Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Hair Au Naturel

Month by month, my hairdresser is cutting the blond from my hair. I’ve wondered for a long time what would be left, and yesterday I saw my natural colors emerge. I’m now sporting a mix ranging from dark brown to light gray.

Perhaps this change is appropriate and well timed, as I’m having a significant birthday in a few weeks. After all, when one’s child, age 44, has gray hair and Mom does not, something is askew.

A practical decision triggered the change last March before I left to hike the Appalachian Trail. Knowing it would be months until I had a haircut, I opted for a short do a la Jamie Lee Curtis. Instructions for creating her haircut can be found on the internet.

In addition to the cut, I chose to have my hair highlighted in order to minimize the glaring contrast of roots vs. ends. Why some women think exposed roots are fashionable escapes me.

My hair was easy to manage on the AT, even as it grew out. I woke up, ran a brush through it, and moved on, having no idea of the result. In the woods there are no mirrors, and the one I’d brought with me was sent home during a pack shakedown shortly after I hit the trail. I did not shower, shampoo, or see my own reflection for days at a time—a fact of life for a long-distance hiker.

It’s freeing to go without mirrors. I was happy to do so, as my hair wasn’t the only wild thing. I wore no makeup. My nails were a disaster, jagged and ringed with dirt. I could be picked out from a distance by my outfit, which I wore every day and laundered about once a week.

By the time I’d made it to Hot Springs, North Carolina, I was in full-fledged hiker mode. In particular, I’d embraced my natural self. I vowed never to color my hair again.

When I returned home after three and one-half months, I high-tailed it to the nail parlor but left off the makeup. I got my hair trimmed, but not as short as Jamie Lee’s. A good deal of the blond color had remained. Until yesterday.

Will I keep my vow? It’s been only a day, but I’m thinking I will.

If I was good at selfies, I’d show you my new look. Oh, what the heck…


  1. I love the way you write! I for one like your natural color!! I thought you looked great when you came to see me! Well maybe your feet were the exception!

    1. Ha, ha! Yes, you had to perform a miracle on my feet--which will be repeated soon. Thanks for your comments!

  2. One of your best blogs yet! You look great without makeup and judging from your selfie, your hair looks great also.

  3. I am in the "thinking" stage of how much longer I'll color my hair. I did realize one thing recently about hair color. When I return from getting hair cut and colored, I'm happier. Go figure. I feel younger, prettier, more together. Not sure what that's about. I know our society puts great emphasis on the way we look. I grew up in a house of sisters and it was all about make up and hair. Never over done but it was always done. I have a feeling my thinking period will last longer than you hike.

    1. Barbara, there is nothing wrong with looking and feeling pretty. It's certainly a boost for me when I feel that way. If I begin to feel mousy, I'll make a change, but I have thought about this for years. Being on the trail cinched it, but that's just me. Do what makes you happy. Thanks for commenting.

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