IS SO IMPORTANT ABOUT HAIR?
A LOVE AFFAIR!
Men and women love their hair and both genders spend money and time
making sure it is a proper
a reflection of their identity. This deep personal relationship between hair
and self-esteem is evident throughout history, philosophy and even religion. Hair
is often a direct representation of our public persona.
History shows that hair is a symbol
of femininity. There is little wonder why women feel like their hair is a
“crowning glory,” since this phrase dates to Biblical times. According to 1
Corinthians 11: 15, “but for a woman, if her hair is abundant, it is a glory to
her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.” As shown in 1 Corinthians
11: 5, “and every woman, who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered,
dishonors her head; for she is on a level with her whose head is shaven.”
Lady Godiva’s naked ride through
the streets has made her a heroine to the common people of Coventry. Her image
of riding a horse with her body covered with only her long hair has become a
symbol of civic freedom and beauty. The negative implication of a woman with
bad hair is apparent in throughout history.
believe they are judged by how much hair they have on their heads. The fear of baldness
is palpable given all the various treatments available to grow and sustain thick
hair. Most men consider their hair a reflection of
their personal style, and as something that helps them look both masculine and
professional. The chatter surrounding male grooming has become a hot topic
recently, with an increased awareness and availability of specialty beauty
products for men.
THE COST OF HAIR
Hair and beauty are a
multibillion-dollar industry, and the average woman spends approximately
$50,000 on her hair over her lifetime and almost two hours a week washing and
styling it. This is not just because many believe that appearances are
important, but also because hair represents personality, thoughts and beliefs.
For centuries, women have been able to play different roles by creating
different hairstyles, and from their stories, we can see that hair contributes
greatly to women’s self-esteem, actions, and motives.
The women of Brandon Oaks (my
retirement community) have beautiful hair that is often styled to
perfection. Some have regular
appointments with a hairdresser/stylist outside our community, but others use
our in-house stylists and are thrilled with the results. Apparently, we have
wonderful stylists who are quite good with hair and I know from first-hand
experience they are very, very funny— hilarious actually.
I enjoy watching our women have
their hair rolled into curls and sit under a hair
dryer. Most read a magazine while sitting very still
and allowing the contraption to do its job.
They look so serene and peaceful and they know the positive comments
will flow as their peers recognize the new hairdo.
The average male spends about $25 a
month on hair care and other “beauty” products. However, the under 30 crowd
spends a lot more. Moisturizers and hair
gels are used a lot as are body washes and specialty shampoos. You have to look as good in a selfie as you
do in real life. Watch out for
specialized make-up for men.
Something women don’t have to worry
about is baldness. The primary cause of male pattern baldness is having a
family history of baldness. In other words, genetics. Male pattern baldness is
associated with male sex hormones called androgens. The androgens have many
functions, including regulating hair growth. Each hair on your head has a
growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, this growth cycle begins to weaken
and the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair.
Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its
pattern baldness can begin in the teenage years, but it more commonly occurs in
adult men, with the likelihood increasing with age. Genetics plays a big role particularly
when the bald relatives are on the maternal side of the family.
treatment isn’t necessary if other health conditions aren’t a cause.
treatments and techniques are available for men who are unhappy with the way
they look and would like the appearance of a fuller head of hair. I am not bald
and so I have no skin in this game. BUT,
I hate the comb-over solution and have never seen an attractive toupee, wig or
weave on a man. For me, I would use Rogaine to see if it helps. If not, I would
shave my head for the completely bald look. This has become a very attractive alternative
comes to shove, there’s no known way to prevent male pattern baldness. A theory
is that stress may cause hair loss by increasing the production levels of
sex hormones in the body. We blame
everything else on stress, so why not baldness. Anyway, a shaved head is much more “manly”
than a bun on top.
Hair is so much more than a look. It can be a reflection and
reinforcement of who you are. Many women choose an abbreviated hairstyle
when they reach middle age. This change in length is cultural, seeming to
signify a graceful slip into life’s third act. After a certain age, women often
want to hide, rather than glide, through the world, and the shorter style is
part of that.
There are three types of aging
women according to hair professionals. The ones who cut their hair off out of
fatigue—the ‘get this stuff off my head’ types. Then there are the ones who do
it because of a facial sag so they want to go short to enhance their best
features. And then there are those women who fight it all the way, who stay
long forever. And there is a wisdom among these women that stay with it and it
can be incredibly glamorous.
A friend of mine gets her hair done every Wednesday by the same
hairdresser no matter what unless there is a meeting of the Athenian
ladies. Her hair is always beautiful.
When I go to the barber shop, I always take the first available person. I am more interested in the time allotment
and my thinking is that they must be oaky if they have a job. That would be
heresy for most and stupid by conventional standards. Most women seem to
prefer the same hairdresser even among those in our own salon. Men are becoming
more selective and are slowly abandoning “barber” shops that provide only the
“high and tight” look. One of my friends has his hair cut every two weeks on
the dot by the same person
Hairdressing is a customer service-oriented business. The way
you feel about the person performing the service is almost as important as the quality of their work. You sit in
a stylist’s chair and tell her what you want, and she makes you feel like she
genuinely wants to help you look your very best. Many folks quickly develop
pseudo-friendships with their hairdresser. While they may never see the stylist
outside the salon, they feel like the person is a genuine friend and therefore
give them far more leeway in situations where they are dissatisfied than they
would another service professional.
Choosing a stylist requires of a lot
of searching, or the stylist may be a referral from a close friend or family
member, all of which adds a great deal of pressure to the situation: pressure
for the relationship to work. And when the stylist is an actual friend who has
gotten his or her cosmetology training, then the impetus to keep the
relationship stable gets even more strident.
add the fact that esthetic appeal is subjective. What one person likes, another
may not. In some cases (especially those where there is a connection apart from
hairdresser/client) the taste of the stylist and client may mesh more readily.
