I have spent a lot of my life tied up in my hair. Sounds kinky, I know, but I don’t actually mean it that way. I was born with a full head of curls and my parents tell me that as they walked me down the street, people would glance in the stroller and do a double take when they saw all those curls. They were constantly stopped on the street due to those curls and people would stand and stare in wonder at the tiny little girl with the big head of hair.
As I grew older my mom would cut our hair; me, Matt and my Dad all had the same cut. I was a tomboy and looked a lot like a boy with that cut, something the other kids at school would tease me unmercifully over. When I hit the preteens, I officially banned my mother from ever touching my hair again, especially if scissors were anywhere in sight. I let it grow and when some punk ass kid at school showed up with Lice and shared the wealth, I remember sitting on the floor of my mom’s office while she picked nits out of my hair. The second time it happened she told me that one more case and she’d cut all my hair off. I think she was just frustrated, but I took it for the threat it was and even the tiniest itch would send me running to hide in my closet, tears flowing and mouth silently cursing the gods for being so evil to my pretty hair. She never had to carry out her threat. The gods must have listened to my curses and took pity on me.
My hair grew long and beautiful for the next 15 years of my life, with only occasional flirts with short styles. And by short, I mean shoulder length at the worst… nothing more dramatic than that. The first photo Mark ever took of me, he spread my hair out on the floor and climbed a chair to snap a shot of me giggling on the floor, looking up at him from this crown of locks, stretching out from my head like fingers of the sun. He loves my hair, loves my curls and we were both thrilled when Lily’s own curls started to swirl atop her head and twist around her ears, playfully tickling her.
Last summer, just weeks before we left for a three week road trip, I cut off all of my hair and donated about a foot of hair to Locks of Love. See here for the before shot (sexy pose, no?) and here for the after. It was a big shift and one I have never regretted for a minute.
But here’s the latest. I’m going grey. My temples are shot through with the offending color, adding years to my face. I’m not yet 30 and I am rapidly going grey. I always thought I’d go gracefully into such a transition, but um NO! I find myself standing at the edge of a metaphorical cliff, holding up a righteous fist and screaming “I will not go quietly into the night!” I can’t stand it. Mark says it’s not a big deal, that he doesn’t even see it but I see it. Every photo I see of myself, the grey jumps out and assaults my under 30 eyes, mocking me and causing way more distress than it should.
Yesterday, I sent Mark off to the store in search of henna as the regular hair dyes are a little too intense for my sensibilities while pregnant. He came back with something he claims is all natural, but it’s still too intense. I’ll have to go on a henna mission of my own if I really want to do this. And you know what, I really do. I always prided myself on my lack of vanity, but here it is folks: VANITY! I embrace and welcome it as I am just not ready to go grey. I don’t know what age will be “OK” to go grey, but I’m not convinced it’s in my 20’s (even if this is technically my last year of my 20’s).
I’ll post a photo after the deed is done and I have my self confidence back… assuming I find the stuff I need and it doesn’t do something crazy to my hair (I’ve heard that coloring while pregnant can have unexpected results) and I don’t have some weird hormonal attack, or I don’t have a total change of heart, or…?