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Sunday, September 10, 2023

By a Hair by Bea Tifton

There is one rather unfortunate hairstyle that I had hoped would go out of fashion. Alas, it seems to be here to stay. I refer, of course, to the man bun. Some perfectly nice, decent men wear them, but it just looks ridiculous to me. Can’t help it. Not that I should be judging anyone by their hair.

One of my grandmothers had thick auburn hair until the day she died. The other little old ladies at her assisted living home were always pulling my mother aside and asking her to be honest. Was it her natural color, a wig, what? But it was 100% natural. My other grandmother had thin hair. Her hairstylist teased it over her head, white candy floss with pink scalp showing through. And guess which side of the family I take after. 

When I was a toddler, I was as bald as an egg. That was before someone designed those cute little lace headbands, so my mother would tape a ribbon to my skull. When my hair did come in, it was wispy. As a child, I had that super straight 1970s hair, so fine you could see my ears poking through. A woman at our church had thick, lustrous hair she wore in a thick braid that reached down to her rear. I poked my mother and said confidently, “That’s how I’m going to wear my hair when I grow up.” Mom smiled, but inside she was thinking, Oh, bless your heart. 

And then there were the perms in the 1980s. Remember those? Sitting for hours in a room thick with that horrible sulphur smell as my hair sizzled from the chemical burn. I looked terrible, as many of us did. And it didn’t even help my hair appear thicker; it just looked frizzy and odd. 

As an adult, I have what my friends call Pandemic Hair. It’s longer than it has been in decades. Just after I brush it, my hair looks thick and healthy, but it only takes a few moments for it to settle into flat, baby thin hair. We’ve had a particularly brutal summer so it’s been up most of the time, anyway. I’m about to finally give up and make a major change of hairstyle.

Maybe I’ll get a perm.

Photo Credits:
Rene Asmussen "Braid on Woman Back"
Igor Kirillov "Baby in Pink Dress and Headband Sitting on a Rug"
Amarilis Arroyo "Smiling Woman Holding Dress in Hand"
David Brown "Close Up of White Poodle"
Pixabay "An Elderly Woman"


  1. Oh my! My mom used to burn my super straight silky hair to a crisp with those Lilt perms when I was a kid! ;)

  2. Welcome to the club. I have baby fine hair as well. There is absolutely nothing you can do with it. When it rains, I sent prayers to the heavens above that I won't need a reason to go outside. When my head gets wet, it could be a double for a drowned rat.

    1. Yes, I agree. And Texas heat is so brutal, I can be all ready to go and my hair is lank and wet two minutes after I walk outside.

  3. I have lots of hair, but every strand of it manages to frizz. I do remember the Tonis from childhood, which fell out as soon as they went in. Sigh.

    1. I'm glad we've made some progress with hair products, even if my hair still never looks good.

  4. I love that so many of us suffered the afflictions of childhood "back then" and still turned out to be functioning adults- <3


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