My hair now has some golden streaks mixed in the dark brown. It’s pretty. It catches the light. It gives more dimension. I starting highlighting my hair in my early to mid-twenties. (Oh God, that’s more than 10 years, now. Yeesh.) Before then I had my mother’s voice in my head telling me “Don’t color your hair!” “You don’t need to!” “It’s dark brunette. Don’t mess with it until you have to cover gray.”
Sorry Mom, but I’m so mad I listened to you all those years. I feel like I missed out on fun hair experimentation when I was young. I kept it plain and boring, never daring to jump on the chunky highlights trend of the late 90’s-early 2000’s. Makeup? That’s a different story. I always loved makeup and experimenting there, but hair? I kept it plain until I was on TV as a news reporter and changed it up.
My mom has always cared about my hair and my sister’s hair. Always. When we were dating my husband said, “Why does your mom ALWAYS comment on your hair?” I replied, “I dunno. She’s my mom.” Over the years she was all for braids, curling and perms. But color? No color according to Mom. When my daughter was a toddler I wrote about our budding mother/daughter hair relationship. Suddenly I find myself obsessing over my daughter’s hair.
You see, for awhile I was quite sure Charlotte was part mermaid. Take a look at these pictures:
Here I was, worried Disney would give her unrealistic hair expectations, but oh my goodness! How is it possible for a human to have such magic, princess hair?! It’s glorious with all it’s natural ombre ringlets!
But, people kept telling me I needed to cut it. One friend laughed, “If she starts sitting on it I’m going to make fun of you, Amy.” I joked about her starting to look like a Duggar it was so long. It was getting to be a huge pain to brush and detangle. The ends, while curled, were dead and less bouncy than they were in these photos. When the warm humidity of summer gave way to fall, it didn’t look as lovely. She needed a haircut.
I told myself the curls would be there, just fresher. I lazily took her to Sports Clips with her brother. She’s five! I’m not spending a fortune on a 5-year-old’s haircut. I regret that now. We had been to some kids haircut places before. I figured I could still get away with not going to a real salon for awhile longer. The woman kindly put nearly 6 inches of ringlets in an envelope for me to save, but my heart HURT when she made a straight line with her shears and cut those curls off.
They are not back. Soft waves settle into the cheap, blunt haircut line. I scrunch and twist after her baths, trying to make those ringlets magically reappear, but they are gone. Maybe they’ll return with humid, warm weather? Maybe with a better haircut? I don’t know.
She is still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Her hair is a trivial part to the amazing person she is. Plus, I’m just grateful she is healthy and happy. Maybe my mom didn’t want me to color my hair because it would have been saying goodbye to the dark silky strands her baby was born with, just like I mourn the curls my baby had.
Charlotte, your hair is yours to experiment with…one day. For now, I’m going to be the one to obsess over it. When chunky highlights come back in style it’s yours for the obsessing.