It’s Always About My Hair

Jul
19

As evidenced by recent discussion about cover photos of my book, my hair always becomes the center of conversation in regard to any photo of me. One time, a few years ago, I changed the photo of me in my sidebar and it created a ruckus. I wrote a post about it, which you can see here if you haven’t: The Height of Vanity. There were over 200 comments on that post and most of them were about my hair.


I’ve always liked my hair. I’ve almost always worn it long, anywhere from shoulder length to all the way down to my waist. Right now it’s about middle-of-the-back length. It’s thick, wavy, with some natural curl around my face, and it has a lot of body/volume. My hair is like a small country all by itself. I always think of it as light brown, but technically, it’s dark blonde. (This is according to the hair color chart at the hair salon.) I usually have it highlighted with a lighter blonde and a darker brown. I don’t do anything to my hair after I wash it other than comb it out. No blow drying! That messes up the natural wave and curl. Hairdressers are generally distressed because I won’t let them put products in my hair or blow it dry. “What? You want to leave with your hair WET?!” Yes, don’t touch it.

My hair has elicited comments all my life. Women usually tell me they wish they had my hair, though most often lately women tell me to stop HIDING behind my hair. (This comes in relation to the cover photo question, wanting to show more of my face.) I swear I’m not hiding behind my hair. I just like my hair, and if I pulled it back for a cover photo, I wouldn’t look like me. Men, by the way, always love my hair. Not that very many men comment on my blog, but they tell me in person, especially men I’m dating.

This post has no real point other than, obviously, I’m obsessed with my hair. Though, I remember when I was kid that hardly any of my friends (including me) had a mother with long hair. If their mother had long hair, she was either a hippie or she was way younger than my mother. When you reached “a certain age” you were expected to cut your hair. Ross’s girlfriend actually told him in high school that his mother looked like a hippie, but generally today it is okay to have long hair no matter what your age. I was surprised recently when someone commented that I was too old to wear short shorts! Maybe when I’m 75. I’m of the view that those ideas about age and style went out with not wearing white or pastel before Easter. You? I feel young, act young, and look young, which I think keeps me young. Along with my immaturity. (Ha.)

In any case, if there is any point AT ALL to this post, here it is. Yesterday I had my usual hair appointment for highlights and decided to do something different. Instead of having a lighter blonde and darker brown put in, I had a strawberry blonde and auburn done.
strwberry
I like it! It was fun to do something different and made me wonder why for so long I haven’t done anything different to my hair. I’m adventurous about everything else, why not my hair, too? And now that I’ve discovered alternative options to my usual highlights, no telling what I’ll do next….

Purple, here I come! (I’M JUST KIDDING.) But I might play around with more reds.

P.S. I took that photo with my cell phone, so don’t be too hard on the technical quality. But you can see the color.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 19, 2013  

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  1. 7-19
    7:23
    am

    As a male who comments on your blog, a Kickstarter contributor, and having spent a few days with you in your studio work shop, I can honestly say, why all the fuss about hair, yours or anyone’s? Wear it as it suits you and :moo: to anyone who doesn’t like it. I think it looks fine, but I’d feel the same way if you dyed it black and put it up in cornrows. It’s not my place to say.

    I have “male pattern baldness” and it amuses me the lengths some men go to (can you say “Donald Trump”?) to conceal it. Sean Connery I can understand, but not me and not most other guys I know. Accept who you are and roll with it.

    Now the publishers are in a business where they want the biggest revenue, and the may well have the expertise to know what sells. That is a slightly different issue. If I’m acting in front of a camera and the director wants me to have makeup on (I’ve had my bald head de-shined, for example) then it’s their call and I’ll go along. But in the film business, if you need to make a substantial change to your appearance for a role, you get paid extra to do that. And then you change it back when the gig is done. A skilled hair stylist (make the publisher pay) can probably achieve the desired effect without hurting your self image. Ask them about it.

  2. 7-19
    7:34
    am

    I love it! Your hair is gorgeous and you have every right to be proud of it! The new highlights are stunning! :happyflower:

  3. 7-19
    7:40
    am

    No comment! ;)

  4. 7-19
    7:45
    am

    I love your new hair color! Very pretty. I got long hair too. Its straight. I do wear it back most of the time. Which annoys some people. It also annoys people because its so long. Its down to the middle of my back right now. I may or may not get it cut any time soon. lol. I tried short hair and did not like it. I tried different styles also and found it hard to keep up with them. I’m a wash and go girl like you and I like it that way. Sometimes when in the mood or we are going someplace fancy I”ll so something nice to it. I do color my hair. It has gone from several ranges from red, to a bad patch where I dyed it dark brown or black, and now its working its way back to a nice red again. I am tempted to stick in some purple or blue one day just to piss people off. lol.

