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Friday, April 13, 2012

A Hair Raising Tale...

Oh Lord, y'all.  You wouldn't believe it without pictures so I'm gonna have to show you some ugly.  I have a horrifying hair story to tell you.  I am STILL searching for some joy in the story so maybe telling it to you will help me a bit.

So you know I am a southern girl and you know I love big hair.  I love big hair to the center of my soul!  My sweet Mammaw owned a Beauty Shop and I was raised around the wonderful smell of chemicals....Perms and Dippity Do and Adorn Hair Spray take me back to my youth!  Mammaw's Beauty Shop was a thing to behold. It seemed to always be busy. You could open the door (and I can just hear that bell) and a cloud of chemicals and cigarette smoke would come rolling out.  Now before you get the wrong impression about Mammaw, she was certainly not a smoker...she was a Church Of Christ Preacher's wife. There weren't any women of ill repute frequenting her salon.  They just happened to love Jesus and smoke them some cigarettes too! She had a row of three dryers and those ladies would sit with their little helmets in rollers and yell out from under the dryer at each other. I loved it. I loved to go in and "help" her out on Saturdays. I had no skills, but I could answer the phone and spin that chair almost off the base.

My Mother, the Preacher's Daughter, was also gifted in the Hair department. She had some skills! Nobody could tease a good head of hair like Kaye.  She also had a Beauty Salon and though I know she had a lot of virtuous customers, Momma was not as "selective" as Mammaw. And the tales heard in her shop.....Have mercy.  There was always a lot of laughter and carrying on in Mom's little shop.

Unfortunately, The Hair Skills gene skipped a generation. I have no hair skills, but I know what I like and I can describe what I don't want. I have just enough knowledge to see red flags, but not enough to do my own carmel and honey blonde highlights and warm toasty brown to cover my gray. (The gray is another story.) I also was raised right..I know the RULES of good Southern Hair...  Hair Spray is essential, A good haircut is EVERYTHING and the wrong color hair can ruin everything.  The bottom line, it's not enough to be the right kinda blonde, you have to pull it off with some dignity.  The only people who can make white blonde work are rock stars and children. Can I get an Amen?

My mammaw and my Mom died in the same year, 2006.  Do you know that every single time someone leans my head back into that black bowl, I feel a little sad. I miss them so much. I miss the way they talked and carried on.  I miss my Mammaw saying, "scrub her hard, Kaye, Shelley Lynn has a leather head."  Makes me smile just thinking about it.

I have been so blessed to have the right people taking care of my hair for years.  Last week through some incident I will never truly understand, I started feeling like things weren't quite right.  I saw a lot of dark color going on my roots, I saw triple the amount of foil and I kept thinking to myself...this is odd, have I been here too long....

Have you ever wondered what your hair is worth?  I have cried with my Mom who lost her hair three separate times when she had chemo. My Mom had many surgeries but what made her cry in front of us was losing her hair. Why didn't I pay more attention?  I cried for my Sister in Law when she lost all her beautiful hair when she had chemo. I really couldn't imagine and still can't .....what that must be like. Now before you go thinking I am having a ginormous pity party, I will tell you that I do not know what it's like to lose your hair, all of it, to cancer...but I have now experienced what it's like to see your hair fall out in chunks and to see hair coming out and breaking off in piles on the counter and in my brush and in the floor.  You know how you've gotten a hair cut and it's just WAY shorter than you've had it in a while and you feel a little...naked?  or a little exposed?  Well, that's what this feels like. Every single time I look in the mirror, I feel sad.  My hair on top is about half the weight it was and it's wrong. It's just all wrong, all over, in all ways. THIS is not my hair. 

Where is the lesson in this?  The very same day my hair was falling out,  a colleague was courageously shaving her head for St Baldricks.  I have another sweet friend who has no hair.  Both are beautiful women.  Beautiful women not defined by hair. What is it about me...falling apart....because my hair was laying in a piles on my sink and in my brush?  Maybe it's tied to age? You know...should women my age have hair this long...Questions. Questions. I ask myself.

I will tell you when you tell your friends your hair is falling out, they will come running with help. Some offer shock and their ears, others get on the phone, some call their hair specialists for advice. Special shout out to several friends who recommended products and services. A BIG shout out to Donna Runion who texted me immediately with a cell phone number of one of the most sought after people in Nashville.... Mike Vandiver who recommended a product to stop the breakage. It did!  It did exactly what he said it would do.  Thank you Mike!   I also went to see an ANGEL in the hair world, Gabrael Dunham at Salon Bluebird. She not only got teary eyed when she saw me, she was able to trim it up some, give me a plan and tone my hair up a bit. She styled me for a big C&C Meeting where I would be seeing a lot of women I knew.  Being in front of people and speaking after hiding out for a week with saran wrap and/or hats on your head, well....She's an angel. Go see her, she will take care of you! Gabi did my hair for a long time and had taken a break in her career, so thankful she's back! I trust her. That means so much.

To the person who refunded my $235 (not sure why I was shorted the other $45)....I do not hate you. I truly do believe you are sorry and that it was not intentional and I do feel so bad for the way you must be feeling.  This tale is really not about you.  I'm sorry I skipped church on Easter Sunday... I knew that Jesus and crazy murderous rage cannot occupy the same place. I really am sorry about that. I surely could have put on a hat, right?  Some things are worth so much more than we know.  I've decided my hair is worth a lot to me.  Shallow?  Maybe.  But I have heard my entire life that a woman's hair is her crowning glory.  I have had two experts tell me that in a year if I take good care of my hair, I will never know this happened.  On the cusp on 45, maybe this is just the beginning of a lesson I will learn.

Sweet Giovanni, Why did you move and Leave Me?

When I washed my hair more hair fell out.

This was actually a good day...The last big bunch of hair that broke off

See through and Broken
Gummy, I couldn't get a comb through it, Afraid!
Headed to Bill who gave me wonderful advice and an even better product.
After one application, the breakage slowed down dramatically.

Just showing off to my Jumper friends!  How many people can style their hair like this with NO product. Did you know dead, scorched hair will stand on its own like this?!

THANK YOU GABI for trimming me up, giving me a plan and for taking such good care of me.

1 comment:

  1. You are beautiful! One day I hope to have hair as gorgeous as yours!