Monday, March 14, 2016

Good Hair Day

I am thinking about my spiritual journey  as I sit with hair dye on my roots at Charles Penzone Salon

I have always thought there is some  sort of connection between the state of my  hair and my spiritual condition.  I remember when I was in my 20's trying a shag hair cut and then a perm and then a pixie style within about 6 months  and someone asking me if I was trying to find myself.   I think I was.

I wonder how much our  hair cut and color is tied to identity and  persona.  Who am I and how do I want to look?  And how much time do I want to spend on this?   Do I want to be the woman who finds a hair cut and sticks with it for 40 years?  Do I want to try new things and  “keep up” so I don’t appear out of touch?  Do I want to have fun and be creative ?

When I lived in Zanesville in the 80’s , one of my parishioners, Betsy,  was a hairdresser and I liked that she did my hair and would tell me when I needed a cut.  When I lived in Bowling Green in the 90’s, Susie cut my hair and I trusted her.  After she retired I found Cherie, who also came to church and she similarly took care of letting me know when I needed changes.   At that time I really liked  a haircut that did  not require a lot of  work or hair product. Wash and dry and go!
That is what I had for years and felt like “myself” with it.

I have lived in Columbus for twelve years and have been  floundering and in the wilderness looking for the right haircut, color, person and place for my hair.  During this time, I have  grown my hair longer and  become greyer and my hair has thinned.  I have tried dying my hair myself and watched the color change throughout the month after washings. I have been through many stylists (they are more than hairdressers here!)  at Charles Penzone and no one has really connected.  Until now.

And that person is named Delilah – (well, not really because at Penzone they have fake names) but for me she is not only my hair stylist, but my guide. What I know is that I want to be guided by another who knows more than me about this whole hair business.  She suggested that I stop streaking my hair and start dying the whole thing.  And then keep up the roots.  That is what I am doing.  She cuts my hair with layers that gives me more body and has recommended special shampoo.    She is taking care of me so that – from now on – I don’t have to think about it.  I trust her.

So, what does this have to do with my spiritual journey?  I think it has to do with getting past the media messages and the peer pressure (yes there is peer pressure even in your 60’s!) of what a woman my age is supposed to look like. I know many who choose to go with the gray and others who are unafraid to try the latest colors, streaks and spikes.  There is a part of me that wants to dismiss this whole question – if God numbers  all the hairs on our head – does God care that it is dyed or processed?

 Except I do believe  this:  God loves me from hair to toenail and wants me to love myself.  And for me, loving and accepting myself has been a continual challenge.
I cannot pretend that issues of appearance don’t matter and that intentionality about hair care is  - for me -  part of self care.  All of it is part of the journey of knowing and embracing being  uniquely Margot. 

So,  I have decided to continue to color my hair because I feel a whole lot younger than my chronological years and it feels right to look in the mirror and see me with brown hair.  And I don’t want to think about it more than every 7 weeks because there is a much more to my life than my hair.  But with this haircut, I can wash and dry and curl a little bit and feel  - more than okay – actually good about myself!  And really, isn’t that what God  wants for all of us?

I will leave the salon today with my next appointment with Delilah in 7 weeks and then not have to think about hair again.

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