I'm straight but my hair's stayed short and curly for thirty years. Now my locks approach shoulder length--fulfilling my promise to my husband--and remnants of my fading perm beg for revitalization. I attempt alleviating their identity crisis with pin curls and a curling iron. Smooth curls dissipate like money in my checking account and the tight ones turn to frizz. In recent weeks, I've looked like some sort of cross between a bloodhound, a poodle and a springer spaniel.
Time for another approach.
One morning, I wash my hair and don't curl it. No hair clip, no blow dry, no spray. I just let it all hang out. That is, until a runaway strand shows up on my toast. I trade my bathrobe for a turtleneck sweater and improvise a hair band with a scarf. A 67-year-old Alice in Wonderland isn't my best image. I go for a French twist. That doesn't work, either. I return to the long, shedding look and put on some French perfume. The bathroom mirror laughs. Spring chicken hairdos don't cut it on this old stewing hen.
"Your hair looks nice," David says. He's not snickering.
Long hair reminds him of the younger me, the twenty-something woman who went to work in his clinical laboratory and ultimately captured his heart. The years have transformed my smooth skin into crinkles and my trim waistline to flab. I sigh. Okay, I'll do the long, shedding bit today. For him.
I pull a pair of jeans off of a hanger. At least I have healthy locks and a happy husband. I guess I shouldn't complain. Besides, my love handles now threaten me with rebellion. I need to concentrate on stuffing them into unforgiving denim.
Let my hair deal with the identity thing on its own.
Laurel Anne Hill (Author of "Heroes Arise")
Causes Laurel Hill Supports
Winter Nights Shelter and Shelter, Inc.