Day Three – June 20, 2018 – My Do

Jim Morrison, songwriter and lead singer of The Doors, once said, “Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts.” Do you relate to that statement?

Today, I want you to write about your hairstyle. What does your hairstyle say about you? Is this a new hairstyle for you or one that’s tried and true?

How has your hairstyle changed over time? Has your hair ever helped you feel a part of a group or disassociated from a group? Have you had a favorite hairstyle representative of a bygone era?

Tell me about your hair through the ages or just one hairstyle you’ll never forget.

photo credit: classroomcamera DSC04478 via photopin (license)

36 thoughts on “Day Three – June 20, 2018 – My Do

  1. Linda Ricci

    My do:

    Hair is an interesting thing.

    [Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen
    A home for fleas, a hive to bees, a nest for birds.]

    It seems that looking back on my many hairstyles, my hair has always said something about me.
    I like to think that I am not swayed by the current trends and attempt to find styles that are becoming to me but that has not always been true.

    My hair has always been fine and silky, it blows in the wind like gossamer strands, shining in the sun like it is shot through with gold and fire.
    That always sounds so romantic in books but the reality is that I can’t keep a hair tie or barrette in, even braids slide out and without mounds of hair product it either sticks tight to my head or blows straight up in a breeze.
    Remember dippity do?
    I always loved that my hair was soft and shiny but hairdressers were in terror of me. I was once described as having hair “finer than frog fur”

    Having been born in the early 50’s, I lived through the “hairspray” era, and the “Hippy” era.

    I had the terrible Toni home perm that made everyone look like a poodle in a wind storm and later the long straight “Jane Asher” look with bangs in my eyes.

    My older sister Patty taught me how to iron my hair even though it was actually almost perfectly straight naturally.

    Through the years I have continued to tread the rocky path of hair styling, pageboys, bobs, bouffant, feathered and blunt, “the Farrah Fawcett” , I once spent over six hours with a hairdresser friend in an attempt to get my hair to look like Barbara Streisand’s in ” A star is born”.

    As I grow older the appeal of trying to make my hair do something it just won’t has declined and I find myself getting back to the simpler time when my hair was long, I pulled it back and just let it do what it wanted.
    With all of the new hair products it is less unruly and the hair ties actually stay in place.

    You know I kind of like the new old look, who knew?

  2. Norma Beasley

    I met Madame C. J. Walker, the first black self-made millionaire, when I was at least seven years old. Not intimately, but through the use of her hair products for black women. Ms. Walker developed a range of wares that popularized the press-and-curl style. She was a former slave’s daughter from the cotton fields that realized the American dream.

    Southern black girls wore bangs, pigtails, ponytails, buns, and bouncy flips that highlighted straightened (a process using a steel comb heated on a stove) black or brown hair with a large white bow ribbon attached to the crown of her head or ribbons tied tightly to the ends of pigtails. And I was no different. As I grew older, I wore a bun on the back of my head ringed with a string of colorful artificial flowers. It was a quick and easy style. I can’t tell you how many times I ducked and dodged that comb because I feared getting burned. Guess what? I got burned anyway.

    When I started working in granddad’s restaurant as an eighth grader, I wanted to look more glamorous, so I made regular visits to the hair salon around the corner from where I lived. Three bucks a visit and I was set. Tight curls were the thing of the day then. Eventually the curls came out and the process started all over. If I got caught in the rain, my hair frizzed up and looked like a bird’s nest. This prompted me to take an umbrella to the playground on overcast days. “Don’t get your hair wet gal,” my grandmother admonished me.

    Tight curls gave way to the Afro or ‘fro as it was called back in the day. Think Angela Davis and Black Power. Mine was never full blown like hers because it was associated with militant extremism. Mine was less obvious since I now worked in corporate America. A full blown ‘fro was considered threatening to the white power structure. Yet, the ‘fro made me feel free and proud of my African roots.

    Eventually, my hair was cut low to the scalp by a barber and worn as a natural. I washed it, and styled it with a pick, so that now it looks like a contemporary African woman.

  3. Suzie Shaeffer


    I didn’t think too much about my hair until I was in high school. Usually my hair was pulled back in a ponytail or set in pigtails. It never stayed constrained. My hair was fine and flyaway and would frizz with only a hint of humidity.