  5. 7-19
    8:27
    am

    I’ve always liked your hair. I am 68 years old and wear mine long–I find that many older actresses are doing that now–I don’t buy the “cut your hair when you age” malarky. I mostly braid mine, but my husband likes it loose, so when we’re at home, I’ll do that. Don’t allow people to make you apologize for your locks, it’s your own signature, and I find that people who can’t do something will complain about one who can. And I really like the blonder you, but hey, it’s your call. You always look good Suzanne.

  6. 7-19
    8:27
    am

    Well I’m 77 and had long hair – until fell and broke my shoulder- badly. Then I couldn’t take care of it soooooo had it cut. It was never colored. Everyone told me I look much younger now. I don’t care about that – I miss my hair. It went to be made into wigs, not for children though – it was totally white. I know exactly what you mean. Do as you like and please don’t listen to others. Some things matter – some things don’t.

  7. 7-19
    8:28
    am

    One of the things I admire about you is how natural you are. You’re a beautiful woman. Go ahead and flaunt it! I’ll be 55 at the end of the month and I have long hair too. I recently posted on my FB page photos of women over 50 who had long hair and why I wasn’t going to cut mine any time soon. The comments were all by women and all in favor of long hair for women of any age. If having cancer this year has taught me anything it is that the old saying “to thine own self be true” is imperative. So you go girl!!!!

  8. 7-19
    8:48
    am

    Your hair looks great! I’m a 38 year old mom of 4 (and keeper of several chickens and ducks) and I have purple and blue highlights in my hair. It’s hair…nothing is really permanent when it comes to hair and it makes me happy to see my favorite colors whenever I look at it! A stylist once told me that hair is a forever changing canvas. 8)

  9. 7-19
    9:01
    am

    I like your hair too. The only thing is, I can’t see how you can go around doing all your chores and things with it in your face! I have long hair too. First thing after I wake up, it goes in a ponytail. I can’t stand to have hair in my face when I am working around here. (Plus the fact it’s always soaking wet with sweat!)But that’s just me. I will probably always have long hair. I just turned 55 and act like I’m 20. So what is age but a number anyway? Do what you want. And the color is fun! I just don’t want to get started on the “beauty shop” thing. Mine is all natural. But again, that’s just me.

  10. 7-19
    9:26
    am

    You have beautiful hair. :) I love to change the color of mine and the length. The great thing about hair is it grows back out. Mine has been blond, red, brown and gray. Who knows what it will be next. You are as old as you feel and I don’t feel old. :yes:

  11. 7-19
    10:01
    am

    There is a chalk-based hair product specifically made to produce streaks of screaming red, purple, gold, etc in any hair style. It washes out easily.
    I’m really indifferent to most hair color so much so that I can’t really tell the difference between your new color and the old, except that it seems brighter. (For years I had friends try to copy my hair color by using Clairol #35(?); it’s natural to me.) My only concern about your hair was wishing to see your face on the book cover. Just pushed back a bit–not over the ear, not cut, not pinned, not ponytailed…. As folks above have said, it’s yours to wear the way you like.

  12. 7-19
    10:14
    am

    If you are happy with it, well that’s all that matters. You gotta do you and not anyone even a man should influence the way you see yourself with and without a mirror. :moo:

  13. 7-19
    10:16
    am

    I’ve had short, medium and long hair in my life. If my hair was as beautiful as yours, then I would wear it long too. I’m a chin length person now but wash and go. I don’t use hair products and only use a dryer when its cold outside. I do have my hair colored with ‘temporary’ color called Shades.

  14. 7-19
    10:19
    am

    Obsessing about hair is fun. It is also super to really enjoy yourself.
    I am 68 and my opinionated young,28 year old, niece told me at a family reunion, “Aunt Mary, most old ladies do not wear their hair long; BUT (long pause),it kind of suits you.”
    I am still smiling over that. Also, I did not know I was an Old Lady.

