Thursday, January 16, 2014

Growing Pains

I have been letting my hair grow out.  I actually don't like my hair long since it's gone gray.  I don't mind a mid-length cut, but I think it looks better short since it's gone gray.  I have written before about how I don't want to dye it.  But as a refresher, here are my contentions with dying my hair:
--I don't want the hassle.
--I don't want the expense.
--I don't want the chemicals on my scalp, right next to my brain.  Who knows what effect that might have?
--I don't want to do it myself, because frankly when you do it yourself, it looks like you did.  And I am VERY particular about color, and I'm afraid of not getting the right color.
--Part of me wants to rebel against society that says women my age shouldn't have gray hair. Of course we should have gray hair because that's what nature gave us!  The media wants us all to look like prepubescent girls with no hips, no gray hair, and no extra fat.  Well guess what.  That's not how 52 year old women look!
--Part of me wants to do this for the benefit of other women who also share my concerns, but need some kind of support system. 
--Parts of my hair have even gone kind of white, and I actually think it's kind of pretty. 

Okay, enough about that rant.  But now I have another problem.  Here in China I can't get the right hair cut.  My language abilities are good enough to tell them what I want, but they just don't seem to get it.  I always come away with a hair cut so short that it looks like a "man-cut".  (see picture on my sidebar)

When I was in the States this summer I went back to my regular beautician.  She explained to me that because Asians have a different texture of hair, by and large, they use different cutting techniques.  Most Asians have very straight, coarse hair.  So if, for example, the beautician were to cut straight across, it would look very choppy.  So instead, they "chop" at the line at a perpendicular angle.  It's not what works best for my hair.

Another thing that you should understand is the way beauticians are taught here in China.  There isn't a school where you go to learn like we have in America.  Instead, trainees do an apprenticeship for many years to learn on the job.  They start out just doing the hair washing, and gradually work their way up to cutting hair.  So you can imagine that it's hard for them to learn any cutting edge techniques, or other ways to cut hair.  They do fine for Chinese hair, but when it comes to Americans, it never quite looks right. 

In the past I have gotten my hair cut here, and just lived with a "man-cut".  But now I'm tired of it.  So I decided to just let it grow out.  Basically, I had to decide which I hated more; man hair, or long gray hair.  The long gray hair won.  But now it's at this really awkward stage when it sticks up in all the wrong places, and curls in the wrong direction, and is hanging in my eyes. 

I considered letting it grow long enough to donate it to be made in to wigs for cancer patients. I think they want 6 inches at least. At first I wondered if they would want gray hair, but then I thought that there are older women who need wigs too, and if they don't want it gray, they could dye it just like they dye their natural hair.  So anyway, that thought has been swimming around in my mop covered head, so if I grow it long enough by the time I return home this summer, I'll donate it. 

But don't you hate that inbetween stage? Gah!


Fromagette said...

Thanks for standing up for grey hair! I have most of the same reasons for not dyeing my hair and while I am young (32) I have my mother's genes and am already going grey.

By the way, I was just checking Locks of Love to see if they accept grey hair as I was about to get my hair cut and thought it might be long enough. They make wigs for children so they don't use the grey hair, but they do sell it to cover the cost of making the wigs from the non-grey hair.

Max Coutinho said...

Hi D,

There is nothing worse than the in between stage.
You do well to let your hair be the way it is (in terms of colour, I mean) because once you start dying, you won't be able to stop.

When the time comes for me to have my greys...I will let them be as well as a sign of wisdom ;).

Have a great weekend.

Grannymar said...

I have on occasion brought a photograph of myself with my hair the style and length I want it.... As the song says 'If a picture paints a thousand words' - than a photo can do it for you. :)

I wear my 'greys' with pride and remind Elly they are all down to her! Well, looking at a wedding photo of mine, you find not a trace! ;)

Rummuser said...

I shall offer my comments if you will publish a photograph of yours with the longer hair.

jen said...

Where's the picture? That's what I want to know!