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Goodbye, divorce hair

 Kissymommy About a year ago, I walked into my salon a little spiffier than I normally do to get swathed in aluminum strips and neurological disorder-inducing chemicals just to look pretty for a few weeks. I was wearing a red patent leather heels, red lipstick and had a bold red ring where a diamond was once perched. I was smiling -- and not just because I was on time for once. I was feeling good before I got there. It was a turning point in a divorce that felt like it had been going on since the 1960s. It wasn't easy but I was making progress, I was getting through.

Getting my hair done didn't feel like a salvation that day like it had for the months before. I wasn't walking in hoping that some miracle of highlights and razor cutting could make me look fabulous when I felt a mess.

Sylvia, the lovely and gorgeous stylist with violet-tinted black hair and a Polish accent that makes her words drip and stretch, grabbed my hands and smiled back at me.

"And now," she said, eyeing my shoes, lips and ring, "you are a redhead!"

That's how my natural hair, politely highlighted auburn for a few years, became blazing red. I loved being a redhead. I loved changing my profile to read "Hair color: Red/Auburn." I loved thinking of myself as falling into some the bottle-red subset of the category where Rita Hayworth in "Gilda"   and Brenda Starr, Star Reporter will reign eternally.

It was the beginning of me looking more like me, or at least the self I wanted to be. The woman outside of a marriage. The woman with a big new career. The woman who was pulling up and out of the chaos to (try to?) be more confident, centered, still, and on fire all at the same time.

The red, I thought, said it. That woman is here.

 Today, I said goodbye to the red and to Sylvia, went to a new salon and followed the guidance of a new stylist who said that maybe it was time to move on. 

[A pic of the new 'do after the jump.]

 August My frustration was in spending lots of time and money every month to keep up the red, which fades quickly and is not so forgiving when the natural color comes peeking through at the roots. The new stylist promised she'd give me the fire of the red, just using it in highlights over a much darker color.

I nodded when she explained.

"It's time. I'm ready." I told her as she painted on a brown much darker than my hair has ever been.

She cut my hair to be sleeker and a bit shorter and she smoothed it across cheeks. If you are close, you can still see a fiery tint, and she kept the curls that frame my jaws -- "man-catchers", as one of sassiest grrrlfriends calls them.

When I looked in the mirror at my new hair, I didn't see a new self. I just saw that same woman who once wore red and now doesn't need that as a reminder that life -- and hair -- changes and she can rise to meet it. I needed that boost at one time and that style, as silly as it sounds, was part of many things that lifted me up and through a tough transition.

Am I more confident, centered, still, and on fire than I was a year ago? I don't know. But I'm letting go of the color, the hair, what I saw in the mirror throughout my divorce.

At least for now.

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Reader Comments (10)

Love it.
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commentercaitlin
Onward and upward. Gawgess.
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy Sue Nathan
looks awesome!
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterteressa
You are so beautiful, inside AND out.
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
omgiloveit. i loved the red, too, but this? This is right for right now. You look fierce, grrrl!
August 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterStefania/CityMama
Good for you! Its a brave new world!
August 8, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfrancie
You are amazing.
August 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterVeronica
Love it!
August 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTere
honey, your hair is gorgeous! but so are you.
August 10, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterpaula
it looks fab!
August 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

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