  15. 7-19
    10:19
    am

    Loved the post!!! Thanks for sharing. :) Your hair is gorgeous and you are a very pretty woman!!! When I was young, teen ager and older, I had long hair and LOVED it. I always had it down and loved the way it felt around my face just like you! In summer I still had it down, and loved it. Keep feeling young sweetie!! HUGS :happyflower: :purpleflower:

  16. 7-19
    10:22
    am

    Hmm…I don’t see any difference. Maybe I am color blind. I suppose it would be different in person. Whatever you do with your hair is fine with me, but I’d rather not see you with a mohawk.

  17. 7-19
    10:48
    am

    I think it’s a great change! Not dramatic, but it really brings out your eyes so much! You look great! :wave:

  18. 7-19
    11:19
    am

    You go girl. :happyfeet: Do what makes YOU happy. I personally would kill to have your hair. All that talk about being too old to wear long hair, too old to wear shorts, just remember, Jealousy is a terrible thing. Be happy. :happyflower:

  19. 7-19
    11:20
    am

    Well I think it looks pretty and warm, and suits you just fine.

    I really like Old Geezer’s comment btw.

    Welcome back, we miss you when your internet goes out!

  20. 7-19
    11:29
    am

    I love your hair. I call it mermaid hair and it is beautiful. Wear it however you like it. I wear my hair long at age 69 and I can tell some don’t like it but I don’t care. My mom always fussed at me to pull my hair back from my face. Go for the purple if you want!

  21. 7-19
    11:31
    am

    From what I can tell on the cellphone photo, I like the new highlights. It is soft looking. Changes in skin tone can have affect on what you choose for hair color and highlighting. Also as you age, the start of gray hair will also be mirrored in your skin tone. I am speaking from experience as I grayed early at 44. Took after my Dad. When I had reached a nice salt and pepper combination, I threw away the hair dye. Accepted what genetics had deal me and embraced my color. I can’t count how many people have said, “I would love to have gray hair like yours.” I think the key is, I love and accept it. So, continue to wear your hair in the way you love. Your opinion counts the most.

  22. 7-19
    12:05
    pm

    Except for a temporary look for YOUR own benefit (economic or other), go with what you like most when you look in the mirror in the morning. I think this is what you do. I can’t imagine why anyone would do differently except if they were very insecure, and you certainly don’t appear to be that. :-) By the way, it doesn’t matter, but I think your hair looks great.

  23. 7-19
    12:08
    pm

    I kept my hair in a shortish bob for years, then decided last year to let it grow (or was too lazy to cut it, not sure which :no: ) for the first time in nearly 20 years. I also color it, since while I LOVE pretty silver hair, mine is not. It’s just…blah. ANYWAY, I’ve been shocked how many people have complimented me on the longer hair.;.and I just turned 61. But I was inspired by several ladies in church around my age with long, gorgeous hair, and thought, Why the heck not?

    I do have to get it up off my neck when it’s hot, though. Learning some neat, fast tricks with a couple of twists and a pinchy comb. ;)

  24. 7-19
    12:20
    pm

    I can’t believe some of the things people say to women about how they SHOULD look! Whether your hair is short or long, blonde or black or purple, somebody will always find fault with it. I think we should all do what we want with our looks. Personally, I have the opposite problem–my hair bugs me and I want it Annie Lennox-short (remember the video for “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This”?) but I have chubby cheeks and can’t really pull it off. Until I get skinny (yeah, that’ll happen any minute now!), I’ll just keep cutting my hair short–but not Annie Lennox-short–and coloring it red.

  25. 7-19
    12:54
    pm

    Longish silver hair here. Always combed back to show my face. I wear glasses, so hair in the face would be waaaay too much. If I am going fancy, twist it up with one of those comb things. I hate sweaty hair.
    You do have a head of gorgeous hair, but also a beautiful complextion. I do wish you would pull it back a bit. I feel you are hiding behind it. However, I have an ‘in your face’ attitude. I do not think you have.
    But, we are individuals, go with what makes you happy and comfortable. You are the one who counts.

  26. 7-19
    12:56
    pm

    I say do what makes you happy! I love your new color by the way :) I keep mine cut off – no time or energy to deal with it – it makes me happy. I wore it longer for years, remember getting up while in high school at 3 in the morning to wash and curl and sit under a hair dryer – That was then:

    I also say with a figure like yours or whatever, wear whatever makes you happy too – People should not be telling others how to dress or wear their hair :)

    Enjoy!

  27. 7-19
    1:00
    pm

    I think the color makes your eyes pop more…Gave them some depth…it is good!