    My yearbook picture shows me with a bouffant flip, courtesy of a trip to the beauty parlour the day before, with lots of teasing and a ton of hair spray. The night before the picture was taken, I slept with a roll of toilet paper wrapped around my head. My hair was perfect, for that one day, that one picture.

    But it was the sixties, the era of the Beatles and Twiggy. I wanted long, straight, heavy, dark hair, like Cher. Or straight strawberry blond hair long enough to sit on, like my friend Eileen. My hair would never grow longer than shoulder length. But I still tried to get the look. I slept on huge rollers fashioned from orange juice cans. My hair looked perfect when I brushed it out in the morning. Until I went outside and the California morning fog changed smooth hair to frizzy. Even if it was a clear day, my “do” never made it past second period at school, which was my PE swimming class.

    By graduation day I sported a new haircut, a pixie. It was a lot easier to care for and I didn’t have to fool with rollers at night, only a couple of clips for the spit curls.

    But I still wanted to have HAIR. You know, “Give me down to there hair, shoulder length or longer!” At least hair that had some body to it. There were several more unsuccessful attempts to grow it long. Tried hair extensions of several types. Had a bonnet hair dryer, different styles of blow dryers; hair gels; curling irons; hair spray. Usually I’d go back to a short, wavy style.

    Once I decided to get my hair highlighted, just a touch, to lighten the brown up and give it a bit of shine, maybe some extra body. The beautician put a rubber cap over my head, then she used a crochet hook to pull strands of hair out of the cap. She seemed to have a standard amount of hair that she pulled out for a highlight job. Then she put on the treatments. When everything was done, I finally got a look at the result. Who was that person in the mirror? I was completely blond and completely freaked out! Evidently she hadn’t allowed for the fact that my hair was thin instead of thick. And no, she couldn’t fix it, not until after the Thanksgiving holiday. I just wanted to hide. It was too big a change and not at all what I’d had in mind. Family and friends told me it looked good, but I thought they were just being kind. I decided not to go back to that same person to cover up what she’d done. I’d just let it grow out. After several weeks, it started to look like what I had in mind when I went to get it highlighted. Too late for that. I was forever cured of the desire to change my hair.

    Ironically, nature did the change for me, As age takes away the color in my hair, it makes it thicker. My hair has body now and a bit more curl. It’s easy to care for and looks better than ever, except maybe for when I was pregnant with my only child, and that was nature’s gift then as well.

    1. Terry Deer

      The things we do to ourselves to fit some notion of beauty! I love your story and can sympathize with the frustration you faced. My hair is such a trial to me that I couldn’t even approach this particular prompt. Who else to you know that needs a trigger warning for hair?

  4. Vera Zimmerman

    Day 3 – My Do

    As soon as my hair got long enough, when I was about four years old, I had pigtails. When my hair got longer the pigtail braids were looped up and tied with plaid ribbons into two big loops just behind my ears. All of my elementary school pictures show me with that hair-do. For special occasions I’d walk about a block to my Grandma Begue’s house and she would do French braids, a little fancier version of plain braids. Above my eyes I had straight-cut bangs which had to be cut often so they didn’t get in my eyes. Mama would put tape across so she could cut them straight, but they rarely were. One time she took me to the beauty parlor and they hooked me up to a machine and curled my bangs. The whole procedure smelled awful and the results were not much better. Luckily that didn’t happen often.

    By the time I was about 12 I thought I was too big for pigtails and switched to a pony tail, along with blue jeans and bobby socks. That was the last animal I emulated though. Once in high school I tried giving myself a Toni perm. What a disaster! I bought a Toni for children thinking it would be milder, but it turned out it was stronger and my hair was so kinked up, I couldn’t even comb it. That led to my first short haircut. After that I alternated between short and long hair.

    I don’t remember ever being very concerned about my hair until after I got a job modeling for the International Hairdressers Convention which came to New Orleans the summer before I started college. They advertised for girls with “virgin hair.” I had to agree to let them cut and dye it in whatever way they wanted in exchange for $200. I ended up with a yellow to red striped mane that looked a little like a cedar chest. When that was over I got it cut as short as possible and dyed to cover up the strange streaks. I ended up starting college with a very alien hair style which added to the feeling of alienation I already had as a scholarship student at an upscale school. That was when I realized I had been poor my whole life. What a shock!

    Even with a scholarship we couldn’t afford college and after one year I quit and started working. I went to a fancy downtown beauty salon where Mr. Richard fussed over my coiffure. I had a dignified pageboy haircut then and for special occasions wore a French Twist. I was probably indistinguishable from the rest of the office-working girls riding the ferry from Algiers to downtown New Orleans.

    As I got older my main goal was to keep my hair out of my eyes and mess with it as little as possible. That’s still my goal. Now I wear my grey hair short and curled. All I have to do is shower and squeeze it up into loose curls and think about it as little as possible.

  5. Lois Patton

    Pages to the Past

    I hold on my lap an old album and turn to one 8 x 10 photo, then wait for a response from the grand kids crowded around me on the sofa. “Oh my gosh, look at the hairdos!” says Jessica.

    “Look, all the women— even great-grandma has a beehive!” Annie squeals.

    Practical grandson asks, “How did you do that, Grammy?”

    I do my best to explain that backcombed hairstyles had the same popularity in the late 60’s as the long, straight-hanging hair everyone considers fashionable today. Even women much too old to carry it off, in my opinion.

    “You wouldn’t believe how many hairpins held all my hair in that bouffant French twist. I had my hair done in the beauty shop every Friday and did my best to make it last a week.” They all look at me funny.

    For decades I considered my hair the bane of my existence: stick straight and plain brown. I never liked the way the barber shingled it up the back when I was a kid and my dad didn’t do much better when he placed a bowl on my head to cut it even all around. I was ecstatic when I had my first perm. I don’t show that childhood photo to my grand kids; there’s a limit to how much hilarity I want to endure.

    I try to explain to the grinning faces around me. “Permanents, pin curls, and hot rollers were as essential in my life as your cell phones and Facebook friends are to you.” Their looks say it all. “I wore my hair up for over thirty years. I didn’t have it cut until long after you all were born.” What I don’t go into is how nervous I felt when I finally decided to have it cut.

    I am ready to tell them how happy I am to have progressed to the wash and wear look my hair assumes today. Once it turned grey (my husband insists it is silver), I did away with perms, discovered hair gel and blow dryers and found a stylist who works magic with her scissors. But before I get to that part of the story, album pages are turned as is their attention. “Look, there’s Dad playing tennis,” says Jessica. “He had a lot more hair back then.”

    “Time to close the album,” I respond. “Let’s see what we can find for lunch.

  6. Barbara Spieker

    Throughout my life I changed my hairstyle and color often. I rarely stuck with the same style for long, craving change. That is true even now.
    My hairstyle right now however is about aging and trying not to look like my mother’s generation and not like my mother’s family, which are two different things. My mother came from a family of 16, most of them girls and most of them redheads. After the first signs of grey they took to dyeing their hair red on and on into their seventies at least. And we won’t talk about the red lipstick here. Their hair looked artificial to me. In fact, in later years when many of the sisters did indeed stop dyeing their hair my Aunt Curly held out. At one gathering I was startled to see she had ditched the red and had this beautiful ash grey color. I asked her what changed her mind and she said “the girls told me I was looked garish.” But I also didn’t want to look the aunts on the other side of the family with their steel grey hair.
    As a dark brunette, dying one’s hair blonde is discouraged by most hair stylists and anyway, I never wanted to be a blonde. Red or black was usually the only other option then to get a real fun change. I started to go grey in my early 40’s, and I dyed my hair various shades of brown to cover it. Home dyed brown hair on me, looking back over the photos, was horrendous. How could I not see it then, how bad it looked? My natural shade of hair was blacker with red under lights and brown, and the pictures showed a flat brown, was as ugly as it can get.
    At some point I said to hell with it. I have always been a feminist and I pondered this idea of dying our hair. Why did we do it? To look younger, to attract men or please a husband, to not be labeled as old. And more subtler points such as trying to stay contemporary in the job place, keeping a husband and keeping that face in the mirror the same as we were always used to. I thought that although women had made great strides since the seventies they still were fighting, maybe now to keep the place they had won by not looking any older. We won’t mention perpetual dieting here either.
    And of course, the US at least began to worship youth. It is an issue. Older people are often not respected, are discounted or minimized. And grey hair was a sign of age.
    But I took my stance and stopped dying my hair. I had hoped for a white silvery color. While I can see that will come, what I had was mostly grey. Not a pretty color. So, when the fad hit of dying the top part of the hair one color, often white or blonde and the bottom a dark color, my hair stylist and I hit on the same idea at the same time. Why not dye the top of my hair white? White white but blended in with the grey just a bit so I wouldn’t have a grow out line. The bottom part of hair, toward the nape was still a pretty brunette color so we left that be. It transformed my face! The color, which was nice and bright, brightened up my skin as well. I looked interesting, and with my eye glasses which happened to have white in the frame, a bit eccentric. Not at all like my idea of an older person. I think that while I’m not trying to hide my age, I look rather dynamic, alive. Now I could be wrong. I could look old and trying to cover, unsuccessfully! But after all is said and done, we do our hair however we do it, to please ourselves and who we are.

