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Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Hairy Dilemma by Bea Tifton

Me bald.

Since people have been at home, there have been many Facebook discussions about what people’s hair looks like now. People who swore they didn’t dye their hair have been outed, the hippy long hair look abounds with men, and as the states reopen there’s a stampede for the barber shops and hair salons. It made me think about my hair, something I’d usually rather not do.
My hair is baby fine. When I was an infant, I was bald as an egg. That was before these cute baby hairbands so my mother would scotch tape a ribbon to the top of my head. No, really. 
As I grew, my hair finally grew in, but it was so fine that my ears stuck out through it. Hairclips wouldn’t stay in. My mother said that when I was a little girl, there was a woman in our church with long, thick hair down to her rear. I loved it, and one day I said, “That’s how I want my hair to look when I grow up.” Mom said she just thought, “Oh, you poor child.”
Age 5. My ears peeking through

When I was six years old, I fell asleep with chewing gum in my mouth. When I woke up, it had migrated to my hair. Mom was thrilled. No ice or peanut butter in my hair for me. She panicked and cut it out.  Then, she tried to even it up. Finally, we went to a stylist, who did what she could. People mistook me for a boy for months. Even the family dog didn’t recognize me. 
Age 6 at Easter, just after spilling juice on my dress.
In early high school I got a perm to “Put more volume in my hair. “ Remember those old perms? The stinging, the smell, and the time it took to get them? And it fried one’s hair. No wonder it had more volume. It was like sticking my finger in a light socket. Annie was my favorite musical at one time. I came home after getting a perm and my poor father, thinking he was complimenting me, said, “You look just like Little Orphan Annie.” Not something a 15 year old girl wants to hear. 

Me during my albino phase
And at one time, in high school, I had what wasn’t intended to be, but looked suspiciously like a mullet. Notice that picture is NOT included. Thank heavens for being a teenager before social media.
The summer before I went to college, my mother and I dyed my hair blond. Then we went to a hair stylist to have it fixed. But the hair stylist wasn’t exactly a genius at color, either. It just got lighter and lighter until it was quite fake looking. It washed me out. A couple of years later when I dyed it back, a guy friend of mine asked me why I had dyed my hair brown instead of leaving my hair its natural blond. College boys, eh? Their power of perception is amazing. 
Now my hair is wavy, but not cute curly hair wavy. Just more like a series of cowlicks. My mother calls it “the Johnson wave” after her maternal side of the family. Once I used her hair stylist when my own was on maternity leave and the stylist started laughing. She finally said, “Man. It’s amazing. You have cowlicks in the same exact place as your mother.”
I think our hair looks just peachy

I still get my hair dyed reddish brown sometimes. I’m at the age where I don’t care if people know it’s not natural. I’m prematurely grey and right now I’m at that weird stage that is viewed as distinguished salt and pepper for men but is merely bleh for women. I had a chunk of it dyed blue, too, which was fun, but now I belong to a choir with more conservative requirements for hair color so I’ve had to let that go. The reddish brown is still okay, though. Hmmm. Maybe it’s time to call my hair styist…
Time for a touch up


  1. I seem to have inherited my paternal grandmother's hair, although I have a wave of my own courtesy of my maternal grandfather. My hair stylist always says, "You have such nice hair." So does my mother. Hope your coloring your hair goes well, although now gray is considered sexy by some.

  2. I have my mom's fine, thin hair. I'm sure I was intended to have thick, auburn hair but something happened. Fate is undependable.

  3. I have fine, mouse brown hair. I remember using "Sun-In" in high school and ended up looking like Lucille Ball. Maybe thin hair is a trait of writers? Anyway, your post made me laugh when I needed a laugh. Thanks. Best of luck with your writing.

  4. I always had thick, easy to style hair. Then I got older. Now I'm constantly trying to figure out what to do with my hair. The little icon of my picture was taken 3 years ago. I'm flabbergasted by how much my hair changed in that time. It's fine, thinner, and has no body. Can't do anything with it. It's graying too so I added highlights. (All of the above is my frequent whine to my daughter who just rolls her eyes.)

  5. My natural hair is blonde, although I started lightening it in my early 20s. It was always straight as a stick until a few years ago. Now it waves over the ears and in the back, but is flat on top and at straight at the temples. It's hard to style and almost impossible to get height on top, even with teasing. Both my hairdresser and sister said, 'Your hair has a mind of it's own." Rebellious hair.

  6. If you look at my baby photos, I have blond hair. I told my sister once, "At least I was born blond" to which she answered "No, Sherri, you were born bald." Big sisters always have a way....


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