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!


Annie Joy


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!


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