Not that I am gloating about it!

Not that I am gloating about it!

Just a week ago, I saw my best friend “M”. I have envied her beautiful, dark, thick, fast-growing hair for as long as I can remember.

For the first time, I thought my hair looked better and was in much better shape than hers!

Not that I am gloating about it! Actually, I feel badly for her. Years of perming and coloring are taking it’s toll. Her curly, waist-length hair is now between shoulder and mid-back length. It’s colored auburn for most of it’s length, and almost black with silver strands on the top inch closest to the scalp. Her hair doesn’t look as shiny as before; but coarser and her bangs – she complains – curl up in the strangest way on her forcing her to use the curling iron with increased fervor. In other words, it isn’t the same.

“M”‘s hair has changed, as all hair does, over time. However, her changes are not all to her liking. Hair that used to stand up to frequent coloring, perming and general abuse now cannot take it anymore. Hair that often saw a brush, comb or pick ripped through it is showing the damage. And hair is curling in a very unruly way, not at all like the soft shiny curls she once had.

It would be easy to contribute it all towards age, and although it may have something to do with it, I don’t believe it is the major contributor. I think the “sins” of the past have caught up with her – I think this is due to years of abuse and hair that cannot just snap back from it anymore.

Rough hair utensils ripped through the hair rudely. Using hair products heavy with silicones. Harsh chemical colorants and perms parching the hair, breaking the hair’s bonds and reforming them at the whim of a roller rod and a stylists hands. Now multiply this quotient by many years — what does this yield? An abused, overprocessed product.

I feel so much for my friend’s hair! I’ve offered her the use of my products, but she is not interested. Not in the cost, or the time, process or care. Her hair is fine, she feels.

But will it still seem so to her in a year? Two years? Five years?

Fixing up my previously abused hair has been a painful process for me in some ways. Growing out multiple layers. Trying to figure out the best combinations of products for my hair and varying them for maximum benefit. Taking the time even when I don’t have it. And adding to that a head of hair that grows much slower than average… It’s a hard uphill climb. I’ve been tempted to say it isn’t worth it anymore. Tempted to say that hair like mine, that grows so slowly and isn’t thick as some folks, isn’t worth it. Why not just keep my hair medium length. Any product will keep shorter hair just fine.

But then I look at my friend’s changing hair. And I then say, well…. maybe my hair isn’t all that bad… The texture and shine and softness of my hair is beautiful and much better than before. My scalp is healthier. And maybe my hair isn’t very thick or doesn’t grow fast, but what I do have looks nice.

And then I think to myself; what if I didn’t use these products? What would my hair look like in a month? A Year? Five years?

Whew! That thought makes me shudder. I certainly wouldn’t be better off, and I doubt I’d stay with my hair at it’s current good and healthy state.

I guess what I’m saying is — maybe not all of us can have what is termed as “perfect hair” for long hair. Maybe out hair isn’t thick. Maybe it isn’t fast growing. Maybe it has other problems we must strive with. BUT… it’s a lot better than it was, and it is still beautiful in it’s own right.

I’ve learned not to look at pictures of ladies and gentlemen with perfect hair. Sure, I’m happy for them. I love to see their hair in person when I’m walking down a street – delighted to see such a nice surprise and yet another person who prefers long hair. But I don’t judge myself as much upon them. It’s hard not to. But all I’ve got is this one head of hair and I’m not going to get another. What I do now to my hair will affect it for quite a long time to come as the ends increasingly get older. I want to make the best of what I have.

So, maybe no flashy photographer for a hair site wants to take a picture of me. That’s okay. Whenever I feel my soft clean hair brush against the back of my arms in summer or see my hair while combing it out in front of the mirror, I can enjoy it for myself and savor just the small moment. After all, who are we growing our hair out for anyway?

(H from USA)

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