was sick? I like the way it looks now, but is that
really a good way to spend $150? (With the haircut, but still.)

There
is so much identity stuff wrapped up in it.

At
my lowest weight point of the great Don't Let's Call It a Diet effort,
in the late winter of 2008, after nine months of effort at taking
better care of myself that coincided with wearing my hear short for the
first time in years and grey for the first time ever, I posted a
picture on my previous blog, a picture I took of myself. I was on a
self-love campaign. I was also in the beginning of my first RA flare
and in pain I could not understand.

Grey bird

That's
the picture. I got comments. Oh, boy, did I get comments, including one
encouraging me to expand my self care to include a trip to the hair
salon, which was sad because I took this immediately after *returning*
from the hair salon, hair crunchy with product. Someone may also have
kindly suggested makeup, or maybe I'm just being overly sensitive in
memory. I definitely look careworn, something I didn't see clearly
then, but I couldn't sleep, so that has to be part of it. 

Suddenly I saw myself as colorless.

The next day I made an appointment to fix the one thing money and half an afternoon could change.

But every time I do it again, I feel weird about it. 

So,
the roots are apparent, the call came to remind me, and I say to Pure
Luck, "I'm having a moral, ethical, spiritual and financial crisis."

"Which one do you want to talk about first?"

"It's all one thing! My hair!"

He makes the Lurch noise. We will not be having this conversation. I take another picture of myself.

Brown bird 005


This is not the best of the six I took, but it's representative. If I
smile too hard, my crow's feet blossom! I like the "sun-kissed"
appearance of my cheeks, which was not created by artificial means. I
can't believe this happy person –and really, I am one–would be
horrifying if you put the grey hair on her, except maybe to herself,
now and then, here and there.

Do I let it happen?

The appointment is on Saturday. I'm tempted to change it to a hair cut.

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21 thoughts on “Hair Today”

  1. Well, I like the brown better, but that might just be me.
    Have you considered trying the product I blogged about last week (or something similar)? I am really happy with the results, and it really did not require any extraordinary skillz. I may even go in for a cut next week and forget the coloring and just keep at it with the root cover-up, as I reevaluate the cost ($100 for me, with tip).

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  2. Are you ready to have gray hair? I’m your age and I’m not ready. Maybe when I’m 60? The unreadiness may be a function of living here among the forever-young Angelenas. I don’t know. Maybe there are plenty of perfectly lovely and dignified gray-haired 40-somethings in Maine. If there are, I will move there and establish the first women’s hair color transition sanctuary and spa.
    I think your hair in the gray-hair picture is a cute style & looks fine. But I can’t tell you if you’re ready to be gray. I’m still clinging to the bottle over here.

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  3. What both pictures lack is the quality of your voice….I can not remember what color your hair was when we had lunch in New Orleans. It may have been green for all I know. But I do know this: Your smile was serene, your eyes were caring, and the conversation was wonderful….
    Just my $0.02

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  4. Two women I work with have beautiful white hair (and are 44 and 43!) *shrug*. You do look much happier in the second picture – do what makes you happier?

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  5. Oh, Songbird, I so agree that it is your warmth and your captivating smile that catches my attention. I do think the “gray” you is a natural and “cute” you! BTW, my hairdresser does a color, cut, style, AND a acrylic nail fill for the low price of $80. Not to mention the therapy session that is free of charge (two Christians who get together can be of help to each other in soooo many ways!) Want me to get you in?

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  6. I would also like to point out that the first picture is in the winter and the second in the spring/summer. The seasons might have something to do with it, my friend. I know that I always long for a change in the summer but tend to snuggle down & be content in the winter. Regardless, find what makes you happy – even if it’s in a bottle (of course, I prefer a different kind of bottle…but that’s a thought for another time). 😉

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  7. I was also going to note that in the first color there is a blank background – snow and shed and in the second, there are greens and browns. This can make a difference.
    My mom’s side of the family (and me too) all go grey prematurely. I am 31 and have been highlighting off and on since i was 25. By the time I am 35 it will all be grey, or so it happened with my mom and uncles. My stylist suggested highlighting rather than full on color – -you can stretch it longer and then when you decide the time is right to stop coloring, you can gradually shift away.
    The cuts look great on you though! It’s a good length!
    And I see what I know of you – your depth and compassion and love in your eyes, both places.

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  8. Well, you know what color my hair is….so take that into consideration, but I think you’d look beautiful grey…or brown. Do what will make you happy.

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  9. I’m a little ticked on your behalf that anyone would tell you that you need “a trip to the hair salon” or makeup. I like the way you look without makeup or hair color (probably because I prefer that look for myself toonot projecting at all, no, not at all ), but I would never say that you need to go gray or without makeup. Whichever way you like to look is the best look for you.

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  10. It really is more about how YOU see YOU and what you see when YOU look in the mirror. Do what makes your heart happy. Period. :c) I think you are beautiful either way, inside and out.

