The Write Way
Friday 21 October 2011
Hair Today, Gone ...
Why is it, I often wonder, that we're never happy with what we've got?
This thought occurred to me a short while ago when I happened to meet a young girl who used to live near us a year or so ago. She was a nice, average-looking person with hair of that hue sometimes unkindly described as 'mousey,' but which is really a pleasant shade of brown. It suited her, because it matched her natural colouring. Her skin is fair and her eyebrows and eyelashes are also brown.
But you could, as my Gran used to say, have knocked me over with a feather when I met her this time. She was blonde!
And not just a natural, lighter shade of brown ... but peroxide blonde. The sort of peroxide blonde that comes from dipping your hair in peroxide. She looked as if she was trying out for a part as the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. Her hair was brittle and lifeless and limp ... but definitely blonde.
Silly girl ... it's going to take her months to grow her healthy hair back.
And it's not just the Young Ones who seem hell-bent on changing what Nature provided.
When I was a girl, I can recall my mother and my aunts (all young women back in the Olden Days when I was a girl!) discussing one of their aunts and commenting how pleased they were that she was growing old gracefully, not like old Mrs X who looked like mutton done up as lamb.
The image made a vivid impression on my child-mind, and for years after, whenever I heard that expression, I had visions of a woman down on all fours, wearing a woolly coat and bright red lipstick.
My mum and aunts all practised what they preached, and all grew old very gracefully, with their silver (not grey) hair cut fashionably and not grown long or dyed black. I wonder why it is that women of a certain age think that long, sparse hair, dyed jet-black, suits the mature face, with all its laugh lines and experience lines (not wrinkles).
Now, as a person In My Prime, I speak from first-hand experience when I say that any woman over a certain age who keeps her hair long needs her tiny head read! Why would you bother with all that palaver of washing, drying, dyeing, setting and styling long hair when you can simply get out of the shower in the morning, towel your hair dry, fluff it up a bit and get on with the day?
I watch long-haired friends who battle windy days, trying to hold their wispy bits of hair in place or brush it from their eyes or remove wayward tendrils every time they open their mouths to speak, and I wonder ... Why?
Of course, one reason could be the cost. To qualify as short, hair must be cut ... regularly. And that costs money, but I have recently discovered a solution to the problem of the high cost of hairdressing. Actually, the Love of My Life suggested this to me, and I finally plucked up courage to try it last week.
I went to his hairdresser!
This little establishment has only been open a few months, and he's been urging me to go there every time I complain that I need another haircut and I'm sure it was only last week I had it cut and surely it can't be time for another already and ... etc etc etc.
So, there I was last week, standing outside the shop to be first in the queue when it opened its doors. This place is operated by a young girl in her early 20s, and is one of what I imagine is a chain, because there's a very definite System in place.
You walk into the shop (a tiny place with just two salon chairs and a funny machine at the door), you feed a $10 note into the funny machine, which in turn regurgitates a numbered ticket for your pleasure, and then you go back outside and wait until your number flashes up on a board outside the shop.
The shop, I must add, is actually inside a shopping centre, so it's not as if you have to battle the elements as you wait.
Even though I was the first in line, I still had to wait outside until the girl had everything set up to her satisfaction, then she pressed the button, my number (one) flashed, and in I went.
I handed over my ticket (the sign said tickets had to be handed in BEFORE taking a seat), I took my seat, placed my purse in the cupboard behind the mirror (and what a good idea that is!) and told the girl what I wanted.
Now this is where things started to get a teensy bit tricky, because the young person in question was Japanese and didn't seem to have what amounted to a really strong grasp of English, but the LoML had pre-warned me, so I'd worked out a little mime where I held up strands of hair and indicated the length I wanted, which seemed to work, because she smiled, donned her mask, sat down and went to work.
And wow! Talk about skill ...
She was a whizz! Such a delicate touch ... it seemed as if she almost cut each hair individually ... I was totally mesmerised and sat entranced as she manoeuvred her scissors with the precision of a surgeon.
The LoML appeared at the door towards the end of operations and stifled a guffaw before beating a hasty retreat ... not because of the cut, but rather because of the picture we presented ... Me, sitting watching a Tom and Jerry cartoon with Japanese subtitles (thoughtfully provided by the salon on a screen just below the mirror), and the operator, wearing a mask and busily vacuuming my head.
This is another nice touch ... No, really. It is.
Instead of leaving a trail of cut hair behind you as you exit the shop (as is the case with many hairdressing establishments) this one has a nifty little vacuum attached to a brush for the final styling ... so there's no more hair-down-the-back to worry about.
