By: Suzanne Maiden
I have a confession: When I hate my hair – I hate my life. It’s embarrassingly shallow, I know. And I may as well be walking around naked for all to assess my body – because psychologically that’s how I feel. But, it’s my truth - exposed. And, I don’t think I am alone. I wonder how much money is spent on hair care each year in this country? I’m not the only one either.
Europeans are just as vain and even more expressive. I’m certain. That is, Europeans adapt a chameleon’s attitude. They don’t mind going to extreme colors or styles to adapt to their environment or be a wild spark of color amongst it. It’s the psychology of hair. What is it about the abundance, or lack of… the texture, the color, and the style of dead cells that spurt from our scalp each month that governs our emotional well-being? Who knows? It certainly could meet the diagnostic criteria for neurosis. I admit, I have a long-term difficult relationship with my unruly curls. Because they insist on expressing themselves contrary to my wishes.
How can something as benign as hair impact my attitude? It’s ridiculous. It’s shallow. It’s narcissistic. My thoughts must be no deeper than a puddle after a Georgia summer rain during the drought. However, the Bible makes numerous references to hair – thank goodness – I can blame it all on God. What’s the first story one thinks of? Yes, Samson and Delilah. Samson’s hair equated to his physical strength. When Delilah, in an act of betrayal, had Samson’s hair cut off while he was sleeping – his extraordinary strength vanished. This story brought increased consciousness to our hair. Hair care was born!
Our language supports our over identification with hair. Clichés like, “Her hair is her crowning glory.” Interestingly, hair does surround the crown chakra, well, if one believes in such things. No matter, when I have a ’bad hair day’ everything else seems to follow suit. When my frizz factor pegs the Richter scale – even with products - my attitude escalates too. For some reason, people seem to especially enjoy critiquing my mane. I wear my hair naturally curly. I’ve given up trying to flat iron my curls – it only last for a few hours anyway and it is very damaging. Occasionally, I get reinforcement for sustaining my natural state. One woman chased me down in a parking lot to inquire who cuts my hair, how is it cut, and what products do I use because she “loved it.” I do receive many compliments. People act bi-polar when expressing their opinion about my hair. They either love it or hate it.
Conversely, others seem to dismiss their societal manners and feel free to comment on my hair’s unruly appearance. Just this week, an older man spoke to me at the gym. I saw him looking at me, then he finally approached and said, “Wow, I just can’t quit looking at your hair – it’s uh, really wild.” I smiled and responded, “Well, is that good or bad?” He wasn’t sure. He back peddled and with a smile said, ”Uh, I don’t know you well enough to asses that yet.” Huh?
I know I’m not alone. Please tell me I am not. OK, OK, Okay! I have evidence that I’m not. Enter any ladies room (well, if you’re male, I don’t recommend this…) and you will witness women lined up in front of the mirrors. What do they primp the most? Their hair. Yep. I’ve seen my girlfriends carry HUGE (could be listed as a deadly weapon!) bottles of hair spray, clips, waxes, and serums all to coax, fuss and fret over every strand. I don’t carry all this stuff, but I get caught up in snagging some of their products as long as they have them out and available. Call me with your hair care issues at at 678-884-0524. Tell me I’m not alone… I need some support. Because, when I hate my hair, I hate my life! Do you ever feel this way? Does the appearance of your hair influence, positively, or negatively your attitude? Call me.