In the 60’s, everyone wore their hair long, men and women. I grew mine past my shoulder blades, parted it in the center, no bangs, and topped off the look with “John Lennon” specs. It took my sister an hour or so every weekend to iron (yes, iron like in Sunbeam with Steam) it straight. It was that or sleep in 16-ounce can curlers.
In the 70’s, I lopped off all my hair and went Afro. A severe Afro that stunk like burnt tires and required a steel pick so dangerous it qualified as a lethal weapon. The poof dwarfed my face and what was left was covered in large dark glasses that made me look stoned.
In the 80’s, the look was the wanton, “loose,” natural curl, the kind that created long coils and fell “naturally” about the shoulders. It also cost three digits and took half a morning to get the perm done. I couldn’t believe that I was paying to put in what I was ironing out two decades before. I looked like the Cowardly Lion spruced up to meet the Wizard, but I was in style.
In the 90’s, it was time to do something about my gray. I refused to dye it so I frosted it blonde, thus “easing” into old age. Eventually I went from ash-brown to tortoise shell to totally blonde. Besides the expense, keeping up with it gave me as much gray as the gray itself.
In the 00’s, I went chocolate brown. For once I looked good, but my hair grows very fast, faster than most folks, so I had to spend lots of money (again) every month to get my roots redone. When I skipped a month I looked like a skunk, white streaks running in straight lines wherever my hair parted.
I realized I had spent a lifetime looking like everyone else, forgetting that the true road to happiness is to be yourself.
In 2008, I sheared it all off, as close to the scalp as possible, and after fifty years of copying everyone else, I was dealing with my own hair
Old habits die hard, so sometimes I discuss coloring it with my stylist. She tells me that white-gray is the latest fad and clients of all ages come into the shop everyday willing to pay three digits to have their hair done like mine.
Who knew? Lookee me. I’m the latest fad.