Happy Hair: Stream of Consciousness Sunday

The third grader regarded me, her head tilted, eyes squinted.

"You look different today, Miss Jenny" she said. I raised an eyebrow and asked her: "How so?"

Again with the tilted head and squinted eyes. She looked at me, hard. Trying to figure out what wasn't sitting right.

Finally, she spoke:

"It's your hair. That's what's wrong."

Gah. My hair. My Michelle Duggar/Hagrid love-child mop that sits on my head. It is, on the best of days, wavy and curly and soft. On the other 363 days of the year, it is a frizzy mess, several (but not fifty) shades of gray. And dark brown. And red. And Bozo the Clown orange.

My hair is almost always what's wrong.

I didn't say any of this to the child. She's young and doesn't need to know the stream of crazy that floats through my head all the live-long day. Instead, I smiled at her and asked:

"What's wrong with it?"

She was now facing her friends at the lunch table, focusing more on her sandwich than me. She turned and looked at me and said:

"Normally your hair looks happy. Today it looks kind of sad."

Happy hair! Oh how I loved hearing that. And that smart little girl. She was right. My hair has been looking sad as of late. I'm way overdue for a date with a box of dark brown hair color. Like, OMG my hair is freaking WHITE overdue. It's almost turned into a little experiment. How long can I go without coloring it, I wonder? Before people start asking me if I'm going to let it just go gray? Before the kids at school stop gasping and asking me if I'm aware that there is white hair on my head?

I have friends who eschewed the dyeing thing a long time ago. My best pal, Danielle, has a halo of pewter that is absolutely breathtaking. Sometimes I pretend there's something in her hair just so I can have an excuse to feel it. I'm always shocked that it isn't warm to the touch, like molten silver.

Another friend of mine, Maggie, has what she refers to as "tinsel" framing her face. It's perfect in placement, like someone actually took a brush dipped in sparkling silver paint and delicately dabbed the strands surrounding her beautiful mug. Her killer eyelashes and huuuuge brown eyes are highlighted by the tinsel.

There's a mom at school, who is much younger than me who has a head full of deep silver/gray hair. It's straight and absolutely perfect. I always want to compliment her on it, ask how long it took her to get it all that singular, swingy color. But I don't want to be that one creepy employee at her kid's school. You know the one...She Who Watches The Parents. And then talks to them.

I tried taking a selfie last night, so I could see what my own burgeoning crown of white looked like from a perspective that's different from my bathroom mirror. To my horror I discovered that it kind of makes me look like I'm going bald. Also, I might need bangs.

Today is Sunday. I have a million things I need to do: Go to the Home and Garden Show, pick a kid up and drop another one off, meet with two friends to plan a baby shower (yes, a baby shower, can you handle that??). Plus it's Walking Dead night. But I'm going to set aside a half hour or so, and spend some quality time with Loreal's Deep Soft Mahogany Brown. And maybe take a look at my checking account to see if there's room for a haircut in there.

Because if the hair isn't happy, nobody's happy.

Still reading? Thank you. This is my second stab at "Stream of Consciousness Sunday", hosted by blogger extraordinaire Fadra Nally. Five minutes of writing, no editing allowed! Check it out!


  1. I just love your blog and just finished your Facebook post. I am about 14 months divorced and there are some very lonely days in it. Just colored my hair last weekend, mine is Revlon Medium Ash Blonde.

  2. I love that child's description - "happy hair." I need to do mine but am frustrated that I JUST did it about 4 weeks ago.

  3. Good hair makes us feel happy. If everything else is wrong on me but my hair is nice, it's a good day. I used to dream of someday have long, flowing, silvery locks. Now I'm pretty sure I'll keep denying it as long as possible.

  4. We all need Happy Hair! I, too, am grey but haven't figure out how to let it show without looking freakish! Children can be so brutally honest!

  5. I have the wavy-enough-to-be-bumpy-but-not-curly hair, and for a while I straightened it, which I thought looked great, until I realized everyone was offering me senior discounts (I was under 50 at the time). I switched to using Garnier curl-scrunching products instead, and now I have what I would say is happy-looking hair. I wish I had figured this out when I was 12 and not 50, though. My whole life would have been different.

  6. Oh my! Why didn't I find you a year and a half ago when my marriage fell apart? I've read all you pieces in this last week. Thank you for your honesty and thinking about the long term consequences. I've seen so much of it ring true. Please don't stop writing. You're a gift to women who may be strong in some respects but who didn't know they were strong enough to survive a failing marriage. Thank you!

  7. I love your stream of consciousness posts! And I absolutely agree with your 'happy hair motto' - I've been using Clairol to tint my hair a reddish brown for the last 8 years now... (Anne of Green Gables was one of my childhood heroes and I always thought I had been born with the wrong color!) It's always awkward when someone asks: "Is that your REAL color?" Gah! Someone tell these people about chit-chat no nos... Just compliment the hair...and if they volunteer the information that it is dyed...great. Don't ask tacky questions. (Anyway...thanks for posting! I'm glad you'll be back at work with happy hair tomorrow!)

  8. I'm a curly girl, too. My hair actually didn't get this curly until I was in my 40s. (One of the results of my divorce that I am happy with!) Every day my hair is different - it has a mind of its own!

    I am trying to decide what to do with my gray. I think I am back to my natural hair color (except for some old highlights on the ends), and said I was just going to let my gray grow in. But now I'm not so sure. I don't want it to look like I am going bald! I already have a high forehead (receding hairline haha)!

  9. Got to love how honest kids are. Sometimes you wish adults could be so blunt. Hair that is fresh & makes you feel good about yourself is totally happy hair. Hoping you find that style & color that lets you relax & not worry what others might think. Stopping over from Fadra's #SOCSunday linkups.


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