  28. 7-19
    1:11
    pm

    New here, but have been lurking, reading and learning alot. I have to comment, If your happy that is all that matters! I have lived long enough to learn that other peoples opinon really doesn’t matter, since most just quickly enter and leave your life. I also now have long hair, took a while for it to grow again (I told my girls, that once they moved out I stopped pulling it out,,lol!) and for the short shorts, if ya like them wear them, I do!! Just be who you are and not what people want. I applaud your stand on you being you!! :woof:

  29. 7-19
    1:12
    pm

    nanaK :
    I have been thinking about your book cover discussion, and after viewing your picture today, I have a small suggestion.
    Perhaps, to show more of your face for a photo that is going to display and accentuate you; you might consider braiding a portion on each side and bring it to the back of your crown where it can fall naturally with the rest. Have a good day. :sheep:

  30. 7-19
    1:35
    pm

    I love your immaturity…matches mine! My hair is long and black, blue black or soft black or almost violet black, amber black or whatever neat version of black I can get my hands on! My fav used to be chocolate cherry (doesn’t that sound yummy?) but it won’t cover my gray anymore.

    You are beautiful and your hair is beautiful, and most important you choose beautiful for your life. Soo much beauty makes for lotsa more beauty…see, told ya I’m immature too. :bugeyed: Have a BEAUTIFUL day!

  31. 7-19
    2:06
    pm

    I just wanted to say that I like the hair color. I liked it before also. I feel that it is your hair and it’s your choice (as for any woman) to wear it however you like it and are comfortable with it. Lord knows I’ve worn my hair before how others wanted me to and I wasn’t happy about it. I never felt like ME. However, don’t you just hate that? I think it would look better in a style that would compliment your looks more.

  32. 7-19
    2:08
    pm

    I think that’s a nice photo of you; you could use it as the author photo on the dust jacket of your next book. As to how you should wear your hair or what you should wear, I say it’s nobody’s business but your own. And if anyone over the age of 5 doesn’t care for it, they should keep their opinion to themselves.

    I’ve heard it said that no woman over 50 should wear shorts, and to that I say ppffft! I’ll stop wearing shorts in hot weather when all my brains have leaked out and I’m too foolish do wear what’s comfortable. If you don’t like the way I look, don’t look at me. The fashion police have probably had a warrant out for me for years, but I really don’t care. I wasn’t put on this earth to please them. I dress nicely on important occasions as a sign of respect to those involved. The rest of the time I please myself, and what pleases me most of the time is to be comfortable.

  33. 7-19
    2:40
    pm

    Love old geezer’s comments. Short, long, natural, gooped up, dyed. It’s YOUR hair. Do what makes YOU happy. I’ve done everything from very short (I can’t pull it off – wish I could) to spending lots of $$$ on perms that won’t stay in for more than about 2 weeks. Now I keep mine fairly long, and occasionally color it with wash out color as I get older and more gray. I get so irritated with men who insist that their women not cut their hair. I always imagine them having some kind of playboy fantasy in their head of long flowing locks cascading down their naked ripped body, when in reality, you have baby spit in your hair and no time to take care of it, and your man has a pot belly. I once had a hair dresser point out that with really long hair, you are carrying around lots of old history. I think this is why when women go through a break up they so often change their hairstyle. Cut off all that old baggage. Me, I’m 47 and contemplating deep red streaks. Why the heck not.

  34. 7-19
    4:15
    pm

    Men grow beards or mustaches and women color their hair. It is all part of self-expression. The thing I hate about hair and aging is not going grey but the change in texture. I never had frizzy hair but it gets more so each year. I’ve decided like you to skip the ironing hair and messing with it and go curly/wavy. When the hairdresser gets finished I wear it nice and straight and smooth and styled–for about a day or so depending on humidity. Being retired now I don’t have to maintain a “professional” look so I let my thick and wavy hair do what it wants. BUT its still too short to put up and gets in my face when I’m gardening/cooking, etc.

    Anything, ANYTHING is better than my youth. Brush rollers–remember folks. You haven’t suffered for style until you learned to sleep with brush rollers in your hair. That big hair look was invented to torture women, I’m convinced.

  35. 7-19
    4:41
    pm

    I agree with most of the comments – suit yourself – I am 57 with long hair and always wash and go – natural curly like yours- it has been sit on length before – cut when I was pregnant because it was a VERY hot summer and I was huge with an 11 lp baby and again when it was very long and I shattered my arm – the accident left shattered glass and truck parts in my hair so they cut it off at the bottom of my ear – talk about shock!! I hated it and could not wait till it grew back out. as for color – I love the touch of red – I do that too but red was my original color. I too put it up off my neck when I am working in hot weather but — if you feel like a change try moving your part to one side or the other. it does result in more of your face showing automatically tho it can take a few days to feel normal. luv you and all your animals. if I wasn’t so far away I would be there for a workshop. db

  36. 7-19
    5:18
    pm

    WHAT???? Someone told you that you were too old to wear short shorts? Seriously? They’re just jealous that they aren’t small enough to pull it off! Seriously, people never cease to amaze me!

    Just remember, if they make a movie of your book, we’ve decided that Julia Roberts can play the part of you- she’s got good hair! ;)

    I like you hair color- I think at some point you should try to go even lighter around your face to accent your eyes!

    Too old to wear short shorts……..Sorry, I can’t let that one go- Just shaking my head..The nerve of some people!

  37. 7-19
    6:19
    pm

    Wear it the way YOU want. I’ve had short, long and inbetween…I lost all mine a few years ago due to chemo—and kept it short to ward off the hot flashes from my cancer meds….At 1st it was all white (which i didn’t mind)…but that was what came back 1st then the rest came back in muddy brown..and is blah. So last weekend I dyed it ‘golden blond’ and gonna let it grow again. Husband hates it short–but I do my hair for ME and what I feel like…and so should everyone!!! (my Mom hates it long-oh well)

    Wendy!!! :)

  38. 7-19
    7:18
    pm

    Congrats on trying something new. Change is good for all of us once in a while. Keeps us from getting stale and frozen in time. And if you like the new color change, then go for it!

  39. 7-19
    7:59
    pm

    Wendy — my mother hated long hair, too…whether I was sixteen or in my fifties. And by “long,” I mean if it even touched my shoulders. I only had boys (who’ve gone through some bizarre styles/colors over the years), but I was determined that if I’d had a girl, I would *not* get on her case about her hair! :woof:

  40. 7-19
    8:21
    pm

    I have to say I haven’t read the other posts yet, but Suzanne, you have the hair I always wanted to have! Full and lush. You CAN’T hide behind hair like that, it just IS!

    Isn’t it funny that if we have straight hair we want curly hair; if we have curly hair we want it straight. If it’s short we want it long, and vice versa, etc. etc. etc.

    But yours is absolutely gorgeous, and it somehow suits your face. What more can you ask for!?!

  41. 7-19
    8:28
    pm

    Your hair is beautiful no matter what you do to it. But it doesn’t matter what I or anyone else thinks about it. What matters is how it makes you feel and think about it. When I went through the Change I lost a lot of hair due to hormonal changes and it has never grown back in. I still have lots of hair compared to most people but it’s about a third less than it was. Hopefully that won’t happen to you. I say enjoy your hair in every way you can.

  42. 7-19
    9:29
    pm

    I love your hair! I love my hair! I always notice when a woman has long hair and I think it is great. My grandmother had really long hair until she was about eighty, she kept it up in a bun, but I loved it when she took it down to brush it out and wash it. My mom’s hair was always cropped and done up EVERY SINGLE WEEK! Can you say hair spray??? Comon! Really?!?
    My hair is down to just below my hips. I am 60. My hair is turning gray. It’s fine with me. When people tell me to color it or chop it off, I tell them it took 60 years for my hair to get this way, I am leaving it. When it is all white (gray) I am putting a brilliant blue streak in it. Lettin’ my freak flag fly!

  43. 7-19
    11:13
    pm

    Do you remember the song ‘hair’ ? sixties? I kept humming that since I read this post.

  44. 7-20
    12:18
    am

    I love your hair. Generally, men love long hair. My husband tells me to wear it any way I like. He’s generous that way. I have below shoulder length silver hair. Mostly silver. I am in my 60’s. I never understood the cut your hair when you are old thing. Women come up to me in public and tell me my hair is beautiful. When it is hot, I wear it up. I let it dry naturally, twist it up and after an hour or so, I can let it down and it falls into lovely waves. OR I can leave it up. I suppose a hairstylist could make it more modern with a cut and color, but I have no patience with styling. If we can look gorgeous with a natural dry, I say leave it and be thankful! Since you have the legs for it, wear the short shorts and good for you!

  45. 7-20
    3:50
    pm

    You’re beautiful any way you look and if you can wear short shorts do it. I have heat and love shorts myself.

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