I just started reading a book called Going Grey by Anne Kreamer. It is a wonderfully written, witty account of a woman who has decided to stop dying her hair and go naturally grey. I, like her, decided some time ago to not only stop dying my hair but stopping cutting it as well. Unlike her my hair was not so grey as hers apparently was and I didn't have a year of bad grey while my roots grew in. As I said I decided to stop cutting it too. At first I firmly planned to let it get to a certain length and then donate my hair to Locks of Love. They take hair that is a minimum of 10 inches long, so the plan was to let it get to that length plus the shoulder length that it was at the time I make this decision.
It is now at the middle of my back and I feel thrust back to my high school years when my hair was close to being waist length. Now I vacillate between donating my hair and keeping it long and flowing. I hadn't fully convinced myself that at 55, long hair is not something that most women do. But I hate short hair and I hate having to go to my stylist whenever the style, whatever it is supposed to be, gets unruly and drives me crazy. Having it long is just so easy. I mean really, who am I trying to impress? I am a middle aged woman, married with a child. I am not trying to find the love of my life or catch the eye of the most desirable man around. At this point in my life I am working to impress people with my brain, not my looks.
Then today I came across a passage in the book where she sees a 70 year old woman, fit and beautiful sunbathing nude on a beach at Martha's Vineyard with long flowing white hair who becomes a model of what the author is trying to accomplish. It set my mind that I am not just growing my hair to donate it. I may never donate it...besides they don't take grey hair, but I may grow it out forever until it reaches the floor like my paternal grandmother. I seriously thing that when I saw her wedding picture as a child, I subconsciously decided that I would forever have long hair. That could be why every time I have cut it shorter than shoulder length I got panicky and uncomfortable. I even went to the trouble of making my mother buy me a fall (a half wig) when my hair was cut ridiculously short when I was a young teen. I came home in absolute tears refusing to come out of my room until my mother apologized for taking me to the hairdresser and bring back the fall so I wouldn't appear in public with the absence of hair. Such trauma!