Hair Retrospective

In an if-you-give-a-mouse-a-muffin scenario, I decided to write a post about Gray Hair Beauty. In order to prepare for this post, I had to look through old photos of hairdos I’ve sported through the years. When looking through the pictures, I realized that I wanted to share with you all of the different hair journeys I’ve taken to land at a full head of gray in my forties.

I’ll still do the Gray Hair Beauty post, but first here’s a post of different hairdos I’ve had for the past forty-one years. Remember this is a Back-To-School Issue September challenge, so I pretty much have to talk about hair.

Here is a pic of me in 1975, which was a really good year for my hair. I was extremely cranky about having it brushed. The photographer caught me in a rare moment of glossy perfection. He also called me Miss Muffet which pissed me off.

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Fast forward six years, and now I’m eleven and do not appreciate the sun burnished straight perfection that is growing so perfectly out of my head. The beauty norm in 1981 was highly processed, and the teased bangs and dark makeup of the gang girls in my school were my aesthetic ideal. In my own opinion my flat hair was just not cutting the mustard.

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I just want to be clear that this dance picture of me in 1984 isn’t even the most embarrassing dance picture of me that exists. Oh I don’t know, maybe it is. I have a lot of dance pictures. The hair though. Focus on the hair. It took me forever. The eighties were awesome, that’s all I have to say.

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This was in 1986 on my seventeenth birthday with hair that’s a teeny bit Jackie Onassis, although that wasn’t what I was going for at all. What was my aesthetic vision quest? You can’t guess? Molly Ringwald, of course. She was my queen.

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What a difference a year makes. This was me on my first Thanksgiving break from college. In order to achieve this hair, I did the following: 1. Permed it to poodle tightness (Flashdance may still have been a goal even though this was 1987 already). 2. The same day of the perm, applied an extra strength chemical straightener from the drugstore. It fell out in chunks and smelled burned for six months. It was also strangely fabulous.

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1999, at my husband’s thirtieth birthday party. This was my first adult hairdo, from a stylist in Berkeley who was gorgeous, and tattooed and way cooler than me. I couldn’t afford the upkeep and without vigilance with the hair dye I grayed at the sides like a distinguished senator so it didn’t last long.


Postpartum me in 2004. Exhausted. In love with my kids. Not thinking at all about my hair.

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Me after my last hair cut with Paolo of Medusa Salon in Tahoe Park, who is also way cooler than me but makes me feel like one million crisp American dollars every time I walk out of his place. I don’t wear it so curly all the time. Paolo did that with a curling iron. It was fabulous.



Journal Topics

  1. Try going on your own hair retrospective. How did your hair reflect what you were going through at each time in your life?
  2. What were your inspirations when it came to your looks? Who did you aspire to look like?
  3. What are some disasters you have suffered in order to look a certain way?
  4. What have you figured out about your hair and style that you wish you could tell your younger self?







One Comment

  1. I’d tell my younger self not to cut it and to enjoy its smooth straightness because that is all it wants to do. But of course, nobody could get through the 80s without a perm.

    Liked by 1 person

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