Monday, September 15, 2008

A Sc - Hairy Tale

Before we left on our mission to Brazil, I knew I had to make a decision about my hair. Let me tell you the sad story about my hair.

My whole life my hair has been fine and thin—I call it skinny hair. It seems like I have been one of those people who have bad hair days almost every day. I know, I know! It probably hasn’t been nearly as bad as all that, but honestly I just never have had the knack of fixing my own hair.

When I was very young, my Mom used to put my hair into braids and sometimes even ringlets and she could make it look good. However, when I reached the age when I took over the management of my hair, it all went downhill. Why couldn’t I have had the innate, natural-born instinct of creating wonderful hair styles like my granddaughter?

The only time I felt really good about my hair was during the years when I could afford to go to a salon and have it done professionally. Oh, that was great. All I had to do was to preserve the style until the following week, when it would be done again. But styles change and the French Twist became yesterday’s style, and more casual hairstyles became the norm and somehow in the shuffle I went back to bad hair days. I would spend an enormous amount of time washing it, drying it, putting it up in rollers, or using a curling iron and it looked pretty mediocre to me. Why is it that I can lose hair so easily but not pounds? Is there no justice?

So here we were, making preparations to go to Brazil to serve a mission. I knew that my days would be very full and that I would not have oodles of time to spend doing my own hair, nor would I have the luxury of taking the time to go to a salon to have it done.

My solution was to buy a hairpiece. It was great—I loved it. I would put my own hair in a little pony tail and clip it up. Then all I had to do was curl my bangs, slip the hair piece into place and it looked good with relative ease. The color was a good match, and it made me look like I had lots of nice HAIR--life was good.

About midway through our mission, I realized that there was less and less hair to curl for my bangs and it was bad hair days all over again. I was comforting myself one day, thinking that it was only my bangs that were growing so sparse. To bolster my flagging spirits over my hair, I used the mirror and took a good look at the back of my head, expecting to see……….of all things, hair! What I saw really freaked me out—I could see my hair had greatly thinned back there as well.

This picture is of me wearing the wig (which should have been the second picture--see explanation at the end):

Only those who have experienced this can really understand the total dismay (read PANIC) that I felt. It is somehow okay for a man to be bald, but not a woman. I’m sure some of you fellers may totally disagree with that statement, but you have to admit that baldness in men is much more tolerated than in women.

I pondered and stewed and in the end I ordered two identical wigs with a short, curly hair style. When they came and I started wearing them, I received so many compliments. I felt certain that people had to accurately guess my secret, though I told only President U. and the Elders who worked in the office with us. I never told them not to “tell” and I don’t know whether they did or not, but I never spoke of it again. I just wore my wig and went on with the work.

Having two facilitated keeping them clean. At night I kept my wig on a wig form and the last thing I did before leaving for the office was put it on my head. There were times when I would be walking out the door without it, but my dear husband would remind me. The minute we came home after being at the office all day, the wig came off. Oh, it felt so good to be free of it!

Wearing a wig is not for the timid. If anyone came to the door unexpectedly, I automatically ran to put it on before opening the door. Once, someone rang the doorbell in the middle of the night. Still half asleep, I jumped out of bed and flew to the wig. There I was, standing before the mirror IN THE DARK, wildly trying to slap it on my head, and I just couldn’t get it on straight for the life of me. I’m sure I had the thing sideways or backwards. I don’t know how long I would have gone on struggling to get the wig into place if my husband hadn’t awakened at my commotion to ask me what I thought I was doing. He hadn’t heard the bell, but he certainly heard me huffing and muttering as I twisted and strained trying to get that thing on my head just so. The sound of his voice woke me up enough to realize that it didn’t matter who rang the darn bell, for not on your life would I be answering it in the dead of the night. (It was much like one of those V8 moments.) I’m sure it was some kids on a lark, ringing the bells as they went by just to create havoc.

I wore the wig for the entire last six months of our mission, but after arriving home from Brazil, I took the wig off and left it off except for wearing it to Church a couple of times. But, I had had it! I was finished! done! kaput! I felt smothered and I couldn’t even scratch when my head itched—and it was itchy a lot. I’d get it on just so, but it would start slipping a little here and there as I moved around and it seemed as though it might slip right off my head at any moment. There just had to be a better, more comfortable way.

My aforementioned-granddaughter was in training to become a professional stylist, so I went to her and she cut my hair. I remember her reaction when I pulled the wig off my head; she was steeled for the worst. It wasn’t nearly as bad to her as she had been visualizing. I was ready for acceptance of the hairy situation, grateful for the hair that I had, and grateful that a little of it grew back.

From then on, I started wearing it curled under. I liked it, but I couldn’t tolerate the blah gray. So I started having it colored. All my life I’ve been blonde, but I was told it would look better to go brunette. So, now I’m a brunette with a very casual hairstyle. I look quite a bit different than the “me” I have always been, and I’ve had even close friends not recognize me. That is quite startling! Oh well, I’m comfortable and I look decent when I see myself in the mirror. I have to keep a reign on my thoughts when I find extra hair in my brush and/or comb, for I don’t have hair to spare. But I decided I’m not going to stress about it. I’m just going to do the best I can and leave the rest up to the tender mercies of the Lord.

This picture is of me with the hairpiece, just before I got the wigs (which should have been the first picture.

Well, I got the pictures I wanted in here, except they are in the wrong order. I have been wrestling around with it and I give up. I also cropped both pictures, but the original picture of one of them came in instead (I know not why) and I haven't learned how to delete pictures yet. I just learned how to add them. There's always something new to learn.


1 comment:

LeaAnne said...

OHHHH friend! I hear you!! I am an everyday bad hair day kind of gal! It's to thin and wont keep a curl! Loved the story and the pictures! :)