Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online

Hotstuff: A hairy tale – still in progress

Hotstuff: A hairy tale – still in progress

One of the many reasons my husband, Frank, and I have stayed happily married since 1960 (!!) could be that he has rarely ever tried to ask or tell me how to wear my hair.


In fact, he has even admitted enjoying most of the many times I’ve surprised him with an unexpected new cut and/or color. 


Once, after the birth of our fifth – and final – child, he talked me into letting my hair grow long by promising to buy me my first pair of contact lenses. We both kept our bargain. But not long after we did, I had a beautician girlfriend cut, color and perm my straight, tan, shoulder-length hair into a short, dark brown Afro. Taking care of all that long hair had seemed almost as hard to me as taking care of our five kids.


I do love trying different hair colors and styles, as long as the style is fairly short, easy to maintain and created by a professional beautician. I’ve never had the patience or desire to learn how to style or wear long hair. I also have a long-standing aversion to permanents and rolling my hair, or anybody else’s. During our teenage slumber parties, my girlfriends despaired of my lack of interest in trying on makeup or styling each other’s hair. 


My natural hair color is a medium brown and I was wearing a short, sassy, pixie cut when Frank and I started dating during my junior year of high school. But the summer before my senior year I started letting my hair grow longer so I wouldn’t look like a boy in my graduation cap and gown. By that fall, I was so busy working and going to college that my hair was almost shoulder length when Frank and I were married a few days before Christmas.


Since then, I’ve had my hair so many different colors and styles that I’m thinking about making – for the amusement of our eight granddaughters – an album of as many photos of my various hairdos as I can find.


 Some of the most recent photos will be of me with the wigs and new hair growth I’ve sported following my chemotherapy treatments for multiple myeloma cancer. And, if Frank has his way, at least one photo will be of me be wearing a jet black wig he’s been nagging me to buy.


Why he’s so insistent about me getting a black wig is a mystery to me. I've even tried on some, but they made me look as pale as Morticia from the old “Addams Family” TV show, and I've refused to buy one. My real hair has been that black only once – and that was quite by accident.


I was coloring my hair at home and left the color on way too long. When I finally rinsed it, the water was dark purple. Thankfully, my hair wasn’t that color when it dried. But it was black, and not just black, but that fake-looking Roy Orbison/Elvis-hair black. I was dismayed when I learned the only thing I could do without making all my hair fall out was let the color grow out. But, a cute hair cut from a master beautician visiting from New York made the color tolerable to me until then.


Now that my chemo-zapped hair is finally growing back, I'll be darned if it’s not looking like it could possibly be at least partly black. And if, after all of Frank’s insisting that I get a black wig, God brings my hair color back in black, then I'll wear it like that for Frank – and pray it doesn’t make me look like a vampire.

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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online