The World’s In Turmoil So Let’s Talk Hair!!!

The World’s In Turmoil So  Let’s Talk Hair!!!

Hair. Let’s talk about something we can relate to in one way or another. We all have it as well as the accompanying emotions that seem to cause us endless angst. We have straight hair but long for curls. Natural redhead but would prefer being deep brunette. Or those who struggle to stay ahead of graying locks and when the battle is lost, struggle to stay ahead of the gray roots. I’ve always said, if I worried about my body the way I do my hair I’d look like Madonna  back in the 90’s but minus the cone bras.

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Look at her pecs!

Let me tell you about my hair. It is extremely thick and I can honestly say every stylist who has ever worked on it “claim” they’ve never seen such thick hair (which somehow I doubt). In my late teens I allowed a stylist to thin it out with thinning shears ~  never again. Because my hair is also course (especially the top) when it was thinned I had pieces sticking out all over my head that literally resembled corkscrews . I’ve had stylists subtly ask if I was biracial because of the texture of my hair ~ the horsehair part that is. I’ve been tempted to say that I’m only biracial on the top of my head but haven’t. Biracial isn’t a bad thing but I’m 100% Irish with extremely pale skin and dark hair. Adopted by a Polish couple and later lived in Little Italy. Some diversity right?

 

I’m now nearing 50 so have undergone quite a few hair transitions over the years. Frosting in early 20’s which was torturous because they used THOSE caps. For me it was like they were pulling my brains out because of the thickness but did I have it done again? Of course! In hindsight I think I must have been going through a masochistic phase but didn’t realize it.

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Man did that hurt!!!
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What was I thinking???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a natural dark brunette with red undercurrents that keep coming through. But I have something different in that I have a Mallen Streak . I was born with one in the area of my upper right hairline. As a child my adoptive step-mother (who knew one kid could have so many mothers?) would take me into a room and have me look at a photo of Shirley Temple and berate me for not looking like her. “Look at Shirley’s beautiful curls Bunny. Why can’t you look like her?” or “Shirley doesn’t have that horrible white spot on HER hair”. I had no idea who Shirley Temple was but I knew I didn’t like her because I was constantly being compared to her. At home I was ridiculed for my white patch as well as for my “birds nest” ~ a term they used to describe the particularly course, thick hair on the top of my head.

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Sorry Shirley ~ you had cute dimples!

At school I was called Skunky, Lily Munster, Bride of Frankenstein or Pepé Le Pew. Seriously? Ridiculed and beat at home and taunted at school. The name calling continued throughout high school but seemed more like a harmless joke then as opposed to the cruel way grade school children inflict pain with their words. I think I began honing the fine art of sarcastic retorts during my time in high school because I’ve got quite an impressive collection.

 

 

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True Fact: Boris Karloff’s daughter Sara has a Mallen Streak…

Once I gained my freedom, one of the first things I wanted to do was have my white streak colored but was told it was impossible. I eventually discovered (pre Google folks) that the hair lacks pigment). Looking back I think that’s what steered me in the direction of the masochistic frosting cap.

In my late 20’s and into early 30’s I had that section bleached then highlighted. I had the chunky highlight going on before it became vogue. But alas by late 30’s I was tired of it. Salons had found a way to color Mallen Streaks so I was on that like white on rice. I turned my dark brown hair with the auburn highlights into dark brown with burgundy highlights. I thought it looked fabulous but in reality I probably resembled an eggplant from the neck up.

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How I thought my hair looked…
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How it REALLY looked!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That phase ended in a few years and I stuck with dark brown for my streak, stripe or chunk. In between I went through a braid phase  (and occasionally still do especially for hiking) and actually am somewhat adept at a variety of braids. I used to put my toddler granddaughter’s hair in cornrows just to annoy her mother (my son’s now ex-wife). In 2011 I had my hair chemically straightened and can say with all honesty that was my favorite hair phase. When I returned a year later to the same stylist to have it done again, I had major breakage and I really do think it was “operator error” as the whole process was somewhat different from the first time so despite a love of all things three, won’t go for a trifecta.

