Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hair Stories

We were posting our hair stories on a discussion board I frequent. Turns out this is a pretty meaningful subject for a lot of women. Here is mine:

I had my first hair cut at 3 years old. My dad cried. My hair had been thick, dark, and waist length, which is ridiculous to keep up on a three year old, and my mom was pregnant with my little brother and simply DONE with caring for my hair.

I then grew it again until the dreaded PIXIE CUT when I was 8 or thereabouts. It looked simply horrific on me, with my rectangular face and prominent jawline. I looked like a boy for two years. The attempt to soften the oddness of it growing out backfired, making an awkward phase last far longer than it needed to.

And then I grew it and grew it and grew it, only trimming it occassionally when chlorine (I was a competitive swimmer) rendered the ends ridiculous. By college it was well past my waist, thick, wavy, and beautiful. I got it permed my freshman year and it was absolutely gorgeous, thick curls if I wanted them, lanky heavy curls if I wanted them. I have beautiful photos of myself and my firstborn, my long hair draped on the bed as I admired little newborn her.

But my hair became difficult to care for in the Hawaii heat and I cut it short. I was never satisfied with it any shorter than shoulder length but the hassle of drying my hair (it seriously took 6 hours) kept me cutting it frequently.

When I was pregnant with my third I shaved my head. And LOVED EVERY MOMENT of my shaved head, EVERY SECOND of my hair growing back, the feeling that I was living and thriving and growing and producing for myself and not just for my babies. Funny how just my hair made me feel like this; like my embodied existance was not simply for others, and here was the proof. I could make something that served no purpose for anyone but ME! My third is 18 months old now and my hair is a couple inches past my shoulders, and I am considering shaving my head again. But I also LOVE the feeling of long, long hair. So I remain undecided. Maybe next year I'll shave my head again.


~L~ said...

I have seen baldie pix but I would love to see the newborn B pictures!

Linda said...

I always wanted to perm my hair but was always told that it would just be frizzy and be a lot of work to take care of and in the end not do what I wanted it to anyway. What kind of perm was it, do you remember?

Funny, just this morning I was thinking about shaving my head, how someday when I am not still trying so hard to hold onto my youth and the type of vanity peculiar to that, I will do it. And I was thinking about how my mom will have a fit. And how free I will feel. And how it will make me reexamine my connections to the world, who I am in it.

I'd love to see pictures too...