Let Down Your Long Hair
Rapunzel was quarantined in a tower for 18 years. That’s right…18 years, and once she was out, all 70 feet of her gorgeous blond locks shimmered like gold. Vibrant, bouncy hair and not a strand out of place. Magical hair which could heal the sick. No special products or Amazon deliveries of Madison Reed. No secret passage rendezvous with the local hairdresser for a quick trim or touch up. I’m not even sure she had a mirror.
Let’s not get hyst-hair-ical, people! No one’s being quarantined for 18 years, but if I was, I would most definitely be bald, because I would have pulled out every last strand from sheer madness.
It’s been over 2 months since I’ve set foot in a salon. My hair and my roots have both seen better days. The experimental bangs phase I tried out last year, because the magazine article promised it would make me look 10 years younger, has phased out and not in a good way. I’m dying my own hair, and when that magic box of color shows up, you’d think Publisher’s Clearing House was knocking at my front door delivering the sweepstakes of the century.
Get My Kicks on Root 66
This past Sunday, on the front page of a major local newspaper, the headline read “Driving 600 miles for a haircut?” Wow! I’m not sure I’d drive 600 miles for anything other than a family emergency, but that’s me. I also know a few people who’ve had back-alley haircuts and dye jobs in the middle of the night (not really at night but it sounds so much more dramatic). No judgement, but I’m amazed the lengths people are going to for the sake of hair. What is it about hair? Generations and cultures are defined by it. Celebrities recognized and idolized for it. Hair even plays a powerful role in religion for what it symbolizes and how it should be worn. No matter how you cut it, with over 80,000 salons and barber shops in the U.S. alone with a combined annual revenue of about $20 billion, hair is a very big deal.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
When my oncologist recommended chemotherapy for cancer treatment, the first question out of my mouth was “Will I lose my hair?” With a chemo cocktail made just for me, he said probably not, and to my relief, it didn’t. A year later, another diagnosis, a new cocktail. My pooped-out follicles just couldn’t hold on. My hair was always one of the features I always liked about myself…naturally straight with a little bit of wave. Not too thick, not too thin, and a lovely shade of brown.
I wish I could say it was a gradual process, a strand here and a strand there, but it was more like a crowd storming the emergency exit all at once. Piles of hair on my pillow, bundles of hair in the drain, and a trail of hair wherever I roamed. I pulled out chunks of hair when I got dressed and undressed. Losing my hair felt like a punishment worse than the cancer.
One morning on my way home from radiation, I spotted a hair salon on the side of the road and spontaneously asked my mom to pull over. G-d bless my mom, a two-time breast cancer survivor herself, drove me to and from all my appointments. I walked in, had a seat, gazed at the ground, and with the buzz of the razor, each last strand fell to the ground. As I raised my head and reluctantly looked in the mirror, surprisingly, I WAS LIBERATED! One less obstacle to worry about. I got to decide when I would lose my hair and not the cancer, and right there in an anonymous salon, I TOOK BACK MY POWER.
Free To Be You and Me
To quote Mel Brooks from one of my favorite childhood musicals “You're bald as a ping-pong ball,” and I was, and I ROCKED IT, even when I hit rock bottom. Colorful scarves, hoop earrings, and a dab of shiny lip gloss transformed me into even a little bit of human on my absolute worst day. Before I knew it, treatment ended and after several months my shiny scalp sprouted peach fuzz in a not so peachy shade of gray. Bless my husband he thought it was sexy, but my age and my ego weren’t quite ready to go au natural. Over time, fuzz gave birth to baby soft curls, and I absolutely loved it.
Does my hair give me power? Sometimes. Don’t get me wrong…I like a good blowout for a special occasion or that fresh feeling when I wash that gray right out of my hair, but for me it’s not that big a deal. I’m just happy my body healed, and my hair made a comeback. Even today, with my mane running amok and frizzy curls with the just struck by lightning look, this is MY hair on MY head, and I am grateful. While hair is not my thing, I totally get it. For others hair is an enormous part of their identity or a way of expressing themselves. Hair has the potential to unlock the inner diva or unleash the sex god or goddess from within. I’ve witnessed hair flips which could run circles around Cher from Clueless. The greatest hair on earth shows up for life’s milestones and recorded in photo albums for future generations. Maybe a new do will boost confidence for a job interview or ease the pain of a bad break up.
Whether someone is looking to make a change, shake things up or put a smile back on their face, maybe a good hair day is all they need. So, rev up that hair dryer. Try out an exotic new color. Dare to go bald. Wherever you roll on the hair spectrum, I believe there is one absolute we can all agree on…Wouldn’t it be nice if we could have all have Rapunzel’s magical hair to heal the sick and make other’s feel better? Now that would be something to chair about!!
How do you DYP – Discovering Your Power, Your Way? Could the Power of Hair work for you?
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