Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And, speaking of hair...

Wasn't it Bette Davis who famously once said, "I'd love to kiss ya, but I just washed my hair"? Lately, I've been tossing and turning, trying to figure out if I should do something different to my hair: layer it more, get my bangs cut again, let it grow and leave it alone, or chop it all off up to my chin (like I did a few years ago when I was in graduate school). I stress about my hair, because I like my hair. It's soft, it's blonde, I can blow it out straight and sleek, or wash it and go...letting the natural curl take over, leaving it wavy and spiraly. I've commented lately to several people that I'm just going to cut it all off for the summer. This elicited emphatic responses, such as, "Oh no! You're hair is so long and pretty," and "If my hair was like yours, I'd certainly never cut it all off!" I definitely feel like I don't have too much going for me in the beauty department, save for my hair, so perhaps I should hang on to it, and just leave well enough alone. But, it gets stringy, and I have to keep it trimmed to maintain it's weight, texture, and shape. I get it highlighted around the top once or twice a year (not a big deal, since the sun takes care of the rest), but then I have to say to myself, "is it time to get some highlights, or should I just sit outside a bit this weekend?" I also worry about the hard water in my well and the damage it is doing to my hair. Am I using the right conditioner? Am I washing it too often, when I should really just be using a deep moisture treatment every other day? Are those split ends? Do I have any gray hairs (God forbid!)? Are you tired of listening to all this nonsense, already? So am I.

I was home this past weekend for Mother's day and I mentioned to my mom that I wanted to cut my hair (my mom, the constant champion of my long, blonde hair...as she kept my hair that way until I was physically old enough to toy with new textures, colors, and cuts for myself-- inevitably going back to my natural state of just plain long and blonde). I ran through the laundry list of pros and cons, and my mom finally looked up at me and said, "well, if it's that much of a struggle to decide what to do with it, why don't you just grow it a bit more, then donate it to Locks of Love?" I have friends who have grown their hair and then donated it to LoL. My hair dresser is actually a LoL recognized stylist. It would be so easy, to just go to Shannon and say, "I want to donate my hair, so tell me what I need to do, how much longer it needs to be, what I should do with my remaining hair when I chop it all off," etc. But all of this is so tiring. And, a bit obsessive, I know. How much better would it be to make a decision based upon something proactive, rather than based on something self-involved, vain, and self-centered?

So, I'm going to chat with my hair dresser this week about the possibility of donating my hair. When I pull it back into a ponytail right now, my longest layer is about 7-8 inches. It needs to be 10 inches to donate, so maybe at the end of the summer I'll have it long enough. And, when I say "have it long enough" I mean 10 inches from the nape of my neck to the tip of my hair. That means, when it gets cut, it GETS CUT OFF. Maybe even shorter than my chin. I'm ok with this, though. My one comment about my long hair is, "oh, well, I guess I should keep it long and blonde before it turns gray and all falls out!" Perhaps this is true, but I'd rather grow it long and blonde for a good reason, than one so conceited as all that. I don't think I'll be sorry, even should it start turning gray next year and never be the same again. That just shouldn't be important to me (and, in all honesty, I'm NOT THAT OLD, so there is no way that is really going to happen).

As Eugene O'Neill put it: "I used to think that getting old was about vanity - but actually it's about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial." I've decided to spend my time worrying about the people (and animals!) in my life, and not so much what I look like any longer. There's only so much I can do about the "outside" of me, but there is a whole lot I can do to make the "inside" better.

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