Today’s Daily Prompt is “Phase” — and I thought, Phases of what? The moon? Growing up?
Then I remembered this piece that has sat in my draft folder for months. It’s the phases of hairstyles — my hairstyles. Enjoy.
Helen asked me, “At what age do women cut their hair short? Everyone your age seems to have short hair.”
Well, no, that’s not exactly true. I listed off a few women who had longish hair, and remembered women I had taken care of in the nursing home years ago who still hair-pinned their long thin hair into tiny buns.
But she’s right. Most of us have given up on long beautiful hair.
In the fall I had decided to try to grow my hair out. Again.
“I just want to be able to tuck it behind my ears,” I told the woman who cuts my hair.
She stood behind me and we both looked in the mirror as she ran her fingers through my hair and tried to imagine it tucked back.
“Okay,” she finally said, and she trimmed a little here and a little there before sending me on my way.
I hadn’t waited until I was 40 or 50 to get my first short haircut, though. I was little when I got my first pixie cut.
“Can I get a short haircut?” I asked my mother. She grimaced, but she agreed.
The downside of short hair for a little girl is that people think you’re a boy.
Within a few years I was trying to grow it out again, and swept it over low over my eyes to hide my high forehead.
In high school my hair went up and down like the moods of a teenage girl.
A college friend asked me to model for him my freshman year. It took hours to blow dry and curl my hair. Even then, we used a hat to hide my hair’s wayward ways.
I spent more time on my hair that day than I did on my wedding day.
I permed it once — that was a disaster.
The bowl cut —
I grew it really long for a while —
And then chopped it all off.
There was a time I asked for a hairstyle like Princess Diana and came out looking like my hair had been cut with a weed whacker. I cried and cried.
There have been times I was too busy to get a haircut and I chopped it off myself. Once I asked Bud to straighten it up because I knew I had cut it unevenly, and then the hairdresser that I finally went to said, “It’s a good thing you guys stopped.”
This last time that I tried to grow it out this last time may have been the last.
One day, after a swim meet, I went to the mall, found a haircutting place, and said, “Cut it all off.”
I took a selfie when it was done.
And then had Laurel further trim it when I got home.
The thing I’ve learned about hair is that it always grows back.
And it’s very forgiving.
God gave me untamable hair so that I could understand about second chances, and third chances, and forty-seventh chances.
Keep trying, He whispers in my ear. You’ll figure things out.
And forgive them, He whispers, too. Not about my hair, but about people who repeatedly hurt me.