Archive for the ‘hair’ Category

White Towels

I’ve never been one to get white anything. No white clothes (except when I had an office job and wore white shirts with my pantsuit … yeah, about a gazillion years ago). No white blankets. No white houses. No white cars. No white. It’s just not something I would choose. I think it’s because there are so many colors and white is the absence of color.

So today I am using a white towel. I have two. Well, not exactly white. I’m dying my hair. It has been about nine months since I dyed it and it is now about three-fourths white. So it was more than time. I have to babysit for the next five days straight while my daughter is out of town so before I start that, I decided to spend an hour on myself to dye my hair. That’s when I pulled out my white towels.

White towels to dye my hair? I must be crazy!

It all goes back to when my daughter and I lived alone, just the two of us. I sent her in to Kmart one evening to get my a cheap towel to use to dye my hair. I didn’t want to use my pretty new yellow towels and ruin them. So she came out of the store and we drove home. When I got the towel out to start dying my hair, it was a white towel that she had picked. I asked her why white, was she crazy? She laughed her silly sixteen year old laugh and said, “It’s fun, mom! It starts out white and after awhile we will be able to see all the colors we used to dye our hair! Let’s see how long it takes until there’s no more white!”

I rolled my eyes but I couldn’t help laughing. So that was about ten or twelve white towels ago. Now, every time I have to replace one of my “hair dye towels” I pick white because it reminds me my silly teen aged Susie and I go way back to her giggle and sense of humor!

Okay, gotta go! My timer just went off so I have to go wash out the dye!

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For years I have needed to dye my hair every three to four weeks. I use the box dye that I put in my hair myself. The salon is too expensive and they often don’t get it right. About four years ago, I went in on Senior Discount Day and got my hair cut and colored. I had taken a picture of what I wanted it to look similar to. The haircut was wrong and the color she gave me was not the deep brown with a touch of red. Instead, it was all red…like not hair red but crayon red! I had to cover it up when I went back the next day so they could fix it. Then three years ago I treated myself to a haircut and color treatment for my birthday (which is also Christmas and I wanted it to look nice when the family was together). It turned out great. I was quite pleased until she gave me the bill to pay. It wasn’t the price she had quoted. It was more than twice the price. I almost passed out right there in the mall. So no more salon jobs for me. I buy a box of color for $6 to $10, depending on whether it is on sale or not.

However, because money has been so scarce (and continues to be) I haven’t colored my hair since before Thanksgiving. It is now about fifty percent gray. It makes me look about ten years older than without the gray. At least ten years older. I almost didn’t care because this was also a time when I was depressed and just didn’t care what my hair looked like or what age I looked like. Then I started to feel better when my diabetes started to get better (the wonders of medication!) and all the gray started to bother me. I wanted to look my best. I have been really busy with doctor appointments and trips to the lab for tests, to the hospital, to the pharmacy, and all of those other busy-making things so I had not had the chance to dye it. It kept getting more and more gray and I kept noticing it more and more.

Then I got my diagnosis and although I’ve not been to the oncologist yet, I know it’s not going to be a walk in the park. The biopsy, while I don’t have results yet, showed that the tumor is not only in my gall bladder but in my liver, as well. So if we come up with a treatment plan, it’s not going to be fun.

That’s when I decided to dye my hair. I was not going to wait another minute. I went to the closet where I keep extra boxes of hair dye when I get them on sale. I didn’t have any. There was one box of black that I bought for my sister but black is too severe for me so I couldn’t find any dye in the house. Finally, I found a box I had bought at the Dollar Tree. Yup, hair dye for a dollar. I was reluctant to use it because it was a no name brand with poor spelling on the outside of the box and it was old. But I figured, what the heck. So that’s what I have in my hair now. And it isn’t bad. I didn’t get all the gray but that’s okay. It looks more natural that way.

Now I want a haircut but I’m thinking I might want to leave it long for as long as I can because it might not be too long from now that I won’t have any at all. So that’s the inner debate right now. Of course, I have no money for a haircut and I won’t do it myself, so that will probably be the deciding factor in the endless hair decisions.

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Blogging From A to Z

I remember sitting for hours and hours as my mother untangled my hair every couple of days. There were four of us girls and she would line us up and we would take turns coming and sitting on our knees between my mom’s legs as she brushed out all of the tangles. Then when she finished, she would start again only this time it was putting our hair in curlers. She used to use large pink rollers for where our hair should have large curls then little ones for the smaller curls and finally pin curls (using bobby pins) for the tiny curls around our faces. We always had long hair and it took hours to take care of it but it was important to our mom that our hair be just right so she spent long hours making sure it looked perfect.

One summer she put a Lilt home permanent in my hair because my hair was very fine and would not hold the curl for very long so she permed it. I remember the chemical smell of the product and how important my mom said it was to get the time perfect or my hair would burn. I didn’t want my hair to burn and I sat obediently, not making a sound or moving a finger, so that my hair would not burn.

I think that’s what taught me to always have long hair. That’s the way I was raised. It was ladylike to have long hair, not short hair. In fact, all four of us sisters still have long, long hair, even though we are all in our late 50’s. That’s just the way we grew up.

I think too that the importance of women having long hair is one of the reasons my mom took it really hard when she had to have chemo therapy last year. She dreaded losing her hair but she knew it was coming. When it did, she refused to leave the house. Even though I had bought her a number of pretty scarves and hats to cover up her baldness, she would not go out except to doctor appointments. She wanted a wig but she wanted it to look like her own hair because if it didn’t, people might think she was bald! Go figure! I offered to buy her a wig online and have it delivered to her but she was afraid it would not be right and then she would feel bad about returning a gift and she’d keep it. So finally, I was able to go visit her. I had been going down to see her every couple of months but had not been there since before she lost her hair. When I got there, I made it a priority to take her to the next town over (well, a few towns over; it took an hour to get there) to a shop I had found online and I had her fitted for a wig. She finally found one that she liked and the woman who worked there was wonderfully patient with her until my mom was happy with what she had found. She was like a new woman with that wig! She was ready to go shopping and out to eat wearing her new wig!

I guess for us, maybe we’re like Samson. Our strength is in our hair. We keep it long to keep our strength. It doesn’t matter if it is almost completely gray. It’s the length that holds the key to our ladylike ways…to our strength.

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