Hair… It’s an interesting thing really.
According to a survey that Tresemme supposedly conducted a number of years ago, the average woman spends roughly $50,000 on her hair in her lifetime. All this time people make such a big deal over having “healthy” hair, except hair is actually dead the minute it leaves the follicle.
When I got engaged to my husband a number of years ago, we did a “victory lap” to America to meet the relatives. There he noticed a magnet on my parents’ fridge of a picture of me from when I was 5 years old, taken at a local summer day camp. After one look at the picture, he asked me which of my two brothers it was. Fine, my hair was short. I mean, really short. But to confuse me with a boy?!
I’ve never fussed over my hair the way other women do, but I still like to have it.
For most of my life my hair’s been wavy/curly, frizzy and impossible to manage. Since I almost always wore my hair up, and since I couldn’t be bothered to find a good hairdresser in Israel, I got in the habit of letting my friends/roommates cut it. Halfway through college, I discovered that a classmate and good friend of mine was a professional hair cutter and stylist, so I let her cut my hair instead. Somehow she understood my hair better than the hair stylists in New York, and for the first time in my life I found that I was able to wear my hair down and keep it wavy/curly and nice for a short period of time. I was able to enjoy my hair like this for about a year – just long enough to snag myself a husband. Then I got married and began covering my hair in accordance with Jewish law.
For many women, covering their hair when getting married is a huge deal. They feel like they’re losing a part of themselves, a part of their identity. Me? I couldn’t have been happier. I finally had an excuse not to fuss for hours in front of the mirror for a result that would only look good for about an hour.
Since getting married three and a half years ago, I’ve only had my hair cut twice. The first time was a couple of months after my wedding. My hair was longer than I wanted, so I asked my husband to trim it. It could have been a bigger disaster than it was. By the end, after he had evened it out, it was a good couple of inches shorter than I had asked for, but I was still just able to put it up in a ponytail, so no irrevocable harm done. A year later, however, I returned to my college friend for a professional haircut. Since then, I haven’t gotten my hair cut for about two years. Factor in the fact that I’m pregnant and pregnant women’s hair tends to grow faster than regular, my hair got to be pretty long (down to my lower back).
I decided a number of months ago to get it cut, but I wanted to do something special with it. I figured it was long enough to donate to a good cause. The only thing holding me back was that if I did cut off that much hair, I’d be left with hair so short that I couldn’t make a ponytail of it, thus requiring me to change the styles in which I cover it (and shopping for more head coverings… ugh). But eventually I gave in (and by “eventually” I mean two days ago). I braided a long braid, went to pay a visit to my college friend, and had her chop it off.
Ladies, gentlemen, meet my hair…
Later that day I dropped it off at Zichron Menachem, an organization that will make sure it gets made into a wig for a cancerous child.
In the meantime, it’s taking some getting used to my new hairstyle, and I’m still not entirely sure how I want to cover it.
The important thing is that I won’t be mistaken for a 5 year old boy this time.