Sunday, July 15, 2007

# 68 Hair

From Hair to Hats

Hair.....long beautiful hair......If you are a child of the Sixties, a flower child, then like me, that song from the Musical "Hair" has probably been making a nuisance of itself in your mind ever since reading today's Sunday Scribblings prompt.

We humans attach significant importance to hair; socially, politically, emotionally, and sexually. To a somewhat lesser extent our hair connotes our race and national identity.

I've never been content with my hair, from dark brown, thick and curly to thin, white and wavy. I wanted straight hair like Elvis, Fabian, and the Everly brothers. Instead I got hair more reminiscent of Nat Kin Cole. I did have a period when I identified with Dean Martin.

Then there was the time in my late thirties when I had my prematurely gray hair professionally dyed. My exercise regime at that time included swimming laps in the local high school pool during the wee hours of the morning. Within a few days, my newly darkened tresses turned orange from exposure to the pool's chlorine, and that put an end to that experiment. Grey was definitely better than orange.

In my younger years, those would be the years between birth and adolescence, I paid little attention to my hair per se. My mother saw to it that my hair was washed regularly, combed and parted at least once a day, and took me to the barber every-so-often and instructed the him on how to cut my hair.

I do recall a hairy incident, or I should say a hairless incident when I was twelve that made me acutely aware of my relationship with my hair. A fungus of the common name, ringworm, established itself dead-center on the top of my head. Dear ol' Dr. Sothstiem instructed my mother to shave my head completely bald and apply a foul smelling unguent to my scalp in order to rid me of this infestation. Since I wasn't yet a fan of Yul Brenner, and Bruce Willis wasn't born yet, I was needless to say, embarrassed to the max. And so it was, that during this belittling episode I discovered the usefulness of hats. They didn't make wigs or hairpieces for twelve year old boys in those days. For those many long weeks until my hair grew out, I strode, bike- rode and patrolled the neighborhood in Davey's coon skin cap, Roy's cowboy hat, a Jim Hawkins' pirate bandanna, Tom Sawyer's straw hat, Zorro's flamenco hat, King Arthur's helmet, and of course, my American Legion Little League baseball cap when I was imagining myself as Yogi Berra.

Thus began mon affaire d'amour avec le chapeau, which continues to this very day!

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Blogger Elisabeth said...

What a great post, Rel. One of my biggest fears, when I was a kid, was to have some sort of disease (like the ringworm you had) that would require shaving my head. This never happened, of course.

The worst thing that ever happened to my hair, and that of my daughter, was that we got head lice. I am not sure how it happened, I think that it was from trying on clothes at a Sears store. Those bugs are very resilient, and it took about 10 days to get completely rid of them. My daughter's hair had to be cut shorter, but not super short. It was a real nightmare - I washed the bed sheets daily for many days.

You look quite good in that hat, Rel! What other hats do you own and wear regularly?

10:44 AM  
Blogger Tammy Brierly said...

What a handsome dude Rel! Great journey of hair.


10:48 AM  
Blogger Betty Carlson said...

I've definitely had an earworm with the song "Hair" all weekend -- I guess it shows our age!

11:02 AM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

Excellent post and I'm a hat fan too.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey rel, you look good in that hat!

1:20 PM  
Blogger January said...

What a great story. Well, I'm sure it wasn't so great for you when it was happening, but you've been able to turn it into a great post. And I love your list of hats, including the one you currently wear!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love the hat, love the story. Great!

4:26 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Hats suit you Rel - Wonderful photo and a wonderful story.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Rob Kistner said...

Great read, and you look resplendent in your 'lid' my man... quite dapper indeed!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Rel, your story reminded me of my brother who had to have his head shaved for the very same reason...ringworm! He was an animal lover and brought home all sorts of waifs and strays, one of which infected him as a thank you. He, too, had to have his head shaved and covered in some revolting stuff. He was about eight so it didn't bother him all that much, nor did it stop him bringing home waifs and strays!

We have to wear hats here, winter and summer because of the serious threat of melanoma, so I have a variety of head gear, but not to the extent you did.

Have a good week.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loved your story -- I've always thought that hats say alot about a person -- particularly that they can wear a hat without it looking silly. My grandfather was from the generation where men wore hats for every occasion and I kind of miss that. Some of us have hat heads and hat faces, and others (like myself) will not look attractive in any kind of hat made. You can definitely wear a hat!!!