  7. Kaye Byrnes

    Day 3 – Hair!

    Females of almost every age seem to get caught up in pursuit of hair that makes them look older, or younger, or thinner, or cool, or something. I marvel at women who visit their salon religiously for a cut, color, and style; spending outrageous sums in pursuit of an illusive image. And yet, I get it. It’s in my XX chromosome.

    As a young girl I had the mandatory long flowing locks. But I hated the necessary grooming. Combing out tangles, brushing the 100 strokes daily, pulling that ponytail tight: I drove my mother crazy with my whining and complaints. As often happens in motherhood, one day she’d had enough. Snap! She got her sewing shears and cut it off, really short. From then on she either trimmed it with the clippers she used on my brothers or took me to the $2 barbershop for a “professional” look. I didn’t have long hair again for many years, until I could willingly tend to my own needs. But that pixie buzz cut gave a delightful freedom to both my mother and me.

    As a teen-ager in the late 60’s and into my college years, everyone had long hair – even the guys! All my junior and high school contemporaries had the same basic style. Parted in the middle, hanging long over the shoulders and down the back. A bandana served as an acceptable accouterment. I wore mine Harriet Tubman style, sometimes tied at the top, sometimes in the back.

    Then I got my undergraduate degree and began clocking into a real job. Now that required a certain look, more styling. Gone was the bandana, now my long locks could be pulled up and coiled into a stylish bun or French-braided with a colorful ribbon. Somehow my styled hair helped me see myself as a grown up woman, it gave me confidence. I began to pay attention to magazines and television, looking for ways to style my hair that felt both adult and fun.

    When the 80’s were upon us, it was the age of BIG hair. Farrah Fawcett layering and chemical perms, whatever it took to create volume! When in Rome, so my long hair underwent the cultural transformation. Photographs of those years bring a smile to my face today. Fashion trends in hindsight can be alarming.

    As I further matured, I was less infatuated with image and much more drawn to convenience and practicality. Forget paying for chemical perms that left my hair brittle. Forget spending precious time primping my hair for a long day at work. Forget the expense of products to restore and vitalize. Forget it. I began my return to where I had started.

    For the past 20 years I’ve had fairly short hair. Not quite the pixie buzz cut of my childhood, but short enough to require little time and attention. Shaped up just often enough to look presentable, it’s changed only marginally in length and style. My hairdresser is on equal footing with my gynecologist and dentist; I’ll never leave for another. I like to think I’ve found a healthy perspective on hair care, but that XX chromosome reminds me it’s all about the image.

  8. Judi Graham

    My hair is long and gray. I need a cut and a perm but I can’t manage that just now. It wasn’t always gray, it used be a beautiful auburn. Time changed that, although I used to tell my kids they caused every gray hair on my head.

    As a teenager I wore my hair long, mostly in a pony tail to keep it out of my face. I was active, riding bike, swimming, volleyball, bad mitten, even croquet. I remember my ponytail swishing around and hitting me in the face. At a time when women wore bathing caps I would stuff it all in there and it would look like a bush on fire when it came out.

    I loved hats and I had a fairly descent collection of them, some of which only looked good with my hair up, although not in a pony tail, and other when I wore my hair down. I was one of those girls who had hat, purse and shoes to match. I thought I was all that and a bag of chips, as my granddaughter would say.

    Those were the days. The days when I would set my hair with bobby pins at night and wear it down the next day. I remember those days fondly, but I can’t say I miss them.

  9. Ericka Parra

    Hair through the ages

    Sadly, it looks like I have never changed my hairstyle. I started looking through the white and black pictures and sepia; then, color pictures, and last, selfies. Over an almost century later: this hairstyle looks the same bored shoulder-grazing choppy style. Sometimes, I was wearing braids.

    Even though I am a typical brunet, the color of my hair is light brown. The color becomes red when, at noon, the sun is shining and the hair is wet. The texture is mellifluous; however, after working so hard in the house or not using the right shampoo, it looks like very messy as the edges of an old broom.

    Going back to the over century fashion style, I do not usually like to worry about my hairstyle. I usually have the versatile ponytail – for good and for bad. Maybe that is the reason why, I still comb it, pull the entire hair back, tie it together with a colorful hair ornament, and be ready for the day. Only, a few times, I spruce up my hair with side braids, into a ponytail behind my neck. Should I change today the style just for fun?

  10. Judy Watkins

    The Importance of Hair

    How many women today can imagine how much women have progressed in the past 50 years? In 1956 I left high school to get married, two years before graduation. I was a stay at home wife and mother for 20 years and adult conversation had been limited to my husband and children.

    When I first made the decision to find a job outside the home, I realized that I had no idea how to dress for employment. I still wore my hair either pulled back in a pony-tail or curly as I did when I was in school. My problems seemed insurmountable and I was a very shy and insecure person. My doctors had advised that I find a job and get out of the house if I wanted to save my sanity and maybe my life.

    I was told by a friend that a finishing school course would be helpful to me. I knew that most of the people taking those classes were the young girls who were model hopefuls. That was not my goal, how could they help me?

    I signed up for the ten-week course and hoped for the best. First they had me walk around in circles before the instructors. They shook their heads and asked, “What can we do with her?” What was wrong with the way I walked and held my hands? After much practice I learned that a step should be no longer than 1 ½ times the length of my foot. It didn’t matter how fast the pace but the length of the step mattered. They worked on my posture and the way I swung my arms. Today I have been told often that I have perfect posture.

    Next we were taught to apply make-up to look more naturally beautiful, not made-up. Until then I had never used moisturizer, or any make-up other than a bright red lipstick. Then came hair. They emphasized that most women didn’t change their hair style from school days and their hair styles aged them. It was important to find styles that were current, flattering and easy maintenance.

    Then came wardrobe. Our size and shape was analyzed and styles were suggested that would be best for us. We were taught to accessorize using a point system to ensure we had enough things to make us look nice but not over-done.

    Finally we were ready for graduation and each student had to model three outfits of their own clothing. We walked up onto the platform, made the perfect model-turns and back down the steps. I assume everybody knows that you never look down going up and down stairs? I graduated, I have the certificate to prove that I know how to dress, put on my face and keep my hair current. In my old age I often tell people that although I might not always do things right, I know how to present myself in public when I need to.

    1. Sarah Fine

      I loved that insight into finishing school. It would have saved a lot of time for me. And your explanation shifted my perspective in a good way. The only thing I did was have my ‘colours’ done and that was super useful when I went clothes shopping – an exercise I still try to avoid.

      1. Judy Watkins

        In my later years I had a clothes consultant come in and go through my closet. She made outfits, complete with all accessories and took photos of each outfit. When she was done, anything left over had nothing to match it to and needed to be disposed of. If something was to be saved then she went on a shopping trip with me to find whatever was need to complete an outfit. What a fun exercise and a way to clean out the closet of things no longer useful.

    2. Barbara Spieker

      Regarding your statement of being told most women not changing their hairstyle since highs school and that it aged them. I so remember how long some women hung on to that beehive hairstyle! Remember?

  11. Jeanne Sullivan

    June 20, 2018
    Today’s prompt is about how our hairstyle changed over the years.

    For the first couple years of my life, I didn’t have to worry about my hair. In fact I had almost none. I have some pictures that show me all dressed up in my new dress, new shoes, big smile and bald. Oh, I did have a little peach fuzz but it was so light that it looked like I had none.
    Then my hair began to grow. As if making up for my baldness it grew and grew. The next hairstyle was braids. I hated them. When I was about seven years old, I cut off those hated braids. My mom was more than a little upset. She took me to a salon where they cut it even shorter. Now I had a Dutch Boy look bangs and all. I had really had a different picture in mind; more like Shirley Temple curls. I took the comb and tried to curl my hair by winding it around the comb. I succeeded in getting my hair so tangled in the comb that my mother took me to the salon again where they did get my locks of hair untangled, amidst lots of ow’s and tears.
    The salon lady told my mother that she could give me a permanent and I would probably be happier with the curls. My mom consented and although the process was scary, I pictured myself looking like Shirley and I waited and waited as my hair was wrapped and electric curlers curled my hair. I couldn’t wait. When all was done the salon lady showed me how great I looked. When I looked into the mirror, I looked more like the neighbors poodle than that beautiful little girl, Shirley. When I finally calmed down, I vowed I would never cut or perm it again.
    By junior high and high school, I was finally in charge of my own hair. The style then was the pageboy. I had shoulder length hair that looked pretty good although I had to sleep on uncomfortable curlers to get the proper look.
    When I was a little older I got my next perm. The process was much easier now. No electric curlers. I still hated my hair and thought maybe a different color would do miracles. Years of dying and bleaching left my hair dry and brittle. Moisturizers became my passion. The length of my hair changed constantly. Short, very short seemed to be the best choices.
    Now that I am much older (84), the color, mostly gray looks natural. I get a body perm whenever it starts to look like it needs a lift. No curlers. I do use a curling iron once in a while. I do not look like Shirley Temple nor do I want to. However, I do look a bit like Maxine.

