Hair has always been an issue for me. Well, not always. Until I hit puberty, around twelve years old, my hair was brown and straight and not particularly worthy of attention. Then along came adolescence. My hair went wild. All over. The hair on my head grew wiry and frizzy. The hair on my legs gradually became dark and too thick to ignore. To my horror, I grew a faint mustache.
In middle school and high school, I spent hours dealing with my hair. Twice a week, I tamed the stuff on my head with plastic rollers the size of soup cans. (Remember, this was the 1960s, when long, straight hippie hair was cool.) It took more than an hour under the hair dryer to achieve the final smoothness. In between washings, I’d clip it around my head at night to stop the frizzy waves.
When I was in ninth grade, all that effort went for naught because I had swimming for first period P.E. It was some kind of cruel test for freshmen. The required bathing caps weren’t much help. I went through the rest of the day with frizzy hair and smelling like chlorine.
To deal with the mustache, I used a bleaching cream. And I shaved and shaved my legs.
So much hair.
So much time spent managing it.
Three years ago, in Spain, I had my hair cut really short. I was 66. It’s been the best choice regarding hair that I have made in years. Wash and wear. No blow-dry, no rollers or ties or scrunchies or clips. Whew.
That was the good aspect of aging, getting brave and practical about how much of my remaining time I chose to spend fussing with my hair.
But there’s a not-so-good aspect to aging and hair. The stuff just keeps on sprouting! In the weirdest places, too. Now I have to check my nose and my eyebrows and chin for rogue hairs. Some are white and stand out defiantly. And I’ve acquired a light layer of blond fuzz all over my cheeks. It takes diligent daily effort to keep everything mowed and pruned.
God laughs and shakes an admonishing finger. “One place or another, you’re gonna have hair.”