My friend, and hairdresser, instructed me on the eve of my fiftieth birthday that there was no way in Hades that I could continue wearing my hair as I was wearing it after I’d reached the big 5-0.
I like my hairdresser, but I ignored her. Her advice was unsolicited albeit well intended. I suppose she was trying to save me from myself but as far as I was concerned, I didn’t need saved.
I politely thanked her but didn’t capitulate and allow myself to be coiffed and shorn into a more presentable ‘matron.’
I wasn’t sure what the 50-year mark represented to her but, apparently, something along the lines of ‘Cut that hair, tamp it down and start behaving yourself, woman!’
I am now 58 and have continued to wear my hair as I’ve worn it the past twenty-plus years. It is unmanageably curly at times and other times it’s simply wild and bushy. I yank it up on top of my head and call it a day. My friend calls it my “F-k, you” hair.
My hairdresser categorically denies ever instructing me to cut my hair. She did. I have a big memory under this big hair. She has done an about-face and is now my staunchest defender and ally in the war of the mane, which is rich and ironic because she was the first to say it had to go. She now vigorously defends my right to have disobedient locks.
When I told her that I’d received an anonymous letter-complete with before and after drawings of my hair and me-sent to my office, with a comb attached (did this person actually think I could get a comb through this hair?) and a suggestion that I might use the comb-my hairdresser took great umbrage over this. I merely laughed, framed the letter and put it on display.
My hair is not spectacular hair. It’s just messy hair or an attractive nuisance, as my lawyer friend says. Another friend claims, “Big hair, fast women.” Big lie, I chortle.
My hair is not a lethal weapon. Truly. It minds its own business and never strays far (well, not that far) from my scalp. And it IS attached to my head. One woman yanked on it to see if it would come off. Ouch!
It is not a political statement. It’s simply the hair that I was born with, struggled with, fought against for years, and then came to terms with long ago and stopped trying to corral.
The hair has come in handy at times. My daughter used my hair as the department store mother-finder when she was younger and would get separated from me. The hair does have some functional value.
Some people actually like it. The only thing that my 28-year-old son has ever said he liked about me is my hair.
If my detractors think, my hair looks wild when it’s pulled up on top of my head, they should see it when it’s released. My two-year-old granddaughter instructed me, in no uncertain terms, to, “Put it up” when she saw it hanging down. I’m pretty sure the sight of my boisterous, unkempt hair scared her. The look of horror on her face was my first clue.
Hair: Why does it carry such a powerful punch? Don’t know. However, the Cowsills knew. Hair, hair, hair, hair, flow it, show it, long as God can grow it …my hair!