    1. Sarah Fine

      Loved the history of hair. I also went through and still visit permanent waves though it’s changed a lot since the days of home perm Toni’s and my mother’s attempts to make a tom-boy look more feminine.

    2. Judi Graham

      I love it Jeanne. I remember my Mom taking me for a perm when I was little and like you, I resembled a poodle. We’ve come a long way baby. I also get a cut and a body perm, when the budget permits.

  12. Beverly Bailey

    Mama had natural wave to her lovely auburn hair, but I had inherited Dad’s straight, straight mousey brown hair. He had a crewcut, so he didn’t have to bother with droopy locks.
    However, my aunt Ora, Mama’s sister, had a solution for everything, so when I was about five or six, she told Mama, “All you have to do is put a bowl on Beverly’s head and then trim around it. The cut will be even, and if we have to, we’ll straighten out the bangs.”
    I was horrified, even at that age, when Aunt Ora finished her project with me. I don’t think Mama liked it either because she never said much and never asked her sister for advice on what to do with my hair again. Instead, she took me to Vada Fuerste, her beautician (that’s what they were called in the fifties), and she gave me a Toni perm. I suddenly had hidden body and curls. At least, she didn’t hook me up to one of those permanent wave machines with its hundreds (or so it seemed) of rods used to wind hair around. It probably burned many heads when the heat was turned on.
    When I was a teen, I no longer cared for the wavy, pin curl look and kept my hair cut to a length just below my ears. That’s about the time those foam rollers became popular, and I could sleep with my hair rolled up so that I’d have some body and curl to my straight hair.
    It was only after Larry and I married and we were living in a duplex apartment that I began to love how my hair looked and behaved. We were great friends with the couple in the other duplex. My friend was a hairdresser who loved to experiment on me. She convinced me to “frost” my hair. It took all day for her to get the heavy stretch cap on, pull hair through the holes, apply peroxide and rinse with setting conditioner—but, voila! I was a blond. I loved it! And I kept my hair frosted and highlighted for more than forty years.
    And I still preferred short hair. I was a little startled when Susan, my daughter, asked me, “Mom, how come you never had long hair?” She and her daughters have beautiful, long curly hair. Now that I think about it, the reason is probably because it was so straight. That style wasn’t popular until Cher came along. I didn’t like hers. I must have decided that genetics didn’t bless me with enough natural body or curl to warrant letting my hair grow down to my shoulders.
    Now, my hair has the natural frosting, and I’m happy with it—so long as it doesn’t turn yellowish. So far, so good. I’d like to keep the silver Dad had in his crew cut until he died.

  13. Regina Russell

    I’m a cancer survivor and when i was getting chemo, my hair fell out. It’s called apoplexy. Not only was I bald, but you lose oyu eyebrows, eyelashes, the, uhm…, girlie girl part and your skin gets dry. So there i am , looking like an alien, slathering on lotion. But fortunately, this was in the summer when it was a heat wave and the temperatures reaches over 100 degrees every day. Good time to be bald. Besides which, in southern California, people looking like aliens is kind of normal! I remember this one time, I went into Trader Joe’s and mentioned to the cashier that I must look really weird. He replied that he went to school in San Francisco and he saw weird. So on his weird scale I was really low compared to what he had seen. 😉

    My hair eventually grew back, completely gray and I was told not to color it for at least six months because the chemicals in hair coloring products could permanently damage the follicles. I waited and eventually did dye it brown. I moved to Orlando and never cut my hair again until almost a month ago. It’s now a short bob, with gray roots. I think I’ll keep this way for a while, eventually filling in the roots. I’ve thought about going completely gray, but am not ready to take that step.

    1. Sarah Fine

      Hi, I am a cancer survivor too but one who didn’t lose her hair. After chemo, my hair got thicker (it was always thin) and curly (it was always straight unless permed). It made me wonder about all the chemicals I introduced to my hair over the years. Now my hair is short, lightly permed and a mixture of brown and grey. I am with you in thinking I’ll also do whatever I feel ready for next.

  14. nancy nelson


    Several weeks before my wedding I was stressing over how I would look on that special day. I was teaching fourth grade in a small Wisconsin town with wonderful colleagues. One of them had gorgeous black, silky hair that I adminred. My own auburn locks were acceptable, but I craved my friend’s beauty. Wanting to look extra special for my wedding day, I got this brilliant idea to dye my hair black! I purchased a kit from the local pharmacy and proceeded to alter many aspects of my hair, some of which were unknown at the time.

    My mother was appalled! “It’s rather harsh, isn’t it? Why do that now!” she commented.

    “I like it,” I replied, not sure if I’d made a smart decision. It appeared a little dry, but I loved the color.

    The next day my fiancé asked, “Did you do something to your hair? It looks different.” I just smiled, unsure if he liked it or not. I wasn’t going to ask.

    A month after our wedding my hair started turning a red shade. It continued to be very dry and somewhat difficult to manage. By the end of four months it was breaking off, and the growing roots revealed a two-toned coiffure. Frustrated and upset with myself, I had a hairdresser cut my long hair into a short bob. I missed my locks, and it seemed like an eternity before they grew out again.

    Now as I look at my wedding photos, immediately my eyes go to my hair and the memories return. I wish I had the head of hair today that I had before the wedding as my “quirky thyroid” has caused significant hair loss.

    As I reflect on this experience I realize how unaware and unappreciative we can be when unable to accept ourselves as we are at the time. I would change a lot if I could go back, but know that is impossible. These thoughts bring to mind a comment made by my college roommate, who at age 50, was viewing some early photos of herself. With a pained look on her face, she explaimed, “Oh my gosh, I was thin once, but I missed it!”

  15. Cindi Lynch

    Utilitarian. Easy. No fuss. All words to describe my hairstyle over the years. And those words continue to describe it today.

    A recent photo project has me removing every single printed photo from their plastic sleeves, tossing the decaying albums, culling the number of prints from a few thousand to a more manageable few hundred, and finally scanning what remains so everything is digital.

    In the process I’ve had the perfect opportunity to view my, as it turns out, rather few hairstyles over the years. The two basic ones are pixie (childhood and a modified pixie now) and a version of a bob, sometimes shoulder length, but mostly just under the ears.

    And if you ask me to describe myself it will always be with one of those hairstyles. But pictures never lie and I stumbled across an era of a few years where I looked so outrageous, so ridiculous, so unlike myself that I truly thought about pitching those photos so no one would ever have to know.

    But in the light of trying to tell the whole story of this family and not purposely hide things, I have bravely kept those photos and will include them in the final project.

    What kind of hairstyle could have me thinking of actually tossing the evidence? The tight curly perm. Yep, I had one of those for about two years.

    Why…why you ask? You’ve got to understand me and my hair.

    ME: I like to get up and go. I don’t like fussing around choosing the perfect clothes, taking the time to be sure my make-up is just so, or fiddling with my hair. I like the ease of wash and go.

    MY HAIR: It’s very thick, there’s lots of it, and it’s ramrod straight. I also have a few crazy cowlicks just to add insult to injury. It takes forever to bend it into a curl. And when it’s long, it seems to take hours to dry.

    I did grow it long and sleek for high school graduation pictures, then changed it to the modified bob style when I became a grandma, but other than that it’s mostly been a short, sometimes very short, and often times spikey “do.”

    With my young kids just 13 months apart, I became overwhelmed at how time-consuming it was to try to take care of them and have enough time to also try to look good. And the curly perm was definitely “in” for a small period of time in the early 80s, so I went for it. At the salon, it took hours for the solution to do its thing and out I came with a super tight, not very attractive head of curls.

    At the time, I was okay with it. It definitely was easy. And I could use a pick to coax out some of the tightness. But my young kids weren’t too thrilled. I must have been unrecognizable to them because at first, they only wanted Daddy to hold them and not me.

