Ok, I admit it…I’ve had a haircut every 4 weeks ever since I can remember, like clockwork, need it or not, and have been having my copper highlights refreshed every 8 weeks for the last 10 years! I can remember my mom saying, (one of her “momisms”) that a woman’s hair is her crowning glory! And actually, hers was…always the perfect cut, color (for many years I highlighted her hair for her), perm, style…hair in perfect condition with her home “hot oil” treatments every few months! Until the day it all fell out from chemotherapy, it was beautiful! It never had a chance to grow back, unfortunately, but she gracefully accepted that fate
and even got ok with the peach fuzz that began to come back in! One of my unpleasant memories from childhood is that every night my mom would roll my hair in little sponge-and-clip curlers before I went to bed..this beginning when I was probably 5 or 6!! And as I got older, there was the ritual of sitting at the kitchen table while my mom permed my hair with a Toni home perm kit, a very smelly and trying experience with an outcome that was never very pretty…kinky, tight curls that made me feel like a frizzy Shirley Temple. As I grew up, I “put my hair up” in curlers every night, and during the day the curls would fall and my hair would be half stick straight and half limp waves. A constant battle.
I guess I come by this continual haircare ritual honestly, and I can say that over the years it has become one of the things I do to take care of myself. No manies or pedies for me, no regular massage, no eyebrow waxing, no weekly facials, just a good haircut and I feel fine! The copper color thing started about 13 years ago after I broke up with the “love of my life.” Kind of a “I’m gonna wash that man right out o’ my hair,” thing, I guess! I was getting gray, my blond highlights were beginning to not show with the gray, and I felt I needed something fun and just a bit on the edge – only young, punky teenagers were doing it then, so I thought I’d start a trend among the women-of-a-certain-age set.
Now, after almost 8 weeks without a cut, and several months without fresh copper streaks, I am beginning to look like Methuselah! And it seems there’s no time in sight when hair salons may reopen! It is even one that has been mentioned by our Minister of Health here in France, as being one of the next businesses to reopen, and has been followed by much ballyhooing, of course, because of the required closeness between stylist and customer, etc. I haven’t yet spoken to my friends about how they are handling it, and I do see lots of women these days with gray roots showing about 1/4” or more, and looking scraggly like me. What is the answer? I realize this is an activity where it is nearly impossible to implement social distancing, but what will we all do? And once the doors to salons DO open up again, my goodness how long will we have to wait in the long line of folks ahead of us?
As I mentioned in my last post, I’m finding that alchemy is needed again to transform my thinking about this and other similar situations that are presenting themselves. My hair is fertile ground for an experiment: how long can I really go? Can I trim it myself? (I have hair scissors and often do little snips here and there…but a big trim?) With a new world coming, is this still a priority? How does this change the image I have of myself, or does it? Will people even notice!!?? Do I care if they do or don’t? What exactly changes in myself as my outside look changes? You get the picture. What begins as a question of, maybe vanity or superficial thinking, can be peeled back into areas of self esteem, self image, what role do others play in my behavior? While I am pretty convinced I do this self-care stuff for myself alone, the questions brought about by change beg for answers in this new reality we are facing. I’ve spoken mostly about we women here, but men need haircuts, too! I must say most men I know whose hair has grown a little long over the ears and in the back look SO MUCH better! Ha! And their hair is not so difficult for a non-professional to cut. Of the many services I used to avail myself of, this one has stumped me the most as to how to do without it! Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer!!
Just on a serious note, in case anyone hadn’t thought of this and might want to join in…. I have heard that many of us out here who have had to forego the services of our self-care providers, plan to give them an extra payment when we next see them. Many of those folks (and I was one too) are independent contractors who depend on someone being in their chair to make any money, and their wages are often barely living ones. So, when I next get my hair cut and colored, I am going to pay my gal at least for one extra haircut I would have gotten in 2020 BC (before Corona!)