Saturday, October 03, 2015

People who love my hair and people who do not.

I just ran the clippers through my hair. It's my every-two-week routine: pass a pair of clippers with a #3 guard over my head, then fade out the sides and back with a #2. Then, carefully, measure out an ounce each of color and developer and apply it to the stubble on my head and let it rest for twenty-five minutes. When I remember, I dye my eyebrows as well. My eyebrows have gone white, as has the hair at my temples and the nape of my neck, and it's nice to have at least an outline to pencil in in the mornings.

Here are the people who love my hair:

1. Black women of any age. "Rockin' that 'fro, Boo" is what I hear from Friend Lisa at work, and I hear its equivalent from other Black women of varying ages, all day long.

2. Black men in their 60's. On Sundays when everybody comes to visit their fellow parishioners in the hospital, Black men Of A Certain Age are complimentary of my buzzcut.

3. World War 2 veterans of any ethnicity. It's surprising how many centenarians and men in their 90's comment favorably on a woman with really, really short hair.

4. Punks, people with excessive numbers of tattoos, and people with piercings in places you wouldn't necessarily want piercings. The fact that I have no hair breaks down barriers.

5. White women who've had cancer and who miss the ease of a buzz, but who hate the psychological implications of no hair. I can totally understand that. After my surgery, I grew out my hair to prove to myself I could, then cut it off on my 43rd birthday because I hated having to keep up with it.

And here is a comprehensive list of those people who hate my hair:

1. My dad. Bless his heart, I don't think he'll ever imagine me with anything but the curly, wild, shoulder-length red hair that I had in my early 20's. I feel bad for him. Not only is curly, wild, red hair a distraction and a pain in the ass to take care of, it's just. Not. Me.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days when Beloved Sister took a picture of me, all hair blown by the wind, on the beach near San Francisco. What that picture doesn't show, though, is the stress and horror of being in California when I didn't want to be, the stink that came from my hair not reacting well to California water, and the exhaustion of trying to keep together a marriage that was coming apart.

Mom is undecided. I think she thinks something chin-length with waves might be more flattering, but she understands the discipline of long hair and why I can't deal with it.


CrowsCalling said...

I love your hair, I hate that I can't run my hands over it like a bowling ball.

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Add me to the Love it list.

Mick Anderson said...

Hair; an easy way to invite other people to make lazy assumptions. Mine's generally over collar length, still dark. I wear whatever jeans come to hand, shirt sleeves, a leather jacket in winter months, only shave a couple of times a week. I do clean-but-scruffy, no matter how important the meeting. Put me in an Armani suit and it looks like I've stolen it.

I'll be the one sitting slightly to the side, not saying much until I've pulled apart whatever piece of technology the (potential) customer has brought along. With a penknife.

Eccentric, or just an engineering type aging slightly disgracefully?

clairesmum said...

your head, your hair, your choices. you've made lots of different ones, and probably will continue to do so.
kinda neat how this style helps you make a connection with groups of people who might not otherwise have much in common - centenarians and punks.

RehabRN said...

Rock it, girl!

I'd totally buzz my wavy, wild locks if I could lessen the gargantuan melon head my beloved mother passed along with her wild Irish black locks with a gentle touch of Italian wavy-wavy thrown in.

The father with the wild, curly blond locks didn't help the equation either. Alas, the old ladies know what they like!

Shash said...

Late comment by someone who just discovered your blog. Put me in the love category. A friend of mine discovered really short hair when hers started growing back after chemo. It's never been longer than 1-1/2 inches since and it's been 25 years now. I remember what she looked like with longer hair but the buzz cut is so much more her practical, personal style.

Urbie said...

How big a deal is it to dye your eyebrows? Mine are starting to turn white, too -- for now, I'm still juuuuuuuuust on the cusp of having to do anything about it, where I can still snip out individual white ones, and the rest of them are still my natural dark brown. But something's gotta give pretty soon -- in the tech industry, white eyebrows are career death; not gonna happen. Is it something I can do myself, or should I leave it to professionals who know what they're doing?

Jo said...

Urb, get you some Just For Men beard dye in a shade or two lighter than your hair color and follow the instructions on the box. That'll do it. It's foolproof (provided you go a shade or two LIGHTER) and wears off gradually. You can also lighten the color, if you hate it, with one of those acid-based face washes or a Clearasil pad.