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Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

I'm having a bad hair year

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I hear many people talking about not wanting to attend a certain function because they are having a "bad hair day." I always had trouble accepting that as a legitimate excuse. One bad hair day is easily fixed with a quick wash or set. But what do you do about a bad hair year?

It seems like no matter what I do, the results are less than I wanted. I know I should be happy that I have fairly ample hair. And it is only a little bit gray. But it just lays there. All my life I envied two of my sisters who had wavy hair. It wasn't really curly, but just had nice waves. They could swim, wash their hair, or be outside in a strong wind and with a quick comb, they had beautiful hair.

When I was a teenager there was a popular song about a woman who looked so beautiful with the wind and the rain in her hair. I didn't believe that song for a minute. With the wind and the rain in my hair, I looked like a drowned rat.

There doesn't seem to be any correct length for my hair. If I cut it short so that it feels neat and doesn't fly around too much, I look like an old lady. Well, I guess I am an old lady but I don't want to look like one. If I let it grow longer then it looks too bushy and unkempt. I know some of the current styles look like the model has just gotten out of bed after a sleepless night. I am not comfortable with that look. I like to have a part, and a straight one at that. But I don't want to have to wear some type of fastener in my hair to keep it down. I have enough trouble keeping my hearing aids where they belong. I don't want more hardware to keep track of.

I thought my solution was to have light body perms and let that take care of the styling. I got one right before I went to my sister's birthday party last November. I thought it looked pretty good until I looked at the pictures that were taken that day. My hair looked like I was trying to be Shirley Temple starring in her movie of "Curly Top." It looked ridiculous. And of course that made me look the same. It was like I was trying to prove to the world that I was the YOUNGER sister. All it showed was that I was the one who needed to do something about her hair.

I tell those who are trimming my hair how I would like to have it look and they agree. But after the curling iron styling it doesn't look like me. I rush home to brush it out and feel better until I wash it the next time and then I face the challenge all over again.

In a recent column I mentioned that I was glad that women did not have to wear hats to church anymore. A church friend told me she wished they still did because the hats covered a bad hair-do. I guess that is correct, but I probably would still have problems.

I always wore a kerchief over my head when I walked to high school. It kept my hair from blowing around and messing up the pin curls I had slept in the night before. The style then had curls at the ends of the hair, but the length in between was smooth or only slightly wavy. I saw an old Katharine Hepburn movie on a DVD this week and remembered my hair looking that way once also. Or did it? Maybe that was just the way I wanted it to look.

My mother either had her hair in a knot at the base of her neck or in braids around her head. She always looked neat and nice. However, she had many years to grow her hair to that length before I was old enough to notice her hair. I'm not sure I would have that much time left to try it now.

I notice some of the youth wearing knit caps right down to their eyebrows. That would solve some of my problems, but I think I would get lonely living alone after my family had disowned me.

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus