Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen

Tonight, like many nights, I am missing my buzz cut. I’ve never been in the army, although I did sport the hair style. Growing up, my hair was long and stick-straight. My tresses used to hang down well below my waist. I still remember the endless detangling sessions and the knots that would not quit.

When I left home, I slowly shortened my hair, losing a few inches at a time, until my hair was an uneven mass of pretty punk spikes. I’d always wanted to try a different color, but that was too great of a risk for me. I couldn’t do it. I eased in with temporary dye, and liked the red tint that gave me. I finally mentioned to a radical hairdresser that I was considering going with an alternate color and she decreed that it would be so. I left the salon that day with lovely crayon-red hair, and quickly progressed to blue and magenta.

I loved it, and it helped me to realize that, after all, it’s just hair. Having a punk hairdo in my thirties allowed me to take more creative risks. I could no longer just blend in. I finally changed my style when I got tired of the extensive maintenance that magenta required. I also needed a hair color that would fit in with some of the office jobs I was working.

I wanted to go further and cut it all off, but I didn’t have the nerve. I was still gearing up to do it when I got a bad haircut. The only way to fix it was to shave the whole thing flat and start over. I loved it! Finally there was no goop to put in my hair, and people stopped urging me to acquire the blow dryer and curling iron I’d given up. I didn’t even own a comb. It was fabulous.

I kept my head bald for quite a while, but I need change. Today my hair hangs a bit past my shoulders, and I’m enjoying the option of leaving it down or wearing it up. Now that I’ve realized that it’s only hair, I’ll change when I’m ready. Who needs a Barbie doll, when you can experiment on yourself?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:

106. Have you had the same hairstyle for a long time? Are you the same person you were when you started wearing your hair that way? Try a little change like a temporary tint or a new hair clip, or go bolder with a cut or color. How does it make you feel?

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