    I renewed those curls several times over the next two years but I’m guessing by the time my kids were two and three, I was feeling less overwhelmed and more able to return to the land of the pixie. And there I’ve stayed for the most part.

    After sporting a modified bob since 2008, I switched back to a long pixie style last year. The ease of being able to let my hair air dry or to semi-spike it with a little gel just works for this no muss-no fuss type of gal.

  16. Cheryl Floyd

    Writing Challenge, Day 3: Let your hair down
    Media fashion and the loves of my life have greatly influenced my hairstyle choices. Every decade has brought about a change, sometimes subtle, most times drastic.

    Shirley Temple with her lovely long curls set the bar for little girls in the nineteen-fifties. My dear mother began perming my hair as soon as she could fit a curler into my naturally straight hair. Marlo Thomas hit the screen with her perfect little flip in That Girl from 1966 to 1971 my teen years. Perfect flips with straight her did not come easily, but hairspray helped. Major relief arrived with the Beatles and hippies in the sixties. At a time when my hair fit the fashion norm, I allowed two loves of my life to affect my hair decisions. My first love in high school had a thing for short, very short hair like his mother and sisters. His athletic family thought long hair an intrusion to their active lives. At the age of fifteen a very much non-athlete, love-struck teen, I cut my hair as short as Twiggy’s, but kept the bangs of Marlo, and those little spit curls in front of my ears, not a favorable fashion for me. I missed my long hair and with the teenage-break up and heart break I turned to music as my solace and my new role models became Cher and Crystal Gayle in the seventies when finally long, straight hair became desirable. I embraced the style through college and into the early eighties until my husband convinced me to cut and perm when long curly shags arrived. My adopted daughter had curly brown hair and the shag helped me look more like her until my second daughter, our birth child arrived in 1985. You guessed it she had straight hair. Once again, for a brief time in the early nineties I allowed my hair to grow out and relax into its natural state of straightness. Now here I am in my sixties, I have found comfort in short, straight hair. But if the truth be known, and I guess I am about to reveal it, I yearn to just let it grow, long, straight and silver. Yes silver, not gray. My granddaughter said, “Grammy, your hair has silver unicorn streaks in it.” That’s it! I could let my hair flow like a unicorn’s mane. Oh wait, those are wavy manes, aren’t they.

    1. Sarah Fine

      Oh the influences that lead us to new adventures. Why not embrace the influence of unicorns. I can see those beautiful flowing silver manes. And sometimes long hair can be easier to manage…

  17. Sarah Fine

    One Hairstyle I’ll never Forget
    Every June when I said goodbye to school friends, I would announce that big changes were going to happen during the summer. I would always promise to be different. I must have been less than satisfied with my personality, my hair, and my looks… so much so that I vowed to undergo some variety of metamorphosis during July and August.

    The year I graduated high school and was going to university, I really did make a change. In late August, I decided to put red highlights in my mousie brown hair. The thought of ‘auburn’ sounded better than ‘brown’.

    The previous summer, I had tried using bleach to put blond highlights in my hair. We all did. And no one achieved much success. So this time, I bought a Miss Clairol coloring kit from the drug store and my best friend Margaret helped me apply it. We waited the suggested 20 minutes, and then looked at my wet hair in the mirror.

    “Nothing’s happening,” I said. Margaret agreed. So we decided to leave it on longer; but after another 40 minutes, my hair colour was still unchanged.

    “This isn’t working,” she said. “Let’s give it up and rinse the goop out of your hair.”

    My hair still looked brown after the rinsing, but when it dried, it was carrot red. I felt I was channeling ‘Anne’ of Green Gables. I had always seen myself as an ‘Anne’ and now I had her red hair too.

    Moreover, I was going to University where I knew very few people other than three boys from my High School who were in a car pool with me. Everyone would assume my hair was naturally red. At last my summer change had occurred. I was different!

      1. Sarah Fine

        I remained a redhead (which I loved) until Christmas break when I tried to correct the two tone hair do that evolved. Miss Clairol again in a brown shade I thought was like my normal colour. But it was much darker – a deep auburn contrasted by the winter whiteness of my skin – and made me look like I was suffering from a life threatening disease. Luckily youth is resilient.

        Kurt, I don’t remember the boys in the car pool saying anything about my carrot red hair and my new friends were surprised when I returned from my glorious ‘ginger’ days.

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