 

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Look Mama! Cornrows!

Since I discovered Argon and Macadamia oils my hair is much more manageable and I’ve come to love it. During the winter I do add a bit of EVO to the shampoo just before I slap it on my wet head because it gets dry easily if I don’t stay one step ahead of it. After towel drying I use a spray leave in conditioner. I can’t find the one by Nexxus that I used for years but recently discovered It’s A 10 Silk Express Leave In  that’s quite nice. Then I follow that with either one of the oils and I’m good to go.

The texture is such that I essentially wash and go as I despise blow drying (makes it frizz uncontrollably). I rarely use a comb instead opting for fingers and until last winter I kept it pretty long. When my dog Callie died in November I hopped on what I eventually began to refer to as the “Crazy Train of Grief” and a week later went into the bathroom and cut inches off. Then a few days later I cut some more. And because I like the #3, I went back one more time and tried to layer it. Yeah, not a pretty picture. A return of the corkscrews from my late 20s only cut by Edward Scissorhands before he honed his craft.

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Never cut your hair by watching a You Tube tutorial!

During my train ride I also didn’t worry about the Mallen ~ until the day I decided to self color my entire head with a dark brown. It came out nearly black! Because I used a permanent one as opposed to semi-permanent, my choices were live with it or lift it. Therein was the problem because I didn’t want my hair bleached or stripped simply because of its course dry texture. I scoured the internet and found an interesting concoction that received great reviews on Makeup Alley (my go to site because every woman who lives in the willy whacks up a densely wooded mountain simply must know the latest fads). It’s a mixture of crushed Vitamin C tablets combined with shampoo to make a paste which you apply to wet hair.  To be honest my family thought I’d been on the train too long as they heard me use a meat mallet to pulverize the Vitamin C tabs inside a zip lock bag.  However it worked and I had my normal dark brown back plus the streak. At that point I decided on a different approach; I’d “embrace” my white streak. It’s visible from mid winter in my Gravatar picture. I still liked it then. I liked it for nearly six months. Now however I’ve decided (depending on the day of course) that it’s served it’s purpose and must go back into hiding. I mentioned this to my hairdresser when I ran into her recently and she babbled about all the coloring ideas she had for my streak; lavender grey, plum, copper, or a sparkly silver. I just looked at her, laughed and said “Hell No”.  I have an appointment this Wednesday and she booked me for enough time in case I change my mind. Somehow I doubt it but then, never say never.After all, I don’t drink, smoke or go anywhere (except of course the veterinarian) because I hate driving 5 miles one way to shop so I guess you could say hair is my hobby…

 

Welcome to my hair! In a way it’s therapy…

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Taking The Plunge…

Taking The Plunge…

I started this blog to chronicle my AT hike which I realize now was just an attempt to escape PTSD ~ something I had under control until 2012. I’ve made a few posts about my abusive childhood but like so many of us, life got in the way. The death of my “heart” dog Callie Ann, a beloved friend’s suicide and the multiple medical problems of my beautiful German Shepherd Sasha. In the process I found it necessary to end a somewhat long relationship with my therapist, a LCSW. I found another one I liked only to learn my insurance won’t cover her fees because she’s a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) as opposed to a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Insurance companies and even states vary I’ve learned so in my downtime I might write an appeal to my health insurance company. Until then, I’m just going to dive in; get it out of my head. For me words are a catharsis. I use words to give shape to my experiences. Words help me “see” who I am, what I’ve done, where I’ve been, where I’m going. Words help me understand. They are a coping mechanism of sorts, a means of expression through which I can separate the good in my life from the not so good.

Initially I thought it best to blog in chronological order but upon reflection have reconsidered. It would be intensely painful and some days my stress management ability is in overdrive and other days ~ not so much. Instead I’m going to write random entries; if a memory comes to mind I’ll write about it and see where it leads.

Just going to plunge in  because essentially I’ve had:

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I know, I know ~ not related but its a German Shepherd!

