“Can you do anything about it?” I asked the mirror and the hairstylist standing behind me.
“Honey, you’ve got some very confused hair. Straight in the back, wavy on the sides, and curly in front. There’s no hairstyle that’s going to fix all of that. You have to pick a way and go with it.”
My hair, like my eyes, can’t decide what it wants to be. Some days my eyes are green and some days they are blue, depending on my mood and what I’m wearing. Some days my hair is curly and some days it’s just fuzzy.
So, I went with the curly - the very curly, as in permanent wave. Can you say “Back to the 70’s?” I knew I was in trouble when upon seeing me people would start reminiscing about their afros in their high school days – just after the Vietnam War ended. The curly in my hair took overly well to the curly in the treatment and well, all I can say is that Shirley Temple had nothing on me.
I tried my darndest to wash it out, condition it out and finally relented and cut it out. Back to the drawing board.
Short hair. I’m too old to look like a cute young pixie and too young to look like my Grandma. Short hair made me look like I just gave up. So, I grew it out. Right along the time I was starting to look like a misled porcupine I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror while playing with my two year old grandson.
“Cyrus,” I said, “I think I’m going to shave my hair bald."
Now, Cyrus is awfully fond of long hair and liked to twirl it in his fingers while he sucked his thumb and I read him books.
“No, Grandma! Don’t cut your hair!”
The rest of the family concured, so I bought a hat to get me through the next several months of icky.
One summer day I was working in the garden with my grandson and again caught a glimpse of my wild hair in an outside mirror. Oh my.
“Cyrus,” I said, “Grandma is going to cut her hair.”
I knew it was bad when he took a long look at me and said, “Yes, Grandma, you should cut your hair.”
I resigned myself to my dotage and made an appointment right away. I sat down in the chair with a huff and said, “Just cut it all off!”
This was a new gal – a very sweet one. She fingered my hair and walked around me while visibly pondering.
Just when I was sure she hadn’t heard me she said, “I think you should grow it out and I can help you. Your hair has a beautiful texture and you have lots of it. With the right cut you could condition it and let it dry naturally. Before long you will have long beautiful curly waves.”
I was quite skeptical, but she convinced me. Could she really mean that I could just have my hair - the way it is – and like it? That there was some way to come to terms with the hair God gave me? The way He made me?
I took her advice and she worked miracles that I could never imagine and before long I actually liked my hair. It is Meg Ryan messy, but it suites me and I feel like – well – me.
I’ll occasionally blow it out and dominate it with a flat iron just to feel a little in control for say – half a day. But, it quickly goes back to its wavy ways and I no longer pledge to wage war on my locks. We are at peace.
My hair has come to symbolize my life. I fussed and fretted much of my life, trying to be someone else. Trying to pin, tuck, cut and flat iron the way God made me to fit some image of what I should be, instead of what I am.
I was a wayward child who didn’t know she was formed by her Father for His purposes. He formed me with His plans in mind. He formed me in His image. Just the way He wanted me to be.
All the blue eyed, green eyed, straight, wavy, curly, silly, sad, creative, generous and grumpy person that I am – and then some; His some. His Spirit in me makes all of those things beautiful and we are at peace.
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