And it was the best haircut I've had in a long time ... perfectly styled, sitting nicely, shaped and tapered ... T'riffic!
It just goes to prove that you should never be adverse to trying new things ...
Hmmm ... or even never be averse to trying new things.
Averse is an adjective and it means 'having a strong feeling of opposition, antipathy, repugnance, etc.; opposed, ' and it comes from the Latin aversus meaning 'turned away.'
Adverse is also an adjective, but it means 'unfavourable or antagonistic in purpose or effect; opposing one's interests or desire; being or acting in a contrary direction; opposed or opposing; opposite; confronting.' It also comes from a Latin word, but this time it's from adversus meaning 'hostile.'
And then there was the customer who went in to see her hairdresser and asked, "What do you have for grey hair?"
The hairdresser replied, "The greatest respect, Madam."
This week's quiz:
Try these hairy words .. match 'em up:
cortex, exfoliate, alopecia, melanin, depilate, follicle, glabella, keratin, papilla, telogen
1. a smooth prominence of the frontal bone between and above the eyebrows; the most forward projecting point of the forehead in the midline at the level of the supra-orbital ridges; the space between the eyebrows
2. a process of removing the top dead skin layers to reveal healthier, newer skin underneath
3. the largest section of a single hair, containing the main bulk of the hair
4. a small projection of tissue at the base of a hair or tooth or feather
5. a fibrous scleroprotein that occurs in the outer layer of the skin and in horny tissues such as hair feathers nails and hooves; hair's natural protein
6. loss of hair (especially on the head)
7. resting phase of the follicle in the hair cycle
8. removal of hair on the surface of the skin
9. insoluble pigments that account for the colour of skin, hair, scales and feathers
10. a pore in the skin from which a hair grows
This is a variation on a theme ...
A barber gave a haircut to a
priest one day. The priest tried to pay for the haircut but the barber refused
saying, ďI cannot accept money from you, for you are a good man - you do Godís
Last week's quiz:
Here are some great gardening words ... just so you can impress fellow green-thumbs at your next get-together. Do that thing you do ...
monoecious, bipinnate, acaulescent, glabrous, axil, calyx, dioecious, anther, peduncle, umbel
1. the modified leaves which surround and protect flower buds; all the outermost group of floral parts - CALYX
2. pollen-bearing part of the stamen - ANTHER
3. plant that has no stem or appears to have no stem - though it may be hidden underground - ACAULESCENT
4. having separate male and female parts on the same plant - MONOECIOUS
5. where the primary leaflets are divided into two - or secondary leaflets - BIPINNATE
6. a group of flowers growing from a common point on a stem - UMBEL
7. upper angle between a leaf stalk and the stem where new buds and stems arise - AXIL
8. a flower stalk, supporting either a cluster or a solitary flower - PEDUNCLE
9. separate plants for male and female - DIOECIOUS
10. hairless, but not necessarily smooth - GLABROUS
And finally, a little story that combines what we've been chatting about this week and what we chatted about some weeks back when we looked at the differences between men and women ... (here)
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A Little Something Extra
Lots of things to do with hydrogen peroxide, from its use in the treatment of municipal sludge, to the making of home-made bombs, to a hair treatment here
Writing a book and want to give your characters some nifty hairstyles? Look no further than here
More than you probably ever need to know about hair here
Oxymoron of the week: natural perm
Word of the week: Palaver (n) tedious or time-consuming business, esp when of a formal nature; loud and confused talk and activity; hubbub; a long parley, especially one between primitive natives and European traders, explorers, colonial officials, etc.
This useful word comes from a Portuguese word palavra meaning 'talk.' But trust the Romans to get into the picture ... the Portuguese took their word from Latin parabola 'a parable.'
Dictionary.com tells us that it was originally a slang term among Portuguese sailors (in those days when they and the Spanish were busily establishing empires across the globe). It was used to describe the process of sitting down with the locals and "negotiating with the natives" in West Africa.
This week's Latin phrase seems strangely apt ...
Capillamentum? Haudquaquam conieci esse!
(A wig? I never would have guessed!)
Did you know that you can have your very own Latin reminders?
How about undies proclaiming, Bene est rex esse? (It's good to be king)
Or a shopping bag that warns, Emptrix nata sum (Born to shop)? Click here
for these and more:
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Copyright Jennifer Stewart 2011
Individual articles copyrighted by their authors.
Copyright 2009 Jennifer Stewart Write101.com