Friday, August 16, 2013


Change is something that interests me. For most of my life, I have had long (or at least, long-ish) hair. Part of this is because long hair is fairly easy to style - pull it back in a barrette or up in a ponytail and voila! - and also because I'm both cheap and lazy, and making an appointment, getting to the hairdresser, waiting my turn, getting the cut and then getting home often takes the better part of an afternoon, and I don't even want to think about the cost anymore.

When I was in college, I dyed my hair on a regular basis. Just wash-out stuff, though. My natural color is a nondescript "mousy brown" of the sort that female protagonists in YA novels complain about as The Most Boring Color Ever. When I went to Comic-Con, I met this one girl who had a fantastic turquoise dye job. Even then, though... I've just always been a bit uncertain about permanent dyes. They're so... permanent!

It also used to be incredibly thick. Back in 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after surgery I had chemo and radiation. Losing your hair is a common side effect, but it's not a sure thing. So I got mine chopped and donated it and went ahead and got highlights. (Meh.) It did end up coming out -- it was hard to tell at first, though, because my hair was so freaking thick that it shed a lot.

I wore wigs to work and around town. Although I had several scarves, I never really got the hang of them. But as weeks turned into months, I got more and more comfortable with my scraggly pate. One thing they don't tell you is that your hair still tries to grow and just keeps dying off because of the drugs. I was expecting a smooth, shiny noggin and I never got one.

When it grew back, it was curly at first, which is pretty common. By the next summer I had a full head of hair, and it had started coming in straight again. It's a little weird having hair that does two things, but I guess it's better to have it curly first then straight, with the curls at the ends, than vice versa! But I've noticed that it isn't nearly as thick as it used to be. Mostly, I'm glad. It doesn't shed nearly as much, it's a bit easier to style, and it looks more like hair is supposed to look, instead of giving me a perpetual mushroom-head. Even so, it still feels a little weird. When I sit back with my head against a pillow, there's just not as much there.

Also my eyebrows are now super-sparse and my face looks wrong to me. Fortunately it's pretty easy to take care of with eyebrow pencils. Or brown eyeliner, if I want something a little darker. Hell, even eyeshadow works. (As long as I don't use something funky like green or orange.)

More recently, I quit shaving my legs. I haven't been one for shorts or skirts for quite some time, so it's not really noticeable. Somehow, for no apparent reason, I wondered how long it would take for my legs to go past "scratchy" into "fluffy." My arm hair is super-soft and I wondered if my leg hair would be similar. I figured it wouldn't be exactly the same because the Hunk is a man, and so he isn't expected to shave his body hair, and his leg hair is a tiny bit coarser and curlier than his arm hair. Also I think it's not as long as it gets... though that varies.

Mine's the same way. It's soft and a little shaggy now. It doesn't lay as neatly as my arm hair does. Because I'm tall, I've always been self-conscious about wearing pants that showed anything above the ankle. Capris just look weird to me. And so for awhile I was even more self-conscious, because of course in our society women are expected not to have hair on their legs.

But I have some exercise wear that comes to mid-calf. Yes, it looks weird to me, but it was affordable and comfy, so I bought it. And it feels ever so daring to wear that when I go for a walk or run errands or something. I feel just the slightest bit scandalous! When I think about it, I can't help grinning at how silly it is -- oo, leg hair, sooo avant-garde. Whatever, Clix, you're a goofball.

I do still shave my nethers and under my arms. Too much hair down there feels odd, like I may have started my period without noticing. And to avoid being smelly I wear deodorant, and if there's hair under my arms it tends to tangle (ouch!) or get clumps (ew).

My attitude toward my body changes often, as I'm sure is the case for most women. I drift between being curious and impressed at the way that it works at some times and then at others vainly wishing it was more conventionally attractive. Sometimes it's both at the same time!

No comments:

Post a Comment