In other cases, the hairdresser may feel that a strong sharp-edged style
flatters the face and makes a statement, but the client may favor softer looks
and a subtler appearance. Older women
tend to have strong feelings about their hair and don’t like change. At least,
that has been my observation! I
certainly expect to hear about this observation.
COLOR OR NOT
Then there is the problem of
color. My own hair has turned to gray as
I have aged. There are lots of women with gray hair—gray is cool. But a
number of men and women want the gray
gone. The main ingredient in our hair is a protein
called keratin, the same substance of our fingernails. Keratin is colorless and
is arranged in overlapping scales in a hair strand, which makes it
flexible. The cortex is the middle part of the hair strand, which
contains moisture and melanin (pigment that gives your hair its color!)
The cuticle is the protective outer layer of the hair strand, which
determines how healthy your hair looks! If the cuticle is smooth, your hair
looks silky and shiny. If the cuticle is raised, your hair looks dry and
Eumelanin is the dark pigment which gives black and brown hair
color, and phaeomelanin is a lighter pigment that gives hair red, orange, and
golden blonde colors. The mix of these two varieties of melanin gives your hair
its unique shade. Lack of pigment
results in white or grey hair.
When permanent hair dye is
applied to the hair, ammonia
causes the cuticle to ‘open up’ and let the dye in. Then, peroxide is used to
penetrate the hair cortex and remove your existing hair color (melanin). Once
that happens, the new color is left in your hair cortex. Conditioner is used to
close the cuticle to seal in the new color.
This is also the process used
when bleaching or lightening your hair, except the melanin is extracted until
you get the lightened shade that you decide (and your natural hair color cannot
be replaced until it grows back in!).
Hair coloring is quite the
process! If you do decide to color your hair, of course, you should discuss
permanent coloring versus semi-permanent coloring. Permanent hair dyes are the
most harmful, and if used too often, can result in damaged and dry hair.
Although conditioners do help seal the cuticle after the coloring process is
finished, the hair strand will not revert to the original condition without
your help. Make sure to keep it moisturized, avoid using hot tools as much as
possible, and use hair products designed specifically for colored hair.
Unless you’re an expert behind
the science of hair coloring, I would have my hair colored by a professional!
There are many factors that affect how hair coloring works, such as your
current hair shade, hair type, and condition. Since these factors can greatly
affect the outcome of your hair color, it’s best to trust a professional to
achieve your look.
I learned something new today at the
community lunch table. There are
shampoos that will whiten your hair if you choose to have gray or white
hair. In fact, as I cruised the
internet, I found over 30 brand names and most are available at Sally Beauty
Supply, Walmart, or Amazon. I decided to investigate a modestly priced product
called Klorane Shampoo with Centuary. It
uses a cornflower extract which is a natural blue pigment. Apparently, this
pigment enhances your silver highlights and neutralizes yellow tones. Also, there are whitening shampoos for dogs.
Does Helen Mirren color her hair?
MY OWN HAIR!
I decided to try an outside hairdresser. One our stylists has been cutting my hair
over the past few years and has done an excellent job. But a friend convinced me that she had the
best and most entertaining hairdresser in all of Roanoke. So, I made an appointment
with Yvonne and went for a cut.
me be clear, I received a great haircut.
She asked if I liked it long and I answered in the affirmative. She explained exactly how she would proceed
by shortening it a bit in the back then layering it up my head. She trimmed a
bit on the side—maybe an inch and took a smidge off the top. Terrific.
three minutes of hair talk our conversation began. She told me about her former husband, her
very interesting children and the places she had lived. I told her some things
about my family.
golf earlier in her life. She used pink
golf balls. On one hole she hit a good
shot but started talking to a member of her foursome and did not follow the
ball. She knew she hit straight, but the
ball was nowhere to be found. Her friend
told her to look in the cup. Guess what?
There was the ball. She had a
hole-in-one with a beautiful pink ball.
a painter. It seems a resident of
Brandon Oaks, a wonderful artist in her own right, was having her hair done.
Yvonne said she would like to paint and was told to take lessons and she did.
She doesn’t display her work in her shop because people give their views as to
how she should have done the painting. She doesn’t like that at all.
She was a
horsewoman when her daughter became interested in riding. She loves horses, but no longer rides.
in between all this activity, she became a hairstylist, colorist and mother.
She has been in business for 31 years.
mentioned that I knew an Yvonne in high school.
You must have gone to Jefferson High School.
I have heard a lot about her. She
was a cheerleader and very pretty according to some. When I had my shop at Promenade on 419, a man
called and asked if an Yvonne worked there and was told yes. He said he would
drop by in a few days to make an appointment. He didn’t want to do it over the
phone. A few days later, a man arrived
at the shop with a huge bouquet of flowers.
He asked for Yvonne. I was in the
storeroom and someone came for me. As I
walked out of the room, the man got a funny look on his face and asked me if I
was Yvonne. I said yes. My eyes went to
the bouquet and then to his eyes which were wide like he was scared. He asked if I had gone to Jefferson High and when
I said I had not, he sighed with great relief. He then turned and walked out
with the bouquet.” She smiled and
giggled a little.
Yvonne to be an excellent hairdresser and someone who had a personality that
was delightful. She is first rate!
Many women feel that a bad hair day equals a bad day: when a woman’s hair is too fine, too frizzy, too dry, turning grey or falling out, her self-esteem is seriously affected. I am finding this applies to men as well.