Its only Hair

I have been dying my hair since my thirteenth Birthday.

My natural hair is a mousy blonde with red highlights.

I became obsessed with color after my favorite

Aunt flew up from Florida to visit us one-year while living in Connecticut.

My beautiful, free-spirited, gypsy- carefree, earthy-crunchy Aunt who I dreamt of becoming some day was visiting us, and I was beyond excited to spend time with her.

I remember at age 9 or 10, stealing her hair barrette that she left on her kitchen counter, thinking it would help turn me into her and make me beautiful someday.

Aunt Edie had long blond, goldie locks hair, big boobs, sunkissed skin, a house full of kids, with her stereo always blaring county music.

If that wasn’t enough chaos, you could also hear her two white doves hanging out the living room of her tiny trailer. As a kid, I always thought of having a tiny trailer of my own someday. I loved the thick gold shag carpet.

The Doves had a purpose. They were used for her magic shows.

I also envied my aunts gypsy style wardrobe, from her wood stock days. Along with her overflowing vanity full of Avon makeup.

On my way to school on morning I took this picture of her.

Sure she’s not smiling and looks anything but pleased, but I still look at it and smile.

I wonder what she was really thinking at that moment?!

At the time, I thought her life was the epitome of perfection.

I wanted to grow up and be just like her.

Of course things are not always as they appear on the surface, as I learned in later life.

That said…

She never showed distress or unhappiness to me..

She was the happy person, always making others feel as they were number one when she was around. Selfless and just so beautiful!

Times were so different back then.

But getting back to HAIR. 🙃

One day, while she was visiting us I asked her how she got her hair so ’Marilyn Monroe-ish’

The color was so light and pretty, so different then my undecided roots.

She told me she bleaches it.

I was twelve at the time, and my mother’s gallon of Clorox bleach in the linen closet was the picture that my mind formed.

I waited until my 13th birthday, which was shortly after starting Jr. High.

I wanted to reinvent myself again, as another school year was in full swing.

I had a terrible crush on the boy next to my locker, who also happened to sit right behind me in homeroom. Joshua.

Amazing that we still recall people’s names from so many years ago.

One day after school I called my best friend Jennie and asked her to come over to help me bleach my hair.

We took the whole gallon of Clorox bleach and slowly began to pour it over my head in the kitchen sink.

It started to burn, but I quickly recalled the phrase, ”Beauty sometimes hurts”

I read that in all the beauty magazines for years.

Thst, along with remembering the day I borrowed my Aunt Edies Epilady,

I knew that to be true. 😬

About halfway through the Clorox pour, chunks of hair began falling out into the kitchen sink.

I had my eyes closed and remember Jennie saying, ”Missi, hmmm. I’m not sure we are doing it right, maybe we needed to wet your hair first.”

I quickly opened my eyes and saw much of my hair detached from my head in the stainless steel kichen sink.

I had her stop pouring and I turned the water on and began wetting and rinsing my hair quickly.

But it was too late to turn back. Chunks of hair were already missing.

I rinsed and rinsed some more. Shampooed and conditioned.

Then blow-dried.

I looked at myself in the mirror and was in disbelief.

Jennie’s response to me was, ”Well, Joshua will at least notice you now Missi.”

I started to cry. How was I suppose to go to school looking like this?

I called my Aunt and told her what happened.

She sympathized and told me about hair color. That it was ’a thing’

She told me to style my hair with hair gel and wear a scarf or thick headband until it grew back, and that is would look cute and fresh!

So optimistic! Another trait that she had!

Then she told me to call my mother at work to tell her what happened but please not mention that she told me she bleaches her hair, or she’d get blamed for my doing.

I was scared.

Jennie went home and it was getting late.

My older brother came home and just stood and looked at me for a moment.

I asked him if it looked cute, as I had a hair band in it.

He said if I think it does, then it does. 😐

I ended up calling mom at work and she said that she’d handle with me later.

That night I got grounded, and was made to go to school the next day. Mom did order a wig for me though.

Here is me with my new wig:

And my favorite lipstick, Covergirl, Hint of bronze gloss, which I recently found a new old stock tube of. 🙆‍♀️

The Day

While putting my school books in my locker, Joshua was at his locker next to mine.

I tried not to smile at him and say Hi, but he noticed me!

Maybe it was because on all the other mornings I said Hi, and on that morning I didn’t. I had a black hat on and did not say anything or make eye contact with him.

He said Hi to me.

But I ignored him.

I went into homeroom and sat down.

He sat down behind me.

I then heard, ”Missi. HEY! GOOD MORNING!”

I could not believe that he was actually striking up a conversation with me.

All the other mornings.. When I said hi, or tried to talk to him, I’d only get a Hey, back. Just barely.

So I decided to ignore him still.

But then he did something I couldn’t ignore.

Yep! He grabbed my black hat off of my head in front of the whole, now filled, classmates.

Kids started laughing.

Mr B, walked in and hushed everyone.

Joshua asked me what happened.

Humiliated, I just went with it, and said I bleached it.

He stopped laughing, and asked me why, and said I had pretty hair before and why change it.

In my mind I was thinking, ”Wait, you mean you actually noticed?”

I took my hat back and put it back on my head, feeling confused by his comment. Also pretty mad.

The teacher gave the morning announcements, and Jennifer, the smart straight-A, girl in front of me who use to let me cheat off her sometimes, turned around and told me that Joshua had a crush on me. She said she overheard him and another boy talking, weeks prior.

Shocked. I just zoned out. She had to be lying! I thought to myself.

After the mornings announcements, we were all dismissed.

I went back to my locker, as Joshua was also at his. I felt him looking at me, so just looked up.

He told me that it would grow back, and it was really not a big deal, that it was only hair and that I was pretty still.

I learned so much from that single day.

Or have I….

Here I am, two weeks after my $100 perm. I’m smiling so I must be happy..😉

And as I look in the mirror at this frizzy mop, I can still hear Joshua saying, ”it’s no big deal Missi. It’s only hair, it will grow back”

I have hoped to have a similar style like this: 

And here is a snapshot a few years later, with my hair at a suitable length, deciding on a deep red color…Much like my wig.🙂

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