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  11. I so know what you are dealing with — I am right now in a “go natural” stage of my life. It’s easier for me in the summer, since I’m not “on stage” with school, and the sun lightens my hair enormously. I’ve gone about 40% gray in a bed of light brown hair. I feel I look colorless, washed out, and beige during the winter if I don’t add something to my hair. Summer time, it looks more streaky and sun-kissed, so much so that an artist at the state crafts fair remarked on my ‘gorgeous platinum” hair. (Of course he was trying to sell me an exquisite and expensive bracelet he’d made 🙂
    You have to please yourself. As so many have already said, do what makes you feel good. If you feel good, what else matters?
    P.S. Maine salons charge A LOT more than the salons here in southwest NH!!

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  12. When my hair came back it wasn’t the nicer, lighter gray like in your first picture. It was an awful dark steel gray. I couldn’t color it right away (chemo affects the hair and the color will react with the metal from the chemo in the hair or something). I highlight my hair cause I’m naturally blonde (well, I used to be). The first time there wasnt’ enough color, but I had my stylist put more color on last time. I’m not old enough to be gray and I’m 62! I get my hair done about four or five times a year (with lighter hair and highlights, the roots don’t show as much). It makes me feel so much better. I know that’s shallow, but I suppose I’m shallow.
    Do what makes you feel good. Some women look really good with their gray hair. Some women don’t.

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  13. There are so many wise and loving words here, I hesitate to say anything at all..I’m colouring, as you know, those even without there’s not that much grey about the place, – and that suits me, as I’m not ready to be grey yet. I think that’s the thing. If you’re feeling OK with being you at the moment, and using the money on hair care will bother you, – you’ll go on feeling OK about being you…If you’re in “glass half empty” phase, then now may not be the best time to make the change. I have to say I am staggered at the cost – it would ALMOST pay you to buy a cheap ticket to have your hair done here…and there would of course be other advantages 🙂
    I do think it looks really good at the moment…I like KP’s stylist’s idea that highlights allow a more gradual transition. What about that as a thought?
    You are, of course, lovely whatever you do with your hair xx

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  14. I don’t necessarily have any “advice,” just wanted to stop by to say that you look like a friendly, loving, caring person, and I would also defend you from any meanies who want to suggest any changes to your looks. That is YOUR business; no one else’s!

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  15. I’ve been prematurely gray since my thirties and I’ve only colored my hair once. I’ve found it too expensive and way to much work to keep it up. Anyways, I like the way the gray looks on me. Yes I’ve had negative comments about my hair, but that had more to do with the people giving them than the image that I was putting out into the world.
    I agree with the previous posters, do what will make you feel comfortable and what will make you feel good. The thing that impresses me about you is your inner beauty that exudes into your outer beauty. That is something a still picture from a camara cannot capture.
    Now my partner colors her hair red because she likes the way it looks on her, she got tired of brown hair. She dyes it herself and gets great results. I’m not saying you have to color your hair, you look great either way, however if you want to do it because YOU like the way it looks on you, then the do it yourself solution is another option for you.
    Peace and love,

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  16. Really…those commenters can bite me!
    You are beautiful no matter what.
    Differences between these pictures:
    First picture:
    You do not feel well and don’t know why, you are worried about it, you are tired, it shows.
    You are wearing a dark color and standing against a stark white snowy background.
    When I originally saw it, I thought, “What a great picture!”
    Second picture:
    You feel GREAT! and it shows.
    You are wearing lovely blue
    You are standing against a summer background of beautiful green.
    Conclusion: Grey would not look bad on you; the pic isn’t a good representation.
    What about using an online tool with a pic to see? http://www.stellure.com/
    I can’t wait until I have enough grey to go that way.

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  17. I think you’re beautiful Songbird… the rest is adiaphora.
    What makes you feel good? I sincerely think both looks are lovely on you, and you *should* go with what feels good inside.

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  18. Ah, I’m struggling with the hair color thing myself, so I hear your pain. Mine is brown at the back, mostly white in front. I had dyed it for years before I went off to seminary, then gave it up in a fit of frugality. Given the times I’ve been passed over for jobs because they want a young person, I keep wondering if the hair color gets in the way. And I look at these pictures and the brown looks so lovely, but more than anything else, in both pictures I see those incredibly beautiful big brown eyes, and the hair really becomes sorta irrelevant. Remind me of that, will you?

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  19. Speaking as one who just got her hair colored for the first time last week (to see if it helped tame the summer-time frizzies – answer, NO), I like the grey AND the brown.
    But I also really love crows-feet wrinkles. They are the footprints of smiles on your face, and really, what’s better than that?

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  20. What’s wrong with grey? It’s natural and can look great! I agree with what MaryBeth wrote .. and a lot of others. Do what is good for you. When you smile – no-one notices the hair colour anyway. A good cut is important if you can afford it

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