Living back in my hometown now after retiring, I see people from time to time that knew me as a kid when I was growing up here. It’s kind of funny to me that they always mention my hair and how they remember me as a child with all that thick, long, blonde curly hair. Up until I was 2 (so I was always told and I’ve seen baby pictures as proof) I was totally bald! Then the hair started growing and would not stop, or at least that’s how it seemed to me!
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By the time I was 4 years old, I had nothing but thick ringlets all over my head that would have made Shirley Temple jealous, and those curls reached down past my waist! Everyone that saw me, friend or stranger felt the need to touch my curls and comment on how gorgeous my hair was and ask if it was all-natural curls. I was a tomboy through and through! I was literally a little shadow to my daddy and older brother, I wanted to follow in every footstep that they made. So normally momma had my hair up in two braided pigtails, except for Sunday mornings, then and only then I HAD to give in and wear a frilly dress and leave my hair down. I hated it, but what was I to do? I really had no other choice but to comply with momma’s demands. So off we’d go every Sunday morning all lace, frills, and curls where every older person there was going to “ohhh” and “ahhh” over my blonde curls! There was this one older man that simple adored me and I loved him just as much in return, but he never failed to greet me with a light tug on my curls while reciting this little rhyme:
"there was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very very good, But when she was bad she was horrid!"
Even as a very young child, I knew Mr. Beene meant nothing mean or bad toward me with his little rhyme because I knew he loved me and was just being funny. He always hugged me and momma even let me sit with him and his wife during church. But Mr. Beene just didn’t know how much I hated all those messy curls, or maybe he did and he was trying to make me feel better, I don’t know, but I grew up hating that messy of tangled curls on my head. For some old-fashion reason, not understood by me, my daddy would not ever let momma cut my hair shorter than my waist. He had no idea how hot and heavy that head full of hair was on me, especially during the summer in Texas! So it remained long and I continued to wear it in two braided pigtails because it was so thick it was very difficult to get it all into one ponytail in the back and have one ponytail holder to fit around it all.
By the time I reached eighth grade, I really could not deal with my long hair anymore, I went over to the local beauty shop, asked the lady to cut it up to my shoulders and told her my momma would be by later to pay her. (one of the perks of living in a small town where everybody knows each other) So she cut my hair up near my shoulders, and I left there feeling really good about myself and my shorter hair until I realized that by cutting all that weight off my hair just allowed it to curl up even more than it did when it was long. Well, so much for wanting the “Farrah Fawcett” look with feathered back bangs like all my friends with their perfect straight hair! The nearest thing I got to a celebrity look was now I looked like Barabara Streisand in “A Star is Born”. Definitely not the look I was going for, or what I wanted, but she was an amazing actress in a great movie, right?
Daddy was not happy and now, actually I wasn’t very happy with myself either and I was back to hating my hair after all of about 2 hours after the hair cut. Reality set in quickly and I had to start trying to decide what I was going to do with my hair before school the next morning. The only thing I could do was plop a toboggan down over it. It was Fall, but Fall in Texas isn’t really cold, that did not matter, I was the goofy girl that wore a toboggan on her head for months without taking it off no matter how hot or cold it was on any given day.
It finally grew out some and that big dilemma seemed to pass. I was always trying new or different things to my hair. I really hated my hair that much!! No matter what I did to it, or how I tried to style it, I just never liked how it looked. What it took me many years to learn was that with curly hair you need to just leave it as natural as possible, don’t blow dry it, don’t try to style it and just let it go it’s own way mostly. Over the years, I’ve worn my hair at many different lengths and many different styles or cuts, I even had a mullet at one time, yes I really did! Now due to aging and my body not absorbing nutrients as well as it should, my hair is very thin. A few months ago, just in time for my youngest daughter’s wedding, I actually looked as if I was almost bald on top!! Do you realize how embarrassing that can be for a woman? I can, and do, wear a cap a lot of times, but a cap didn’t fit in very well for wedding pictures so there was no way to hide my thinning hair that day. It really made me think about all my years of complaining and hating my hair. I’d never complain again about one curl on my head if I had even a fourth of that thickness back now. Finally now that I have very little of it left I’m learning to love my hair! Too little too late? Maybe not, I’ve been trying some new hair products and supplements with hopes it can stimulate new hair growth.
Lesson learned on my part. Be careful what you wish for and learn to love and be grateful for what you have!
until next time,