Hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair, hair
Flow it, show it
Long as God can grow it
My hair

(The Cowsills, Hair!)

I am one of those people who has always considered my hair to be my crowning glory. Maybe because hair was a subject my parents fought over. Their own and mine. My father was vain (and he looked as good as he thought he did) and had a very OCD personality. My mother said he knew how many hairs were on each side of his part. He went to the barber every week. And my mother always complained it never looked like he had it cut. He tried to explain it shouldn’t look just cut, it should always look just perfect. I guess one week he got sick of the nagging. He got his head shaved. My mother had beautiful platinum blond hair. People with that color hair usually have straight, thin hair. Not my mother. Thick and wavy, it was gorgeous. The night after my father had his head shaved, he was walking home from work. As he turned onto our street, he could see my mother’s silhouette as she sat on the porch. According to the neighbors, he ran, cursing, up the street. My mother had shaved her head. Keep in mind, this was thirty or fourty years before anyone ever heard of Sinead O’Connor.

When I came along, they had a new head to fight over. My father wanted me to have long hair. My mother tried to explain if my hair was to be thick, she had to keep cutting it. She was right. I went from a tow headed toddler to a kid with thick, long auburn hair. For years I had it waist length. After high school it varied between shoulder length and midway down my back. All was fine until I moved to Florida. The auburn became more red in the sun and I hated it. I started frosting it which made it look more brown with blond highlights. That is a slippery slope. The longer you frost, the blonder you get until you throw in the towel and go all blond. Which was fine until about a year ago when I decided I was sick of coloring my hair and wanted to go gray. I heard you could dye  gray. Cool. Dye it gray, never color again because the new growth would be gray. So I spent a month or two wearing a baseball cap most of the time. Letting my roots grow so the hairdresser could match my gray. Then I spent $200 to have one of those New York hairdressers to the stars dye it gray.

The stages to going gray.
The stages to going gray.

It was beautiful. So why no new portrait with my lovely, long gray hair? I had died it blond for so long, it wouldn’t hold the color. I could not afford to keep dying it gray until all the blond was gone. And letting roots grow out with long hair looks so trashy. So I bit the bullet and had it cut short (my current profile picture everywhere). I told the hairdresser I went to how to cut it. That when it was short, without all the weight of length pulling it down, I had curly hair. She didn’t listen. It was a terrible cut. So after two weeks of bitching about looking like a clown, I bit the bullet and had it cut down to the roots and I’m growing it all over again. New picture after I no longer look like a Marine recruit.


Published by Kate Eileen Shannon

Artist, Crafter, Writer, purveyor of ephemera and bagatelle

2 thoughts on “HAIR!

  1. Great story! Reminded me of us growing up. My mom’s best friend was a hair dresser so our entire family lived as Guinean Pigs! Thanks for the smile this morning!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: