Friday, October 2, 2009

Donating Myself to Science...sort of

I'm the first to admit I tend to use "vacation" time to do things I whiz past in daily life. You know, muttering to yourself as you pass that pile of whatever you've been meaning to get around to, "As soon as I get a minute to myself I promise to [fill in the undone chore of choice].

On Friday, I accomplished one of those necessary evils AND made a contribution to society by donating a part of my person for experimentation. Yes, it was legal. No, drugs were not involved. Nor was blood. In fact, it didn't even hurt.

You see, I have this love/hate relationship with my hair. It's baby fine, straight and plain old brown. Okay, so plain old brown is currently being invaded by a few grey hairs but hey, they're thicker than the rest so I don't mind if they bring friends. I'm not interested in coloring my hair because chemically camouflaging my age doesn't interest me. Besides, I plan to win that bet with Mom; she thought I'd cave in and cover the grey while, sadly for her, my rallying cry has become, "Never!" And I'll stick to it, mostly because in the past, I did my time getting smelly perms for "fake" curls. About every third perm I looked like a poodle which had come fresh from the "Fluff" cycle of the dryer before being tossed into a passing tornado.

So, with the blessing of my hair stylist Cindy, I went cold turkey on perms. That was three years ago. Cindy swears, in amazement, that my hair looks better than it ever has. Considering a haircut is about a quarter of the price for a perm, I believe her. Plus, her Mom owns the local beauty college right next door, where Cindy is a well respected instructor.

Friday was the day I stopped putting off a haircut. With my summer work schedule, it'd been easier to utilize pony tails or hair clip instant styling. Cindy greeted me cheerfully. Other stylists would've pointed out exactly how long it had been since my last haircut. Cindy merely noted that this was the longest she ever remembered seeing my hair before adding, "and it's never looked better!" We agreed giving up perms was the right thing to do.

Her Mom walked in just as Cindy had finished cutting 3-4 inches off my head. As I reached for my purse and Cindy reached for the broom, I heard her Mom muttering something low. Cindy paused, then replied, "No. Nothing."

"Put away the broom," her Mom instructed. "And I'll send someone over from the school to collect it."

As her Mom walked out the door, I looked at Cindy, then to where she was staring at the floor.

"Collect what?" I asked, watching her kneel down to carefully gather my shorn locks.

"Your hair," she answered matter-of-factly. "Do you know how difficult it is to get virgin hair?"


"Virgin hair," she repeated with a smile. "No perm. No coloring. Nothing but shampoo."

"Oh," I smiled as a student from next door came to aid in the collection process, gently laying those valued hairs upon a towel. "So, my hair becomes a study aid?"

"Yep," Cindy replied, sounding very instructor-like. "They don't see a lot of virgin hair," she remarked as the student nodded, muttering something about bad coloring and over processing.

As I sat there, proudly smiling down on my fine brown locks being so lovingly cradled on a towel, Cindy added, "We'll be able to use these samples to show them how to properly color and bleach hair."

Oh, the irony.

And no Mom. You don't win the bet. After all, said hair wasn't ON my head at the time it decided to become a new color.


pilgrimchick said...

I had no idea that undyed and untreated hair is so uncommon. A few months ago, I had 13 inches cut off to donate--what a dramatic change, let me tell you. Soon, I'll be able to put it up again. The loss was, of course, for a very good cause.

Susan at Stony River said...

So part of you has now gone to beauty school? LOL

You and I have exactly the same hair by the sound of it: no surprise! And yes, ponytails are the way to go when relaxing at home. Hopefully someday this winter I'm going to treat myself to a complete overhaul and try it short again; but with my forty-seven cowlicks that's tricky.

I'm looking forward to more grey hair too. I like how almost-curly and silvery it is.

Titus said...

Alas, my hair is obviously a slut. I cannot actually remember what colour it is. If I could get a perm on top I would, but my rather sensible yet inspired hairdresser won't let me, so curlers it is for the big nights out.

I should like it if I went all-over grey all-over night, but I cannot think of shock big enough to do that.
Virgin hair! What a compliment!

hope said...

pilgrimchick, I had innocently remarked prior to the haircut that if I'd grown it slightly longer, I could've donated it to "Locks of Love" for cancer patient wigs. Little did I know she'd find another use. :)

Susan...yes, my hair will get another degree while the rest of me wonders about it all. I laugh that I need hair long in the summer to be able to put it in a ponytail and get it OFF MY NECK. Otherwise I do not perspire like a lady....Grandma had the same problem and said she "Sweat like a mule". :) As it cools off, I can wear it shoulder length...when everyone seems to grow theirs long. See, I've never been normal. ;)

Titus, sounds like you have my Mom's hair...the family joke is no one can remember what color it's SUPPOSE to be naturally. Since we both have the same type of hair, I've seen what color and perms have done to thanks! I don't want you to get "shocked" into overnight grey...besides I LOVE your hair color!

Peggy said...

I have not had virgin hair for decades. Guess when they sweep up my hair, it goes directly(do not pass go) to the can! Tisk!

Dan. said...

Now, you think it has gone to a beauty school, but maybe it was actually to Satanists? I understand they like "Virginal” stuff and things.

So now thanks to you, the Apocalypse is going to happen.

I hope you will be happy when the hounds of hell are snapping at my toes.......

steven said...

hi hope - very cool story that brought me to remember a boy i taught two years ago who had hair below his shoulders. i had a girl in my class with brain cancer and we did a lot of fundraising for the canadian cancer society. one day the boy came in with a super short hair cut which blew us all away!! i asked him what was up with that and he told me that he had donated his hair to be made into a wig for people who lose their hair during chemo and radiation treatments! this is an astonishing act of courage for an eleven year-old boy let me tell you. so thanks for twigging that memory in my head!!! have a lovely day hope. steven

hope said...

Peggy, that's okay. Someone has to supplement the beauty industry when I refuse to. :)

Dan, it was a pitiful sample if you ask me, so I'm doubting Beelzebub would be impressed. But watch for photo of what Hubby was up to last night and perhaps you'll think that was a Hound of Hell.

steven...that is so sweet! We have a program here called "Locks of Love" for that very purpose. My hair was long for me, but not long enough to donate to the Cancer Society. So I guess the beauty world is a close runner up.