A to Z Challenge: Hair starts with H (so does Hide)


And what do hair and hide have in common? Hide is what you want to do if you have bad hair. Hence, another h word, Hat.

Honestly (another h word) we can’t help but notice a person’s head, the majority of which is covered with hair. Regardless of culture, race, or gender humans have a lot invested in their hair.  An African-American friend told me that when they get their hair done, spending considerable time and money on it, they tell even their husbands “don’t touch my hair!” It’s important stuff.

Lately I have been considering retirement and the necessity of cutting back on expenses. We have saved money the last 41 years by the husband enduring having his hair cut by me. He may have gone to a barber one or two times but I can’t remember when. So I am developing the strategy of saving money on my hair cuts by 1) not cutting it or 2) cutting it myself. In the past a good cut by someone I trust has cost me at least $50, so I’m going to save a couple hundred a year even by conservative figuring.  Having considered this I approached the scissor moment a couple of times and then chickened out. Even being not too happy with how I look at present is better than having to hide under a hat for six months while a mistake grows out.

This morning, struck with sudden, irrational bravery I started in before I could change my mind. It’s only hair, right? It’s not like I’m deciding to cut off an arm or a couple legs. And I have to learn to do it if I’m going to retire (that might be a bit of an exaggeration). I looked at styles and how-to’s on the internet. If you want to convince yourself that we care about this subject just start looking – I found my target head of hair and a progression of how this person looked, season by season for years of her life.

This cut is not a radical change for me but it is four inches shorter and believe me, there is a trick to cutting something behind you in a mirror. Go ahead, try it.






Hair adorns the top of our heads, most of us. And even if it doesn’t, it probably has played a pretty dominant role in our lives as one of those things we spend a lot of time on, but still take for granted.  We get it cut, curled, pulled, washed, and we put products on it.  We care about how our hats look on it, and have preferences as to whether it should hang in our eyes or not.  We have stories we tell about Rapunzel (“let down your hair!”), Samson and Delilah, and Absalom who had such ridiculously out of control hair that it got caught in a tree he rode under and literally was the death of him. We have people who support themselves entirely taking care of our hair for us.  

We make statements with our hair as, for instance, when our dreads hang out the back under our football helmets, or when our hair turns pink, purple, green or blue. We all refer to common sayings and know what we mean by “bad hair day” or “hair raising experience”, “get out of my hair”, “a hairy situation” or “turn it down just a hair”.

Our hair keeps us warm.

We cry when we get sick and our hair falls out.

Personally, hair has figured largely in my past.  In addition to not smiling in most of my grade school pictures, I can look at them and tell whether I was in my pin curl stage, my sleeping in rollers stage or my dry the hair over the furnace duct stage. I have longish, white/gray hair now and I can find a barrette, or an elastic hair band in nearly any purse or pocket of mine. I confess, almost any time I look in a mirror, it has something to do with my hair.

I lived with two daughters who have always had nice hair, although one of them was scarred emotionally by a perm I once gave her.  Okay, so maybe I gave a couple bad haircuts to the other one too.  And my husband has had the same barber for the last forty years – me.

I’m thinking about hair this week more than usual because we have had a three generational hair week up here in Wisconsin.  Not mentioning any names, but some of us just don’t have time during our normal lives to take care of hair. A vacation turns out to be a good time for some fixes. 

On one of the first days here, sitting around with my daughter and mother, I offered to take them both out for the procedure – if we could find someone trustworthy to handle our locks.  Mom told me about a relative in town at Salon Soleil who had done a good job for someone so I looked the person up.  I felt confident she was skilled when I found out she had no openings. My daughter and I went on her waiting list in case there was a cancellation, and thanks to the blizzard this week there were two of them.  (Do you wonder how some committed professionals make it 25 miles to their job in a snowstorm and count it as “just another day” at work? I do.) We caught up on family news in addition to having a pleasant time getting a head massage and being made lovelier.   

My mom had a regular stylist and today we spent a couple hours in her home salon getting her permed and styled. She had chosen a good name for her business, A New Creation.  I like the way all three of us look with our recent changes. It kind of does something for your confidence when you look taken care of and current. I think it was a good move and money well spent. And I’m just sayin’ it was a fun thing to do with my mom and my daughter.