5:10 PM  
Blogger Jellyhead said...

Oh, you poor thing Rel, having ringworm on your head. What a trauma for a young kid.

I personally dislike hats - they annoy me and I look bad in them. (However, living in the skin cancer capital of the world makes hats compulsory)

You, on the other hand, suit a hat very well!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Giggles said...

Twinkling eyes and a wonderful you look! I love hats too, always have! Yes, I almost put the song on my blog today as it invaded my brain! Why is it we’re never satisfied with the hair we’re born with? I wanted curly, you wanted straight! Engaging story, loved every speck of it!

Hugs Sherrie

9:14 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

Most of my life I've had long hair. A little over two years ago, one morning I went into the bathroom, deciding to cut about an inch off my hair (it was way down my back, about on line with my waist). I got a bit carried away and ended up with a "bob" just below my ears, about jawline...I was happy with my efforts, even though they weren't intended and have kept it this length since. Who needs hairdressers? I hate going to hairdressers. The only good thing about them is having someone wash your hair for you.

Good post, Rel. :)

12:59 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

You look good in hats - I've never looked good in the huge hats that have been fashionable until recently. The little tiny 30s style ones are much more me. I've never had ringworm or hair lice thank goodness. I've always been fairly happy with my hair, it's fine and thick and behaves itself most of the time. Colour has ranged from blond curls when I was little to the dark brown with a little grey that I have now. I'm lucky that I've kept my hair colour even at 60. My mum didn't start going grey until well into her 70s and dad was only partially grey when he died at 78. I inherited some good genes - thanks mum and dad:)

8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Priceless! I can just see you hiding under all those hats. You're lucky, I love hats but can not wear them.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Oh! I cringe for the ringworm story, my sympathies!

Great shot of you now by the way, LOVE the hat you are sporting!

Do you happen to own a Fedora by chance?

Congratulations on the award, Zaccharias and Rel! YAY!!

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

4:40 AM  
Blogger Churlita said...

I was told when I was younger that I had acute hair phobia. It's just because I have really curly, frizzy hair and I really wanted straight smooth hair.

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I go for the neo-Amish look.

So true. Hair is very powerful visual identifier. We make many assumptions about a person based on their hair style. For me, the assumption that I own mules would be wrong.

12:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know, I think the grey hair suits you just fine. Wonderful post, and I can relate to the pool turning your hair orange! Mine always turned green... from the chlorine adhering to the bleached blonde I spent so much money on obtaining for so many years. Isn't it comforting to arrive at a place where you are content with just being how God made you? That's when the true spirit comes through... and yours is remarkable. :-)

3:42 PM  
Blogger sundaycynce said...

Delightful post, Rel! Great picture. You are certainly one of the hat-friendly people. I have never enjoyed wearing hats, even though I had to wear one to church every Sunday til I was probably in junior high school. The only hats I remember kind of thinking I looked ok in later were the Jackie Kennedy pillbox ones.
Sharing so many of the time period memories makes reading your posts even more fun. Davy Crockett & Roy Rogers hats; even we Tomboys, frequently had one or both of those. How about Pancho and the Cisco Kid cardboard face masks with hats--we have pictures somewhere of my brother and me in ours. And, as I mentioned in my hair blog--the title song of that musical has been haunting my brain for days too.
My hair horror story--not near as bad as yours--was getting head lice in 4th or 5th grade from a girl who sat behind me and was always leaning over my shoulder to ask me to re-explain what the teacher had said or to show her how to do it, or maybe sometimes she was just copying. Anyway, she was not a friend, just the person assigned to sit behind me, all day, every day. The extra horror was that my emaculate and meticulous Pennsylvania-Dutch paternal grandmother was down to spend a couple of weeks with us and, in helping to wash my hair daily with that horrible shampoo and comb it with the fine-toothed comb to get any visible nits and eggs, she managed to get lice herself. I think Mother feared she would never get past that one, letting her mother-in-law get lice while visiting. Anyway as far as I was aware, Nona never held it against any of us; and it made a great family story.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

Hats are great things as we can use them as a self-definition addition or trademark. I like your hat - it has character,
I don't suit hats, so prefer to go without if I possibly can - not easy when it's cold and / or a huge hole in the ozone allows in beaming, harmful sun rays.

12:03 AM  

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