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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hair Raising

I’m not much of a girlie-girl. Never have been, even when I wanted to be.

Oh, I can dress up; did the pantyhose, high heel, makeup thing for years. But it doesn’t feel very natural these days. Pantyhose reminds me of sausage casing (eeeww!), high heels unground my femurs and make me feel awkward, and makeup just takes too long to put on AND get off.

I do make an effort; only because it makes me feel better in my own skin; get my hair colored by my talented friend Julia, who is a magician. Put on a little mineral makeup to smooth out the skin; draw on some eyebrows, since my thyroid gland decided to make them start falling out; and put on some lipstick, so you can discern my lips from the rest of my face.

A couple weeks ago it was suddenly quite warm here – temps in the 80’s! Heading to take a yoga class, I decided it might be a good idea to (a) wear short pants and (b) shave my legs for the first time since, oh, last October.

Was bending over in parsvottanasana, breathing deeply. Glancing at my shin, I realized that what I had done was given my leg a Mohawk. Nice inch-wide racing stripe of LONG hair still left all the way up my shin.

It was not much comfort to do the pose on the other side and realize I had a matched set.


So this tells you a little bit about me as I talk about the hair on my head. I’m attached to my hair; I’m not one of those people who would look even remotely attractive without it. Been coloring it forever; it’s one of the few things I do spend any time or money on. And, wow, the last couple years, it has started to really change.

I think that thyroid gland has a little to do with it, but so does heredity and age. Breathing hard on 43 here; gotta expect a few changes to the body.

A year or so ago, I started to grow these white hairs on my head. Seriously white; glowing white; don’t-take-no-color white. And they are thick, coarse hairs. Some are straight as a board, others like a corkscrew; others go straight and then veer off at an angle. I call them “white wiry witch hairs” (no offense to witches, please). I would pull them out.

Now, as anyone can tell you, that works for a while. But when you reach a certain critical mass of hair, it becomes a problem. When they would grow in, they would all be the same length; and these are gravity-defying hairs. Sticking straight out, or up, depending upon their location on my head. I looked like one of those stick figure people with the little lines waving out from their head.


So, I decided the only thing to do was suck it up, and let them grow out; hoping that perhaps length would weigh them down, tame them.

Ha -- not so; these are untameable hairs; defiant hairs. Rebel without a cause hairs.

Interestingly, I am growing to like these quirky hairs, and I think it may be because I am growing to become more like them.

I am a lot less tameable than I used to be; definitely a little more defiant; tend to speak my mind and worry a little less about what others think. I have a tendency to rebel against the rest of those compliant, little lying down hairs. Oh, you can knock me down; but I spring back up pretty quickly.

I am apt to go one way, and suddenly, go another; sometimes I walk a straight, strong path to my goals, and other times, it’s a lot more like a spiral. I don’t mind being the one who is forging ahead, finding my own way.

I am more aware that my essence is colorless, pure; at the very core, unchanging and unchangeable. You and I, we may not look the same, but our essence is exactly the same. Hair that is wet may look different than hair that is dry; a pony tail is different than a buzz cut; there are different colors, textures and styles -- but at the end of the day -- hair is hair is hair.

I’m making peace with my white wiry witch hair; after all, I have earned these uppity hairs. Bring on more white, more gray, why not? Maybe it will become the beautiful silver or white color of my parents; or perhaps gorgeous gray like my friend Joyce. When it reaches a certain stage of evolution, hopefully I won’t feel the need to pretend it’s still blonde.

My hair -- and maybe me, too -- can be exactly who we are.



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