Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hair today...

...and not gone tomorrow.

It worked. All my herbal concoctions and nutritional changes worked and my hair is no longer thinning. I have lots of curly dark new hair and you can no longer see my pink scalp shining through. I'm so excited. It worked!

In my middle thirties I began finding silver hairs, so I yanked them out. In the back of my mind I thought pulling them out would cause two more to grow in their place, but I didn't care. I was too young to go gray -- unless of course it happened overnight and I ended up with Marilyn Monroe platinum. I could live with that. But, no, nature decreed the platinum would creep up slowly, making my dark brown hair look like I had walked under a low arch covered in fresh paint that coated selected strands that hid until I wanted to look especially nice. Then it would pop up like a coiled steel spring and refuse to be tamed.

For the longest time the silver popped and I plucked. I didn't realize I was thinning my baby fine hair until a friend and I had a fight and she slashed me in the face with the news. "Well, you're going bald!" she shrieked. We started discussing her work mistakes and she ended the discussion by attacking me. I resisted the impulse to run, hands covering my head. I smiled, excused myself and walked to the restroom -- to see if she was right.

She was.

I had missed the changes. Shining through the now sparse strands was my clean scalp, pink and grinning up at me with a triumphant gleam. I panicked, but I waited until I got home to collapse in tears. I was going bald. Thus began the drain on my finances.

I bought Rogaine for women in the pink bottle. It smelled bad and I hated having my hair look flat and oily. That didn't last long. Next came vitamins and biotin and shampoos, anything and nearly everything. I stopped short of the spray paint I saw on an infomercial one dark and rainy night, my hair wrapped in a steaming towel while the oils and store bought goop worked into my hair-deficient scalp. I cheered and celebrated every new hair, mourned the ever increasing gleam of my bare scalp.

For a while I gave up, finally allowing myself to be talked into coloring my gray hair and letting it grow. More money down the tubes. I shudder remembering just how much money I spent each month. Enough for a new car or top of the line loaded SUV. And all the while I dined on Budget Gourmet microwave dinners and patched my worn clothes. After all, I worked from home. I really didn't need nice clothes just to parade my balding mane.

When I moved into the cabin I discovered herbs, and not just for cooking. I always knew about that. I discovered that herbs could cure illness and maintain health. And then I discovered the miracle of rosemary. Before I washed my hair, I boiled water, steeped dried rosemary and climbed into the shower while the tea cooled. After I washed and rinsed my hair, I poured on the warm tea and massaged it into my scalp. My head tingled and smelled faintly medicinal, but I was certain this would work. Besides it was cheaper.

Now, nearly two years later, while I was focused on work, moving, decorating, painting and all the various and sundry demands on my time and attention, I noticed a change. This morning I washed my face in front of the mirror and little curly wisps of dark brown hair curled and winked around my previous near naked hairline. I definitely need to do my roots, but my scalp no longer grins up at me. It's hidden by a rich growth of curling and wavy strands. Finally, I have something to celebrate -- the return of my hair.

I guess it's time to get rid of the box of clip-on hair I bought and resisted dyeing to match my hair. I can take the fishing line halo of hair and the various lengths of clip-on mane, box them up and take them to Goodwill or Arc for some poor balding soul who can't afford Rogaine, Biotin or the million other shampoos, rinses and slimy gels that hide their grinning scalp. After all, no one should sink to spray painting their skull --

-- unless they're rabid sports fans supporting their favorite teams.

No comments: