Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Continuing Beauty Challenge #1: Hair Color

Dear Friends,

I hope that you won’t consider this too self-indulgent, but I wanted to blend the more serious (like the reasons I read books) to something more personal and light-hearted. At my age, you might think that beauty challenges would be a thing of the past, especially if you’re mature enough to realize that outer beauty shouldn’t count for much. If, however, you were born in the south, as I was, or if you had a beautiful mother, which I did, or if you were observant enough to catch the subtle and not-so-subtle clues that beauty mattered, then you might have started (as I did) to do the best you could with what you had been given.

My Mother



Let me acknowledge that it’s a losing game (especially later in life) and congratulate those of you refused to play – you have my greatest admiration, or you were born so beautiful that you had already won.

The clues that I got that I wasn’t so blessed included an offhand remark about my clumsiness from my mother, frequent observations from my dad (at my early attempts at makeup) that I “looked like I dipped my face in a flour barrel”, questions from friends and strangers about the birthmark on my face, hearing that my little sister was a beautiful baby and little girl, and the suggestion from a boy in my class that I might want to read the ad in the back of a magazine that guaranteed breast enlargement. Let me say now (especially since I know that my sister will read this) that everything I’ve mentioned here is accurate and true (Susie was a beautiful baby and child and is still beautiful), but things like this have a way of staying with you.

I’ll also mention that I’ve had a few beauty triumphs along the way, too – something just clicked at one point and I started feeling better about myself and the way I looked. I’ll share some of those triumphs in a later posting.

Back to the hair color: I used to be a redhead. It’s hard to be a redhead in grade school, when children will pick out anything different about you for teasing purposes. I also used to get perms that left me looking like Little Orphan Annie, while my two best friends, Connie and Jackie, had long, wavy blond and brown hair.

By the time I reached college age, I had “grown into my hair color” and actually saw the advantage of being different. (I had also mastered makeup by that time, thanks to Merle Norman.) College years were fine for hair color and later, when the first gray hairs started coming in, it looked like my hair had been frosted! That was wonderful for about fifteen years – best hair color years of my life. I went to a high school class reunion and friends asked me when I went blond – I had done nothing to my hair color.

Then, about ten years ago, things started going downhill. The grays were overtaking the reds so I decided that color was in order. I started with “low lights”, which worked for a while, and then experimented with different colors to get a subtle effect without spending a fortune. I also tried coloring my own hair, but my husband suggested that I should go back to the beauty shop. (This wasn’t entirely a criticism of my efforts – he saw how frustrated I got trying to do it myself, to the point where I would put it off and then gripe about how it looked. Some of my friends have great success coloring their own hair, but I just don’t have that knack.)

Now I am trying to find the right color, single process (I am too cheap to pay $100 a month on my hair) that doesn’t look “flat” or dull and doesn’t fade. It has to look right (natural) with my pinkish skin that is also showing some wear.

One of my favorite people is my Aunt Sister (my dad’s sister), who will be 100 next Halloween. She had red hair, too, and has let hers fade into a beautiful soft, pinkish white color. I’m sure that I’ll do the same, eventually. Not yet, though. I’ll probably put that off for a few more years. If any of you have any suggestions or comments in the meantime, I would love to hear them!

Love,

Annie Joy

7 comments:

Jenn said...

I'm with you! It's so frustrating to find the right color....My oldest got Grandma James' hair color and I'm sooo thankful. She too struggles with the "being different" part of it, but we wouldn't have it any other way. Now only if they could bottle that red for the rest of us that looked natural!!

Annie Joy said...

Let me know if you find that red color -- I'll buy a case!

Mollianne said...

Teri Lynne sent me your way. I'm Terry's sister, Mollianne. I loved your post! My oldest grandson told me once that I had 'striped hair'. That cracked me up. I'm looking forward to following your posts.

Mollianne said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annie Joy said...

Hi, Mollianne! I remember you as a cute little girl -- how time flies, how hair fades and grays! I look forward to knowing the grandmother Mollianne better!

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Well, I am in the same boat. I did have dark brown hair and an olive complexion and now am really gray. I color my hair, but I too have a hard time with color since I don't want it to look harsh. If you have a Sally's Beauty Supply in your area, they have the best color, it's what the pros use but they sell to us too. There are some really pretty shades of blonde that look great with a more pink complexion. The people working there are genius at helping select color. I am now a light brown or a dark blonde. It seems to work, at least for now. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such gracious comments. I really appreciate it. Hugs, Marty

Annie Joy said...

Thank you, Marty! For those who are reading this, Marty has the most amazing, beautiful blog which features her home decorating, tablescapes, etc. -- a feast for the eyes in beautiful photographs. Stop by and visit and I promise you will want to go back!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Recently Read Fiction Favorites

  • A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
  • A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
  • Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
  • Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
  • Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
  • Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
  • Confessions of a Former Rock Queen by Kirk Bjornsgaard
  • Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
  • Faithful Place by Tana French
  • Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner
  • Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
  • Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
  • Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg
  • Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
  • Innocent by Scott Turow
  • My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
  • Noah's Compass by Anne Tyler
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • Private Life by Jane Smiley
  • Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier
  • Roses by Leila Meacham
  • Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
  • So Much For That by Lionel Shriver
  • South of Broad by Pat Conroy
  • That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
  • The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt
  • The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson
  • The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
  • The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson
  • The Given Day by Dennis Lehane
  • The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
  • The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
  • The Sky Took Him by Donis Casey
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCraw
  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
  • The Wind Comes Sweeping by Marcia Preston
  • Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom
  • Wolf Hall by Hillary Mandel
  • World Without End by Ken Follett
  • Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks

Favorite Nonfiction and Memoir

  • All Over but the Shoutin' by Rick Bragg
  • Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott
  • Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason by Nancy Pearl
  • Getting Over Getting Older by Lettie Cottin Pogrebin
  • Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Sharing the Journey: Women Reflecting on Life's Passages by Katherine Ball Ross
  • Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things by Randy O. Frost
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
  • The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron
  • The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  • The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin
  • The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz
  • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dustbowl by Timothy Egan