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Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Spotlight: Rie McGaha

A Hair-brained Idea

At the age of twenty-five my hair began to gray. I was shocked to say the least and immediately began to pluck, however, the more I plucked the faster the gray came in and before I ever reached forty, I had a long gray streak on the right side. That wasn’t so bad and I actually received compliments and people often asked how I did got it that way. By the time I was forty, I had more grays than the natural color and I began to dye my hair. Over the many years since then, I have died my hair more times than I can count and have experimented with many colors ranging from black to red to purple and blue. I have naturally curly hair and over the years of dying my hair lost its curls. It also became brittle and unable to hold color. And now in my somewhere way over forty age, I have given up on trying to keep the gray away and frankly, the upkeep is more trouble than it’s worth.

I went to the salon to have some of the broken, brittle, damaged ends trimmed off and asked the stylist what I could do to restore my hair and my curls. She told me that once the damage was done, there was no way to really undo it except by shearing it completely off and letting new hair grow out. She also said she and her colleagues had often talked about doing the same to their own hair and wearing wigs, but no one had mustered the courage to go for it. I laughed because I didn’t think I could shave my head either. I had worn my hair long all of my life and since the damage had been done from the numerous coloring, the locks had gotten shorter and shorter.

Recently, I accompanied my truck driver husband on a six-week trip. He is partial to redheads, (a mama issue I won’t go into here), and he has often asked me to dye my hair red and I have. So on the trip, he again asked for a redhead and I dyed my hair. Instead of red, I got bright orange. It was hideous. After a few days, I bought a reddish-brown dye and dyed my hair again. This time the hair from the scalp down about five inches was a beautiful shade of red, the last four or five inches was chocolate brown. For the first time on the trip I was happy to be in the northeast where the temperatures were in the teens and coats and hoods were necessary.

Staring in the mirror at the mess that was now my hair, I almost cried. I told my husband I may as well shave it off and he immediately began to hide the clippers. Over the next couple of weeks the brown began to fade somewhat but I still had the damaged ends and didn’t like what I saw any time I had to look in the mirror. When we got home last week I looked at my hair again and since my spouse was outside, I picked up the scissors and chopped off the longest parts, then got the clippers and off came the rest.

Needless to say my hubby wasn’t ecstatic about what he saw and my son’s chin hit his chest, right before he took a picture with his phone and sent it to his siblings. Every now and then, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I take a second look because I’m still not used to seeing my bald head. On the other hand I’ve found out a couple of things. Hair holds in a lot of heat. My head is nicely rounded. And in a strange way being bald has given me a kind of freedom I’ve never known before. Plus, I’m saving a butt-load of money on shampoo, conditioner and a multitude of other hair products, and I’ve cut my shower time in half.

I will be glad when my hair grows out again in all its natural gray glory and I doubt I will ever shave it off again, but the experience has been a positive one. While not for everyone, I can say that for me, I’m glad to have pulled off such a hair-brained idea.

Rie McGaha is the author of several books ranging from erotic romance to paranormal, fantasy, historical, and and suspense. She also produces book trailers, works as a freelance editor, is a review editor, and promotes other authors on her blogs Sizzling Releases, An Author's Tale, and Author Offerings. She is the mother of 12 and her 26th grandchild is due in October. She rescues abused animals, nurses them back to health and tries to find new homes for them. In her spare time she likes to garden and shoot weapons.


My Book Reviews said...

You are a brave woman. I could just imagine how your husband and kids reacted. I think I would be afraid of the reaction from my daughter the most.

Shea said...

I've had this fantasy about what it would feel like to be bald. I DON"T think I'll act on it, though. Tell us, does it feel at all sexy or just scary and weird?

Angela Nichelle said...

Hey, Rie!

I totally know how it feels to stand in the mirror and make the decision to chop it all off! I ended up doing it twice myself as I struggled to figure out how to wear my hair naturally.

I agree that it's one of the most liberating things you can do and it makes you take stock of all that makes you beautiful, besides your hair!

Rie McGaha said...

At first it was just weird. Every time I caught myself in the mirror, I was shocked but now I kinda like it. It's grown out some and I'm thinking after it's out maybe a couple of more inches, I'm going to keep it this way permanently...or until I change my mind! :)