Hair changes. It gets gray. It gets dry. It's not the hair we had when we were 20 years younger.
Some people dye their hair. I can understand that. We are used to our hair being one color all our life, and suddenly it's different. Gray instead of brown, or white instead of blonde. It happens without a lot of notice. Then one day someone, probably a child or grandchild, will describe us as "She has gray hair and..." Surprise! We might not have noticed it ourselves, but others sure did!
Some people cut their hair. I understand that too. It's easier to manage, I've heard. It looks more professional. It's cooler, and after age 50 cooler becomes an attractive option.
But my sisters and I seem to be bucking a trend. Most of us do not dye our hair. We feel we've earned every gray and white strand on our heads. And several of us no longer cut our hair either.
My hair has been long for years. Since age 14, in fact. When I was a little girl I had long hair until my brother cut off one braid with the grass shears (a long story that I often tell for storytelling audiences--my mother about had a heart attack but I thought I was stylin'! Did Joe get in trouble? Oh yeah!). I got my first beauty shop haircut after that and my hair stayed short for years afterward.
When I was a dewy-eyed bride of 17, my hair was long, shiny and dark auburn. I bet like most of you, I didn't realize how pretty it was, I just worried that it wasn't perfect. Sheesh.
Then the 60's hit and I let it grow. And grow. Until it reached somewhere near my waist, where it stopped growing.
My seven sisters followed a variety of paths. Most cut their hair, and some tried coloring. I experimented with perms in the 90's, but left them behind because to tell the truth, I hated what to me was a ridiculous cost, and did not want to spend so much time in beauty shops.
I tried short hair once again around 1997. I could not wait for my hair to grow again. When you're used to long hair, you don't expect to have to spend time on things like hot rollers, blow dryers, and "scrunching." You just wash and go.
And that's where I am now. I wash and go, no worry with styling, crimping or curling. It is so easy. My hair is turning gray and that's fine by me. It is how it is supposed to be. Natural.
I was surprised last weekend to find that several of my sisters have the same idea. Judy is letting her white-blonde hair grow long again and she looks like I remember her when we were young. Maggie's hair is long and lustrous and only beginning to have a little gray. Theresa proudly wears her gray mingled with her natural blonde, and Mary's once jet-black hair is a shining silver now.
The younger sisters are still cutting and may be using color, but give them time. They'll learn the same thing we did: let nature take its course. It's easier, cheaper, and in the end our hair is healthier for the lack of attention.
Is this a trend, I wonder, with other women? Are others rebelling after years of messing with their hair and letting it go natural? Or are we the odd women out? (Okay, I know we're odd, but you know what I mean!)