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  • michelle m. davis

Hair Lessons

Let’s talk hair.

Hair?

Yes, hair.

 

Two weeks ago, Scott and I took a trip down memory lane while looking at old photos on his laptop. He then used the feature which groups pics according to a person’s facial features. One by one, we perused various family members. Eventually, he clicked on me.

 

Now, I know it’s natural for women to change hairstyles, especially experiment with various shades of colors. But viewing the past twenty years of my life reminded me I played the gamut when it came to hair. With each new picture, I had a different hairstyle—long sun-bleached blonde, medium coppery brunette, short flaxen pixie, ash blonde bob … and the list continued.

 

Eventually, we came upon the only picture of me after I lost my hair from chemotherapy. It was during our oldest son’s high school graduation party, and I could not have looked happier. Less than four centimeters long, my hair was comprised of white and grayish-brown stubs. Never had I felt so grateful to have hair, especially after four plus months in a long blonde synthetic wig.

 

Later that evening, as I settled into bed, I began to wonder why I kept changing my hair styles. Was it an attempt to try something new, or could it have been because nothing felt quite right? Was I constantly searching for a color that complemented my skin tone as well or a style that worked with the shape of my face? Or was I stubbornly battling my fine hair, trying to make it be what it is not? Perhaps the biggest question was … what’s “beneath” my constantly changing hair?

 

I didn’t find my answer that night. However, I did realize the numerous truths learned throughout this crazy “hair journey” of mine. With the shifts in color and length, life lessons often appeared. Here are some of the “aha’s” I’ve discovered along the way …

 

1.     It’s human to want what you don’t/can’t have – Deep down, I desired thick, wavy, voluptuous hair. But I don’t have that, never did. These years have taught me to make peace with the hair—as well as other things—God gave me.

2.     If you push it too hard, things may break – During my teen years, I had a perm which not only damaged my fine hair, but also caused it to break off, requiring a new, unanticipated style—a Dorothy Hamill cut! God, that was awful!

3.     You cannot rush nature – After completing chemo, I thought my hair would miraculously reappear … and quickly. However, it took much longer than I imagined for it to return. But along the way, I received a lesson in patience.

4.     What works beautifully for one person, is disastrous on another – I’ve shown my stylist numerous Pinterest pics of gorgeous hairstyles I wanted. She would merely shake her head and say, “That won’t work for you.” I guess you can't always get what you want.

5.     Life goes on – While we sometimes make hair decisions that don’t end as expected, it’s never permanent. Given enough time, the cut or color grows out, and then we can choose again. And isn't that so true with much of life?

 

My latest adventure on this hair journey has been letting my locks go au naturel. As you might suspect, many of the above lessons apply to this experiment (notably #3, #4, and #5). Having decided to “go gray” beginning November of 2022, I’m somewhat annoyed this transition is taking much longer than anticipated. Nevertheless, I suppose this experience is merely one more lesson in patience, a recurring theme for me.

 

To speed up this change, I recently asked my stylist for bangs—hoping that cutting off the bottom of those strands would lessen the burnt orange look of my “old” color. At first, I thought these new bangs looked awesome, youthful. But upon witnessing my husband’s reaction, I realized bangs really wasn’t my best look. Still, it’s fine. I now push my hair to the side, creating “curtain bangs,” a term my dear friend taught me as she carefully parted my bangs into a more workable style.

 

Maybe you, too, have gone on hair adventures. Or perhaps you’ve found “your style” and have kept with it. Still unsure whether I’ve discovered mine, I do hope I’m finally at peace with the color—or lack thereof. Yet, I anticipate there may be some more experimenting with the style. And who knows … that could be the way it’s supposed to be because I’ve more lessons to learn.

 

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