I haven’t been to a hairdresser since last February. At that point, Shiraz cut, coloured, highlighted and styled my hair, and told me to come back in six to eight weeks.Shiraz does this thing called “the flip” and it makes my hair look modern and fashionable until I wash it. I can’t replicate it. I’ve never mastered a hair dryer and I’ve been known to get my round styling brush hopelessly tangled in my hair. I can’t do anything complicated while looking in the mirror because the signals from my brain go to the wrong hand. So, between visits to Shiraz, I just let my hair do its own thing, and hope for the best.
Shortly after seeing Shiraz I got diagnosed with cancer. I figured it was only a matter of time til I started chemo, and then all my hair would fall out. I didn’t want to spend money on hair that was going to fall out. (If I’d known it would take six months to see the medical oncologist, I probably would have gotten my hair done, but there’s such an air of urgency to cancer, you can’t imagine anything taking six months.)
I was prepared to lose my hair, but I wasn’t looking forward to it. I’d feel naked without hair. Even though it would start growing back soon enough, it would be very short for a long time, and I don’t look good with very short hair. (Hair grows, on average, a quarter inch per month.)
I recently learned for sure that I won’t be doing chemo, so my hair won’t be falling out after all!This is great, but now I have to figure out what to do with my hair. In six months of complete neglect, it’s gotten pretty long. And shapeless. The highlights have gotten a lot lighter, and since fresh hair has grown on top, the highlights have shifted lower. I’ve got prominent two-inch roots. My natural colour is dark brown, and it’s got a bunch of silver strands in it. So, working from the top down, I’ve got a couple inches of natural, undyed dark brown hair with silver strands. Then I’ve got about 8 inches of dyed dark brown hair with lighter highlights that keep getting lighter and lower over time. I think I’ve decided to keep it longer for awhile, to celebrate having hair. As always, I just let it do its thing and hope for the best, and some days it looks good. For example, Milan took this unusually flattering picture at his vernissage last week. My hair and I don’t usually look this good. We usually look more unkempt and dishevelled, like in the zucchini picture.
If I’m going to let it grow, should I do nothing or should I get a hairdresser to thin it out or shape it or do something to help it grow neatly?
As for colour, I like the dark brown with highlights. But I’m not so comfortable anymore with the idea of soaking my head in toxic chemicals for an hour every eight weeks. I used to think skin was a barrier, but I realize now it’s a sponge. That’s why some medications are administered by skin patch (birth control, nicotine replacement, etc.).
So maybe I’ll just grow my hair and go grey gracefully and naturally. But then what do I do about the old coloured and highlighted sections? Do I have to wait years for them to grow long enough to be cut out? Or is there a way to blend the colours more naturally and less toxicly (is that a word?) in the interim?
Considering what could have been, this is a very nice problem to have.