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What they say about my hair

A short moment Ice is covering the garden end of March 2024
grass covered with blocks of ice 23 March 2024

My hair isn't particularly noteworthy; a mix of half-blonds from the past, now transitioning to half-gray. It's been like this for years. When it started graying, I watched other women dyeing theirs, some going red despite never having been so, or opting for dark brown to black. But I always found the result somewhat synthetic, plastic-like. I lean towards the natural; the nuanced shifts in a cat's, dog's, or horse's coat have always fascinated me. And that's the natural vibe I aim for with my hair. Yet, it's not that I take pride in its natural state; rather, I've often felt a tinge of insecurity about it, perhaps because it hasn't undergone as many treatments as the hair of those around me. I also lack sisters with whom to share hair care rituals.


Then one day in the supermarket, a woman from my Pilates class approached me excitedly, declaring, "I'm doing it too!" I was taken aback, asking, "What do you mean, what are you talking about?" She replied, "I'm going to let my hair go gray and grow out the color!" She saw it as a statement, though I wasn't sure what, and likely viewed my hair in the same light. "you will have to have patience!" I remarked. I felt a bit sorry for her but for me it felt like a #win, the first time in my life, I felt somewhat empowered for my hair, receiving a firm compliment, if only for the less rigorous upkeep.


As a child, I always had long hair, but it was strictly for braids. So every morning, I'd sit waiting for my mother to braid it anew. Sometimes, I'd get ribbons too, choosing their color - red or light blue, depending on my dress. The ribbons were washed, and ironing them on the steam spout of the kettle worked wonders. If they became frayed, we'd trim them with pinking shears. It was a blissful world.


As I grew older, around eleven I think, I grew tired of braids and nagged to cut my hair. My mother had also had braids in her youth, with thick, red hair - she even kept her braids in a box somewhere. Mine paled in comparison. So one day, on our way to the hairdresser to chop off the braids, we ran into the neighbor. We explained our plans, and she, a kind and well-groomed woman, suggested washing my hair with an egg yolk. My mother and I had discussed that my hair lacked shine and was too thin. And perhaps a haircut could help. After this chat, we returned home, and my mother sacrificed an egg for the cause. An egg yolk in a cup was carried upstairs to the bathroom. An egg yolk is an emulsifier and doesn't lather like soap, so the whole affair wasn't very spectacular.


But the neighbor had also advised buying brewer's yeast and giving me a few tablets a day. I recall the cats going crazy for those brewer's yeast tablets. They'd eagerly await as I fetched the jar from the cupboard. They consumed at least as much brewer's yeast as I did. Their fur greatly improved. And while my hair likely became a little stronger and shinier, it never matched the beauty of my mother's hair; it remained fine and somewhat frail.


As I entered adolescence, I began to pester again. Puberty stirred a desire NOT to be different anymore, not different like I was used to. All of my family members were kind of being different, but I wanted to cross the bridge and belong to the rest of the people who were all just normal. I yearned to be like all the other girls, with plain hair hanging loosely down to their shoulders. Braids seemed so childish. My hair finally came off when I was preparing to attend a summer camp where no one could braid it every morning. I still remember walking along the dike in Zeeland; I felt fantastic, the wind in my hair, finally free and just like everyone else.


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Mar 25
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

heel leuk om te lezen. En ook weer leuk geschreven. ❤️


Johannes Fraaije
Johannes Fraaije
Mar 24
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

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