“I’m Gonna Wash That Gray Right Outta My Hair!”

So…I was braiding my hair into a one side plait the other night, as I always do before bed and, just as I turned off the bathroom light, I caught sight of myself in the mirror. I stood there for a minute, puzzling what it was that seemed odd about my reflection (other than the usual dazed, bemused look I get every time I happen to see myself that, “wow…I look more and more like Mama every day”, way). Well, I didn’t want my husband walking by the bathroom to see me standing in the dark, not moving, as he already thinks I’m a bit weird; no need for him to now think, “oh boy…Old Timer’s…she’s forgotten where she is”, so I turned the light back on and leaned forward a bit, studying my face.

Other than finding one stray hair on my chin that seemed to think it was okay to leave my husband’s face and take up residence on mine, I really just couldn’t figure it out…What was different? Sagging chins (yes, there are more than one this year), jowels like a hound dog, the upper lip looking like it’s been pulled together like a drawstring bag…hmmm. Same stuff. Different evening. Then I leaned a little closer. Actually I had  to lean closer in order to actually see me well, since my eyelids now droop so far over my eyes that I need a pulley system to see.

Anyway, I leaned in and looked at my braid. Then I reached into the medicine cabinet, took out the artificial tears, applied three drops to each eye, rolled my eyeballs around a bit (did you know that tears are necessary to good vision?) and took another look. Ever heard the song title, “Things That Make You Go ‘Hmmm'”? Well, that’s what happened. I said, “Hmmm. HA!”. Then I called to my husband.

“Hey!” I hollered. “Come in here a minute and tell me what you see!” I heard him go, “good lord, what now…”, but he did trek to the throne room in answer to my loud summons.

“What’s up?” he asked, with barely disguised boredom.

“I’m SO sorry to have interrupted your commercial, DEAR, but just look at my reflection there. What do you see that’s REALLY different? – because I think I may be hallucinating”

So he tips his head, backs up, leans forward, shrugs and says, “Noth…”, then leans in toward the mirror. “Huh! Is that…?”, then turns toward me and says, “Holy crap! Your hair is getting darker!”

Understand that I got my first gray hair at the ripe old age of 16. By 26, even though there was way more pepper than salt, you could see the silver hairs glinting in the sunlight. At age 32 I was definitely salt and pepper and by 40 years of age I was fully frosted. After 40 I stopped noticing the changes for I had finally, actually become my mother. The bad part though, was that the grey was like straw and straight, while the little bit of hair that retained a semblance of dark brown still kept its natural, zippy curl. Poor hair hasn’t been able to make up its mind to be super curly or dead straight in YEARS!

But now, on this night, I was seeing a braid that looked like one strand of black, intertwined with one strand of light brown intertwined with silver. My hair looked like it belonged on a zebra!

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In all seriousness, I’ve been trying to figure out what, if anything, I’ve been doing differently. Diet? Sleep? Change in stress? But all I’ve been able to come up with is that

  1. my diet sucks worse than it ever has
  2. my arthritis and broken joints keep me awake more now than they did a month ago and
  3. rent is going up, gas is going up, groceries are going up and the White House says if I don’t purchase a medical insurance policy in 10 months I’ll be penalized on my taxes…really? So that takes care of the question of stress!

Everything in my life should have made me bald headed by now anyway, never mind the grey hair! But there IS one thing I’ve been doing differently in the past three weeks or so.

Last month I was talking to my daughter about how she managed her girls’ hair. Dixie got her dad’s hugely thick, straight hair, while her daughters all have hugely thick, long, tight curls which ken back to their dad, who is Black. Yet they can actually pull a wide tooth comb through it with only a little trouble (as long as they go no more than one medium-sized hank of hair at a time!).

“Coconut milk,” she told me. “Go buy a can of coconut milk, put it in the fridge for awhile and the cream and fat will solidify. Put that in a separate container in the fridge and use it on your hair after you’ve washed and towel dried it. Comb it through and it’ll not only feel soft but it’ll have a real faint smell of coconut. After awhile, if you use it regularly, your hair will soak up the oils and go smoother.”

Well I can tell you it has made a difference in the texture of my hair. It really has a softness, a silkiness, it hasn’t ever had AND it’s almost as thick as it was back when I was pregnant all 90 times. But changing the color of my hair?  NOT. What? Naw…ya’ think?

Time for some research!

(…to be continued……………)