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To Jena: Hair as An Accessory

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Jade21 View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 11 2000 at 9:03pm
Dear Jena,I read your message in a previous thread and you stated: "Sure, hair is an important accessory, like jewelry or shoes, but it's an *accessory* only.I've read about your trip from longer to shorter and some of the things you've experienced. All in all, you say it has been a positive experience even though you prefer your hair longer.What struck a cord with me about your statement was the fact that I think hair is something more than an accessory like jewelry or shoes. [Frankly, shoes are a necessity for me most of the time to protect my feet:)] Like you, I had an experience with losing a substantial portion of my hair. However, this was not by choice through my own or someone else's cutting. It was due to a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic which had been prescribed for a high fever. This experience taught me that hair is much more than an accessory. At the time that my hair began to come out in clumps, it was about mid-back length. Frankly, I always liked my hair, but as you indicated, it was there and life goes on. I cannot tell you how devastating it was to watch the strands of hair come out over several months time. I was fortunate because my hair was thick and I learned to style to hide the loss.More important, I realized that at least a portion of my persona was keyed to my hair, regardless of the style and even the length. Maybe, it was the overall look and quality of the hair. My mother was about the only person who knew how much hair had been lost. She assured me that once the allergic reaction had ceased, the hair would grow again, and that I was, most important, still me. At the same time, she told me afterwards, she knew that the hair loss was like losing a part of myself. In keeping with that, she was my advocate when we started looking for a stylist who would work with me to encourage the hair to grow. Most suggested cutting the hair to all one length, rather than doing modifications as the new hair grew back. She knew my psyche could not have taken this and was about as insistent as anyone could have been in simply moving on to another stylist.When my hair started growing back strong and healthy again, I had a much greater understanding of what someone who is balding or going through radiation must feel like. I realized that the totality of my persona is not tied to my hair, but it's not like shoes or jewelry. Frankly, I adore shoes and jewelry, but I have to tell you, the feelings generated are not the same if I lose a ring or some pumps as it is with hair.I enjoy passing on tips for hair growth and condition to people in Hair Talk from things I've tried and that have worked for me. I also tell people that I am continually amazed by my hair, that it sort of has a life of its own. Diane from Canada mentioned about when you're stressed or tired it can show up in your hair, just like your skin. I can't say that I'm amazed by shoes or jewelry. In and of themselves, they cannot indicate perhaps stress level within me or much of anything else. They are things, not a part of me-however, small.All the Best,Jade21
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