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Bare With Me ~ I’m Not Creative

I love simplicity. I’m not an art deco type of gal, preferring solid colors to abstract floral prints and vertical or chevron strips. My clothing style would probably fall into the Minimalism category.   I love black & white and often flip my color photographs.

Im still looking for the “perfect” WP theme; simple, black with maybe a pop pf color like BlackandWhiteDigital.com. I’ve looked but can’t seem to locate one so for now I have the Syntax theme. If anyone knows of a “user friendly” B&W theme that might work, please let me know. Not too complicated though!

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Sasha

The End of One Road…

The End of One Road…

A simple thing really. I ran out of cloud space while filming my dog today. I began to check settings and deleting unnecessary things. Then it happened. My eyes filled with tears as I saw an email from you. You’d sent it to me after my beloved Callie died and I was on the “crazy train of grief”. I’d cut inches off my hair then the next day  cut even more. I can still see the look of shock on your face when I pulled in your driveway a few days later; you’d never seen me in short hair, never knew that I had curls resembling drunken corkscrews. The email began with your usual sarcastic wit that I’d come to love. You offered to lend me sheep shears for my next cutting adventure but warned they were the “manual type”. You suggested a mohawk for less upkeep with a matching one for my hubby. You made a point of telling me that your cat’s had “no comment” on my hair. Then you shifted gears and wrote a beautiful letter about my loss. You mentioned little “Callie-isms” that I never knew you’d noticed. You spoke of her as you did of your cats, with love and kindness. How the first thing you recognized when we’d met years before was her uncanny devotion to me, a devotion you never saw waver even towards the end when her body was weak.

I’ll never forget you nor will I ever stop loving you. Our friendship transcended the usual male female relationships. I never knew exactly how to describe either of us ~ gender fluid? Intergender? All I know is we had a wonderful, platonic friendship built on trust, an emotion that doesn’t come easily to me. We felt so secure, so safe with each other that we shared many dark parts of our lives. You will always have a special place in my heart because death ends a life, not a friendship.
I will always hold your memory close to my heart but I must move on now. I can’t weep during the day and toss and turn at night. I can’t continue to forget to eat and stay sequestered inside my house. I wish I could have saved you; I wish I could have convinced you to return to counseling, renewed your prescriptions, insisted you promise that you would call me before you picked up a gun. Hell, I wish I had searched your house for a gun!

Sadly, I can’t change a damn thing and even though it’s causing me severe anxiety and heightened depression, I HAVE to pull myself together. I have a legal matter looming on the horizon. Jury selection is in two weeks. It’s been a long four years which I don’t think I would have gotten through had it not been for your support and unwavering loyalty. I’m terrified and wish you were in the courtroom every day as you promised but in hindsight I realize your own pain was simply too great to carry any longer. But I have to see this through, not just for me but for you as well. The defense attorney took one sentence from my therapist’s session notes and as you know, she ran with it, thinking she’d found her “smoking gun”. Her questioning of me is going to be brutal and I have to find a way to prepare myself. I was supposed to go to counseling every week beginning last October so I would be prepared but after only two sessions life got in the way when Callie was diagnosed with lymphoma. Then it was one thing after another and I never went back. Now it’s too late. The attorney is going to bring up things that happened decades ago, events that have zero relationship to the crux of the case. She’s going to question me about my darkest hours, about secrets that I haven’t shared with my own family and I don’t know if I have the emotional stamina to get through it. How can the horror I suffered decades ago be relevant to what happened in 2012? How can the legal system allow me to be excoriated over events that happened before I even began school? Events I had no control over? The only way I can prevail is if I begin to address each nightmare now in the safety of my home as opposed to in a public courtroom. All my life I’ve been running and hiding but your suicide made me realize that running isn’t the answer. It’s time to bring the memories out, address them for the evil they were, then lock them away so that they can never hurt me again. You of all people can understand this for even though you’re gone, I want to believe your essence remains.
I’m going to win, but first I have to search deep within myself for answers. 

I know you’ll understand…