I always used to wonder why almost every little old lady had curly hair, when the majority of younger people had straight hair, including me. My conclusion was that there was this point when there had to be a law that meant they all had their hair permed. As I got older I wondered a little less as my conclusion seemed to be confirmed, you could see quite clearly passing any hairdressers that I was right, then I realised there is a difference between perming curlers and rollers. I had to think again because I saw so many who clearly couldn’t afford the constant visits to the hairdresser, at lest not the twice a week sessions required to keep set hair curled. How and why were they doing it?
I hated my straight long hair, it was an average dirty strawberry blond almost, mousey brown. It did nothing just hang there in rat-tails if not constantly brushed, tie itself round me if not platted and took hours to wash and dry. The only good thing about it was that my Grandfather adored it and paid me every Sunday to sit on his knee and let him brush it. I have to say now this is not as creepy as it might sound to an adult mind. It was well know by my entire family, possibly the entire neighborhood, that I would dutifully scream the house down at the very appearance of a hairbrush. Grandpa’s bribery meant that at least once a week my hair was brushed free of knots and under control. So why didn’t my mother simply cut it I hear you ask. I don’t know, I asked her the very same question when I was older, but she simply answered that all little girls had long hair and it was just the way it was. May I just add here that I was born in 1961 not 1861.
Eventually as a teenager I took control, marched myself to the hairdresser and demanded he cut it, he first phoned my mother to check then went ahead. I have never seen my mother more shocked in her life as she was when I walked back into the house. You would have thought I had had a Mohican or something. She thought that for once I was going to let them trim it without a scene and maybe have a couple of inches off the end, I was sporting a lovely little bob, she was furious.
I took control a few years later and died it baby blond when they were away on holiday, which at the time was in there eyes a miner infraction in their minds compared to the million other things I did. Through out the late 70’s and into the 80’s I regretted the hair cutting instant, as I never seemed to be able to grow it again, that feeling was compounded when children’s cartoon called ‘Crystal Tips and Alasdair’ appeared. There was my dream hair, that was what I wanted colour style the lot.
In my 20’s I was too busy to think about old people at all, far-less what they did with their hair. In other words I had become like most of that age group, self-obsessed and self-interested, my family and my home were all that mattered. Crystal Tips hair continued to fill that envy spot, purple dye for hair was unheard of outside style setting expensive hairdresser, you definitely couldn’t buy the dye from the chemist in that shade. My hair was stubbornly straight and blond, although it had become lighter by itself over the years and the colour was liveable. Although I had never used one before or had a perm of any kind I tried a home perm and I loved it. So much so that I even have let a picture be taken.
The changes through life continued, colour more than anything else, I joined the mass of people with real hair extensions and to make it affordable I learned how to do it myself. I could be long haired, short, haired anything I chose. My favorite was when it was black down to my waist and had a complete layer of vibrant purple on the underside, when the wind blew it shone out brightly.
So why the musing on hairstyle gone by, the clue is in the first paragraph, in fact the first sentence. My hair was naturally straight as a child, I changed about with chemicals and styling but it stayed straight. When the other week Adam helped me dye my hair and sort it out, was the first time in over 4 years that I didn’t have tied back in a ponytail, I would wash it, pull it back and not even really look at it. So you may-be able to understand my surprise not only at the length it had grown to, but also at the fact it suddenly from nowhere has developed waves and curls. Have I at last found the answer to that question that I have been asking all those years. I am now 51 and now I have wavy hair, do older women actually have curly hair as it is simply part of growing older and years of damage to the hair follicles, that it just curls by itself? This isn’t the only possibility of course, I always have to have more than one of those. Is it possible that either my MS has damaged the follicle nerves or the medications I take has actually made the change and little old ladies have curly hair because it’s strangely what they all want? As I do at last have the longed for purple hair, is it now just a matter of time until my dream of looking like Crystal Tips comes true?