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Over the years my hair and I have grown to love each other. My hair is fine but thick and it needs a lot of work to make it look good. Luckily I’m very vain and am quite willing to put in the time.

My hair used to change colors throughout the year. I can look at pictures of me as a child and know what time of year it was based on my hair color. It was honey colored in the summer and dark chocolate colored in the winter. The changes were all natural.

One summer my dad bought some spray in hair lightener something or other. He sprayed my whole head concentrating most on the sides of my face. Then a blow dryer was taken to my hair. Suddenly my hair was much lighter than it ever had been and blonde on the sides. The spray also worked in the sun. Actually it was supposed to work better in the sun. Being a preteen I got a little carried away with the spray. It became an obsession. I loved my blonde highlights.

My hair doesn’t grow very fast. It damages easily because of how fine it is. It’s hard to say how long before the spray bleach grew out. Perming my hair every summer probably didn’t help the color any. My hair was definitely brown but a golden honey color for years. I had it all chopped off into a short A-line bob after Gavin was born. Bye bye split ends. Bye bye twelve years of perm damage. Hello dark chocolate brown hair.

Oddly enough when my sister didn’t have her hair colored it was so dark. I had no idea her hair was so dark. I always think of her as having blonde hair. Her hair didn’t turn brown until she was maybe 10 years old. My brother and I started out with white blonde hair when we were toddlers. His hair was practically black for most of his life. It now has a salt and pepper look to it. I honestly used to believe that every child started out with blonde hair before it settled into the color it would be. In my mind, if a person had blonde hair they were either the youngest in their family or dyed it. Ah the naiveté of youth! 

Lately my hair is doing very strange things. I have tons more broken pieces on top. That’s always fun to try to tame with hairspray without weighing down my hair. I used to pull out the white hairs because they were broken, squirrely curly, and sticking straight up on top of my head. Now I’m finding long silver streaks everywhere. At first it was just a few here and there. I could hide them easily. Now I see at least five in every layer I pull down to smooth with the curling iron.

That’s the other thing, my hair is never smooth anymore. Maybe I’m using too many heat appliances on it. Although I have always used tons of heat to get my hair to do what it’s supposed to do. Heat and perms. Now just heat. I’m very careful and I always use mousse or gel as a heat protectant for my hair. In the last year or so my hair has taken on a frizzy quality. The broken pieces foing. You know when you pull on a tight curl and it bounces back. Foing! There is no straightening them out either. The silver hair is the worst foing offender.

I knew one day my hair would start to turn gray. I just assumed the colorless hairs would still behave the way my hair always had. Not so much! I don’t think I have enough gray to worry about coloring my hair yet. But I do worry. What if I color it and some pieces still curl and wave wildly? How does losing pigment cause hair anarchy? At what point should one cling tightly to youth with hair dye?

By the way, my dark chocolate hair has gradually become much much lighter in the last year. A friend noticed last summer and mentioned it thinking I had it colored on purpose. I thought it was from the pool chlorine but my hair keeps getting lighter. How much silver is in my hair? More than I think. I have since started putting thicker and thicker chunks of hair in the curling iron. It’s a bit of a time saver but more because I don’t want to see any more grayish silver hair than I need to. Those long curly pieces never straighten out anyway no matter how many times I slowly pass them through the curling iron.

I don’t even feel old. I’m 34 years old for crying out loud! That’s the prime of life. Yet I’m starting to see wrinkles along with all my hair woes. I’m not sure I’m handling this whole aging thing really well. Cue the midlife crisis. Tomorrow I think I’ll get my hair cut into a spiky spunky ‘do and wear lots of leather. What do you think?